Best Gluten-Free Flour Mix Ever
We just got back from our vacation last night. I slept 11 hours last night, and woke up this morning still tired. I told my husband, “I feel like I could sleep for two days!!” I probably could. Now that I’m 6.5 months pregnant, it doesn’t help fatigue that I have a baby pushing up on my lungs, diminishing my lung capacity.
I will soon post vacation pics and stories.
In the meantime, as I’ve been going through my 183 e-mails, I’ve been having an e-converstaion with a fellow celiac, who is in need of some support. She, among other things, asked what flours I used. For a cake recipe I sent to her, I told her that 1/2 sweet rice flour and 1/2 sorghum flour would work great. But, for my everyday baking, I now use a flour mix that I semi-recently concocted.
I have been working for literally YEARS, tinkering with mixtures to make a genuinely all-purpose mix. I think I’ve finally found one. I’ve been using it for about six weeks, and have used it in all sorts of recipes, sweet and savory. For me, a real test of a flour mix’s effectiveness is how well it works in super-simple recipes, like for biscuits. Everyone in the family says that the biscuits I’ve made from this flour are the best I’ve ever made. My husband said they’re better than the pre-celiac/regular wheat flour biscuits I used to make. Woo hoo! I haven’t tried them in shortbread, which, IMO, is the extreme-simple test of g.f. flours… If anyone beats me to it, and tries it in shortbread, let me know your results.
- I say “part” instead of cups. Sometimes, I use a 2-cup measure, sometimes I use a 4-cup. Especially when I’m using larger amounts, I don’t even worry about exact measurements. Don’t bring out the knife and level it off. Try to keep it as simple as possible.
- For xanthan gum and potato FLOUR, I use 1 tsp per cup of flour. Since there are 3 tsp in one Tbsp, and 4 Tbsp in a quarter cup, when I’m using the 4-cup measure, that equals a slightly rounded 1/4 cup measure.
Best Gluten-Free Flour Mix Ever
- 1 part brown rice flour
- 1 part sorghum flour (also known as jawar or juwar flour)
- 1 part white rice flour
- 1 part sweet rice flour
- 1/2 part corn starch
- 1/2 part potato starch
- 1/4 part millet flour (either ‘black’/bajri or ‘normal’ yellow)
- potato flour – 1 tsp per cup
- xanthan gum – 1 tsp per cup
Whisk together VERY thoroughly in a very large bowl. Store in tightly covered container — I use gallon ziploc freezer bags. If you bake a lot, and will use all the flour within two-three weeks, simply store in your pantry. Otherwise, store in fridge or freezer.
June 25, 2011 — I just sent this e-mail to a reader who was bemoaning the cost of the above ingredients. I sent her this reply with hints to find them for less:
Getting started with gluten-free baking is, indeed, very pricey. Most ingredients, as you have found, are not ones that are readily available (at least, for cheap) at the neighborhood market.
If you live in/near a large city, your best bet for at least some of the ingredients are an Asian market. Unless you’re well-acquainted with your local Asian market, prepare to spend a LONG time finding the ingredients you need. All of the Asian markets I’ve been in are typically organized per country: An aisle for Japanese, an aisle for Chinese, and aisle for Indian food, and aisle for Middle Eastern, etc. So, rather than there just being ONE aisle for flour, you’ll be criss-crossing the store to find each ingredient. But, once you find your way, and remember where each product is located, it’s worth it, because the prices are typically 1/4 – 1/3 (or better) than a regular grocer. Also, if you have a smart phone, bring it along while shopping, so you can Google the name of a flour to find its English-language equivalent.
White rice flour and sweet rice (also called glutinous rice four) are typically available for 70 cents to $1.00 per 12-16 oz bag. The regular rice flour is typically in a clear plastic bag with red ink. Glutinous/sweet rice flour is usually in a bag with green ink. (You can probably find them in other packaging, too, but the red and green packages are really common, and usually the least expensive.) Corn starch, potato starch, and millet flour (with the Middle Eastern food, usually, for yellow millet. Black millet — bajri — you can find in the Indian section) I buy from my Asian market, as well. I also buy sorghum from there. Sorghum is used a lot in northern Indian cuisine, and is usually called Jawar or Juwar flour.
Oddly, you will probably NOT find brown rice flour in an Asian market. Both Bob’s Red Mill and Arrowhead Mills make brown rice flour. Usually, Arrowhead Mills has the best price.
Xanthan gum is expensive. It’s typically in 6-8 oz packages for $9-11 per package. However, at my local natural grocer, they have xanthan gum in bulk for $5.99 lb. Still expensive, but half of “normal.”
Potato flour is very expensive, as well. I buy Bob’s Red Mill.
The only good news about the most expensive ingredients — xanthan gum and potato flour — is that you only use a few teaspoons per recipe. However, that is only effective if you do a LOT of gluten-free baking.
So…. if you plan on only making one or two items, and don’t want to make a giant investment, you might be better off buying ready-made mixes. :)
Hope that helps!!