This basic all-purpose gluten free flour mix works great in baking! (Skip to recipe.)
Gluten free baking sucks.
Well, that's what I used to say. But in the five years since I first had to start baking without wheat flour, I've learned a lot and come a long way, baby! I'm slowly learning what makes gluten free baking work, and I'm quite enjoying the science of it - the fiddling with ratios and flours and liquids. I feel a bit like a mad scientist in my kitchen sometimes, complete with muttering and crazy hair and flour-streaked face as I tweak and adjust recipes over and over til they turn out right.
Finding the right gluten free flour mix to be able to substitute for regular wheat flour is like standing in front of the colour sample rack at the paint store - an overwhelming array of choices. If you search the internet, you'll find enough different recipes for GF flour mixes to make your head spin - and each one is touted as the best.
I think I've tried them all. Many work quite well and some absolutely don't. Some blends produce lovely light baked goods, and some produce hockey pucks. When I develop recipes for the blog, I usually like to use combinations of flours that work for that particular recipe, so I can get consistent results, rather than asking for a gluten free flour mix and knowing that the recipe could turn out completely different for different readers depending on the gluten free flour mix they use.
But sometimes it's tiring and annoying to pull out so many different packages and bags of flours when I bake, and I want to just dip my measuring cup into my flour tin and scoop out the amount I need - no muss, no fuss. It makes life easier to have a good, reliable gluten free all-purpose flour mix in your gluten free kitchen.
I keep coming back to this simple gluten free flour mix from Jeanne at the 'art of gluten-free BAKING ' blog. It works well in most types of baking (yeast breads are a different type of beast, and need different types of flours). I've adapted it slightly, as I find the original recipe a little rice-heavy, and the rice flavour can dominate in simple recipes that don't have a lot of other flavours, like spätzle, dumplings, or biscuits. Subbing out a large portion of the brown rice flour with sorghum helps make it taste more like wheat flour to me. I've tried other flours instead, but find sorghum works the best. Some people like to use millet flour in their gluten free mixes, but I find it can have a bitter aftertaste.
I also like to use superfine white rice flour instead of regular white rice flour - it makes a much lighter texture, and avoids the grittiness that can come with regular white rice flour, although you'll need to use more by volume, since it's lighter and fluffier.
*I buy the Asian white rice flour available in Asian markets, and also in our Superstore in the international aisle. It's milled super finely, and is very inexpensive - usually less than a dollar for a 400 gram bag. They often sell glutinous rice flour right next to it (which is sweet rice flour) in similar bags, so make sure you look carefully at which one you are buying - though you do need both for this recipe.
The weights of different flours can be very inconsistent each time you measure. Different measuring cups can vary quite a lot in size, also. And it makes a difference how you scoop, or shake, or level your cups of flours, too. So, if you do a lot of gluten-free baking, I recommend buying an inexpensive kitchen scale. You can reset the scale to zero between each addition of flour and weigh all the flours into one bowl without using any measuring cups. It's a worthwhile investment - usually under $20.
With a jar of this gluten free all-purpose flour mix ready to use in my cupboard, I don't think gluten free baking sucks anymore. It's actually kinda fun!
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Kitchen Frau Notes: You can find sweet rice flour (different than white rice flour) at health food stores, Asian import stores, and sometimes in the gluten-free section of supermarkets. It is often labelled ‘mochiko’ sweet rice flour or glutinous rice flour in Asian markets. Even though it is ground from glutinous, or sticky, rice, it has no gluten in it.
I've included amounts for making larger batches of the flours below. When making up larger batches, it's more important to weigh the ingredients, as the margin of error becomes magnified. Having a digital scale is very useful. I like to make a batch that's 5 times the original so I'm not always mixing up small batches. I whisk it up in my HUGE bowl, but you could use a clean pail, stock pot, roasting tin, or plastic tub.
adapted from the art of gluten-free BAKING
- 1¾ cups (205 grams) superfine white rice flour* or 1¼ cups (205 grams) regular white rice flour (like Bob's Red Mill)
- 1 cup (165 grams) sweet rice flour
- 1 cup (120 grams) tapioca flour/starch
- ¾ cup (100 grams) sorghum flour (also called sweet white sorghum flour)
- ½ cup (70 grams) brown rice flour
- 2 teaspoons (7 grams) xanthan gum
Measure all the ingredients into a big bowl and whisk well to combine, or measure into a large tub with a tight seal and shake, shake, shake!
Store in a sealed container at room temperature. Will keep as long as the flours are recommended for freshness (until the shortest expiry date of one of the flours is reached), longer if refrigerated or frozen.
Use this gluten free flour mix cup-for-cup to substitute for regular flour in recipes. If you've used the superfine Asian flour, use a slightly heaping cupful (or 140 grams/5 oz.) for each cup of flour used in the recipe. Weighing the flour is always your most consistent option.
Makes 4½ to 5 cups (650 grams).
TO MAKE LARGER QUANTITIES: (Use the weight measures for best results)
Times 2 - Makes 10 cups/1.3kg
- 410 grams (3½ cups) superfine white rice flour* or 410 grams (2½ cups) regular white rice flour (like Bob's Red Mill)
- 330 grams (2cups) sweet rice flour
- 240 grams (2cups) tapioca flour/starch
- 200 grams (1½ cups) sorghum flour (also called sweet white sorghum flour)
- 140 grams (1 cup) brown rice flour
- 14 grams (4 teaspoons) xanthan gum
Times 4 - Makes 20 cups/2.6kg - Use weight measures for best results
- 820 grams (7 cups) superfine white rice flour* or 820 grams (5 cups) regular white rice flour (like Bob's Red Mill)
- 660 grams (4 cups) sweet rice flour
- 480 grams (4 cups) tapioca flour/starch
- 400 grams (3 cups) sorghum flour (also called sweet white sorghum flour)
- 280 grams (2 cups) brown rice flour
- 28 grams (2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons) xanthan gum
Times 5 - Makes 25 cups/3.3kg - Use weight measures for best results
- 1025 grams (8¾ cups) superfine white rice flour* or 6¼ cups (1025 grams) regular white rice flour (like Bob's Red Mill)
- 825 grams (5 cups) sweet rice flour
- 600 grams (5 cups) tapioca flour/starch
- 500 grams (3¾ cups) sorghum flour (also called sweet white sorghum flour)
- 350 grams (2½ cups) brown rice flour
- 35 grams (3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon) xanthan gum
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