Top Menu

Is There a Single All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour for Everything?

Measuring-Flour Of course there are, lots are available on the market. But…

All gluten free flours lack that wonderful component that makes the ultimate smooth and stretchy dough, and high-rising batters, all with a neutral flavor and no aftertaste – gluten.

Because of the flour's limiting qualities, you really need to use a blend of several gluten free flours (and starches) to achieve the results similar to using wheat flour

Once you start trying out different gluten free flours, you’ll start to notice they each have their own unique taste (like amaranth) and texture (white rice flour can leave a gritty mouthfeel). What one person my like, another may not.

Which is one of the reasons why there are so many different blends on the market. With over 20 different types of gluten free flours and starches available, there are a lot of combinations made by companies trying to create that 'perfect blend'. But the question is perfect for what, and for who?

Why Do You Need a Blend?

In small amounts using a single flour is fine (less than 3/4 cup), but any more than that and you really need to use a blend.

Packaged blends are expensive. Mix up your own to save a ton of money

Because gluten free flours are so limiting in their properties, to replicate wheat flours’ glutinous properties, a blend should generally be made up of; 50% grain flour, 25% starch, and 25% protein flour.

Having said that, those ratios can be altered depending on what you’re making. For example, breads require flour mixes with a higher protein content than cakes do. That added protein is what gives the dough structure and strength allowing the air bubbles inside to expand and create a high-rising loaf. If you used a bread flour blend for a cake recipe, the texture of the cake would be heavy and dense – instead of light and fluffy.

As well, xanthan (or guar) gum should be added to the flour blend to help replace those properties of gluten that the gluten free flours cannot (like elasticity). Check out our Flour Conversion Chart for information on how to convert a recipe to gluten free, as well as how much xanthan gum to add.

Which Blend is Best?

Buy a few different pre-mixed blends (look at the ingredient list, and choose ones that are different) then use them to make the same recipe. Like our delicious and easy to make Chocolate Chip Cookies or  Snickerdoodles  (for the Snickerdoodles, omit the step of rolling them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, since you don't want the sugars grainy texture to interfere with your taste test).  Here’s what to look for:Snickerdoodles1

  • Dough consistency – did it mix well and form a nice dough, or was it loose and runny?
  • How does it taste – do you like the flavor? Is it neutral tasting, or is there an unpleasant aftertaste?
  • Is it too gritty, or just right?

Once you find your favorite note its ingredients, then look for blends that contain that blend of flours. There will be several brands that have the same ingredient list (see the chart below), however the concentrations they used for each type of flour are different which will produce different results in taste and texture.

Pre-mixed flour blends can get expensive, especially if you do a lot of baking, so a cheaper option is to make your own. Here are some of our own Gluten Free Flour Blends you may want to try.

It all comes down to personal taste and your recipe

Another thing you need to think about when choosing a flour blend is what you're needing it for. Aside from the flours' taste and texture, they all have different properties that will affect your baking. Which brings us back to those ratios again - a high protein blend, high fiber blend, etc.

Why Don't These Cookies Taste the Same as Last Time?

When a recipe lists a selection of gluten free flours and starches, or it gives a specific flour blend - you need to use exactly what is called for if you want to replicate those results.

As soon as you substitute one flour for another, or use your own flour blend, you will slightly change the baked goods' taste and texture due to each flour's unique properties.

For example, if you made this Pie Crust recipe using a Cup4Cup-style flour blend (which contains milk powder), instead of what is called for, the crust would brown darker and faster. In this case it wouldn't affect the taste, but it will affect the appearance.

So... Yes or No?

Substituting is hard enough in regular recipes, and with gluten free recipes it can seem more like trial and error.  Choosing an all-purpose gluten free flour blend all comes down to two things - your own personal taste preferences and what the flour blend is being used for. So no, there is really not one single flour blend for everything, but there are several ones specific to your baking needs like;

All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend for Breads 

All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend for Cakes & Pastries

All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend for Quick Breads & Cookies

Although... having said that, for those who want to have as few flours in their pantry as possible, we have created a single flour blend that has proven great for all your baking needs (except for breads of course!): All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend for Baking.

Pre-Mixed Flour Blends Available

Although more expensive than making your own, here are just a few of the pre-mixed blends that are on the market now. At least one of these products should be available at most large grocery stores now. If not you'll find them at health food/organic foods stores, as well as online.

BrandFlour/Starch Blend (in order of concentration)
Bob's Red Mill Biscuit & Baking MixWhite Rice Flour, Garbonzo Bean, Cornstarch
Cup4Cup Gluten Free FlourCornstarch, White Rice Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Milk Powder, Tapioca Starch, Potato Starch
King Arthur Flour, Gluten Free Multi-Purpose FlourWhite Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, Potato Starch, Brown Rice Flour
Gluten Free Pantry, Glutino All-PurposeWhite Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Tapioca Starch, Pea Hull Fiber, Rice Protein
Kinnikinnick All Purpose Flour Mix, Gluten FreeWhite Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Tapioca Starch
Pamela's Baking & Pancake BlendBrown Rice Flour, White Rice Flour, Buttermilk, Almond Meal, Tapioca Starch, Sweet Rice Flour, Potato Starch
Robin Hood Nutri Gluten FreeWhite Rice, Beet Fibre, Potato Starch, Tapioca Starch
Bisquick Gluten Free Pancake & Baking MizWhite Rice Flour, Potato Starch
Betty Crocker Gluten Free All-Purpose Rice Flour BlendWhite Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Tapioca Starch

 

,

13 Responses to Is There a Single All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour for Everything?

  1. Heidrun January 25, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    This is really helpful, thank you very much for posting this! 🙂

  2. Maria January 25, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

    Thank you very helpful , will be baking my own foods.

  3. Vivian January 26, 2015 at 8:59 am #

    Is there a selection of gluten free flours that don't have rice? I have an allergy to wheat and rice. I do miss baked goods!

    • Angie Halten (Admin)
      Angie Halten (Admin) January 26, 2015 at 11:01 am #

      You can replace rice flour for any other gluten free flour you prefer. If you check out the Flour & Starch Substitutions chart in our article (Secret to Baking Gluten Free Bread), it will give you a list of other flours you can substitute it with.

  4. Mary Lundborg January 26, 2015 at 10:29 am #

    I just found a Gluten Free flour made by Krusteaz at Sam's Club. Lable says it is a cup for cup blend. Haven't had the change to try it yet, but figured we have tried other G-free items that have recently come out my Krusteaz and was pleased with them so figured it should work well.

  5. Doris January 27, 2015 at 5:35 am #

    Thank you for this information, so helpful. I am trying to find GF flour blends that will not spike insulin levels. Does anyone have any information on that?

  6. Karen January 27, 2015 at 9:48 am #

    I bought a gluten free blend called "cup4cup". it is in a blue bag. All natural non GMO developed by chefs..
    I used it to make Christmas cookies. It worked beautifully. My diary time doing this ! Only one recipe that did not work was when baking powder was added for spritz. All oyherrecipes worked perfectly!
    It is great for gravies etc. I love it!

  7. Kathy January 29, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

    Pamela's bread mix is a good choice for bread machines. I also use Pamela's flour blend for my gravies and other baking recipes. I had a chef tell me to grind rice and use it instead of crackers in meat loaf and scalloped corn. It worked well, but the texture was a little different. It is easier than making crackers.

    • Jane September 15, 2016 at 6:13 am #

      Kathy, is that cooked or raw rice? May be a silly question. Thanks!

      • Marla Hingley
        Marla Hingley September 16, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

        In case Kathy doesn't get your question...I'm sure she means raw (uncooked) rice. Just put it in a spice grinder and grind until fine.

  8. J & H January 31, 2015 at 6:33 am #

    What is the best ingredients for making gluten free pasta , like Rigatoni and Fucilli.Our machine is big and needs dry not like a dough.

    • Angie Halten (Admin)
      Angie Halten (Admin) January 31, 2015 at 8:58 am #

      Here is our homemade pasta recipe, that we have had great success with. I honestly don't know how the dough would react through an extruder-type pasta machine. We have only rolled the dough out, and cut/shaped by hand. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out!

  9. Ann April 9, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

    For those living in the Vancouver Area Cloud9 baking mix is another very good flour that can be used cup for cup. Recipes using their flour can be found on their website

Leave a Reply

Comments

comments