Tuesday, November 26, 2013

DIY Gluten Free Flour Mix- 3 Options

Would you like to hear an amusing story?

As you may have surmised from the lack of recipe posts on The Healing Kitchen lately, I have not been cooking or baking much these days. Well, I decided enough was enough, and I am ready to get back in the kitchen.

I decided to make one of my staples: gluten free waffles. Yummy and easy! Well, easy if you have enough gluten free flour mix handy. Which I did not. No worries, I thought, I will just mix up a new batch. All I need is tapioca flour (check), mung bean starch (check), and the easiest of all, brown rice flour. Hmmm... No brown rice flour. That seems odd. I was sure I had some Bob's Red Mill flour around here somewhere…

Alas, I could not find it, so I hopped on Amazon, went to my "auto-ship" section, and clicked "send new shipment now". Voila! Two days later, I had a 4-pack of brown rice flour.

Fast forward a few more days, and we are back to the task at hand: making a batch of gluten-free flour mix. As I was moving some mason jars around in the cupboard, guess what I found? Brown rice flour. I had some after all.

OK, so I have two more bags of flour, no problem. I'll just make more flour mix. After all, it is getting to be the holiday season, I can use this as an excuse to make more baked treats. This may actually be a good "problem" to have.

As I'm calculating how much I will need of each ingredient, and what I might make with all of this flour, guess what shows up on my doorstep? Another 4-pack of brown rice flour. Yes. Apparently when I checked "send new shipment now", I neglected to notice when the next auto-shipment was scheduled…. which was, well, about a week later.

Now I have brown rice flour coming out of my ears. 10 bags! Egad! So I decided to turn this into an experiment, using some other ingredients I had on hand. And that is how I came to make THREE batches of gluten-free flour mix. They all use the same ratio as my go-to recipe, but I varied the type of starch in each one.
3 Versions of Homemade Gluten Free Flour Mix
The recipe for this basic gluten free flour mix is based on the one in Cybele Pascal's Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook. You can find her recipe for basic gluten-free flour mix on her website- I could not find a link directly to her recipe on her site, but if you click on any of her baked recipes, she usually posts the recipe for the flour mix with each one. Whole Living also lists Cybele's recipe for basic gluten-free flour mix here.

I love this flour mix- it measures 1:1 for regular flour in any recipe. For various reasons, I avoid potato starch, which is what Cybele uses, so I came up with a recipe that uses mung bean starch instead of potato. I previously posted that recipe here.

The recipe for the flours above are as follows:

Basic Gluten Free Flour Mix (variations)

18 ounces brown rice flour
2.5 ounces tapioca starch (sometimes called tapioca flour)
6 ounces EITHER mung bean starch OR arrowroot starch OR acorn starch

Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. You can also use a food processor. Store in an airtight container and use 1:1 when a recipe calls for flour. Makes about 6 cups.

Where to find the ingredients
I find mung bean starch and acorn starch in Asian grocery stores. You can find arrowroot starch in most health food stores.

As I've mentioned, the mung bean version is fantastic, I have been using that mixture for years in any recipe that calls for flour. I just tested the acorn starch version in a cracker recipe, and it performed just fine. The crackers look dark because the acorn starch is dark to begin with (as you can see in the photo above)- but I did not notice any difference in taste. I will have to use it in a few more recipes and then let you know what I think. I have not used the arrowroot version yet, but perhaps I will try that in my next batch of waffles.

And for you overachievers out there, here are some links to more information about: brown rice, cassava (aka tapioca, manioc, yucca, or yuca), mung beanacorn starch and another interesting article about acorns.

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