• chef janet

Gluten-Free Flour Blends

Updated: Jul 23

For gluten-free baking, a combination of flour and starches is necessary to get the right texture. If you don’t want to bother mixing up your own, there are plenty of ready made ones but they can be quite expensive. And many contain leavening and xanthan gum (an ingredient that keeps gluten-free baked goods from crumbling). I like to be able to control how much xanthan gum and leavening is in whatever I’m baking and there’s no way of knowing when it’s already added in.

Most gluten-free flour blends are rice-based and people on a gluten-free diet eat a lot of rice! Variety is important, so I like to include other types of flours such as whole grain sorghum, millet and oat flours along with a smaller amount of brown rice flour.

Mixing up your own gluten-free flour blend is extremely simple and less than half the price of store-bought. To mix up your own, use 2 parts grain flours such as brown rice, white rice, sorghum, oat and millet to 1 part starches such as potato, tapioca, corn and arrowroot starch. Note that potato starch and potato flour are different while tapioca flour and tapioca starch are the same thing.

Some basics:

  • White rice flour is great for thickening sauces and as a component in flour blends to will provide lightness to baked goods.

  • Brown rice flour has more nutrition than white and is pretty versatile. It will work in cakes, breads and cookies.

  • Sorghum flour is wonderful in cakes, providing a nice neutral, somewhat sweet base.

  • Teff flour is a super-grain packed with nutrition. It has a slightly nutty flavor and is a great addition to breads.

  • Millet flour is also nutrient rich and high in fiber. I add small amounts to my cake and cookie blend and more to breads.

  • Potato, Arrowroot and Tapioca Starches help provide lightness and some binding power.

  • Xanthan Gum/Guar Gum is necessary for it's binding power. Otherwise your baked goods will be crumbly. I use approximately 1/2 tsp per cup of flour. Cookies need less and breads can use a little more.

I buy most of my flours from Vitacost.com. they have their own line of certified gluten-free flours that are of excellent quality. All of the flours and starches listed below are available from vitacost.

Here’s a simple, basic flour blend that works pretty well in gluten-free baking but feel free to change it up a little as long as you stick close to the grain to starch ratio.

2 cup brown rice flour (I like Authentic Foods Superfine Flours)

2/3 cup potato starch 1/3 cup tapioca starch

My favorite gluten-free flour blend for baking is a little more complicated but I thinks it's worth it.

1 c sweet white sorghum flour

1/2 c millet flour

1/2 c brown rice flour (super fine)

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca starch

Sift it all together in a large container with a lid. Mix with a whisk then put the lid on and shake vigorously to be sure it is well combined. Store in the refrigerator or freezer unless you plan to use it within a few weeks.

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