People often ask me “Why bother making your own gluten-free all-purpose flour when it is easily found at the store?” You can look on Google and find dozens of mixes of gluten-free all-purpose flour mixes, some are good some are great and others leave you wanting. You can go to Whole Foods or any good grocery store and find quite a few verities of gluten-free all-purpose flour mixes pre-made in packages, not to mention what you can buy online. Then why did I make my own? One reason – because I wanted to. We wanted to find a gluten-free all-purpose flour that would fit in to our recipe repertoire already established. One that you could hardly tell any difference. This was our goal because the thing is I found the all purpose flours from sites and stores worked great for some items, but not so much for others. They were too soft for bread flavors or on the other side of the spectrum too strong flavored for delicate baked goods.
The first instance of this was when I tried making some cookies with a pre-made gluten-free flour mix. They end result was they were too delicate in flavor and lacked a robustness they needed to feel and have the mouth feel of the traditional version. Then again it was almost perfect for a genoise, and horrible when making pitas. After reading Gluten-Free Girl’s site she had this basic premise to make your own just sticking with ratios, I loved that! It was right up my alley so, I started trials.
I began to test in small batches going with her idea of 40% Grain/60% Starches. Making small batches of scones, cupcakes, cookies, tarts, pitas, pizza, muffins. Trial and error, flavor and mouthfeel, taking everything into consideration. Let me tell you friends, the food scale saved my life. We already loved to use metric in our baking and recipes, much to the dismay of many of our American followers. Yet it made everything so much easier and consistent, which is one of the biggest gripes of most home bakers. Things never turn out the same twice or the recipe did not produce the same results. Being used to having to weigh out all my ingredients make the transition into gluten-free baking so much easier. Not to mention how easy it is to half, quarter, or even double a recipe. Metric my friends, is the way of the future for home baking.
After all those trials of mini recipes I finally came up with three flour blends that “we” liked. Meaning my husband, co-workers, and friends who do not have to eat gluten-free enjoyed it in flavor, texture, and were very often hard pressed to believe it was a gluten-free baked item. That was my goal, easy right? Well, yes and no. It took three gluten-free all purpose flour mixes to achieve this goal. It is what we found work the best for us and our recipes. Will you like them? Maybe? Will they work if you follow my recipes? Yes. Will they taste delicious? Yes, maybe.. that is for you to decide everyone has different tastes.
“But, Lia.. Why three? That’s crazy, and a lot of flour to have on hand.” Well we thought of that so keep in mind these are very easy to halve and keep in small two quart lidded storage containers. Then you can use them as often as needed. The main reason there are three different flour types is flavor, texture, and purpose. From previous experiments knowing that the flour that worked great for cake might not work as well for pita bread was correct. Then again, the flour that worked for cake didn’t work as well for delicate pastries like cream puffs or brioche.
So my three children were born. One named Pastry, one name Savory, and one named Sweet. Each has their own purpose, their own personality, their own flavor, their own recipes to make them shine. In the recipes on the site you will see GF Flour with one of their names. That will indicate which mix to use for that specific recipe. It might seem like these really are not all purpose flours, because they each server a specific purpose. Yes and no, what these flour blends are exactly are blends of gluten free flours that when used in the appropriate recipes replicate traditional wheat all purpose flour in flavor, mouthfeel, and texture.
As stated each can be easily doubled or halved to fit the container you need. To mix and store the flours I use acrylic containers with a flip lid like these. A two quart container for half batches and a five quart container for double or single batches. You need to make sure you just use a container that has a secure lid, and enough space to shake the flours once weighed out to mix it all together. Because each mix contains xanthan gum it will rarely if ever be required in an recipe.
Gluten-Free Flour – Pastry
400g Brown Rice Flour
225g White Rice Flour
225g Tapioca Flour
150g Sweet Rice (Glutinous) Flour
2 tbsp Xanthan Gum
Gluten-Free Flour – Savory
200g Brown Rice Flour
150g Oat Flour
50g Sorghum Flour
225g Sweet Rice (Glutinous) Flour
225g White Rice Flour
150g Corn Starch
1 tbsp Xanthan Gum
Gluten-Free Flour – Sweet
300g Brown Rice Flour
100g GF Oat Flour
225g Sweet (Glutinous) Rice Flour
225g White Rice Flour
150g Tapioca Flour
1 tbsp Xanthan Gum
Since only two of the flours use a gluten free oat flour, and even than in small amounts. What we do to save on money and space is grind our own. A lot of oatmeal is consumed in our house, so the bag of gluten free instant oats is a staple. Just weigh out the amount needed and place in a food processor or blender, and grind to a flour. This will take about 3-5 minutes. Any pieces that are not ground to flour size is fine, but you can sift and keep grinding until goal is achieved. The finer small pieces that sneak in are fine, they add texture that is lovely in the final product, and never noticeable.
All of the recipes on this site with a “Gluten-Free” label will use one variation of these flours it will be labeled as
GF Flour Pastry
GF Flour Savory
GF Flour Sweet
Feel free to substitute your own versions or purchased versions of a gluten-free all purpose flour. We will be unable to guarantee results and flavor, however they should still be very delicious. Keep in mind we make our recipes 3-5 times before they are posted to ensure quality and constancy. What works for us does not always work for others. We can only hope you enjoy what we post for you, enjoy the adventure of cooking, the satisfaction of making something delicious for people you love, and most of all having fun!