March 27, 2009
Gluten-Free Flour Mixes
Once you’ve figure that out, there’s a new problem. There are so many gluten-free flour mixes! There are recipes in cookbooks and on web sites for flour mixes, and there are packaged mixes at the health food store. Which one should you use?
To answer that question, you have to ask yourself a few other questions.
- Do I want the convenience of buying a flour mix for all or part of my baking?
- Do I want to save money and make my own?
- Are there other types of flour I need to avoid?
- Is the nutritional content of a mix important to me?
- Do I want to avoid certain tastes, textures, and smells?
- Do you want to achieve certain tastes, textures, and smells?
Here are my personal answers to the above questions:
- I don’t buy flour mixes, I make them. I even go as far as milling some of my gluten-free flours.
- I don’t have other allergies or intolerances to restrict me.
- Nutritional content is important to me. I like using brown rice flour and sorghum flour for that reason. My decision, though, depends on what I’m baking. If it’s an occasional treat, I don’t worry so much about the nutritional content. If it’s part of my regular diet, I do.
- I don’t like the smell or taste of bean flours, and I don’t seem to digest them well. Although they add protein and give breads a nice texture, I don’t use them. Soy flour is included in that.
- Who doesn’t want their food to smell, taste, and feel good? Specific preferences depend on the specific food I’m baking and I adjust my flour mix according to that.
Bette Hagman’s basic gluten-free flour mix (she did develop other mixes):
- 6 parts rice flour (white or brown)
- 2 parts potato starch
- 1 part tapioca starch
- 3 parts sorghum flour
- 3 parts potato starch or corn starch (I use potato)
- 2 parts tapioca starch
- 1 part corn, almond, or bean flour (I use corn)
I know there are plenty of other good, nutritional gluten-free flours such as amaranth, millet, and quinoa. Some I have tried, some I haven’t. I occasionally try different things, but I run out of room to store so many flours, and what I have works.
You will find that most of my recipes on this site do not call for a flour mix, but have individual flour amounts listed. I do that so that if you want to duplicate what I have done, you can do so without having to make up a flour mix first. It is also because I am often tweaking a recipe a little. However, you can substitute whatever flour mix you like using for the total amount of flour I have listed, and you should still get good results. Just remember that if your flour mix has xanthan gum in it, omit that from the recipe or adjust it.
The one exception to substituting any flour mix would be when making a loaf of bread. If you’ve tried it, you know that baking gluten-free bread is tricky. Therefore, I recommend following anyone’s bread recipe closely the first time, unless you just like to experiment.
If you have questions about gluten-free flours or mixes, please leave a comment or send me an email.
Labels: gluten-free diet
As for protein, this is where amaranth comes in for my mix. It adds a lot of flavor as well as protein, and you don't have to add a lot to reap its benefits.
I'm curious about this Bette Hagman flour mix you mention. I have seen it elsewhere, and I've tried it but with poor results. I found that it made the dough much too wet, and the product much too dense. What type of recipes has it worked in for you? I probably only tried it for scones and muffins.
I love your posts on GF flours - very informative! Thanks again.
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