Gluten Free Flour

Wow, it used to be so easy! Go to the store and pick up a bag of flour.  Done. 

Now I have rice flour, potato flour, soy flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch…I’m sooooo confused. 

Yes, it can be a little bit intimidating this new world of gluten free flour.  And yes you can buy "all purpose flour".  In my experience, the AP flours on the market are so so.  So I'd rather blend my own.  But look on the bright side, there is so much choice.  When I first switched to a gluten free diet my pantry was in a constant state of flux as I tried this and that and figured out what I did and didn’t like.  I’ve settled on a couple of basic blends that work for most things, but still like to experiment.  And if a recipe calls for specific flour I’ll often go and get it just to be a bit adventurous.

Strategy:

Keep the gluten free flour blend you use most often in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator where it's handy.

The individual flours can be kept in a basement freezer out of the way if you have one.

Where to Buy

I buy my gluten free flours at the Bulk Barn.  I know some people are nervous about this because of the open bins, but I’ve never had an issue.  They have separate colour coded scoops for gluten free products and they are kept separate from the “glutinous” flours.  If you prefer you can buy packaged flours, they have these at the Bulk Barn as well or the “health food” aisle in most grocery stores.  You can also order online.

Storage Tips

Keep gluten free flours in the freezer as they will go rancid.  Starches are okay in the cupboard.  I like to store the larger quantities of flour in the big coffee tins.  They’re just the right size and have good lids.  Smaller quantities like the starches or flours I don’t use as much of can go in smaller plastic containers like the ones from the Bulk Barn.

Flour Basics

All flours are basically made up of different combinations of carbohydrate (including more or less fibre) and protein.  The “stronger” flours like bread flour are higher in protein and the more delicate ones like cake flour are starchier, or lower in protein.  Since there doesn’t seem to be a single gluten free flour that works well as a replacement for wheat flour, we blend various flours together to try to get a similar ratio of starch to protein.  That’s why you see so many confusing variations.  Everyone puts their own little twist to it and has their preferences.

Always measure your flours by weight.  Different flours have different weights so measuring by volume won't give you as accurate a result.

Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

This flour will work for most of your cooking and baking needs.  It has a bit of fibre from the brown rice and some protein from the egg white powder*.  Thickens nice in sauces and works well in baked goods.  Recipe makes about 10 c or 3 lbs.

14 oz white rice flour

20 oz brown rice flour

8 oz tapioca starch

6 oz potato starch

3.5 oz egg white powder* or other high protein flour 

*Egg white powder or albumen can be found at Bulk Barn or on line.  It is a bit expensive.  Substituting with another high protein flour like soy, quinoa or bean flour works very well.

Gluten Free Bread Flour

This is a nice blend for breads, pizza, dinner rolls etc.    It's a stronger mix with a bit more protein from the soy and egg white powder.  Makes about 3 lbs or 11 c of flour

9  oz white rice flour

5.25 oz sorghum flour

14.25 oz potato starch

6 oz tapioca starch

6 oz soy flour

3 oz almond flour

3.5 oz egg white powder

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