Many people pull me aside and always tell me how they are overwhelmed in the gluten free isle of a grocery store. They have no idea which products to pick and why they should pick them. Many people have complained to me that they purchased some kind of mix or flour and tried to follow the recipe on the package. The two most common complaints I get are that the finished products taste “earthy” (a polite word for “dirt”) or they are dry or they simply look nothing like or taste like what they see on the package.Lets start with cost. Gluten free baking products are expensive. We all know this.
One of the reasons for this cost is simply due to the fact that there is a lot more infrastructure in the US to produce wheat and wheat flour. Wheat flour is cheap and plentiful. The processing infrastructure of wheat from farm to grocery store is massive. Besides wheat, corn and potatoes are also processed at this scale. Gluten free products like rice, almonds, and amaranth (dirt tasting, avoid) are not produced at the same scale nor are they as plentiful. As a result, the cost to produce these ingredients is much more expensive. For example, a pound of all purpose flour at your local grocery store is roughly .50 cents. A pound of almond flour at your local grocery store is $9.99 and a pound of brown rice flour is typically $3.99.
This will naturally make the cost of creating gluten free baked products anywhere from 5 to 10 times more expensive than similar wheat based baked products. While you as a gluten free consumer have resolved yourself to paying more for gluten free, you too have limits on pricing. So, the only way for a gluten free producer to create a reasonably priced gluten free product is to alter the blend of gluten free flours in a recipe.
Starches are much cheaper than flours. Potato and cornstarch are much cheaper than better tasting rice or almond flours. As a result, many producers of gluten free packaged goods and baking mixes use these cheap starches as their main ingredients in their products. Go put a tablespoon of corn or potato starch in your mouth and see how it feels. That is the main ingredient in many of these gluten free baking mixes and flours you see on store shelves. You wonder why they are dry. A decent gluten free baking product uses either a nut or a grain as its primary ingredient. Specifically, brown rice flour or almond flour are the two main ingredients that form the basis of a very tasty gluten free baked good.
At Apex Baking Company, all of our products use brown rice flour and almond flour as a base. We do use starches as they are required for the right texture in baking. We don’t use potato or corn starch for two reasons. The first is that these are not the best starches for baking, they are cheap. Secondly, both source corn and potatoes are usually sourced from GMO crops and have been linked to inflammation for some people just like the heavily GMO produced wheat gluten in our food supply. We use much higher quality starches like tapioca and arrowroot for our mixes that tend to be GMO free and also are not linked with inflammation.
We have made a decision to make taste our first priority when creating our products. We understand that cost is always an issue for our customers and we work hard at every level of our business to try to provide you superior tasting gluten free baking mixes at the best possible prices.
Thank you for being our customer.