Have you made a homemade gluten free flour mix? If you’re not happy with your gluten free baking or you’re looking for a less expensive alternative maybe it’s time to try making your own flour mix.
There is nothing wrong with a store bought mix but if you’re not getting the consistently delicious results you want then consider making your own. It’s easy to make and stores well. I make mine once every month or so, depending on how much baking I do. I also try to make it on a day I’m not baking. It only takes a few minutes to make but it requires a clean counter space and an organized storage system. I also like to start baking with a ready to use canister of flour.
As you learn more about gluten free baking you can vary one of the flours and notice how it changes the taste and texture of your baking. I use this homemade mix to make my basic Banana Muffins and have made this recipe many times. So many that I can confidently substitute a new flour (anywhere from 2 Tbsp to 1/2 cup of the total amount) and actually notice the difference.
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New To Gluten Free?
When people are new to the gluten free lifestyle it can be daunting to simply get into the groove of a restricted diet. Finding a balance between eating at home, replacing favourite staples with gluten free ones, buying prepared and semi-prepared foods and finding safe food when traveling and dining out…no small feat. Somewhere in all that you probably want to make healthy choices too while still enjoying food every day and on special occasions.
This may take years for some people (I can be a pretty slow learner when I want to be) or perhaps only months for others. That’s up to you. But one thing is for sure, gone are the days of marginal gluten free baking. With the variety of flours available and the sharing of experiences via social media plus a few good old-fashioned cookbooks; you can and should have very high expectations for home baked goods. Amazing gluten free food is being made in home kitchens around the world, why not make yours’ one of them.
For an excellent resource I highly recommend either of these two cookbooks from America’s Test Kitchen. They are packed with a lifetime of learning.
A Little Pantry Tip
Of course making a flour mix is easy but there is always more to implementing a new process in any kitchen. There is nothing more frustrating than having the wrong tool for the job and that includes containers. The size and shape of a container affects how easy it is to use and to store. It’s the difference between a little job being quick and easy, or the same job being frustrating. So spend a little time reorganizing your pantry to set yourself up for success.
After six years of gluten free baking I created the system I wanted. I designated all the tools and containers I needed to one space in a bucket I could easily grab. This 7 minute video shows how I make and store my flour mix so you can see it takes less time than that to actually make it.
Get The Tools – Gluten Free Flour Mix
- Clear container – perfect to hold all the items I need to make my flour. Clear is ideal so I can see everything at a glance. Holes on each side make it easy to grab and no lid so my strainer handle doesn’t create a problem.
- Kitchen Scale – Mandatory for accurate measuring and consistent results. I like one with a flat surface that can hold any container and has an easy to read display.
- Small plastic bowls – Choose a set of light weight bowls that are interchangeable and easily holds 300 grams of flour.
- Clean canisters – I like easy-to-open containers with a wide top for easily spooning out flour. Buy what you like; stackable various sizes, a set of 4 or all the same size. I like the good old-fashioned 32-oz Mason jars with plastic lids for all kinds of food.
- Mesh strainer – One that fits easily over your large flour storage container. I use it to get the lumps out of potato starch and I store my strainer in the bucket just for this purpose. That way I don’t need to wash it every time and it is never dirty or being used for something else.
- Whisk – An essential kitchen tool for mixing flours. I find whisks with a plastic handle comfortable to hold and I have several sizes in my kitchen. A whisk works much better than stirring with a spoon or shaking the container. You decide what works best for you.
- Large GF Flour Mix Container – Once weighed each flour goes directly into the final container I store it in. Mine comfortably holds this 8-cup recipe.
- Smaller wide mouth Jam Jar with Plastic Lids – Use this jar for the leftover flour mix. It is handy to pull out when I need less than a cup of gluten free flour for any reason.
This recipe yields 1 kg of flour (about 8 cups). I have not yet wanted to double it but if you bake a lot you certainly could. I use this mix for most of my baking, a reminder that there is no single gluten free flour that works in every recipe. The light, airy texture you want for cake or the hefty weight and wheaty taste for yeast dough require a few more adjustments. That is the joy of gluten free baking!
Store Bought or Homemade
Using a store bought or homemade flour mix is a personal choice. It is convenient but there is always a trade off. Since there are so many different blends available it is not possible for me to comment on how any one would work in all of my recipes. You need to figure that out in your own kitchen and baking is the best way to do that. Just try!
This table shows the many different flour combinations people are baking with. Making a favourite recipe with your current or favourite flour blend and keeping notes is the best way I know to continue to improve your results.
The Cost of Gluten Free Flour
In Canadian prices this flour mix, the 4-ingredient recipe on the left in the table above, costs about $1/cup. America’s Test Kitchen recipe, the 5-ingredient one on the right side in the table above, costs about $.50/cup. The price of each ingredient changes all the time but it’s a guide for you to compare what you’re buying. Keep looking until you find something you’re happy with. But be flexible so when you can’t find one ingredient you need you’ll have an idea of what you could substitute. Flexibility is an important trait for gluten free bakers.
I wish you luck with your gluten free baking adventures and fun too. Let me know in the comments below why you make your own gluten free flour mix. I’m always interested in hearing about your culinary adventures.
How To Use Gluten Free Flour Series
I wrote a year-long blog post series on all the different gluten free flours in my kitchen, even the ones I was hardly using. I learned a lot but was reminded of this quote,
“The more I know the more I realize I don’t know”.
Here is the first of those 12 posts if you’re keen on learning more about gluten free flours.
|300 g sweet rice flour|
|300 g potato starch|
|200 g sorghum flour|
|200 g millet flour|
- Place a bowl on the electronic scale and zero it (tare).
- Spoon the sorghum flour into the bowl until the scale reads 200g. Dump it into the large container where you will keep your flour mix.
- Spoon the millet flour into the bowl to measure 200g then add to the mix.
- Spoon the sweet rice flour into the bowl to measure 300g then add to the mix.
- Place a strainer over the large container.
- Spoon the potato starch into the bowl to measure 300g. Spoon some of it into the strainer and use the back of the spoon to push it through the strainer. Continue adding more until all the potato starch is in the flour mix.
- Stir the entire mixture with the spoon or put the lid on the container and shake. You can also do a bit of both.
- Label the container. Add a second label with any instructions you will find helpful. Use in any recipe calling for 1 cup of gluten free flour mix.