A Short Guide to Gluten-Free Flour Blends

If you, like me, have spent months (or even years!) experimenting with gluten-free flours and store bought gfree flour blends, you know how frustrating the trial and error process can get. Your pantry and freezer hath runneth over with excess flours of every nut, bean and grain out there (save wheat, barley, rye, triticale, semolina, etc etc you get it) and it’s hard to figure out which one will complement what recipe.

Well my friends, fear no more! Here is a brief post about gluten-free flours and flour blends I have tested and my very own special mixture that I’ve been using in all the recipes on this blog – it is truly a miracle blend. Can I patent it? Whatever, I call dibs. This post will stand as evidence.

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour: We’ve all used it but unless you’ve been gfree so long your taste buds have finally adjusted, this is noooot the best flour on the market. In fact, I downright hate it. I’ve always had overactive taste buds when it comes to bitter tastes but this flour is just disgusting. It smells faintly of our family farm, and not in a clean air and fresh kinda way…. It smells like the hay barn after a rain storm – aka not good. Now don’t get me wrong – Bob’s Red Mill is, as a whole, just an absolute godsend and I depend on them for quality flours and trust them completely with my oats and rice flours and sorghum. But the garbanzo bean, fava bean and sorghum flours in this blend cannot be masked by delicious chocolate chips and butter and unless you want weeeird baked goods with a distinctly “gluten-free” flavor to them… I would pass on this one – even though it’s cost-friendly. Sorry!

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Rice Flour Blend: Rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, guar gum and salt make up this easy to use flour mix. I like substituting a cup here or there when I’m baking and don’t have enough of my usual blend and am too into the baking process to stop and make more. I also like having this flour to roll biscuits and cookies out on because it is so featherlight! Beware that this blend has a slightly gritty texture though and is not quite as “heavy” as an all purpose baking flour should be. Also, for the price and amount you get it’s worth investing in your own mix unless it’s on sale!

King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour: I really like using this flour blend when I bake and have found it be one of the best ones on the market… which isn’t surprising comin’ from the King of flour, ya know? Essentially the same ingredients as Betty Crocker’s minus the guar gum and plus some brown rice flour, this blend is also enriched with vitamins like a “normal” AP flour would be. When baking with this flour though you need to be aware of its lack of a GUM! I always add xanthan gum (because that’s easier for me to find than guar, so that’s what I bake with) to my flour blend when I use this blend.

Cup4Cup: Here I am no expert because even though I bought a (very expensive) bag of this flour when I was first diagnosed with celiac disease, I haven’t used it. I guess I’m keeping it for a rainy day when all other flours fail me but thus far that hasn’t been the case! (thank goodness) That said I have heard absolute rave reviews and even based my own gluten-free flour blend on a Cup4Cup copycat recipe I found online.

***Katie’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Miracle Blend Defloured Flour: Yup, this one’s mine! And guess what? I’ll totally give you the recipe. Depending on what flours I have on hand and how much of a certain starch I have I kind of wing it sometimes, but the basic proportions of starch to grain flour to gum to dried milk powder stay the same. I did a lot of research and cried through several batches of failed cookies so I hope this recipe is as much of a wonderfully all purpose godsend to you as it is to me! There is a lot of information out there on how to perfect the gf flour blend, and this is just my take on it. Experiment as you will, my gluten-free bakers in arms!

  • 1 c. brown rice flour
  • 1 c. gluten-free oat flour (be veeery careful with where you’re getting your oats! When in doubt, BRMill is best, as usual)
  • 1/2 c. sorghum flour (there’s not much of this because I can’t stand the smell/taste of it but it does wonders for the texture. Millet flour or white rice flour could be used here instead if you so choose…. Feel free to try out corn flour and potato flour as well!)
  • 1 c. cornstarch
  • 1 c. tapioca starch
  • 1/2 c. potato starch
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/2 c. nonfat dried milk powder (**this one is very important! It helps a lot during the baking process, and I highly recommend adding it if you have some or can get out and find some. I use Carnation but there are lots of brands to choose from. Don’t forget to check the ingredients too!)

That’s it! I put all mine in a gallon freeze bag, seal carefully, and shake the crap out of it. I also sift my flour before baking so all the texture get properly mixed together.