For Every Type of Baking, a Specific Gluten-Free Flour

After her husband was diagnosed with celiac, Orly Gottesman created Blends By Orly so he--and others--could enjoy baked goods again.

The five Blends By Orly flour mixes.

Orly Gottesman and Joshua Borenstein met while singing in an acappella group as students at New York University. In 2007, he was diagnosed with celiac disease. For Borenstein, who comes “from a big, big foodie family,” she says, “this was more than traumatic.”

They married in 2010 and moved to Paris for Borenstein’s job in Internet commerce. Paris, with patisseries on practically every corner, “was not very gluten-free friendly,” Gottesman says. “I would indulge in France’s finest pastries while my husband would watch me with envy and dream of being able to eat gluten again.”

Gottesman, now 28, decided to make a gluten-free version of that dream come true.

Orly Gottesman, creator of Blends By Orly

Orly Gottesman, creator of Blends By Orly

She began studying at a Parisian pastry shop, hoping to learn to replicate the classics minus gluten. After a year and half, his work brought them to Sydney, Australia. Gottesman enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school and devoted her independent study project to creating a range of gluten-free flour blends, each tailored to a specific style of baked goods.

“There is no one-size-fits-all solution,” she says.

A year ago, Gottesman, who divides her time between Englewood and Australia, debuted Blends by Orly, a line of five different flour mixes that are gluten-, corn- and nut-free, as well as Kosher and vegan. They contain no sugar or additives and can be substituted 1 to 1 for wheat flour in any recipe.

While there are many all-purpose, gluten-free baking mixes, the five Blends by Orly–named London, Manhattan, Paris, Sydney and Tuscany for places she has lived and the foods she enjoyed making there–are customized for specific types of baking.

Paris combines flours made from potato starch, brown and white rice, quinoa and coconut. “The coconut has a natural sweetness that lends itself to delicate cakes,” Gottesman says.

Manhattan, combining sorghum and millet flours, as well as potato and tapioca starches, is recommended for breads and bagels.

London is designed to work best for cookies.

Sydney is the go-to for muffins, pies and pancakes.

Tuscany is perfect for pizza and pasta.

Each blend balances “heavy and light flours and starches that will mimic the wheat,” she explains. The thickening agent xanthan gum “pulls it all together,” replicating the elasticity of gluten.

Blends by Orly can be bought at various local Kosher and specialty grocers, several New Jersey Shop-Rites, on Amazon and directly from blendsbyorly.com.

The 20-ounce bags retail for $7.99 to $8.99.

“So many people who can’t eat gluten just give up on baking,” says Gottesman. “I want them to be able to enjoy it again.”

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