I usually make baked goods from scratch because I think they are tastier and are better for us. But there are times when I want a convenient baking mix, which is difficult to find because our family doesn’t eat gluten, dairy, oats, buckwheat, or quinoa.
I’m happy to have discovered Kember’s Gluten Free, a family-owned business that produces baking mixes that are gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free, with rice flour as their main ingredient. The company started because the mother in this family, like so many households in the gluten-free community, discovered food intolerances and has led the way for her family and others.
I recently spent an entire day baking up a storm with the help from Kember’s Gluten Free. It’s hard to believe that I could make all of the food photographed above in one day, but each mix has thorough instructions that are easy to follow and ensure success. My daughter happily agreed to be the official taste tester!
I’ve discovered with my own recipe developing that it’s important to use room-temperature eggs and liquid when baking gluten-free. This creates a warm environment for the added leaveners, like baking powder, to start working even before the baked goods hit the oven.
Kember’s Donuts were simply delicious with a tender crumb. I baked a batch exactly as directed, and in 30 minutes, I was glazing a treat I hadn’t enjoyed in the three years since I’ve been gluten-free! The mix makes two batches and also has instructions for fried donut holes, so I made those next. This time, I enhanced the recipe a bit by adding 1 teaspoon of gluten-free pure vanilla extract and several grates of fresh nutmeg and loved the depth of the added flavor. I also made chocolate almond milk by adding a bit of the leftover chocolate donut glaze to plain almond milk. My daughter said it was the best chocolate milk she has had since being dairy-free, and the donuts and donut holes were over the top. (When I read this draft post to my daughter, she said that she liked the donuts more than over the top!)
Kember’s Brownies have a rich chocolate flavor with a traditional moist texture. I used an 8 x 8 square baking pan and lined it with parchment paper—a must when baking gluten-free brownies. I sprinkled Equal Exchange semi-sweet chocolate chips on top, as suggested in the instructions, for an added indulgence. We favor the chocolate flavor and texture of Kember’s Brownies over King Arthur Gluten-Free Brownies.
Kember’s Waffles made the best waffles from a mix we have had since we gave up gluten. The waffles were light, crisp, and slightly sweet. I generously greased our Belgian waffle maker, set it to its highest setting of 6, and made three tasty waffles. We even ate them on their own without syrup.
Kember’s Crepes were a blast from the past. I heated up my much-loved crepe pan that has been in our family for over 40 years. I never thought I’d use this fabulous pan again after I became gluten-free. My classical French culinary training kicked in, and I was swirling and flipping light, tender crepes in no time. I added a few more tablespoons of water than the recipe called for to my batter to get the optimum consistency for my pan. Practice does make perfect when it comes to crepes. Don’t be discouraged because the first few crepes are always a flop until your pan and batter get acquainted. This crepe mix is a must in your gluten-free pantry.
Kember’s Pizza Crust has instructions for pizza crust, focaccia, and breadsticks. I decided to make a focaccia because I wanted to re-create one I made when I was a pastry chef that had olives, shallots, and fresh rosemary. Here is my detailed how-to: I spread the sticky batter into an 8- x 10-inch rectangle on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, brushed it with oil, covered it with plastic wrap, and set it aside for 30 minutes to rise. I then removed the wrap and gently used my fingertips to dimple the dough to create the traditional markings of focaccia (it gives a spot for some of the toppings to fall into). I added pitted olives, sliced shallots, and fresh chopped rosemary and baked at 450ºF on a rack placed in the bottom third of the oven (makes a crisper crust) for 20 to 25 minutes. The kitchen smelled like an Italian eatery. My husband had thirds and especially liked dipping the focaccia in my homemade dairy-free ranch dressing.
Our family thanks the Kember Company for its creations!