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
sweet potato flour
sweet rice flour
white rice flour
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.)