Using Gluten Free Flour Mix — Do I HAVE To?

16 Jul

Well, no. But in most cases, you’ll wish you had.

When I first started doing gluten free cooking, I did not want to mess with a flour mix. I didn’t understand or believe that it was necessary — after all, wheat flour works just fine by itself, shouldn’t I be able to just substitute with rice flour or something?

If only it were that simple. For most recipes, using just one type of gluten free flour doesn’t work.

There are lots of different flour mixes available, usually a combination of rice flour, other flours, and starches.  The ratios and particular flours used in a mix affect the flavor and texture of the finished product. They may use bean flours, quinoa flour, rice flour, buckwheat flour (which is not related to wheat), and various starches.

Some flour mixes are best suited to substantial baked goods, like breads. Others are better suited to tender cakes, muffins, or cookies. I use my flour mix for almost everything, but add extra rice flour or starch to give the texture I want. For me, that’s just simpler.

Next time you go shopping, pick up

  • 2 bags of brown rice flour
  • 1 bag of sorghum flour
  • 1 bag of tapioca starch
  • 1 bag of potato starch (not potato flour)
  • 1 bag of sweet white rice flour (also called glutinous white rice flour, which does not contain gluten) edit: you won’t use the whole bag for the mix, just 1 cup.
  • Xanthan gum (use this in individual recipes, not in the mix)
  • Baking powder, if you don’t already have it (this is also measured for individual recipes, and not in the mix)

After you’ve made your flour mix, having the mix and the extra brown rice flour, xanthan gum, and baking powder on hand will make your life much easier. Baking isn’t hard. Gluten free baking isn’t hard. Having the right ingredients readily available is the first step.

If you live in an area where you can’t buy some of these items in a store, order them online (Amazon sells them, as do other places).

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6 Responses to “Using Gluten Free Flour Mix — Do I HAVE To?”

  1. cyndee July 28, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    how much xanthum gum and baking powder do you add to your all purpose flour mixture?

    2 bags brown rice flour
    1 bag sorghum flour
    1 bag tapioca flour
    1 bag potatoe starch
    1 bag sweet rice flour

    xanthum gum?
    baking powder?
    Thanks.

    • marylhall330 September 21, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

      Just came across your blog….I was just gifted a 25lb bag of GF flour…Baking essentials GF all purpose flour to be exact…I don’t know what to do with it….it’s kind of confusing really…thanks for any help

      • Becky September 21, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

        I didn’t see that particular mix on a quick search, so the first thing I’d do is look at the ingredients. Most likely it’s a blend of rice flour, cornstarch or potato starch, and tapioca flour. If it doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, add about 1 teaspoon xanthan gum per cup of flour to substitute 1 to 1 for regular all-purpose flour in most “regular” recipes. You’ll have the most luck with quick breads (pancakes, cornbread, banana bread, etc). Cakes and cookies work pretty well too, but can be crumbly. Use extra caution to prevent sticking, and let cookies cool completely before you remove them from the pan. Biscuits come out pretty decent, but I haven’t been able to replicate really good biscuits using gluten free flour. Yeast breads are hardest — I’d recommend the cookbook The Gluten-free Gourmet Bakes Bread for those, as the recipes are pretty particular.

        You can also use that flour mix to replace regular flour, without the xanthan gum, for things like thickening sauces or dusting meat for a light breading.

        Good luck! Have fun!

      • Becky September 21, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

        Oh — you may also need to use a bit more, or a bit less, flour than you usually would. 1 to 1 will be fairly close, though. I sometimes also add an extra egg, or egg white, to give things a little more lift and make them hold together better.

      • Mary September 21, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

        Thanks so much…Baking essentials is restaurant grade…it has rice, brown rice flours, modified potato & tapocia & corn starches and xanthan gum….this ought to be fun…Thanks again for all the input and will try it out on a 1 to 1 scale and see what I can do with it.

  2. Recipe Monkey July 28, 2010 at 7:43 am #

    Hi Cyndee,

    For things that you want a little chewy — like yeast bread and pizza dough, I use 1/2 to 1 tsp xanthan gum to 1 c. flour mix. For soft/tender things, like pie crust, muffins, and cake, I use 1/2 tsp or less. Other binding ingredients, like eggs, affect how much you need.

    For baking powder, it really depends on the recipe. If you’re converting from a wheat-flour recipe, just use what the recipe calls for, plus a little more (if it calls for 2 tsp, use 2 1/2 or 3).

    Oh… and it’s 1 CUP sweet white rice flour, not 1 BAG. Sweet white rice flour adds moisture to products, and makes them stick together better. If you use too much of it, you’ll have a wet, sticky mess!

    Happy baking!

    -Recipe Monkey

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