There was a time when it was a challenge to get your hands on a gluten-free all-
purpose baking flour, let alone one that could be substituted flawlessly in any
gluten-full original recipe. Luckily, those days are over and a unique blends are
hitting store shelves internationally to meet our ever-growing needs.
In the Taste Test column of our current November/December issue, we’re bringing you some of our favorite gluten-free flours and breaking them down a bit to help
you choose which ones you’ll want to bring into your pantry. And while this issue is
live, we’ll be bringing you behind the scenes with some of the creators of the brands And just because it’s the holidays, they’re sharing some of their favorite festive
recipes to help you make the most of your holiday table!
Today we welcome Pamela Giusto-Sorrells, President of Pamela’s Products.
Chef: Pamela Giusto-Sorrells
Positions: President and Founder of Pamela’s Products
Social: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
Growing up in her family’s natural foods bakery, Pamela found herself dissatisfied
with the gluten-free options available to customers. After years of testing, tweaking and trial-and-error (she spent eight years developing her bread mix!) she created Pamela’s Products, an entirely gluten-free line of baking blends and mixes. Thanks
to Pamela’s persistence, we gluten-free eaters can enjoy everything from pancakes
Be sure to check out what we loved about Pamela’s Products in the magazine!
What inspired you to start a line of gluten-free flour?
I started my gluten-free food company in 1988. At the time, the gluten-free products on the market tasted awful and I felt that was unfair. Great taste was not a factor
since gluten-free was thought of as such a minute problem. The thought process
was that people were just happy to have something on the market that was pre-
made—no matter what it tasted like. I experienced this first-hand growing up in my family’s natural foods bakery because my family was making these very foods!
What had been missing for you in the gluten-free flour world before
you took on the challenge?
I created my company because there wasn’t anything available. The market was
wide open in 1988.
What complications arose when creating your blend? How did you overcome them?
I created my foods through trial-and-error. I do eat wheat, so I would continually try
to mimic the taste profile of wheat products with their gluten-free versions. Some recipes took 50 tries. In fact, I worked on my Bread Mix for eight years before I
brought it to market. With my new Artisan Flour Blend, I faced the challenge of creating a flour that mimicked wheat flour and would work as a cup-for-cup replacement for recipes in regular cookbooks. I must have tweaked it 12 times. We tested this with many recipes from Joy of Cooking, Bon Appetit magazine and
Cook’s Illustrated. Ironically, this process also made us realize that many recipes
we originally tried from random sources are not well written and do not taste good,
wheat flour or not. I wanted to make sure my recipes were foolproof.
What excites you nutritionally about your blend?
My new Artisan Flour Blend, new Pizza Crust Mix, Baking & Pancake Mix, and Bread Mix all have over eight grams of whole grains per serving.
What recipes have you loved using your blend?
Our gluten-free Artisan Flour Blend works like an all-purpose flour. Ironically, the recipe that I wanted to perfect first with my new Artisan Flour Blend was the famous Nestlé’s Toll House Cookie—the most popular cookie in America! Cookies and brownies have always been my most frequently made recipes.
What’s coming up on your gluten-free holiday menu?
Our holiday menu features an amazing Prime Rib dinner, complete with gluten-free Yorkshire Pudding!
Any advice for those new to working with gluten-free flour?
It’s literally impossible to make gluten-free flour that will exactly substitute for wheat flour, since wheat flour has gluten for elasticity and it has its own distinct flavor
profile. Gluten-free replacements typically have a more neutral flavor, so additional seasonings may be needed. Also, you can expect most recipes to perform perfectly with my new Artisan Flour Blend, but tweaking might be needed for more adventuresome recipes such as yeast breads. Additionally, I’d recommend gentler handling of the dough, as you don’t have the elasticity or stretch component found in wheat flour.