Note: scroll down for the flour blends I use and visit my Resources page to learn where to purchase gluten-free flours on-line.
My first experiences mixing my own gluten-free flour blends was too overwhelming. So many different flours, all of which had different properties. One is gritty, another has more protein, and sometimes you look for a ‘flour’ and all you can find is the starch. I hope to make this less confusing and much easier for you to get started.
Gluten-free flour blends do not behave the way that ‘normal’ flours do. The gluten acts as a binder and leavener so when mixing and baking with gluten free flours there are some guidelines to follow. Gluten-free flours are drier than normal flours and you have to use xanthan or guar gum as a binder. They also don’t rise as well as regular flour so you need a few tricks up your sleeve to make the finished product look and taste just as good as gluten flours.
You can easily make your own flour blends or you can purchase ready-made flour blends. I mix all of my flours because I like to mix my own – I know what’s in them and I have more control over the final product this way. If you do choose to purchase flour blends, make sure to carefully read the ingredient list to ensure you can eat all of the listed ingredients.
Storing several different flours takes a little organization but is not a challenge at all. I purchased SnapWare and labeled each container. SnapWare is air-tight and stacks neatly in my pantry and refrigerator, both of which are important. After mixing flours, they go right in the refrigerator until I use them. The SnapWare has been great for keeping them fresh.
UPDATE (9/13/09) I recently bought a mass quantity of mason jars in various sizes to store things in. While I prefer SnapWare for flour because it has a larger opening, I have been using mason jars as well for many things, like beans, rice, flax, and coffee. They’re much less expensive – I can get 12 jars for about $9. Everything stays fresh and they’re a simple to clean – just pop them in the dishwasher.
All – Purpose Flour Blend
Sorghum- Garfava Blend
This blend isn’t beany at all once it’s baked. It’s become a favorite of mine because it works as a one to one substitution in nearly everything I’ve tried it in. I keep a big container mixed up and store it in the refrigerator.
High Protein Blend
This recipe is adapted from Living Without Magazine. I love this blend, especially because it’s less starchy. According to Living Without it works well with foods that require elacticity, like wraps and crusts.
Ancient Grains Blend
My Ancient Grains flour blend is intended to replace a small part of your total flour. 20% – 30% seems to work well for me.