With gluten-free baking, it is easy to find yourself surrounded by half a dozen bags of flour spilling open onto your counter. Various flours are used in gluten-free recipes in order to reap the benefits and minimize the downsides of all of the different gluten-free grains.
While having a well-risen bread with good texture is the ultimate end-goal, opening all of those bags of flour at every baking session isn’t necessary. Instead, an all-purpose blend such as this whole grain mix can be prepared once and continuously used for baking. It even works well with a good gluten free sourdough starter.
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WHEN TO USE AN ALL-PURPOSE, WHOLE GRAIN FLOUR BLEND
An all-purpose flour blend such as this is best used in place of similar flours in gluten-free recipes. For instance, a whole grain gluten-free sandwich bread recipe that requires 3 cups of various types of flour can utilize 3 cups of this blend. For baked goods that require something resembling a white flour – usually where the flours are mostly white rice or starches – try using this White All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend instead, providing a suitable alternative to traditional flour vs all-purpose flour for gluten-free baking needs.
GLUTEN-FREE, ALL-PURPOSE, WHOLE-GRAIN FLOUR BLEND
This blend utilizes the classification of different types of gluten-free whole grains as outlined in the Guide to Flour Substitutions in Gluten-Free Sourdough Baking. This allows for flexibility and personal grain preference while providing guidelines for using the correct ratio of flour types in a recipe.
- 4 cup heavy flour such as buckwheat, teff, or millet
- 4 cup sorghum or brown rice flour
- 2 cups starch such as tapioca or sweet rice flour
- 2 cups high-protein flour such as almond or quinoa
- In a large bowl, whisk all of the flours together for several minutes or until everything is well incorporated.
- Transfer to an airtight storage container and seal tightly.
If the mixture will be utilized within a couple of weeks, it can be kept at room temperature. If it will last you longer, store it in the refrigerator or freezer.
FLOUR BLEND VARIATIONS USING BINDERS
The above mixture can be used without a binder in quick bread recipes that also involve eggs, flax, or chia seeds. For a more structured bread like a sandwich loaf or other sourdough-leavened bread, a binder is necessary.
Xanthan gum is a commonly used binder in gluten-free baking. This binder is generally added to flour blends to make measuring easier later on. Gluten-free recipes will often indicate if an additional binder is required. These are measured into the dough in addition to the xanthan gum already added to the flour blend.
If xanthan gum is desired as a binder in this recipe, add 4 teaspoons of xanthan gum to the above flour mixture.
Another common binder, beloved as a natural alternative to xanthan gum, is psyllium husk. Psyllium is full of fiber and provides both structure and moisture to gluten-free dough by binding the liquids to the flours in the dough.
Psyllium husk is used differently than xanthan gum, however. Instead of adding it to the flour blend itself, it is most often mixed with the liquid in a recipe, left to gel, and then is added to the other ingredients.
Psyllium husk is therefore not added to this flour blend when mixing and is instead used later when putting together a recipe.
For every 3 cups of this flour blend you utilize in a recipe, add 1/3 cup of psyllium husk powder to the ingredient list. Before mixing the other ingredients, whisk the psyllium with the liquid called for in the recipe in a small bowl. Add this gel as you would add the other liquid ingredients.
For more on binders in gluten-free baking, please see our Guide to Binders in Gluten-free Baking article. For more information on gluten-free flours and how to utilize them in recipes, please see our Guide to Flour Substitutions in Gluten-Free Sourdough Baking article.
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