Hey there! So, a wonderful friend (pictured above, right) from the show I was just in has a daughter who owns a nutrition store. She had decided that she didn't want to carry a lot of her gluten-free items anymore, so she asked her dad (my cast-mate) if he knew anyone who would want it (for freeee!!!). I was blessed enough to have been thought of. I brought baked goods to every Friday rehearsal, and they were often gluten-free, so he knew I was part of the gluten-free world! When he said, "I have some gluten-free flour for you", I had no idea how much it would be! I was pretty thrilled; I bagged up a lot of it and gave it away to other gluten-free friends, and then set out to make the most out of the flour I had. What I really wanted to try making was a gluten-free flour blend. I generally just use Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour Blend. It's one of the better mixes, containing garbanzo bean flour (chickpea), potato starch, sorghum flour, tapioca flour and fava bean (or broad bean) flour. I had always wanted to try to make my own flour blend, but didn't know where to start or what types of flours to try. But, having all these different types of flours in my house was (obviously!) the perfect time to experiment!
So, my gluten-free flour blend took some fussing with, but I really like what I've worked out. I made many batches of cookies as my testing food, and once I found a blend I liked, I tried it in different baked goods to see how it performed.
In case you're new to eating gluten-free, let me tell you something. Something very, very important; replacing regular (with gluten) flour with gluten-free flour is NOT just as simple as swapping them out one for the other. No, no, no, no, no....if you see a gluten-free recipe that calls for only one kind of flour, and a lot of it (say, 2 cups rice flour)--don't make it!!! Let me just save you that agony; the agony of a crumbly, starchy, chalky whatever-the-heck-you-made disaster. Coconut flour is popular, but is a disaster because it's soooooo absorbent you'll end up with the driest thing you've ever made! Chickpea flour? Sure, swap it out if you want whatever you made to taste like, well, chick-peas! Nut meals/flours are tasty, but are not similar to 'real' flour at all, and require a different approach all together.
If you only needed a tablespoon or so of flour in a recipe, then you could just use one type (think crumbles, crisps, or recipes that use coconut or oats) , but for making things that are flour based (cakes, cookies, pancakes, ya know), then you gotta blend!
So, my blend is based on a 40/60%-ish ratio. I say that like I know what I'm talking about, but it's the closest I can get to giving any sort of mathematical explanation!
Basically, I'll make 8 cups of mix at a time. Sometimes double that. So, to make my 8 cups, I blend:
So, what is a "starchy" flour, and what is a "heavy" flour?
These flours are essential in a gluten-free recipes because they add lightness. But, in my opinion, too much of these, and the recipe starts to get chalky. Or using too much tapioca can make a recipe gluey. Bleh. I have a sensitive pallet when it comes to baked-goods though . I can eat something I've made and think "yuk!" about the texture, or underlying tastes, but others, usually children that I pawn the failures onto, eat the item without complaint. Oh, and don't go thinking my kids'll eat anything! My super-skeptical, autistic eldest is pickyx10000 when it comes to gluten-free, and my middle child complains about nearly everything she eats!
Each flour listed above has a slightly different characteristic, but are really interchangeable. I can't/won't/don't want to get into all the details about each flour because that would be a serious snooze-fest, so if you want more info look here, or here. :)
So, moving right along...
These flours are not only more nutritionally sound, they give real "body" to the baked goods. Too much of any one kind can give a bad taste or texture to what you've made though. For instance, using too much chickpea or quinoa flour can make your treat taste bean-y and bitter. No thanks. Too much rice flour, and you'll get a chalky, dry result.
I feel like I can't find the right words to describe the results of too much or too little of any flour. I can't find the words!!!
So, to get the best result, try to have at least 2 flours from each group. More than 2 from the heavy flour group have even better results.
I generally use:
These measurements are my ideal, but they are often and usually different based on what exactly I have). The key is always to have the best variety possible. Head into your local bulk food store, and buy small portions of different flours to make your own blend. I ran out of sorghum and oat flour after about 5 batches, so I've added a bit more rice flour (1/2 cup), amaranth flour (1/4 cup) and buckwheat flour (1/4 cup) to make up the difference. The mix was still really good!
These cookies were made using too much starchy flour (corn starch), and heavy flour (too much buckwheat flour).
The top ones were really flat, and crunchy/dry. They 'technically' tasted ok though.The bottom ones were (clearly) thick, but tasted really 'off''....sort of like bitter dirt (this is the moment you remember buckwheat is related to bitter rhubarb!!!)! Yum yum. Luckily there was lots of butter, sugar and chocolate chips, so the kids would still eat them! Thumbs up to healthy snacks! (that was a joke, btw. Mother of the year, I know...)
I'm getting the notion that different people have different tastes and preferences when it comes to gluten-free flour blends, but, obviously, mine is the best. Hahaha, whomp whomp, just kidding! Ok, well, I like mine! :) The real test of a gluten-free flour is to make something from it, and bring it to people who are NOT gluten-free, and to not tell them they are eating gluten-free until they've tested them out, and given an honest opinion! This flour has passed that test, so I'm sticking with it!
I hope everyone had a great Tuesday!
Hi, I'm Amy-Lyn!
I am the lady behind this here blog! I live in the sticks with my animals, my super handsome husband, and my
3 amazing kids!
Here you'll find things from recipes (gluten-free, paleo, and strait up junk food!), DIY ideas, thoughts on raising a son with autism, and whatever else pops into my brain! : )
Read more about me by clicking here!
Want to Stay Connected?