I’ve been buying packaged pre-mixed gluten free flours for years and was so happy to find blends I could use for those gluten free recipes. They are convenient, but if you use them in any volume, the cost adds up quickly. And, if you have multiple allergies, not all flours will work. Some of the brands include dairy, while others also include potato starch. Sadly, they don’t work for our family.
Until the potato allergy became a problem, America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) gluten free cookbooks were my “go-to”. They have done a lot of research on how to make great gluten free dishes and baked items. I had been very happy with their ATK flour blend. If you don’t have potato starch issues, that blend is great and easy to prepare.
Using their blend as a foundation, I modified the blend and removed the potato starch and substituted oat flour. But the true test was using this modified flour blend with ground flaxseeds as eggs instead of regular eggs. Could it still hold up the same way with omitting both the real eggs and potato starch? It did!
The other thing I learned to appreciate about this modified flour blend is not including xanthium gum. At first, I panicked a little since the pre-made flour blends out there usually include xanthium gum. But as I worked with this modified blend, so many of the recipes I’m using don’t need xanthium gum at all. Experimenting in our kitchen, the addition of xanthium gum made our recipes too gummy or moist.
The original ATK blend calls for dairy powder, with the provision of omitting it if you can’t have dairy. I still use their cookbooks as a baseline for my recipes but their use of dairy, cheese, eggs, and other foods that are allergy triggers for us made the cookbooks not too helpful.
One other note I want to make is in finding the individual flours. To blend this yourself, you’ll need the finely milled grains made into a soft flour first.
I have successfully made flour from white rice and brown rice, using a high-quality coffee grinder. The flour is more the consistency of cornmeal, which works ok, but I still wanted the silky consistency of milled grains. I located 2-pound bags of both white, brown rice, and oat flours with that silky consistency in the Natural Grocer’s bulk section.
The other option to consider is either buying a small grain mill for your kitchen. I have a Kitchen Aid mixer and have seen grain mill attachments, which I’ll try at some point. I don’t know if they will produce the silky flour consistency or be more like what I found from the coffee grinder. If you have the Kitchen Aid grain mill attachment and can give any feedback on that, I would appreciate hearing from you. The food processor will not make rice flour, but can be used to grind the oats, however it won’t be as silky as milled oats.
The cheapest way to supply your kitchen with these flours is to grind your own, but if that isn’t an option for you, try Natural Grocer’s or any store who might offer these flours in bulk.
One other important note about the bulk flours from Natural Grocer’s: they are not suitable for people who have Celiac disease. These flours are processed in the same factory as wheat and gluten flours, making them unsuitable. Since we do not have Celiac disease in our family, they were a great find.
The following is the modified flour blend that I use for any recipe that requires flour. It works very well for my breads, pancakes, and baked recipes. Give it a try and let me know what you think! Coming next: Olive-Rosemary Bread
Flour Blend with no Gluten, Dairy, or Potato
4 ½ cups of white rice flour
1 2/3 cups of brown rice flour
1 1/3 cups of oat flour
¾ cups tapioca starch(flour)