The gluten-free craze is sweeping the nation, becoming popular even among people for whom a gluten-free diet is not a necessity. Many people believe that a gluten-free diet will help them to lose weight or improve their health. While this may be the end result in some cases, there is still a great deal of medical debate regarding the benefits of a gluten-free diet for people who do not have a gluten allergy, intolerance, or Celiac disease.

Even if you do not suffer from one of these conditions yourself, the chances are that you know someone who does and you may be called upon one day to prepare a gluten-free recipe. Gluten-free flour blends and baking mixes can be very expensive to purchase but they are very easy to make yourself if you follow the recipes below.

Homemade Gluten-Free Flour Blend

There are many different gluten-free flours to choose from including rice flour, almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, and more. What many people do not realize is that these flours act very differently from all-purpose flour so you generally cannot make a 1-to-1 substitute, especially in baking recipes. The best way to substitute gluten-free flour for all-purpose flour is to use a gluten-free flour blend. These blends typically include two or more types of gluten-free flour as well as a starch and, in some cases, xanthan gum as a binder. You will find a sample recipe for gluten-free flour below:
  • 1 ½ cups brown rice flour
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • ¼ cup fine white rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
Using this recipe for gluten-free flour you can make alterations to create different types of flour. For self-rising flour, add 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt for each cup of gluten-free flour blend. To create gluten-free cake flour, blend 20% cornstarch with 80% gluten-free flour blend.

DIY Gluten-Free Baking Mix

Having a good gluten-free baking mix on hand is a must if you want to make gluten-free pancakes, quick breads, waffles, and more. Baking mixes are a little bit different from flour blends because they include all of the dry ingredients you need such as flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Below you will find a recipe for a gluten-free baking/pancake mix:
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • ¾ cups fine white rice flour
  • ¼ cup fine yellow cornmeal
  • ¼ cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
When you have a quality baking mix on hand all you have to do is add the right amount of liquid and eggs for the recipe you are making. To use this mixture to make pancakes, simply add 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of oil, and 1 ¼ cups of milk for every 1 cup of baking mix.

Even when you have a quality gluten-free flour blend or baking mix available, gluten-free baking can still be tricky. Some gluten-free flours are more absorbent than all-purpose flour so recipes could require the addition of an extra egg and more liquid.

Other gluten-free flours are heavier than all-purpose flour so you may need more baking powder or baking soda to give your recipe the right amount of rise. You can substitute gluten-free flour blends for all-purpose flour but the ratios will vary depending on the recipe. Your best bet is to start with a recipe that is designed for gluten-free flour if you want your recipe to turn out correctly. Even then, you may need to make a few minor adjustments to get it completely right depending on the type of gluten-free flour blend you use.

Frugal Village