Using gluten free flour can take some practice.
The structures and textured you've worked with all of your life in traditional baking are suddenly very different. It can be easy to get discouraged.
Thankfully the world of gluten free baking is robust and full of simple ways to make amazing treats.
Let's take a look at some different types of gluten free flours as well as some flour blends you might enjoy.
Gluten Free Flavor Flours
A flavor flour is an alternative flour made from things like oats, nuts, rice, corn, buckwheat, or coconut, just to name a few.
These flours add a whole host of new flavors and textures to your baked goods without having to use traditional wheat flour.
The possibilities of new flavor discoveries are endless as you learn to mix and match the different flours to create delectable gluten free treats.
Thanks to more wide-spread use of flavor flours, you can now find many varieties of flours at your usual supermarket, whereas in the past you would have to hunt down specialty flours if you wanted to experiment.
Flavor flours are unlike wheat flours in that their shelf life is much shorter. Because of this, you'll want to be diligent about checking "best before" dates on packages before buying.
Also be sure to store your flours in air-tight containers and keep them cool and dry. Whole-grain flours such as those made from oats, nuts, or brown rice, will eventually go rancid at room temperature, so keep temperature control in mind while storing.
Pre-Made Gluten Free Flour Blends
If you're just beginning your journey using gluten free flour, you may want to start with a pre-made blend. Below are some great options.
Cup4Cup is an excellent 1:1 flour replacement that is pre-blended and ready to go. Cup4Cup definitely delivers on texture, quality, and taste, and is an excellent place to start if you're new to pre-made gluten free flour blends.
Bob's Red Mill
You've likely heard of Bob's Red Mill and probably have already tried some of their products. There's a reason Bob's is so well known. The company was founded in 1978 and is still going strong today, which is a huge testament to the quality of their products, including their blended flours.
Nuflours House-made Blend
Of course we would be remiss not to mention our very own house-made gluten free flour blend. If you enjoy the taste of our baked goods, this may be the flour blend for you.
Making Your Own Gluten Free Flour Blend
While buying pre-made blends is quick and convenient, if you want specific nutritional richness or flavor profiles, it’s best to make your own gluten free flour blend.
There are definitely some rules-of-thumb you can follow when developing your own blend, but ultimately the only way to get the exact flavor you're looking for is to experiment, experiment, experiment!
You can get creative and do things like add flax to your blends, which is high in fiber and has a sweet, nutty flavor.
Teff and buckwheat (don't let the name fool you, buckwheat is a gluten free grain) are both darker flours with very rich flavors. Because their taste is so robust, you won't want to use as much of them in your blends as other flours. For instance, consider subbing a tablespoon instead of a whole cup.
Sorghum flour is perhaps the closest to tasting like whole wheat. It has a slight sweetness from the bran, but also a lightness, which makes it a lovely choice for a gluten free flour.
Though it's often included in gluten free products, we don't recommend using rice flour. Brown rice flour is too heavy and grainy, while white rice flour can add some sweetness, but has no nutritional value. Here at Nuflours, we don't use it for that reason.
It will take some time in the kitchen trying different things in order to reach your magic formula, but that’s part of the fun!
A Simple Gluten Free Flour Recipe
Since we're speaking about experimenting with different flour combinations, we've included a simple recipe that can get your creativity flowing.
Our recipe for gluten free crackers is so fun because you can use any flour you like.
Our personal favorite flour combination is 1 cup of teff flour, and 1 cup of tapioca starch.
You can begin with the simple recipe we've provided below and go crazy with your own combinations until you've found the taste and texture you love the most.
Nuflours Cracker Recipe
2 cups (300 g.) flour blend
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 Tb. kosher salt
45 g. ground flax
⅓ cup (150 g.) butter, softened
¼ cup (120- 130 g.) water
How to Make Gluten Free Crackers
Simply mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and then roll it out onto a counter.
Make them nice and thin, you want them to be about 1/16th of an inch thick.
Bake the crackers in the oven at 375F degrees for 14 minutes or until they look done.
Let cool and enjoy!
This gluten free cracker recipe is very simple and delicious. You will be able to see how different flours work together without the pressure of making a whole loaf of bread.
Let us know how it turned out and what your favorite combinations are!