Do I need to add xanthan gum to MKK Everyday Baking Flour?
All of the products by Melissa's Klassy Kitchen are free from xanthan gum. The main reason we chose to avoid using xanthan gum in our products was to accomodate those who are allergic to it. It can be very difficult to find gluten free products without it. When you do find a flour without xanthan gum, recipes still recommend that you add it. Without some kind of gum, gluten free flour doesn't have the binding effect like regular flour gets from gluten. We wanted a complete GF flour that didn't require gum to be added before or after. We came up with a natural solution using ground chia seeds and psyllium husk as our binder. This gives a similar result with enough time to rest and activate. When using MKK's GF everyday baking flour, if a recipe calls for xanthan gum "when your GF flour doesn't contain it" (which ours doesn't), you still don't need it! Trust us. Just be sure to let the batter rest for 10-20 minutes before baking for the best results.
How does your flour work without xanthan gum?
Instead of xanthan gum, we use ground chia seeds and psyllium husk as a thickening ingredient. These ingredients do make a softer baked good, but one that still holds together. Sometimes we still list xanthan gum as an optional ingredient as it does help create a nicer chew to the finished product of some items, such as with pizza crust or scones. However, the baked goods will still maintain their structure without and most times you won't even know the difference when using our flour free from XG. So, those who can't have xanthan gum don't have to worry about subbing in another alternative! The trick with our flour is ensuring you let the batter rest at least 10-20 minutes before baking. In this time, the full magic of the psyllium and chia take place as the liquid activates them into a gelatin like substance and removes some of their crunch. If you don't let the batter rest, you make not have as good of a rise or you may notice tiny specks of crunch from the still solid chia seeds. It's not bad, it's just less effective without time to mellow.
What is xanthan gum?
Xanthan gum is derived from sugar fermented by a bacteria in a lab process. Once combined with an alcohol it goes solid and is ground into a powder which is how we buy it.
It is a soluble fibre which is easily dissolved in liquid and has a thickening, gel-like effect on substances. It cannot be absorbed by your body, which means it does not provide any calories or nutrients.
It is often used as a thickening or stabilizing agent in foods, cosmetics and even paint.
As it is derived from sugar which could be from wheat, corn, soy or dairy, those with severe allergies may have to be cautious of it.
Xanthan gum is considered a safe ingredient to consume, but we prefer to cook without it when we can.
Can I use xanthan gum with MKK flour?
Yes, if you wish, you can add xanthan gum in a recipe using MKK's GF flour, but you really don't need it. We designed our flour to have its own thickening power, so it is ready to use. Though xanthan gum can enhance the texture of certain baked goods, we have been equally satisfied without it using our unique combo of psyllium husk and chia seed instead. Plus, we like that chia and psyllium are both natural, unprocessed ingredients. Simple, unaltered ingredients can still produce amazing results.
Can I use your GF flour cup for cup?
While we have worked hard to make a cup for cup GF flour, not all recipes and flours are created equal. Generally, you should be able to use our flour cup for cup in your recipes. We have even been pleasantly suprised to find our GF flour works cup for cup in some gluten-filled recipes. That is actually how we discovered that our flour works amazing for pasta!
We have had success using our flour cup for cup in most cookie, cake, muffin, sauce and pasta recipes. Breads are a little bit more tricky. We haven't tested the GF everyday baking flour on many bread recipes as we actually use a different flour blend in our bread mixes like the pizza crust, so we can't speak to how well it works in that department.
We have found that for the exceptions, when cup for cup doesn't seem right, adding a little more of our GF flour than your recipe recommends will help create the desired result. We recommend using the flour in the same measurements as the recipe recommends at first, then allowing it to rest at least 10-20 minutes. If the batter is still more runny than expected, add more of our GF flour a tablespoon at a time. We have experienced sometimes up to half a cup extra of our GF flour after resting can produce the desired result.
Why do you use nuts in your product line?
We do use almonds in some of our products. While we do have strict practices in our kitchen to avoid cross contamination, we cannot guarantee a nut free product. The reason we chose to keep almonds in our recipes although we are free from so many other allergens is for the amazing texture the almond flour brings. It gives an airy, light crumb to the texture of our baked goods that GF flours alone cannot replicate. It's hard enough sometimes to have to eliminate so many good items from our diet, that we didn't want to sacrifice flavor as well when we knew the almonds made the difference in some of our products. Sorry to those of you with almond allergies!
Some companies use dry milk powder to achieve similar results, but as our products are dairy free and plant based, we chose to use almond flour. Upon integrating it into our recipes and seeing the amazing results, we never looked back. The fattiness from the almonds bring a moisture and texture we love and you will experience in our banana muffins and pizza crust. This sets us apart from other brands by giving our products a light and airy result. No more dense, cardboard like GF baking for you!
Are your products vegan?
We specifically create and test all of our products to be made without dairy and eggs. This works well for those following a vegan or plant based diet.
We test all of our recipes with natural egg alternatives you will find listed in the recipe on the back of our bags. Sometimes we may suggest egg as an alternative option for added protein if you can have it; but sometimes we don't even think it's required, like in our double chocolate cookies!
We only use dairy free milk alternatives in testing our recipes, so we know they work. We love using cashew or gluten free oat milk. However, other milk alternatives can work just as well.
If you can have dairy and eggs and want to use them instead of what we suggest, you can go for it! It should work just fine in the same amounts. We just prefer to cook without.
We are passionate about giving gluten-free alternatives to people who also need to eat without eggs or dairy. So, while we don't strictly follow vegan principles, we do recognize the importance of eating a more plant based diet and want to offer that option in our baking. We specialize in inventing amazing foods you wouldn't even expect were without gluten, eggs and dairy. Trust us, you won't miss them.
Are your products soy free?
There is soy in our chocolate chips for our double chocolate cookies, but we have recently changed suppliers and the next batches going forward will not contain soy! We do use tofu in our perogies. Otherwise, our other products do not contain soy.
Are your products corn free?
All of our products are corn free, except our cornbread. We follow strict procedures in our kitchen to avoid cross contamination, but we cannot guarantee a corn free facility.
Are your products made in a certified gluten free kitchen?
Our products are currently mixed and packaged in a shared commercial kitchen facility called Sprout Kitchen, in Quesnel, BC. There are others who use the kitchen and use regular flour, but never at the same time as our products are made. We have a separate station and separate tools used solely for our products. Everything is carefully washed and sanitized between use and stored in containers to avoid collecting flour dust when others use the kitchen. Owned by a celiac, we understand the importance of ensuring safe, uncontaminated practices and we strive to do our best to control all we can to produce a safe product. However, we cannot guarantee they are made in a environment completely free from contamination. While we dream of a facility one day that is certified gluten free, as a small business, we have had to find the best affordable option at this stage for our company. We are committed, however, to put in place the best practices we can to give you a gluten free product you can trust.