Flour, not Flower, Power

Yesterday in my blog post I mentioned that I blend my own gluten free flour.  I would say it’s a plain gluten free flour that you then have to add your baking powder and/or soda when using in recipes.  Now I know blending flours isn’t for everyone as I do get strange looks when I have told people.  I also know that it does take time.  However, I love the flavour and texture of the food it produces, so to me it’s well worth the additional time and effort.

I was originally inspired to blend by following Kelli and Peter Bronski’s blog, NO GLUTEN, NO PROBLEM (nogluten-noproblem.com) and buying one of their recipe book (that I LOVE by the way) called ‘Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking’.  The book goes through different types of flours, and I did my own research to confirm what I was reading.  The actual recipe (see below) is from the book (I have the 2nd edition and it’s on page 16).  If it ain’t broken don’t fix it.  It’s a good recipe.  Having said that I have made some slight variations – edited the quantity of brown rice flour; edited the quantity of sorghum flour; substituted the cornmeal for tapioca flour; and come up with my own ‘types’ of flours based on Kelli and Peter’s recommendations by replacing the sweet white sorghum flour in each of the below recipes.

As a final note on the cookbook, if you like holding physical paper books, it is the ‘sweet central’ in the Francis household.  My girls go through my recipes and cookbooks each week and regularly pick a recipe that they would like me to bake from Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking….they mainly focus on sweets, but hey after all, they are only 5 and 9, so sometimes we need to negotiate.

The variations of flours are available in health food shops (see notes in the recipes and suppliers list on this blog), online and of course in supermarkets.  I find that Coles and IGA have a good selection of gluten free ingredients for blending flours that historically were only available in health food shops.  You can either buy organic (and try to most of the time) or non-organic.  Obviously buying non-organic will be cheaper.

My mum uses plain and self-raising gluten free flour that she buys from Coles and Woolworths (aka Woollies) and my recipes (and her recipes) work just fine.  I just want to emphasize that you don’t have to blend your own flours, but that’s how I’ve created my recipes and I do it as I like the texture and flavours.  I did a few years ago sit down and work out costings per 100g and they were relatively similar to buying gluten free flour already pre-mixed as plain and self-raising flour.  I mix a few batches at a time and keep them in containers (fridge or cupboard).  Kelli and Peter recommend if you want to make it in bulk ie a little over 11 cups that you quadruple the quantities.  If you have any questions on this you can leave a comment below and I will respond.

For each of the below recipes, I sift the flours together then after they have been stored I sift again when using them, or, I just use a hand whisker to roughly sift.  The mixed batches of flour have a self-life of several months, however like Kelli and Peter Bronski, my batches never last that long.

Sweet White Sorghum Flour

This would be my favourite blend.

Gluten Free Flour - Sweet Sorghum
 
Author:
Recipe type: Flour
Serves: 2¾ cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 cup Sweet White Sorghum Flour
  • ½ cup Tapioca Flour
  • ¼ cup Potato Starch
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Potato Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
Method
  1. Combine all ingredients together
  2. Store in an airtight container in the fridge
Notes
Brown Rice Flour, Tapioca Flour, Potato Starch: I buy Lotus Organic Foods brand. Sweet White Sorghum Flour: I buy Bob's Red Mill. Potato Flour: I buy Nature First Premium. Xanthan Gum: I buy Bob's Red Mill. When using baking soda and baking powder, I use Bob's Red Mill pure baking soda (all natural) and double acting baking powder (aluminium free). I source these ingredients from health food shops, IGA (especially the Potato Flour) and Coles.

 

Coconut Flour

You get a slight coconut flavour to your food, and I often use this blend when making muffins.

Gluten Free Flour - Coconut
 
Author:
Recipe type: Flour
Serves: 2¾ cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 cup Coconut Flour
  • ½ cup Tapioca Flour
  • ¼ cup Potato Starch
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Potato Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
Method
  1. Combine all ingredients together
  2. Store in an airtight container in the fridge
Notes
Brown Rice Flour, Tapioca Flour, Potato Starch: I buy Lotus Organic Foods brand. Coconut Flour: I buy Absolute Organics brand. Potato Flour: I buy Nature First Premium. Xanthan Gum: I buy Bob's Red Mill. When using baking soda and baking powder, I use Bob's Red Mill pure baking soda (all natural) and double acting baking powder (aluminum free). I source these ingredients from health food shops, IGA (especially the Potato Flour), Coles and Costco (ie Coconut Flour).

 

Buckwheat Flour

I really like this blend as well, but my kids don’t, so I don’t use it as often as I would like too.  Remember, buckwheat is from the rhubarb family.

Gluten Free Flour - Buckwheat
 
Author:
Recipe type: Flour
Serves: 2¾ cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 cup Buckwheat Flour
  • ½ cup Tapioca Flour
  • ¼ cup Potato Starch
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Potato Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
Method
  1. Combine all ingredients together
  2. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Notes
Brown Rice Flour, Tapioca Flour, Potato Starch: I buy Lotus Organic Foods brand. Buckwheat Flour: I buy Bob's Red Mill brand. Potato Flour: I buy Nature First Premium. Xanthan Gum: Bob's Red Mill. When using baking soda and baking powder, I use Bob's Red Mill pure baking soda (all natural) and double acting baking powder (aluminum free). I source these ingredients from health food shops, IGA (especially the Potato Flour) and Coles.

 

Millet Flour

Gluten Free Flour - Millet
 
Author:
Recipe type: Flour
Serves: 2¾ cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 cup Millet Flour
  • ½ cup Tapioca Flour
  • ¼ cup Potato Starch
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Potato Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
Method
  1. Combine all ingredients together
  2. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Notes
Brown Rice Flour, Tapioca Flour, Potato Starch: I buy Lotus Organic Foods brand. Buckwheat Flour: I buy Bob's Red Mill brand. Potato Flour: I buy Nature First Premium. Xanthan Gum: I buy Bob's Red Mill. When using baking soda and baking powder, I use Bob's Red Mill pure baking soda (all natural) and double acting baking powder (aluminum free). I source these ingredients from health food shops, IGA (especially the Potato Flour) and Coles.

 

Brown Rice Flour

If you are having problems sourcing different flours, or don’t like the taste of sweet sorghum, coconut or buckwheat then this recipe might be for you.

Gluten Free Flour - Brown Rice
 
Author:
Recipe type: Flour
Serves: 2¾ cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Brown Rice Flour
  • ½ cup Tapioca Flour
  • ¼ cup Potato Starch
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Potato Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
Method
  1. Combine all ingredients together
  2. Store in an airtight container in the fridge
Notes
Brown Rice Flour, Tapioca Flour, Potato Starch: I buy Lotus Organic Foods brand. Potato Flour: I buy Nature First Premium. Xanthan Gum: I buy Bob's Red Mill. When using baking soda and baking powder, I use Bob's Red Mill pure baking soda (all natural) and double acting baking powder (aluminum free). I source these ingredients from health food shops, IGA (especially the Potato Flour), Coles and Costco (ie Coconut Flour).

If you have a different flour that you like using that’s also gluten free then you can add 1 cup instead of the cup of sweet sorghum, coconut, buckwheat, millet or the extra brown rice.

Postscript – if you are having problems sourcing potato starch then either use more tapioca or use corn starch instead.  I order my flours from iherb.com – www.iherb.com (see other stores that I source my ingredients from under ‘STORES’ at the top right hand side of the home page).

 

2 thoughts on “Flour, not Flower, Power

    1. Thanks Jackie for your question. There is a lot of information out there, but from my google researching it appears that Xanthan Gum is not bad for adults. It can apparently cause issues with babies, if it’s in their formula.
      I now buy the Bob’s Red Mill brand which they clearly state on their website it’s gluten free even though it’s created from wheat based glucose. Other brands may use different ingredients, and you might find they upset your stomach. I have tried researching the ingredients with a few other brands that I’ve used, but could not find any information hence why I now use Bob’s Red Mill.
      If your unsure whether you would like to use Xanthan Gum, as there is alot of information out there, then try substituting the Xanthan Gum with Arrowroot Flour (I also buy the Bob’s Red Mill brand as it’s got not sulfites in it) or omit completely.
      I am currently testing different variations to my flour mixes without Xanthan Gum and baking recipes to compare taste and texture, so watch this space.
      Below are some links that go into more detail that you might like to read:
      http://chriskresser.com/harmful-or-harmless-xanthan-gum/
      http://blog.bobsredmill.com/gluten-free/wiw-xanthan-gum/

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