gluten-free flour mix

Meet Our Sponsors: Better Batter

better batter

We like making our own flour mixes in our kitchen. But we’re weird. I don’t mind the flour flying onto my black pants as I measure it out onto a bowl balanced on a scale. I like playing with new flour combinations every week — maybe we should go back to sorghum? I feel like a bit of a mad scientist when I mix almond flour and buckwheat, millet and sweet rice. This crazy process is something I truly enjoy.

But I can’t imagine everyone likes doing this or has the time. After all, making food in our kitchen is what we do for a living. And now that we have two kids instead of just one, I understand even more keenly why people might not want to spend part of their Sunday afternoon mixing flours into a cambro and giving it a big shake. It makes sense that the more occasional baker would just like to buy a mix of flours.

We’ve tried all the gluten-free flour mixes on the market, and one of our absolute favorites is Better Batter. We’re happy to announce Better Batter as our latest sponsor.

Better Batter is intended to be a cup-for-cup replacement for wheat flour. It’s not a whole-grain or high-protein flour mix. Instead, it helps you to make your grandmother’s chocolate chip cookies, gluten-free. This all-purpose flour mix works well for making pies, cookies, cakes, muffins, and quick breads. If you need to be gluten-free, but you don’t love to bake and play mad scientist in the kitchen making up new recipes? We think you would love the Better Batter all-purpose gluten-free flour .

Their seasoned flour mix is great for making fried chicken and fish, onion rings, or anything you wanted battered before you fry it. The Better Batter pancake and biscuit mix makes Lucy’s favorite pancakes of the moment. The Better Batter brownie mix makes fudgy, lovely brownie mix. And the Better Batter yellow cake mix and Better Batter chocolate cake mix make fluffy, moist cakes. If you have a gluten-free birthday party coming up, or you want to make a batch of cupcakes so your kid doesn’t feel left out at birthday celebrations, these are truly wonderful.

(Note: the Better Batter mixes do contain xanthan gum. I can only tolerate xanthan gum occasionally, so these worked for me when we were testing them. Those of you who cannot tolerate xanthan might not be able to use these regularly.)

These are, in our opinion, some of the best gluten-free flour mixes on the market today.

We encourage you to click those links and buy some Better Batter through Amazon, which is the best way to find them. We also wanted you to hear more from our sponsors. Their story is part of the reason we love this company.

What compelled you to create Better Batter?

We began our gluten-free journey because my child was dying — literally.  Teeth loose, bowels even looser, shedding intestinal tissue — he was a mess and a half! I was 100% committed to giving him a normal diet, and so I began to look for gluten free alternatives. When my younger son and I were also diagnosed with celiac… and then my sisters and father (!)…  I knew gluten free would be a permanent part of my cooking.

Back then, there weren’t any gluten free products consistently available (2003) and the recipes that were out there just weren’t great (boy have things come a long way!!) and even more than that I couldn’t make the foods my family made. My dad is a retired executive chef, as is my granddad, so that was seriously traumatic. I was tired of making “other people’s food” — I wanted to make MY mom’s pie, not someone else’s.

Better Batter itself (the flour) was dreamed up, on a night after I quite sincerely cast up a prayer to heaven to have some kind of solution to my problem, so I can’t take much credit for the initial creation of the product, except to say it’s been a literal God-send, but the urge to help other people to live a normal life and the urge to give charitably is what compelled me to create Better Batter (the company) and what continues to compel me to create new products.

Why do you think Better Batter works as a gluten-free flour mix?

Well, as you have told your readers many many times, it’s about getting the mix of starches, binders, proteins etc into the right combination. I call these bodifiers, modifiers, starches, and binders, and we have a combination that is similar enough to real gluteny flour to work in real gluteny recipes, when measured properly.

Can you tell us the story of a customer(s) pleased by Better Batter?

Sure! We have a customer who has a child with both celiac disease and autism. They were really struggling because their son was extremely self limiting in what he would eat. At the time, he was only eating a popular orange powder brand Mac-n-Cheese and breaded chicken fingers.  She was at her wit’s end, because the sensory issues that come with autism made it next to impossible for her to feed him alternatives.

She came to us to ask for help, and fortunately, I was able to be there for her in a very real way because my older son (who also has autism) was very self limiting, at first, too. We decided to switch to a great brand of gluten free pasta elbows and use the powdered cheese from the company and to make homemade chicken fingers using our flour.  It worked! She couldn’t believe he would actually eat the alternative, and I explained that if the taste and texture is perfect — and it has to be perfect — you *can* make substitutions.

Fast forward a few weeks: Her son randomly grabbed strawberries from the table and tried a bite. The next day, he grabbed some breakfast cereal (also gluten free). And the food list started to expand for him. As his body healed, his ability to tolerate different foods increased. As a result of better nutrition, he grew a great deal (about 8 inches) and his neurological function improved dramatically, to where he became very high functioning. He was able to communicate enough to help her realize that he loved playing the piano, and now he’s pursuing that with passion.

Sort of a long, roundabout story — I guess she’s happy with our product because it gave her hope and her son a chance to have a healthy, productive future.

Here’s a story straight from the horse’s mouth (so to speak!) from one of our customers at Amazon.com:

“Since my daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease 8 months ago, I have tried so many different flour blends — both the kind I purchase pre-made and many I have made myself following various recipe blends. There is NO COMPARISON. This flour is by far the best I have used. I have recreated my old gluten containing recipes using the flour as the substitute and recipes come out perfectly. I thought I would never be able to do that again! Importantly, I find the my recipes using this flour are moist whereas with everything else I’ve tried, the recipes didn’t have the same moistness, they were often very dry. I have had friends and family who eat gluten eat recipes I’ve made with this flour comment that they would have had no idea that the recipe was gluten free if I hadn’t told them. It is so nice to not have to try to mix flours to come up with the right combo. I use this flour exclusively for any recipe that I’m converting from gluten containing to gluten free.” ~Jessica

Those types of people, and those stories are what keep me doing this and why we sell our products.

What do you hope Better Batter brings to people’s lives?

In one word: life.

I want our products to give people their lives back — their recipes, their memories. I want people to be able to bless their gluten-free relatives without having to relearn everything they know about cooking. I want gluten free folks to feel normal, for their kids to be able to have what all the other kids have. I want holidays to be less stressful, for menus to satisfy the whole family, and for budgets to reflect real savings. I want a world where to eat gluten free isn’t to feel weird or different or to have to accept mediocrity.

I want our company to give people life to the fullest. I want people with autism to have therapies they need and advocacy when they need it. I want the poor, the orphans, the widows, and the oppressed to have justice, clean water, good food, shelter, and education. I want to change the lives of people who don’t have the means to change their circumstances.

Most of all, I want people to partner with us as we pursue this dream,  because I want them to experience how rewarding it feels to leave a legacy for future generations.

Naomi Poe
Founder and CEO
Better Batter

The good folks at Better Batter would like to offer a sampler pack — one of every mix they make — to two readers of this site. Please leave a comment here about why you would like to win one of these sampler packs. Comments will be closed after Sunday, May 18th. Winners will be chosen at random and notified by email, so please leave a working email address with your comment. 

how to make a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix

As you know, we like to make our own flour mixes in this house. Any of our recipes that call for a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix are based on a 40/60 ratio: 40% whole grain and 60% white flours/starches. Once you figure out your flours, and you shake up a big container of it? You have flour for any recipe you want to create.

However, we haven’t been able to show you exactly what we mean until now.

Here’s me, being goofy again, explaining how to make a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix. (We have one on the whole-grain mix coming soon.)

(Video edited by the incomparable Smith Bites Photography. Thank you!)

In the mix I demonstrated here, we used 200 grams of sorghum flour, 200 grams of millet flour, 300 grams of sweet rice flour, and 300 grams of potato starch. (That’s for 1000 grams of flour mix. If you want twice that, simply multiply everything x 2. If you want 5 times that amount of flour, simply multiply everything x 5.) That’s the combination I have been using lately, mostly because I tried to simplify this for you, using as few flours as possible.

Remember that wheat flour is not all gluten protein. It’s part protein and part starches. That’s why we mix whole-grain flours (most of which are very high in protein) with starches (not much nutritional value but they help make the flour mix hold together and make it look white enough to make familiar-looking baked goods).

But that’s just the flour mix we use here. This is really important to us: we want you to make your own flour mix. Please don’t think of us this as our flour mix. Make it your own. We are happy as heck that the percentages of whole grain flours to white flours works in gluten-free baking. Now, make your own.

In case you were wondering, here are the gluten-free flours available to you, broken down by categories:

WHOLE GRAIN FLOURS

brown rice flour
buckwheat flour
corn flour
mesquite flour
millet flour
oat flour
quinoa flour
sorghum flour
sweet potato flour
teff flour

WHITE FLOURS/STARCHES

arrowroot flour
cornstarch
potato flour
potato starch
sweet rice flour
tapioca flour
white rice flour

NUT FLOURS

almond flour
chestnut flour
coconut flour
hazelnut flour

BEAN FLOURS

fava bean flour
garbanzo bean flour
kinako (roasted soy bean) flour

See how many choices we have?

Now, as you can see, there are more categories than whole-grain flours and white flours. The nut flours and bean flours are their own categories. However, if I add some to the gluten-free all-purpose flour mix, I add them as whole grains. (Technically, sweet potato isn’t a grain but we put it in that category.) Why? Because they’re so high in protein. However, understand that they work differently than sorghum or millet.

I really don’t like the bean flours. To me, they always taste like beans. The exception for me is the roasted soy bean flour, which I’m loving in cookies lately. However, you might love garbanzo flour. Add it as a whole-grain flour in this mix.

I really love almond flour in crumbles and bready things. However, remember that the nut flours are full of good fats, so they will throw off the ratio of your baked goods. Recently, I made a pie crust that just didn’t work. Frustrated, I kept puzzling as to what happened. Then I remembered I had added some almond flour to the mix and that mean the crust had too much fat.

 

What we like to do is make the gluten-free all-purpose flour mix with the whole-grain flours and white flours. Then, if I want a specific taste? I’ll add almond flour as part of the total weight of flour in a recipe. Or a bit of roasted soy flour. I play.

So you can make a mix based on what you like, what you need, and what you can afford. Allergic to rice? Make a mix with millet, sorghum, arrowroot, and potato starch. Some of those whole-grain flours not available where you live? Use brown rice, corn flour, cornstarch, and white rice. You want to make up a mix based on what you have in the kitchen that moment? Go for it.

Of course, it’s not that simple. Each of the flours absorbs water differently. (Coconut flour sucks all the moisture out of a baked good, which is why it annoys me.) Some flours have a particularly strong taste — like mesquite or quinoa — so you want to use them in small doses. But you’ll find your way. Keep playing.

This is really all about playing.

(Also, remember this: if you want to convert your favorite gluten recipe gluten-free? Start by subbing 140 grams of this flour mix for every 1 cup of gluten AP flour.)

Start baking!