Gluten-Free Flour Mixes for Baking

Photo by Emily Carlin


You’ll find three options here for making your own gluten-free flour mixes. I opt for keeping two kinds on hand. We like the first recipe for cakes, cookies and lighter fare. The sorghum adds a nice texture and imparts a very good taste  without being overpowering. I substitute cornstarch for tapioca at times, with no real noticeable differences.  At times I’ll try out another cake-like variety and I’ll mix up a big batch of the middle recipe. As far as the latter recipe, we like that for breads, pizza crusts and biscuits or heavier or denser items. You’ll find masa harina in the Mexican section of most grocery stores and it’s wonderfully cheap (a boon for the budget of GF families.) You must store all GF flours in the fridge or freezer, as they can become rancid at room temperatures rather quickly. Keep them covered in large, tightly covered containers or ziplock bags. 

Gluten Free Cake Flour Mix -From Gluten-Free Cooking School
1 part brown rice flour
1 part sorghum flour
1 part tapioca starch 

Gluten-Free Cake Flour Mix- From Gluten-Free Bay 

3 cups brown rice flour (fine ground)
1 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 1/4 teaspoons guar gum ( I used xantham gum with equally good results) 

Sift ingredients together, combining thoroughly. Use in place of flour in cakes and other baked goods. Store in airtight container or ziploc bag in refrigerator. 

All-Purpose Gluten Free, Soy Free Flour Mix – From Gluten-Free Cooking Cooking School 

3 parts brown rice flour
3 parts cornstarch
2 parts sorghum flour
1 part masa harina or corn flour 

When baking gluten-free,  it’s likely you’ll need to add xanthan gum or guar gum to the recipe for the “elastic” quality that simulates normal consistency of baked goods-unless of course, the mix already has this added to it. (If you use a commercially made mix, check the package prior to using it in a recipe, as you definitely do NOT want to accidentally double or delete this ingredient.) 

It’s wise to keep some on hand for converting regular recipes. I opt for xanthan in my home. Though it seems pricey, a little goes a long, long way…A word to the wise- you’ll seriously ruin your baked goods by overdoing the xanthan or guar gum inclusions. I added 1 tsp instead of 1/2 tsp (doubling it by mistake) only to find my cookies were…almost “slimy” (eewwww).  Thankfully, it’s a texture you don’t experience much in the kitchen otherwise.  We don’t like guar gum here, because it’s got some interesting laxative properties that only exacerbate some people’s existing digestive issues – but it might work for you and not offer the same ill effects it does here. As a rule of thumb, you can usually replace one for the other in the exact quantities specified.  

Though some recipes or GF chef’s will use a higher percentage of xanthan gum, I opt for the sage advice below – culled from “What’s Cooking America.”  

“Most gluten-free flours will require the addition of xanthan or guar, a substitute binder used to compensate for the lack of gluten.  The amount needed to add will depend on the type of product and it’s reliance on the gluten structure. Breads rely heavily on gluten for their structure, cakes to a lesser extent, and cookies almost none. Typically the starchier and/or more refined the crumb, the less the reliance on gluten.   Xanthan gum tends to be almost three times as expensive, and in the US is grown off of corn syrup (but tests out corn-free in the lab after processing).  Some gluten-free groups discourage the use of guar because of the higher fiber (and therefore possible laxative effect) of large amounts of guar gum use.  Try both and see.  If these gums are not appropriate for you, some suggest the use of mung bean (AKA green bean) flour (1/8 of cup to every cup flour) or pre-gelled potato flour.” 

“Suggestions for the addition of xanthan or guar: For every cup of wheat-free/gluten-free flour use:
½ teaspoon Xanthan/guar gum for cakes
1 teaspoon Xanthan/guar gum for breads or pizza
½ teaspoon to no xanthan/guar gum for most cookies.”

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Recipes from Cupcake War Winner Lisa Cowden and Tips on GF Baking « GlutenFreeFearlessly's Blog
  2. Trackback: Winning Cupcake War Recipe Tweaked to Gluten and Casein Free « GlutenFreeFearlessly's Blog
  3. Trackback: Wake up to Orange Poppy Seed Goodness « GlutenFreeFearlessly's Blog

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