Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Katz Gluten Free Review--Part 1

I just got my order from Katz Gluten Free Bakery in the mail yesterday. I saw that they had a free sampler kit, along with their regular offerings. Now normally shipping is free for orders over $30, but I knew that I was going to order more things to try, so I got a $25 gift certificate to use later--it filled up the order so I got free shipping!

I used their website to order goodies, but you may be able to find them at a grocer near you. (Katz also is certified Kosher along with being certified gluten free, so you might also see their products in heavily Jewish markets as well as in gluten free grocery areas)

So, in my order was:
A Package of Creme Filled Donuts (pack of 4)
Their Sampler Pack (According to their website, "It includes: 1 Slice each of Whole Grain Bread, Sliced Challah Bread, White Bread and Wholesome Bread. Also included are 1 Dinner Roll, a sample Cookie and Rugelech, and 1 Sample Slice of Marble Cake.")

So I opened up the box to find the goodies, all frozen and packed up nice and safe. I couldn't wait to dig into the donuts, so I popped one of those out to thaw immediately, while I perused the rest of the package.

In the free sampler was the expected slices of each of the breads/cake (which I will review in Part 2), each individually wrapped. I also was pleased to find, not only the dinner roll and ,but also two extras: a chocolate cupcake, and a honey muffin! I like extras, especially extras that I don't have to pay for.

Onward to the review:
Custard Filled Donuts (4 donuts for $5.99)
I was pleased with the powdered sugar dusting on the outside of these cake donuts. It reminded me of the olde donut shoppe style goodies. They are about the size of a tennis ball and perfectly round.  The texture was great, but they were a little on the dry side in spots. I think this could be due to uneven thawing, and could be fixed by flipping the package once while thawing. The texture was dense, like most cake donuts, but still fluffy enough to not be a rock. I was pleased that the texture did not have the general GF graininess that I have come to expect. 

The pudding inside is the perfect mix of vanilla flavor with the slightly-thicker-than-pudding consistency that easily stays in the middle. (The picture lies: the pudding is thick enough to NOT drain out of the donut) Also, unlike most of my memories of regular (i.e. gluten) filled donuts, the ratio of filling to donut was perfect. Not too much, not too little, juuuuuust right. 

Overall: 4.5 out of 5 
I want to see if flipping during thawing prevents the dry spots, but I will be buying these again since donuts are a pain in the rear for me to make myself. At just under $6, these are a great occasional treat, but not an everyday luxury.

Next Up:

Marble Cake--$5.19
This is the typical treat of white and chocolate cake swirled into a loaf of goodness. The individual slice I got in the Sampler Pack was very pretty, but there was a little hole in the plastic bag it came in. This meant that the slice was a little on the dry side, but I am positive that the cake itself would not have this issue. The texture was light, but a little grainy, like many GF products can be. The flavor combination was good, light vanilla cake swirled with not-too-sweet chocolate cake. It was more of a light breakfast bread than a dessert cake, which I really liked.

Overall: 4 out of 5
I really wanted to like this cake, but I know that, for the price, I can make a similar cake with similar texture for less money. The good balance of sweet and delicate flavors in the cake was very nice, and not overly sweet like most mixes and recipes for marble cake. At some point I will try the full cake to see if it is less dry and grainy, but I will be holding off for a bit.

Onward to one of the surprise inclusions in the Sampler Pack: