How to Make a Gluten Free Bread Flour Mix

gluten free bread flour mix

Making your very own gluten free bread flour mix is easy

Before jumping in to gluten free flours and recipes, it’s helpful to know what gluten really does in baking. The strange thing is, fresh milled wheat flour does not contain gluten. That’s right – there is no gluten in the flour itself. What creates the gluten is when two proteins, glutenin and gliadin, come into contact with a liquid.

When those two proteins are combined with water or any liquid, gluten molecules begin developing. They will multiply, resulting in dough with that “doughy” texture. The more liquid is added, the more elasticity the dough will have.

Think of gluten as the “glue” for dough.

For people who cannot tolerate gluten or those suffering from celiac disease, an alternative to this process must be used in bread baking.

The answer is to make your own gluten free bread flour mix. It’s not difficult. And with this recipe, it’s actually very economical too.

As with any recipe, there are any number of substitutions you can make to tailor it to your tastes. For instance, you can use rice flour, sorghum flour or a combination of both. It’s really a matter of personal preference.

But regardless of what you substitute, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Adding some protein when you’re using gluten free flours is a good idea. Gluten is a protein, so with gluten-free baking, you aren’t getting that extra protein. Substituting in some egg white for ½ cup of the water will give you a much needed protein boost. Or use one of the high protein flours mentioned below.
  • Make sure you add in the gums to your recipes. Xanthan gum and guar gum give your bread that sticky effect that closely resembles breads with gluten. Just a small amount is all you need. Fortunately, most gluten free bread flour recipes will also include gum.
  • Different flour recipes work for different uses. We’ll include two flour recipes here because gluten free baking is different from wheat baking. A general all-purpose baking mix may work great for cookies, but not great as a coating mix for food. So, having two or three different flour mixes is not uncommon.
  • Gluten free flours must be stored in the refrigerator. This is a big one. The first time you encounter rancid flour will be all the convincing you need to always make space in your refrigerator for your flours. You may also freeze them, but make sure to bring them to room temperature before using. This may take a few hours.
  • And, if you are in a household with some members being gluten free and not others, then always keep the baking, cooking and preparation items thoroughly cleaned between uses. An even better idea would be to use two completely separate sets to avoid any contamination at all.

And now that you know all about gluten free flours and what makes them so different from regular wheat flours, here are two gluten free bread flour recipes for general baking. Remember, you may want to substitute different flours for different uses.

BASIC GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR MIX

Combine the following and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer:

  • 2 cups rice flour (or 1 cup rice and 1 cup sorghum flour)
  • 2/3 cup cornstarch (or potato starch)
  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch (*or almond meal or buckwheat or quinoa flour for more protein)
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (or guar gum)

Note: Subbing denser flours such as almond, buckwheat or quinoa will result in a heavier, denser product. Experiment and find the formula and texture you like best.

SELF-RISING FLOUR MIX

Combine and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer:

  • 1 cup gluten-free flour mix
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

The following flours are gluten free and can safely be used in gluten free recipes…

Sorghum flour – gluten free baking staple; adds protein with a mild taste

White rice flour/brown rice flour – either one is great in a gluten free baking mix recipe

Sweet rice flour – great for breads and pizzas

Tapioca starch/flour – a thickener; also works well in combination with other flours

Potato starch – a thickener for gravy; adds moisture to baked goods

Arrowroot starch – one of the most neutral thickeners for gravy

Teff flour – great for desserts, has a slightly sweet flavor

Buckwheat flour – great for waffles and pancakes

Quinoa flour – a great source of protein in your baked goods; nice nutty taste

Certified oat flour – make sure it is certified gluten-free; good in breads

Coconut flour – great for desserts; coconut pairs well with anything sweet

Almond meal – great for desserts, makes delicious crusts for pies

Hazelnut meal – great for special desserts

Beware of the following flours…

All-purpose flour

Bulgar flour

Brown flour

Bread flour

Cake flour

Durham flour

Granary flour

Graham flour

Kamut flour

Plain flour

Sauce flour

Self-rising flour (packaged)

Semolina flour

Spelt flour

Triticale flour

Wheaten flour

Wholemeal flour

Please note that these lists are by no means complete. There may be other flours to add to either list. However, these will give you some great combinations to try for your gluten free bread baking.

One last note: If one combination does not work and/or doesn’t taste well, try another. Gluten free baking is more of a trial and error process and not every flour works well for every taste.

Happy baking!

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Chrissy Lane

Gluten free living doesn't mean you have to say goodbye to light and fluffy breads and rolls. My gluten free bread recipes, tips and techniques will result in delicious, mouthwatering baked goods every time!

11 thoughts on “How to Make a Gluten Free Bread Flour Mix

  1. Dharshini Sinnathamby says:

    Hi, the texture of the bread in your picture looks so much like a regular wheat loaf. Does this bread feel dry and hard the following day. I have tried many loaves with varying combinations of flours and the only ones that remained moist for even as long as four days were the ones where I didn’t use rice flour and the taste and mouth feel came absolutely close to a wheat loaf but the texture remained more dense than a wheat loaf. Never airy and light like the loaf in your picture.
    As I have never tried a gluten free bread loaf with a combination of gums I would love to know the keeping quality of your bread so that I can go ahead with your recipe. Thanks.

  2. Chrissy Lane says:

    Hi Dharshini,

    Sorry for the late response – your comment got buried in my folders!

    The thing with the gums is that often, not always, a combination can work best for both the loaf texture and for extending the shelf life.

    Your comment was made on a post with only a picture of some flours, no baked bread, but as for if the loaves feel dry and hard the next day – unfortunately that does happen a lot.

    I do tend to freeze breads if they doesn’t get eaten the same day – thick sliced, they make a great bread for french toast.

    Hope that helps!

    ~GF Baker

  3. Nichole says:

    Can you double or triple these flour recipes? I would like to have bulk on hand for quick baking- or would you not be able to ensure proper distribution of all the ingredients?
    Thanks!
    :)

  4. Chrissy Lane says:

    Hi Nichole,

    Absolutely!

    Double or triple them, keep it on hand for whenever you need it.

    But, as you said, making sure the ingredients are all combined is a concern – we’ve found a whisk works really well for distributing everything.

    Hope that helps!

  5. Mischa says:

    What about garbanzo bean or fava bean flours? I actually prefer breads made with those instead of rice flour because they aren’t as dry and have a more full bodied flavor.

  6. Harris Feinstein says:

    Hi Chrissy,
    I’m new to this new way of baking, and would appreciate any info you can offer.
    I learned a few things, but still want to get your feed on what to use.
    From what I’ve read in gluten free bread making, is I can replace the eggs with ground flax seed and water.
    I also want to substitute the use of the gums too. Do I need another ground seed item such as ground Chi seed or can I use the Flax seed in its place?

  7. Chrissy Lane says:

    Hi Harris,

    There are actually a few different things you can substitute for the gums…

    This article should help you out – http://gluten-free-bread.org/make-substitutions-xanthan-gum-baking

    Let me know what else I can help you with!

  8. Harris Feinstein says:

    Hi again,
    Well, as we speak, I have just placed my first gluten free bread in my bread maker. Wow, it looks so loose! Is this normal? I can’t wait and see the results. I used ground flax seed with boiling water and let it cool, then added to the mix.
    Let me know if there is something I should be doing to make a better mix. I forgot to mention, on my first bread I decided to use a pre-mixed flour that I added a bag of almond flour too.
    Thanks Harris

  9. Harris Feinstein says:

    It’s 1 hour later, and I just finished cleaning up one terrible mess. I had batter all over the inside of the bread machine and over the sides of the pan. It went through all the rise cycles, but when it reached the last one it expanded over the top. Wow do I need your HELP!
    Harris

  10. Dawn says:

    Hello!
    I was hoping you could add/change all the measurements in your mixtures and recipes to include weight in grams. I’d love to try your flour blends and sandwich bread recipes but every time I look at my old measuring cups I cringe. I have found that weighing my ingredients vs measuring them has been the difference between success and failure in my new stint as a gluten free baker. Thank you so much!

  11. Chrissy Lane says:

    Hi Dawn,

    We will definitely try to incorporate weight measurements into our recipes.

    Really appreciate the feedback!

    Thanks for visiting!

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