Comfortable Comfort Foods Gluten-Free Baking Mix 1
Gluten-free, lactose free, FODMAP friendly
This blend substitutes for white flour in many recipes. I’m listing the ingredients first, so you can get right to baking. But below, you’ll find a bit of the science behind GF baking. If you’d like even more, Gluten-Free Baking for Dummies (Dr. Jean McFadden Layton and Linda Larsen) has a great informational section.
- 1 cup sorghum flour
- 1 cup millet flour
- 1 cup sweet rice (sticky rice) flour
- ½ cup tapioca starch
- Mix all ingredients until well blended. Refrigerate until you need it.
More of the science
The gluten and gliadin in wheat—two proteins—give wheat flour its stretchiness, its ability to create and hold the lasting “bubble structure” in bread and cakes, as well as the keeping quality in cookies. When you knead or beat wheat-flour dough, you draw out and “wake up” these gluten molecules.
So the goal in developing a gluten-free flour blend is to create a strong, stretchy structure, a weight-per-cup that’s comparable to the weight of wheat flour (so the structure won’t collapse), an eye-appealing color and a tongue-pleasing taste. That’s a tall order!
Sorghum flour has a fairly wheat-like taste, plenty of protein, and adds a bit of pale brownish color. Millet flour is softer and quite tender. Its slightly yellowish color vanishes when the product is baked, but it helps me tell whether I’ve mixed everything evenly. Sweet rice (sticky rice) flour is my new favorite. The flavor is mild, it’s very finely ground (unlike white rice flour, which tends to be grainy), and its “stickiness” helps hold the bubbles that your leavening creates (we use a lot of eggs in GF baking for this reason, too). Tapioca starch also adds stretchiness. In fact, if your baked goods need a LOT of soft stretchiness (e.g. hamburger buns, cinnamon rolls) you’ll often find extra starch in the recipe. There’s also a tiny bit of crispness at the edge of products made with tapioca starch.
According to Gluten-Free Baking for Dummies, we generally aim for about 70% high-protein flour and about 30% lower-protein, higher-starch flour in a GF blend. But a blend that works well for pizza crust might not make a good cake! So I also like Bette Hagman’s The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread. She provides flour blends for several types of baked goods, including a great pizza crust. FODMAPers will want to avoid her blends that include bean flour.
One last tip: gluten-free flours absorb moisture more slowly—sometimes over a period of days—and the starch molecules rearrange themselves and get crumbly—so GF baked goods don’t hold their texture at room temp or in the fridge. Freeze them within a day or two.