For around eight years, I have been baking with shop-bought gluten-free flours. Never really getting the result I wanted, and it was never on par with my pre-coeliac baking days. I just assumed that this was as good as it got. I was also thankful that at least it was better than say twenty-five years ago. I remember my dad who was a baker, trying to get results from the gluten-free flour back then. I remember some colourful language and some baked goods that could double as doorstops. With this in mind, I plowed on, trying to ignore that odd taste and gritty crumbly texture when cooked.
Then just over a year ago, I remember seeing on a few websites about how you could mix up a batch of different gluten-free flours, using certain ratios of each one to make your own plain flour mix. This seemed like a great idea to me. I had already noticed that not all gluten-free plain or self-raising flour was equal. A lot of the lower-priced ones seemed to feel more like cornflour in touch. I usually ended up paying for the more expensive ones in the hope of better results.
So I sat down at my desk and researched until my eyes crossed, reading all I could on the types of flours I would need and why. I also made up a few batches of recipes I found online. Some were great, some not so. At the end of the day, though I wanted to make my own version. At last, I have two different mixes that I am happy with. At the end of the day, I wanted people to say wow that cake was good, not that cake was good for a gluten-free one.
This makes up 1kg, I normally make 2kg at a time, just double up on the quantities. Sieve all the flour into a large bowl and mix, then store in a large sealed container. It is better to measure up in grams than cups to be more accurate as each cup of different gluten-free flours does not weigh the same.
Plain flour blend 1
- 200g brown rice flour
- 200g millet flour or sorghum flour
- 200g sweet rice flour
- 100g white rice flour (or 300g sweet rice flour)
- 300g potato starch
You will notice I do not add xanthum gum to the mix. I prefer to add it separately later on. The amount depends on what I am making. See below.
cakes and biscuits 1/4 tsp of xanthum gum per 200g of flour
Pastry small pinch of xanthum gum per 100g
Bread 2 tsp of xanthum per 500g
Have a try, maybe switch things around and make your own version.
Since mixing up the above batch I have been playing around with many types of flour again and deciding which makes for the best homemade all in one gluten-free plain flour. One that works equally well with pastry as it does in cakes. I believe the one below does that. This is the mix I use for my recipes on the blog when it calls for plain flour.
As you all know all scales are not equal, this applies to kitchen or bathroom scales, so this time I decided to give the measurements in the American cup form. Using this method means that there are no differences when it comes to measuring out.
- 3 cups of fine gluten-free brown rice flour
- 3 cups of gluten-free white rice flour
- 1.5 cups of cornflour
- 1.5 cups of potato starch, not to be confused with potato flour
I usually make up a large batch of this. To do this just double or triple the weights given. Measure all the ingredients out and then I sieve into a large container. Then when a recipe calls for plain flour I just weigh out what is needed.