My Gluten Free Flour Pantry
As a gluten free food blogger I provide my readers with great recipes that are simple and easy to make and that have been tested thoroughly in my kitchen. However, sometimes a recipe that has worked out well for me turns out a little less perfect for readers. I am always willing to help my readers to figure out what may have caused a variance in the recipe’s texture, flavor etc. Because as a food blogger I learn from your experiences and my own.
Here’s a list of flours and (some grains) that I use in my gluten free cooking and baking. I buy certified gluten free grains and flours in bulk from specialty store and put most of them in refrigerator or in cold dark place.
BROWN RICE FLOUR
Brown rice flour is milled from the whole grain which lends to its creamy almond color. It can go rancid very quickly because of the natural fats and oils in the grain. So it is good to store it in fridge in an airtight container. It can be used as a sauce thickener or combined with other flours for baking. It lends a strong, nutty flavor in food. If you are concerned about this then white rice flour would be the ideal choice.
WHITE RICE FLOUR
White rice flour is produced by grinding uncooked polished rice into a powder. It contains high levels of protein but very less vitamins, minerals and fiber than brown rice flour. It can be used as a thickening agent for sauces and a suitable option in baked goods in combination with other starches.
TO MAKE RICE FLOUR MIX / GF ALL PURPOSE FLOUR BLEND
I use three types of rice flour blend
1 cup white rice flour , 1 cup brown rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca starch, 1 1/4 tsp xanthum gum (optional)
In some recipes I use just white rice flour or brown rice flour blend and then I specifically mention it in the ingredients.
SWEET RICE FLOUR
I ground fresh flour from quinoa seeds when ever required. It is delicious in baked goods, such as breads, crackers and cookies. It has a strong flavor so best use is with other flours.
Of all the gluten free grain flours, I love sorghum flour. It is a powerhouse of nutrition and adds a superb flavor to gluten free baking and cooking. It is coarser in texture and vary in color from white to a light grey or even purplish red, depending on the variety of grain. It has a neutral flavor and and absorbs other flavors really well. Hence, I use sorghum flour for making breads, flat breads and even cakes.
Soy Flour is made from whole dry soy beans. It is often dry roasted after grinding to improve flavor and digestibility. It is available in full fat, low fat and defatted version. Soy flour is yellowish gold in color, the higher the fat the deeper the color. It has pungent, nutty slightly bitter flavor and is widely used to make moist tender baked goods that stay fresh longer.
Corn flour comes in yellow and white color and is generally used in combination with other flours in baked goods. It is milled from the whole kernel, unlike corn starch which is obtained from the endosperm portion of the kernel. Corn flour is highly rich in protein and very low in fat. In India yellow corn flour is often referred to as maize flour and used for gluten free flat breads. There are several other popular varieties of corn flour available and some may be regionally popular than others such as masa harina and harnilla.
Cornmeal is a coarse flour ground from dried corn (maize).
Chapatti using white corn flour blend
Makki ki roti (yellow corn flour)
Polenta Upma (cornmeal)
Methi wali makki ki roti (yellow cornflour)
CHICKPEA FLOUR : Read here.
Amaranth flour is very fine and has a light cream color with nutty, toasted taste. Because of its high moisture content goods baked with it are moist and dense, but some added starch helps to lighten the texture. Baked foods with amaranth flour also tend to brown quickly and may need to be tented during the last third of the baking time.
White chapati flour (below)
WHITE CHAPATI FLOUR MIX
I call it white chapati mix because wheat chapati is a staple in north indian homes and the gluten free chapati flour blend I made is quite close in appearance. Mix 5 cups white corn flour (please note its not corn starch), 3 cups amaranth flour and 2 1/4 cup of soy flour. Store in a air tight container in refrigerator. You can keep a small amount in cupboard for regular use.
OATS / OAT FLOUR
I grind gluten free oat flour from old fashioned rolled oats (from Cream Hill or Bob’s red mill). They are certified gluten free, I often use oats and oat flour in baking cookies and muffins for its sweet nutty flavor.
Unlike potato flour with strong flavor and heavier weight, potato starch has a neutral taste. When combined with other gluten free flours it adds moistness to baked goods and gives them a light and airy texture.
Tapioca starch gives a transparent high gloss to fruits and makes a perfectly smooth filling. It lightens baked goods and gives them a slightly sweet, chewy texture. Hence it is good for thickening soups, fruit pie fillings and custards etc.
FLAX SEED MEAL
Flax meal is made by grinding flax seeds. If you just crack the outer coating of flax seeds in coffee grinder it result cracked flax seed . It is more easier to digest than whole flax seed.
ALMOND FLOUR and Almond meal
In my opinion they both are different. Flour made from whole almonds with skin is fine (you have to sift), and give baked goods more dense texture than blanched almond flour (meal). I use both flour in my recipes depending what I am trying to make.
Millet and Millet Flour
I love pearl millet grain as an alternative for rice and have used it in salads and sweet recipe. But I don’t have much experience using the flour. I have only used it in bread and flat breads in little proportion.