One question I get a lot is which gluten free all-purpose flour I use. Having been eating this way for a year and a half now, we’ve tried quite a few. There are pros and cons to many of the common blends. Some are too “bean-y” because of the garbanzo bean flour (Bob’s Red Mill), some are a bit too starchy (Trader Joe’s), and some are mostly well balanced but use xanthan gum (Arrowhead Mills).
I really don’t think any of these is a horrible blend–I keep a box of Arrowhead Mills on hand just in case, and I’ve used Trader Joe’s off and on with good results. I just liked the idea of coming up with something just right.
Enter: Shauna James Ahern, the Gluten Free Girl. I’ll be honest, when Michael did some interviewing in Seattle, I secretly had my fingers crossed that we’d move there and sometime I’d run into her at a farmers market on Vashon Island. She’s great. I love her books, and she’s such a helpful resource for anyone just going gluten free.
She has a great method for making your own gluten free all-purpose flour blend that works really well in quick breads and muffins. It’s made up of 40% whole grain flours and 60% starches. This combination contains just enough protein that things have some substance and just enough starch that things don’t crumble and dry out. I’ve found that using this blend means I don’t have to add any xanthan gum or guar gum to any of my muffin recipes. (Some people have inflammatory or digestive responses to these gums.)
I’ll send you over to Shauna for the full range of options and her great video, but I thought I’d share my own favorite combination. My favorite combination uses sweet rice flour and potato (or tapioca starch) for the starch component, and teff flour, millet flour, and sorghum flour for the whole grain component. As you’ll see in Shauna’s post, you can mix and match flours and starches as much as you like, so long as you keep that 60/40 ratio. We’ve subbed in oat flour or brown rice flour with good results.
A few notes:
I order my flours in bulk from amazon to save a bit of money. If you’re just testing things out, you may want to buy single packages of each flour before ordering in bulk. The beauty of this is that you can buy and use what YOU like!
You do want to use a kitchen scale, if you can. You don’t need anything fancy (This one and this one are very highly rated and not very expensive). I bought mine at Target in January on sale for about $10.Print