Anyone can be "the family chef". You just need good recipes and techniques! Chef Amy Fothergill shares her best recipes with you for quick and easy dishes with an emphasis on gluten-free.

Get information here about her cookbook, The Warm Kitchen: Gluten-Free Recipes Anyone Can Make and Everyone Will Love.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Amy's Gluten-free flour blend



When I started my adventure in gluten-free baking, one thing that stressed me out was the amount of flours in a recipe. It was so off-putting, sometimes I did not want to bake. I was soon rescued by a friend, Amy Andrews of Amy's Food Room, who gave me her recipe for a flour blend that she had created. Over the years, I changed it to what you see below. I am very grateful to her for getting me started on the road to successful gluten-free baking.

One of the differentiators of my recipes from others you may see is the concept of using one blend for almost everything. This flour blend can be your new best friend. I mix between 6 and 9 cups at a time (1 to 1.5 times the recipe below). I use it for bread, waffles, pancakes, cupcakes, cookies, etc. with few exceptions. I almost always use it in other people's recipes.

One thing that I noticed with many recipes and pre-mixed flour blends was that these have a lot of “white” flour, for example white rice, potato and tapioca starch. My blend still has more nutritional value with the brown rice and millet; it's 2/3 whole grain. The upside is that it is light enough to create a baked good with excellent texture.

Another distinction from other flour blends is that I do not add xanthan gum to my mix for three reasons. I find that for most cakes, you only need 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum for every 2 cups of flour but for cookies, you need more like 1 teaspoon for every 2 cups of flour. So it's better to mix according to the recipe. Another reason is that the xanthan gum, which lasts over a year, should be refrigerated. I don't refrigerate my flour mix for reasons of space and finding it is not necessary. Lastly, if I'm only mixing a small amount of xanthan gum with a large amount of flour, I would worry it would not get properly distributed. These are my views. If you are worried about the cost and not using it in a year, find a friend to split the bag. So, this is the secret to my success. I hope it helps.

Mix together and keep in an air tight container:
3 cups brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour or starch
1 cup potato starch (not flour)
1 cup millet flour

Here's to happy baking. Let me know if you like it.

Tip: When you measure the flour into the large container, it's ok to put in a little more or less of a flour. I have found it's ok to estimate. However, when you measure flour for a recipe, fill the cup with about half of the flour then scoop flour on top, enough so that it is heaping. Use a flat edged knife to level the cup to measure exactly.

9 comments:

Verena said...

This is cool!

sally said...

Amy -- if a non-gluten free recipe calls for 2 cups flour, can I just substitute your blend alone or do i need to add Xanthan gum? New to this.....Thanks! Sally

The Family Chef said...

Sally, for baking, you absolutely need the gum. Follow the instructions for how much gum to use depending upon what you are making.

You can omit the gum for things like waffles, crisp toppings, and batters (think fried zucchini). Pancakes are better with gum but you make them without.

Hope this helps!

The Family Chef said...

ps..the recipe will differ for pizza and bread. What are you making?

sally said...

Well, it was a general question..but now I get it! Need to follow gluten-free specific recipes! But, more immediate is the need to make our son's birthday cake!

Fee said...

Hi there!
Are you able to tell me how the recipe differs for pizza and bread as that is what I need to make? Thank you! ��

The Family Chef said...

For gluten-free bread and pizza, you need to use vinegar to help make the yeast a bit more active as well as to add taste and texture. I always add egg (or an egg substitute) to bread dough and sometimes to pizza. I promise all of the details will be in my upcoming book! Stay tuned at www.thewarmkitchen.com . Thanks.

Fee said...

Ahhh so I could apple cider vinegar to help it rise...approximately how much to one cup of flour?

The Family Chef said...

For about every 3 cups of flour, I use a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.