I don’t believe there has been one moment in the last several years, that our gluten-free flour blend recipe has not been in a transition. Trying to create a blend of flours to be an all-purpose substitute for the one thing you aren’t using… gluten. It get’s tricky. But, if only….
My conclusion is that one flour blend is not enough! Little by little, we abandoned the idea of one working blend to achieve a wide variety of results and textures. We currently use three distinct formulas for different final results.
We are also conscious of that almost omnipresent gritty texture, commonly found in gluten-free baked goods, which we believe we successfully avoid or exploit in some cases. For example, brown rice flour is uniquely well suited to making gluten-free shortbread!
I encourage people to be very skeptical when they encounter recipes that suggest you substitute a gluten-free flour blend 1 for 1 to make a gluten-free version”. For one thing, the amount of liquid absorbed by various gluten-free flours is going to effect recipes differently. Perhaps your results will be edible, but will they be exceptional? If your going to take the time to gather ingredients and bake, shouldn’t you feel like what you make is good, not just good enough. Or, worser, good for gluten-free!!!
This a dense blend we use in our brownie recipes. The blend itself has flours that absorb moisture and make a nice fudgy brownie. The brownies also use buckwheat flour to reinforce that fudgy texture. This blend is perfect for brownies, but little else.
- 7.5 ounces garfava flour
- 6 ounces brown rice flour
- 6 ounces potato flour
- 4.5 ounces tapioca flour
- 4 ounces amaranth flour
This is an ultra light whole grain flour blend we use for more cakey muffins, layer cakes, cookies and tarts. This blend is super light and fluffy. It has the most neutral character of all our flour blends. In changing to this flour, I find I need to use a little more xanthan gum and a little extra flour. I am using maybe an extra 1/2 ounce per 8 ounces of flour. The results bake light and maintain their rise.
- 6 ounces amaranth flour
- 10 ounces garfava flour
- 5 ounces brown rice flour
- 12 ounces tapioca flour
- 12 ounces sorghum flour
HIGH PROTEIN FLOUR BLEND
I stumbled upon this recipe a few years back when I was researching our Irish Soda Bread recipe. The recipe referred to this blend as high protein, so we call it that. We love this in cornbread and quick breads and breadier muffins. It bakes a little bit denser than the light blend and is really nice used in a 50/50 combination with the light blend.
- 10 ounces garfava flour
- 10 ounces arrowroot flour
- 10 ounces tapioca flour
- 10 ounce millet flour
- 5 ounces amaranth flour
In addition to selecting the appropriate blend for each recipe, in most recipes, we add different flours, depending on the character of the final item. Some of the flours we use this way are quinoa, almond, coconut, oat flour…
So you see… this idea that you can take a cup of gluten-free flour and use it for a cup of “regular” flour in a “regular” recipe, is kind of an irresponsible statement. Experiment carefully. And beware of recipes that tell you to just use a cup of any gluten-free flour blend.
The key to successful gluten-free baking, in my experience, is finding a way to hide the characteristics of the flours you use in a way that produces a treat that tastes like what you remember. A challenge for sure!!
I hope my experiences help you! I love the challenge of getting to know and use all the different gluten-free flours that are available to us these days. Feel free to share your favorite flour stories.