It seems more and more people are turning to a gluten free lifestyle these days. Many have celiac diease, where their body can’t process gluten and it makes them very sick. Others find they feel better in general on a wheat free diet, and some, like myself, just like the variety in ones diet. Variety is the spice of life,isn’t it?
I have tried a few store bought all purpose flour mixes that left something to be desired. Items came out bland, flat tasting or too much like ground beans. That’s because they were. So I started doing a little experimenting with some recipes I found online and subbed different flours or starches for the ones those recipes had until I found something I liked. I tried quinoa flour which was a bit strong tasting for me. I love savory quinoa dishes, but as the main flour in pancakes I didn’t care for it. Don’t get me started on coconut flour. I have yet to figure out how to make that work. It sucks all the moisture out of a 3 mile radius when you bake something with it. Brown rice flour tends to make items take a long time to make, especially pancakes, and has a little bit of a gummy texture to it. At least that was my experience. I have tried amaranth, sorghum, oat and buckwheat flours. All goo, but not quite what I had in mind.
Then I tried an all white rice flour mix. I was getting closer but with the batch of cupcakes I made they seemed a touch gritty, even with the super fine grind of the flour. Then I decided to throw caution into the wind and try millet flour with my white rice blend. I remembered a cupcakery from Portland, Or., where I used to live, was an all gluten-free bakery and I had tried one and it was SO GOOD and I emailed them asking what flours they used. The gal was nice enough to email me back and say that they had different blends for different flavors but their most popular one, their chocolate, had millet in it along with other flours. So I made my blend and subbed in some millet for some of the rice and WOW. Perfect. It has now been tested in waffles, pancakes, muffins and cupcakes and I have gotten rave reviews. Still have yet to try it in brownies or cookies. This is for more of a sweet gluten free recipe. I haven’t tried it in anything like bread or pizza dough.
As far as binders or thickeners go I have tried xanthan and guar gums. To me I think they help and don’t make the end result gummy at all. The only time I felt my recipe was gummy was the use of brown rice flour. And for the ratio of gum to flours/starches that I use the chance for the xanthan gum to make it, well, gummy, isn’t much. It is optional, but I leave it in. As far as ratios of starches to flours, I honestly couldn’t tell you the why’s and wherefores. I just have experimented enough to come up with this one based off several others I found online. I’m far from being a gluten free expert, but this blend makes damn good pancakes and other goods ( so far) and that is good enough for me to keep using it! Enjoy!
I need a cuter container for my flour. This post from Urban Baker the other day about her GF flour mix, made me think I need a more stylish container. I actually wrote my recipe on the container a while back, and have even changed it a little since then. So a new container is in order, Homegoods here I come…
- 2.5 c white rice flour (350g)
- 2 c millet flour (280g)
- 1.5 c sweet rice flour (270g)
- 2 c potato starch (384g)
- 1 c tapioca starch (160g)
- 4 tsp xanthan gum (12g) (optional)
- Combine all very well. Substitutes in any sweet recipe for all-purpose flour cup for cup. Can be kept in an air tight container in a pantry, counter ( out of sunlight) or refrigerated. Has same shelf life of any flour.
- All of these flours can be found in health food sections or gluten free aisles of many stores. The brands I use most are Bob’s Red mill, Arrowhead Mills and Authentic Foods. These can also be found online, Amazon carries most of these I believe.