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Making a Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Recipe

Trying to lose weight? Or are do you have a gluten intolerance? Whatever the case, it’s easy to make gluten free all purpose flour for your baking needs.

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Its lack of gluten makes it the perfect choice for the following people:

  • Those who are trying to lose some weight
  • Those who suffer from some degree of gluten intolerance
  • Those suffering from celiac disease (a genetic autoimmune disorder in which all foods that *contain gluten cannot be ingested)

However, one thing to take note of when beginning is that you cannot simply substitute just one gluten free flour for wheat flour, since wheat flour contains many important properties necessary for baking (e.g. its rising, stretching and binding properties). With that in mind, it is important to use a combination of different gluten free flours to achieve the same texture and flavor that one can achieve using wheat flour.

Creating Your Own Flours

Now, we move on to what you’ve been waiting for. How do you go about making your own gluten free all purpose flour? It is basically a mixture of whole grain flours and white flours/starches. A common guideline is to use 40% whole grain flours and 60% white flours/starches, but it really depends on your personal tastes and preferences.

For example, some people don’t fancy bean flours because it can give your pastries a rather strong ‘bean taste’. Look at it another way: let’s say you like your pastries to have a hint of coconut taste. So to do that, you could add some coconut flour to achieve that taste.

Play around with the different flours and ratios to find your own unique blend!

The Flours

There is an overwhelming array of flours that you can use. Take your time to experiment and try new combinations and concentrations out; the possibilities are virtually endless!

We have provided a brief overview of some of the possible flours that you can use, grouped into different categories.

Whole Grain Flours

  • Brown rice flour: Brown rice flour is a fantastic type of supplementary flour. Goes well with teff, buckwheat or sorghum flours. Gives your baked goods a dry, gritty and crumbly texture.
  • Sorghum flour: Sorghum flour is a type of flour with properties similar to wheat flour, hence making it a great substitute for wheat flour in almost all types of baked goods. It is recommended that you combine sorghum flour with denser flours.
  • Corn flour: Corn flour is a type of flour that is commonly used for cakes to create a lighter texture. Gives your fruit pie fillings a great texture.
  • Oat flour: Oat flour is a type of flour that is somewhat similar to sorghum, oat flour has ‘wheat-like’ properties when used in baking. It works well when used in all types of baked goods.
  • Buckwheat flour: Buckwheat flour is a type of flour that is great for pancakes, muffins, cakes and other similar pastries. Can also be combined with starchy flours such as tapioca or cornstarch flour to obtain a well-textured dough.
  • Millet flour: Millet flour is a slightly dry type of flour. Should not be used on its own, but is superb if mixed with heartier flours such as almond, teff or hemp.
  • Teff flour: High in nutritional value, teff flour is a type of flour that works well in numerous types of baked goods. However, it makes your baked goods darker in color and gives often them a strong ‘nutty’ flavor.
  • Mesquite flour: Mesquite flour is a type of flour that is a fantastic source of protein, calcium and magnesium that gives your baked goods a hint of cinnamon/coconut/chocolate type aroma. Commonly used in cookies, pancakes or cakes.
  • Corn Masa Flour: Corn masa flour is a type of flour that works as a superb base for bread, cakes, muffins and pie crusts. It is traditionally used in tortillas and tamales.

White Flours/Starches

  • Sweet white rice flour: Sweet white rice flour is a type of flour that is great for shortbread and pastries. A wetter flour that adds moisture and density and gives your baked goods added lightness and a dry, crumbly texture. Works best with high protein flours to give a more balanced texture. When used alone, sweet white rice flour results in a glutinous texture.
  • Potato starch: Baked goods containing potato starch has a similar texture to those containing tapioca flour and corn starch. It is not recommended that potato starch be used to thicken sauces as it tends to make your sauces gummy.
  • Corn starch: Corn starch is a type of starch that is great as a thickener for soups, stews and gravies, although it should not be used together with acidic liquids. Note that any of the abovementioned food products containing corn starch should not be frozen as that will result in a texture that is not ideal. Corn starch also contains properties similar to tapioca flour. Also note that corn starch is not the same as corn meal or corn flour.
  • Tapioca flour: Tapioca is a dense type of flour that works well when mixed with an array of flour types (e.g. sorghum or buckwheat). It can also be used like cornstarch to thicken liquids. However, we recommend that you used tapioca flour rather than corn starch because, unlike corn starch, tapioca flour freezes well.

Other Flours

  • Coconut flour: Coconut flour is a type of flour that is perfect for giving your baked goods just a hint of coconut taste. However, note that it is a ‘dry’ flour that will make your baked goods rather dry.
  • Almond flour: Almond flour is a type of flour that is rich in good fats, and gives your baked goods a hint of almond taste. However, the richness in fats causes almond flour to throw off the ratio of your baked goods. For instance, it does not work well in pie crusts.
  • Flaxseed Meal: Although flaxseed meal is not a flour, it is a useful addition to have. Flaxseed meal is a powerful binder that adds a hearty touch to your baked goods. Just note that if you want to retain the nutritional value of flaxseed meal, you need to store it in the freezer.
  • Xanthan Gum: Xanthan gum is primarily used as a binder in gluten free baking, helping you to keep your baked goods in one piece. It also has properties that help it to keep oils from separating. However, be careful not to use too much of this, as it may become extremely slimy in large amounts.
  • Guar Gum: Similar to xanthan gum, guar gum is very useful for holding your baked goods together. It is also extremely useful for thickening liquids.
  • Soy Flour: Soy flour is a type of flour that can be used like brown rice flour or corn flour. It works best when used in a combination with a moist flour (such as sweet white rice flour or tapioca flour). However, do note that soy flour can have a rather heavy bean flavor.
  • Besan flour: Besan flour, sometimes also known as chick pea flour, works wonderfully as a main flour, rather similar to buckwheat flour or sorghum flour. It is used in many baked goods such as pakoras, falafel, or boondi. However, do note that besan flour has a rather revolting taste when it is raw, so if you do use it in your gluten free all purpose flour recipe, do ensure that your baked good is fully cooked, or risk having it taste like raw besan flour.

Here is a recipe for a gluten free flour mix by Carol Fenster, PhD (author of 10 gluten free cookbooks), to get you started.

Gluten free all purpose flour recipe

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups sorghum or brown rice flour
  • 1.5 potato starch or corn starch
  • 1 cup tapioca flour

Directions for preparation

  • Whisk together thoroughly before storing in a dark, dry place.
  • When substituting this blend for wheat flour in recipes, measure it as though it were wheat flour.

According to Carol Fenster, the sorghum version can be used in virtually all types of baked goods. However, if you do choose to use brown rice flour in the recipe instead, it will work better for light baked goods (e.g. cakes).

If you wish to make muffins or yeast breads, you should consider substituting amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, or teff flour for sorghum or brown rice flour as those are more suitable for such baked goods.

The following is a second recipe for you to try out. Again, do try to play around with the different types and combinations of flours, don’t be afraid to experiment. You would be missing out on a world of opportunity if you were to just stick with recipes that other people have introduced to you, instead of trying to find your own unique blend that suits you the best.

Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Recipe

Estimated Total Time: About 5 minutes

Serving Size: This recipe yields about 9 cups

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons of xanthan gum
  • 2 cups of potato starch
  • 1 cup of tapioca flour

Directions for Preparation

  • Whisk all ingredients together, making sure that it mixes together well.

Note: If you use this recipe for a dish that requires xanthan gum, you no longer need to add in any more xanthan gum (as specified in the recipe of that particular dish) since xanthan gum has already been added into the flour.

References


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