Have you made a homemade gluten free flour mix? It might just be time to try it.
If you currently purchase a gluten free flour mix and you like it then appreciate that. If you are looking for a less expensive alternative or if you are not getting the consistently delicious results you want then consider this. A homemade gluten free flour mix is easy to make and stores well. I make mine once every month or two, depending on how much baking I do. I also try to make it on a day I am not baking. It takes a few minutes but it is nice to start baking and just pull out a canister of flour that is ready to use.
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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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.
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 this is the system that works for me. I designated the tools and containers listed below so they are there when I need them and can do this job in a few minutes (less than the 7 minutes it takes me to show you in the video below).
Clear container – perfect to hold all the items I will need to make this flour mix. Clear is ideal for me to see everything at a glance. I like a container with holes on each side so it is easy to grab and move to the counter. No lid so my strainer handle is not a problem.
Kitchen Scale – Ideal for accurate measurements 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.
This recipe yields 1 kg of flour blend (about 8 cups). I have not yet wanted to double it but if you bake a lot you certainly could. I use this mix in most of my baked goods. It is best for muffins an quick breads. Recipes like Angel Food Cake require a few more adjustments to get the light, airy texture you probably want.
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.
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 is a guide for you to compare what you’re buying. Keep looking until you find something you’re happy with and don’t be surprised when you can’t find one ingredient you need. Flexibility is another trait of the experienced gluten free baker.
I wish you luck…and fun, with your gluten free baking adventures. Let me know in the comments below how you ended up making your own gluten free flour mix. I’m always interested in hearing about culinary adventures, both successes and mishaps.
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 “the more I know the more I realize I don’t know”. I’m okay with that, there is always more to learn.
|300 g sweet rice flour|
|300 g potato starch|
|200 g sorghum flour|
|200 g millet flour|
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