About Flours

The usual suspects for the GF Canteen flour mix.The Canteen Flour Mix

For all of our recipes we us an easy, simple, cheap mix and it contains only three items – brown rice flour, white rice flour and tapioca starch. All superfine flours, preferred which can be obtained from Authentic Foods (not a sponsor, but we are big fans).

We prefer this mix to any AP GF flour because we get to add in any extras ourselves, and only when necessary which would be almost next to never. Simpler, the better.

Here’s how to make the mix. In a large bowl whisk together 2 parts superfine brown rice flour plus 1 part each, superfine white rice flour and tapioca starch. Store in a covered container. We prefer a Cambro.

If you use weights (way more accurate) this is the formula:

  • 200 grams superfine brown rice flour
  • 100 grams superfine white rice flour
  • 100 grams tapioca starch

Multiply that by whatever number you want to make a larger batch. Store in an airtight container.

By volume (not as accurate as weighing) please gently spoon the flour into cups and this is the formula:

  • 2 cups of superfine brown rice flour
  • 1 cup superfine white rice flour
  • 1 cup tapioca starch

The end result – one cup of the Canteen Mix is 130 grams. Use that as your guide.

Any brand of brown, white and tapioca (starch) flours can be utilized for this mix, but you will have the  best result in flavor and texture using superfine flours.

Canteen Flour Mix in a Cambro Container.

 

Flours

You would find over 17 different flours in my kitchen most of the time. Each of them has a purpose though I don’t use them all at once. A few would be regarded as my usual suspects and I rely on them for most baking. When people are new to gluten-free baking they usually have questions about flours and how to use them. And that there are so many doesn’t make it any easier.  That a cup for cup substitution from AP to GF is not really perfect or even among one GF flour or GF mix to the next can be frustrating. Hopefully the information on this page, including the charts will be useful in navigating gluten-free baking.

Gluten Free Flours

The first chart below lists common GF Flour Mixes and their weights (grams and ounces) per cup. Included is a link to each flour purveyor’s website as well as a  list of ingredients in each mix (as of February 2012). Each use a variety of flours. Some contain gums and others do not.

The flours I use in my kitchen are listed in the 2nd handy-dandy chart. Flours are listed with links and weights (grams and ounces) per cup. Some information about the source and characteristics of the flours are included.

I like to mix my own flours depending on what’s baking. The primary flours I use are superfine brown and white rice along with tapioca starch. I add others or substitute when I think a recipe needs something different. It is slightly more work but I have it down to a simple chore. My main flours are on the counter top in containers ready to scoop. The others are stored in Cambro containers on a shelf or in the refrigerator or freezer. GF flours are not long-term keepers so don’t buy huge quantities unless you have refrigerator or freezer space to store the extra.

Why Weigh?

Baking by weight is a simple and accurate way to make sure you get the very best out of a recipe – think of it as a universal translator for recipes. The total weight, whether in ounces or grams is your interchangeable measurement. It is the most accurate weigh way to switch one flour for another –  whether GF to GF or AP to GF or GF to AP.  If you just switch out cup for cup, the chart will tell you why that won’t work. The results will be disappointing.

Still not sure? When you buy a cake mix (GF or otherwise)  it has a weight indicated on the box – usually 15 oz.  Want to know why that boxed cake mix is always a success? Because they measure the ingredients into the mix by weight to eliminate any variance.  Always works, every single time.

Flour by volume differs because of so many factors including humidity, storage and handling, type of grain, shipping, settling, and how the home baker measures a cup – scoop or spoon. It all matters.

I’ve written about using a scale and weighing ingredients in the past. Read those here:

And just for handy reference this is my very favorite conversion website. I have it bookmarked on my toolbar because I use it that often.

Other people who are far wiser than I am have written about flour/weights here:

About the Flour Charts

The process for both charts is the same. I used two familiar methods for measuring flours. Dipped involves scooping the cup  into the vat of flour and evening off the top with a finger – the heavy handed method. Spooned requires a delicate touch of holding the cup and taking one spoonful at a time from the flour vat and plopping it into the volume cup until it is full. How different one cup of flour weighs varies a lot.

Though many of the GF Flour Blends suggest that their product is a cup to cup substitution, there is no better way to make sure your recipe works than to give the flour a moment on a scale to verify the weight. The ingredients are way too expensive and precious to afford making errors.

The charts are merely a guide. I did this as best a scientific experiment I could in a kitchen environment and controlled for things like changing humidity, storage and other things by doing it all on a single day with freshly opened packages of flour and using the same implements for every single measure.

May I suggest buying this scale here or this scale here? You’ll be glad you did.

 

FLOUR MIX ONE VOLUME CUP INGREDIENTS
DIPPED SPOONED
grams ounces grams ounces
Better Batter,
All Purpose Flour Mix
167 5.89 144 5.08 Rice flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, potato four, xanthan gum, pectin (lemon derivative)
Doves Farm,
Gluten & Wheat Free Self Raising White Flour
167 5.89 152 5.36 flour blend (rice, potato, tapioca, maize, buckwheat), raising agents (mono calcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate), xanthan gum
Bob’s Red Mill,
All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour
162 5.71 136 4.80 garbanzo flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, and fava flour
Gluten Free Pantry,
All-Purpose Flour
167 5.89 156 5.50 White rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, guar gum, salt
Jules Gluten Free,
All-Purpose Flour
140 4.94 129 4.55 Expandex Modified Tapioca Starch, potato starch corn starch, corn flour, white rice flour, xanthan gum
King Arthur Flour,
Multipurpose Flour, Gluten Free
194 6.84 163 5.75 white rice and whole-grain (brown) rice flours, tapioca starch, and potato starch
Kinnikinnick Foods,
Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Mix
172 6.07 163 5.75 White Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Tapioca Starch, Guar Gum, Sodium Carboxy Methylcellulose
Pamela’s Products,
Baking + Pancake Mix
143 5.04 118 4.16 Brown Rice Flour, White Rice Flour, Cultured Buttermilk, Natural Almond Meal (may appear as brown flecks), Tapioca Starch, Sweet Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Grainless & Aluminum Free Baking Powder (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Potato Starch), Baking Soda, Sea Salt, Xanthan Gum
Thomas Keller’s
Cup for Cup, C4C
,
Gluten free Flour
152 5.36 137 4.83 Cornstarch, White Rice Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Milk Powder, Tapioca Flour, Potato Starch, Xanthan Gum
Zest Bakery,
Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend
155 5.47 135 4.76 Organic Brown Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Organic Tapioca Starch, Xanthan Gum

 

FLOUR ONE VOLUME CUP CHARACTERISTICS
DIPPED SPOONED
grams ounces grams ounces
Almond Meal/Flour,
Bob’s Red Mill
114 4.02 93 3.28 Ground blanched almond nuts; low carbohydrate, high protein & fiber; adds a moist, gritty texture & nutty flavor; used in quick breads and some cookies
Coconut Flour,
Bob’s Red Mill
135 4.76 106 3.74 Milled defatted coconut meat; low carbohydrate, high fiber, good protein source; strong sweet coconut flavor, creates a dry crumb requiring increased liquids and other flours to balance; used sparingly in cookies, cakes, & quick breads
Corn Starch,
Bob’s Red Mill
139 4.90 123 4.34 Powdered corn kernel extract; flavorless thickener except with acidic liquids (best with dairy), lightens texture (cake flour), high carbohydrate, low gloss, breaks down at high heat & separates if frozen; used in everything
Millet Flour,
Bob’s Red Mill
140 4.94 133 4.69 Milled millet grass seeds; neutral slightly nutty flavor, starchy flour high in vitamins and minerals, creates a dry crumb requiring other flours to balance, increases crust crunchiness, slightly sweet & needs less sugar; great for pancakes and tortillas
Gluten Free Oat Flour,
Bob’s Red Mill
120 4.23 98 3.46 Milled whole grain oats; rich nutty flavor, high protein & fibre, low carbohydrate, creates a dry crumb requiring other flours to balance, most sources cross contaminated only use certified gluten-free; used in anything
Peanut Flour,
Southern Grace Farms
132 4.66 105 3.70 Ground defatted roasted peanuts; strong all round thickener, strong peanut flavor, high protein & fibre, creates a dry crumb requiring increased liquids or eggs and other flours to balance; used in cakes, cookies & breads
Potato Flour,
Bob’s Red Mill
199 7.02 176 6.21 Ground dried cooked potatoes; not potato starch, strong potato flavor, high carbohydrate, high vitamins & minerals, creates a dense moist crumb, too much makes things gummy; used in breads
Potato Starch,
Bob’s Red Mill
168 5.93 153 5.40 Powdered raw potato extract; not potato flour, flavorless thickener except with dairy, lightens texture (cake flour), high carbohydrate, tolerates moderate heat & separates if frozen; used in anything
Gf Sweet White Sorghum Flour,
Bob’s Red Mill
135 4.76 115 4.06 Milled whole sorghum grass seeds; fairly neutral slightly sweet flavor, absorbs other flavors, high protein & fiber, high in iron, slightly sweet & needs less sugar, slightly drier texture requiring extra fats & eggs, may require additional leavening; used in GF beer, breads, and general baking
Superfine brown rice flour,
Authentic Foods
143 5.04 125 4.41 Milled whole (with bran) medium grain rice; mildly sweet nutty flavor, high protein & fiber, high carbohydrate, non-gritty crumb; used in everything
White Rice Flour, Superfine,
Authentic Foods
171 6.03 138 4.87 Milled medium grain white rice; mildly sweet neutral flavor, high carbohydrate, non-gritty crumb, adds snap to crispy baked goods; used in everything
Sweet Rice Flour,
Authentic Foods
163 5.75 140 4.94 Milled short grain sticky rice; mild milky flavor, excellent thickener (gelatinous quality), high carbohydrate, non-gritty crumb, adds a soft chew to goods; used in chewier baked goods, great in desserts
Tapioca Starch,
Bob’s Red Mill
136 4.80 123 4.34 Powdered cassava root extract; can have slightly metallic but usually flavorless thickener good with dairy and acidic liquids, chewier than other starches & lightens texture (cake flour), high carbohydrate, high gloss, tolerates high heat & freezes well; used in anything, especially pies
Tapioca Starch,
Authentic Foods
134 4.73 128 4.51 Powdered cassava root extract; flavorless thickener good with dairy and acidic liquids, chewier than other starches & lightens texture (cake flour), high carbohydrate, high gloss, tolerates high heat & freezes well; used in anything, especially pies
Teff Flour,
Bob’s Red Mill
167 5.89 150 5.29 Milled whole teff grass seeds; sweet malty flavor, high protein, neutral crumbly texture, may require extra liquids, used in small amounts in breads