DIY Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Recipe
Gluten-free baking shouldn’t cause frustration. Having a suitable homemade gluten-free flour blend on hand for quick and easy recipes can save time, money and your sanity!
Gluten free and dairy free are becoming commonplace these days. Growing up, if we were going somewhere for dinner, we were never asked by our hosts if there were any food allergies. Food restrictions just weren’t as prevalent as they are today!
Bottom line is, many families are needing to cut out certain foods in order to heal their gut and avoid uncomfortable (or in some cases, life threatening) reactions.
My friend (and Full of Days contributor) has walked this line of needing to adapt to a gluten free, dairy free lifestyle as her son has life threatening wheat allergies.
Over the years we both found ourselves struggling to feed our family the best quality food on tight budgets. It was her voice in my head that helped me write this post, and it’s her voice I channel when encouraging other mama’s just getting started on a real food journey.
“Just choose one thing!” she’d say. “And if that thing doesn’t turn out to be ‘your thing’, then don’t feel guilty pushing it to the wayside and trying something else!”
Our food paths took different turns as she pursued a gluten free, dairy free and limited tree nut diet, due to her oldest son’s severe allergies that have landed him in the emergency room a handful of times.
He’s now the cutest eight year old who sports his own “emergency back-pack” wherever he goes that houses his epi-pen, inhaler, Benedryl and oximeter (an instrument for measuring the proportion of oxygenated hemoglobin in the blood). He’s the epitome of his mama’s perseverance as he never misses a beat and there’s nothing he “can’t do” (including spell words like seismology! HE’S 8!).
Kourtney is no stranger to gluten free baking and she’s picked up LOADS of tips and tricks throughout her years of trial and error. She’s faithfully been converting and testing our own Full of Day’s recipes, adjusting them to fit her family’s GF/DF needs. When she finds a winner, she passes them on to us!
It’s our hope that if you find yourself needing gluten or dairy free alternatives, that these recipes will fit the bill, both in taste and in ease.
Because we won’t post a recipe if it hasn’t passed our yumminess standards!
Grinding Gluten-Free Flours
We get asked frequently about grinding grain at home…but only recently did it dawn on us that we can also grind gluten-free grains, seeds and other goodies using our Mockmill 100 Grain Mill.
The Mockmill is one of the first “made for home use” grain mills that produces pastry fine flour at an affordable price for the home baker. Follow this link for more information on the grain-mill…and for a special offer for our Full of Days readers!
Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Recipe
- Measure out all ingredients and whisk them together.
- Store in a gallon-size air-tight container (We like this one!)
- All our gluten-free recipes on Full of Days use this gluten-free flour blend WITHOUT the addition of guar gum.
- If using guar gum, this recipe can be used 1:1 in SOME recipes that call for 1 cup (or less) regular all purpose flour. This includes recipes like small-batch pancakes and waffles, muffins, some quick-breads and some cookie recipes.
- It's not recommended to swap out gluten free flours for recipes that call for yeast. If you want to replicate a recipe that calls for yeast, search for a gluten-free recipe.
- Recipe can be mixed up and stored in an air-tight container for about a month.
- Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to four months.
- Store in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to a year.
- Sorghum flour can be substituted for the white or brown rice flour.
- Corn starch can be used in place of the tapioca.
- You must use four different flours. If you use less, you will have less than stellar results. I have tried to use two rice flours when I was out of the third, and it’s noticeable!
- Since I don’t use xanthan gum* or the optional guar gum, my recipes use other binders (such as eggs, flax, gelatin, and psyllium husk) all which need special handling, so they cannot be added to the blend. They are added at other times in the recipes.
Can you sub gluten free flour for regular all purpose flour?
Yes and no. Helpful, right?
I’m sure many of you have seen gluten free flour blends for sale at your local grocery stores. Even in our small, North Idaho town, we can find multiple brands of gluten free flour locally.
These are great, unless they contain ingredients I’m not thrilled with…more on that later.
Gluten-free flours can successfully be used 1:1 in recipes that use about a cup or less of regular all purpose flour. These include recipes like pancakes, waffles, quick-breads and some cookies.
When you’re working with recipes like breads, most cookies, cakes, bagels, pizza crust, etc. (where the bulk of your recipe is flour) you have to use a binder. For this reason, the recipe below has the option of adding guar gum.
Most gluten free flour blends you’ll find on the internet will have some sort of “binder” included.
Most often, this is binder is xanthan gum.
What is Xanthan Gum?
In short, xanthan gum is “a substance produced by bacterial fermentation or synthetically and used in foods as a gelling agent and thickener. It is a polysaccharide composed of glucose, mannose, and glucuronic acid.”
That probably didn’t answer your question, did it?
If you do a quick Google search, you’ll find hundreds of thousands of answers…but who has time to read all that?
I’ve sifted through a hefty portion of them and have found conflicting answers like, “xanthan gum is a healthy, natural substance” to the complete other end of the spectrum with, “xanthan gum can cause problems such as nausea, vomiting and hard stools”.
Not only that, but I’ve also read that it’s possible to build up an intolerance to xanthan gum, so those buying gluten free products at the grocery store, but still experiencing some intestinal upset, may be dealing with intolerances other than gluten.
As with any other health decision, what you’re comfortable with is going to boil down to your own convictions and decisions about “healthy food” and products you decide worthy to put in (or on) your body.
What I can share are my opinions on xanthan gum.
How Xanthan Gum is Made
The “natural” form of xanthan gum is produced by fermenting glucose, sucrose or lactose using the bacteria Xanthamonas campestris. Once it’s fermented it’s then turned into a solid using isopropyl alcohol. It’s then dried and ground into a fine powder, packaged up and put on the grocery store shelf or added to thousands of products (both food and non-food alike).
Now I don’t know about you, but adding isopropyl alcohol to make this product solid, to then dry it out and grind it down to add to my food doesn’t seem so “natural”.
Because we try to stick pretty closely to a non-processed diet, this definitely doesn’t make it onto our “OK foods to eat” list.
Xanthan Gum Alternative
Thankfully, there are alternatives! All of our gluten free recipes call for binders, but they’re binders that are added to the recipe, not the flour blend.
Ingredients like eggs, flax, gelatin and psyllium husk can all give you the necessary binding needed for a successful recipe.
But if you’re sitting there thinking, “I just want something I can swap out 1:1 for my regular, gluten filled flour!”...there may be another option!
What is Guar Gum
We have since discovered guar gum which, because it’s a “gum”, initially raised some red flags, but after some more research we concluded that guar gum was an acceptable solution for our gluten free flour blend because it’s made from the seeds of the guar bean. AND, to avoid any GMO contamination, you can find an organic option here.
Now, before you get too excited, we must mention that we still don’t regularly use guar gum in our gluten free flour blend.
Guar gum just isn’t something we’ve found necessary as we’ve found other “real food” binders that work just as well.
However, for those of you just getting started to gluten free baking and really want a 1:1 replacement, guar gum may just be your solution!
- * Xanthan gum has caused some debate among the real-food community regarding its side effects vs. potential health benefits. For more information on the pro’s and con’s of xanthan gum, read this article.