Almond Flour: sweet, nutty, and high in protein. It can help balance harsher flour. Refrigerate or freeze. If grinding almond flour in a vitamix, use raw, blanched almonds. I have a separate attachment I use for flours. If using other blenders, make sure to not blend to much or the flour will turn into almond butter.
Brown Rice Flour: gritty and has a slight nutty flavor. It adds more nutritional value than white rice flour.
Buckwheat Flour: strong and nutty, high in protein, and helps build structure in gluten free baking.
Chickpea Flour: sweet and “beany” tasting. It is high in protein and absorbs liquids well and adds structure and firmness to gluten free baking. Use dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans to grind into flour.
Coconut Flour: rich, high-fiber flour with slight coconut flavor. It adds sweetness and softens baked goods. Works well for sweet or savory baked goods. Refrigerate or freeze.
Millet Flour: sweet and is easily digestible. Millet flour is mild and works well with other flours. It leaves baked goods with a crumbly texture. Great for breads and muffins. Refrigerate or freeze.
Oat Flour: sweet and mild taste. Gives a great texture to baked goods. *Make sure to use certified GF oats to avoid cross contamination.
Quinoa Flour: high-protein, and mild nutty taste.
Sorghum Flour: sweet flour and very mild, which makes it very versatile in baking. Some people feel this is the closest flour in taste and texture to wheat flour.
Soy Flour: heavy, nutty, sweet, high-protein flour works in sweet and savory baking.
Tapioca Flour: smooth and adds chewiness. Causes slight browning in baked goods.
Teff Flour: are ground from tiny teff seeds. Teff flour is rich, nutty tasting, and very nutritious. It binds well in gluten free baking and acts similar gluten in baked goods. Works well with quick breads and waffles.
White Rice Flour: very mild in taste and is one of the most common flour and can be added with several other flours to provide more nutritious and more flavorful flours. Sweet rice flour also as a mild taste and works well for thickening sauces.
Xanthum Gum/Guar Gum: adds chewiness and elasticity to baked goods. Required in most gluten free recipes. It is what holds everything together. I prefer Xanthum gum. It can be expensive, but very small amounts are used at a time. As a very general rule, ½ tsp. xanthum gum should be added for about every 1 c. flour.
Arrowroot Powder: starchy thickener, similar to cornstarch. It is a great thickener in sauces and pie fillings.
Tapioca Flour/Starch: rich, nutty tasting and nutritious. Causes baked goods to brown slightly and leaves a brown, crispy crust.
Potato Starch: thickening starch, not to be confused with potato flour. They are two entirely different beasts.
Corn Starch: thickening starch
While there are a few recipes that may only use one flour, it is not very common. In gluten free baking, a blend of flours and starches is preferred.
Flours can not be substituted straight across. However, a general rule is 1 c. wheat flour = 140 grams gluten free flour blend. (This is where a kitchen scale comes in handy!).
Flours are separated into categories. Mild, medium, and heavy.
- Mild- all the starches—a must when creating a blend of gluten free flours.
- Medium- although nutritious on their own, these flours are a bit lighter when used in a recipe and are more stable when used with a starch. These flours include:
- White rice
- Heavy-are the more dense and nutritious flours that are rarely used alone and will need to be used in tandem with another medium-based flour. These include:
- Brown rice
Here are different flour blends I have tried and used.
All Purpose Flour Blend
- 4 c. brown rice flour
- 2 c. white rice flour
- 2 c. potato starch
- ½ c. tapioca starch
- ½ c. corn starch
- 5 tsp. xanthum gum
*Note: This is my go to blend. It works well most recipes and I usually always have rice on hand to blend to flour. I do not suggest using rice flour for pancakes. It leaves them crumbly and gritty. I have found the most success with oat flour. It gives a lite fluffy texture.
All Purpose Flour Blend 2.0
- 3 c. sorghum flour
- 2 c. brown rice
- 1 ½ c. potato starch
- 1 ½ c. tapioca or arrowroot powder
*Note: This is a new blend I’ve been trying out. It like it because it is a break from using only rice flour. It works well and gives great textures. I’m enjoying it so far.
Gluten Free Flour Blend
- 4 c. white rice flour
- 2 c. tapioca starch
- 1 c. potato starch
- 2 tsp. xanthum gum
*Note: works well with brownies and cookies
High Protein Flour Blend
- 1 ¼ c. chickpea/soy flour
- 1 c. potato starch
- 1 c. tapioca starch/flour
- 1 c. brown rice flour
- 2 tsp. xantham gum
*Note: this blend works well with wraps, pie crusts, pizza crusts, or other goods that require more shape and elasticity.
High Fiber Flour Blend
- 1 c. brown rice
- ½ c. teff flour
- ½ c. millet flour
- ⅔ c. tapioca starch/flour
- ⅓ c. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. xantham gum
*Note: I would not recommend this blend for sugar cookies, crepes, cakes, or cupcakes.
If you are wanting to create your own blend, here are a few tips.
1 medium flour + 1 or 2 starches
2 medium flours + 1 or 2 starches
1 medium + 1 heavy flour+1 or 2 starches
Variety of medium and heavy flours plus 1 or 2 starches
The more variety of flours the more different the result. It’s like a controlled science experiment. Many people prefer to follow. 2:1 ratio flour and starches. Try out a few different combinations and see what works for you, or feel free to follow the combinations I have tried above.
Remember above all else: Play, experiment, laugh, realize it won’t taste like the bread you are used to eating, but accept it and enjoy it. Gluten free baking can feel like an art, but it really can be delicious and even better than gluten goods.