I think, that for me, the hardest thing when being gluten free is learning to bake without using gluten. Truth be told gluten is what makes our baked good chewy, airy and just plain yummy. When I think gluten I think French baguette, pastries, croissants, and crepes.
When I started baking gluten free, it didn’t take me long to figure out that 1) there was going to be a learning curve and 2) not all gluten free flour mixes were the same. Trying to replicate the feel and attributes of wheat flour can be tricky.
The good news is that with a little help and experience, I discovered that making your own DIY gluten free flour mixes is rather simple (although it does take a bit of preparation).
Before we talk recipes, let’s talk a tad more about gluten.
What is gluten exactly and why do some people avoid it?
Gluten is a protein that is found in many grains – but not all. The most common (and therefore well known) is wheat.
Gluten provides many wonderful qualities to baked goods. I mentioned before elasticity and chewiness. It also helps with airiness and lightness. It also helps baked goods retain their proper shape by acting as a starch
This is the good news about gluten.
The bad news is that some people are unable to digest this protein. These individuals must stay away from foods that contain gluten in order to avoid digestive problems which can range from mild to severe.
While many grains do contain gluten, the following do not: rice, buckwheat*, millet, amaranth, quinoa*, sorghum, rye, amaranth, oats**, and teff.
*Note: Buckwheat and quinoa are not true grains. They are actually seeds.
**Note: Although oats are naturally gluten free, they are frequently contaminated with gluten. For this reason, make sure you buy certified gluten free oats.
DIY Gluten Free Flour Mixes
Now, let’s talk gluten free flour mixes.
It is very easy to make your own gluten free baking mixes. My list is by no means all exhaustive. One thing you must remember is that gluten free flours do not behave like wheat flour. For this reason, one gluten free mix which works well for one recipe may not work for another.
When using a gluten free flour mix, I follow these simple rules:
- I substitute my gluten free flour mix 1:1 for the wheat flour called for in a recipe
- Most of the flours used in gluten free baking are made from whole grains. This means they spoil faster than white flour. You may want to buy your flours in small quantity as well as keep them in airtight containers in the fridge – or (like me) in the freezer.
DIY Gluten Free Flours Mixes
I use 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum per cup of this mix.
This is one of my favorite gluten free mixes. This mix has a great flavor as well as a wonderful and light texture with no graininess.
- 2/3 cup sorghum flour
- 1 cup tapioca starch
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1 tablespoon almond flour
This is my favorite mix with coconut flour. This gluten free baking mix has a great flavor. It is light and contains added fiber due to the coconut flour. Also, it is not grainy at all.
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 1/2 cup sweet rice flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 2 teaspoons gelatin
- 3/4 cup garfava flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 3/4 cup tapioca starch
- 3 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1/3 cup sorghum flour – also called milo
Sift together and keep in an airtight container.
- 2 cups sorghum flour
- 1/4 cup millet flour
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1 cup potato starch
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
Gluten Free Baking Mix #8
- 3/4 cup sorghum flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1 1/2 teaspoon gelatin
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
Gluten Free Baking Mix #9
Gluten Free Baking Mix #10