It's all in the mixture!
Successful gluten-free baking and cooking starts with the right flour mixture. Gluten-free flour is not the same as "flour." Most people think of "flour" as the all-purpose flour that you pick up at the grocery store. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, you scoop usually scoop it out of the bag and then you have your flour for the recipe. Well gluten-free baking requires more than just "flour."
Have you heard gluten-free can be gritty or have no flavor or is plain "yucky?" That is usually because someone tried to bake with one gluten-free flour, usually just rice flour. Many companies are making gluten-free all-purpose flour and pre-mixes. These can be very expensive and have flours in it that you may not want. Some have bean flours in them, which upsets many people's stomachs. You can make your own and make it for a lot cheaper.
To make a good tasting all-purpose gluten-free flour you need several different flours that you may not know even existed until you started your gluten-free journey. I am going to share with you the gluten-free flour mixture recipe that we successfully use to bake with everyday. When you make this mixture you can store it in an air-tight container in your cabinet. Since we used to use a lot of flour to run our bake shop, we purchased a food-grade 20-gallon storage bucket with a lid. You don't need such a big container. Something like the picture below will work fine. It doesn't need to be stored in the refrigerator.
We use this flour mix 1:1 in any recipe we make; except for bread. 1:1 meaning if you have a well-loved regular wheat flour based recipe, you will replace this flour with the exact same amount of flour that the recipe calls for.This recipe is very simple.
Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
3- (24oz) bag Bob's Red Mill Brown Rice Flour
1- (24oz) bag Bob's Red Mill Potato Starch (NOT potato flour)
1/2-(20oz) bag Bob's Red Mill Tapioca Flour (NOT tapioca starch)
1 tbsp. xanthan gum
6- (24oz) bags Bob's Red Mill Brown Rice flour
2-(24oz) bag Bob's Red Mill Potato Starch (NOT potato flour)
1-(20oz) bag Bob's Red Mill Tapioca Flour (NOT tapioca starch)
2 tbsp. Bob's Red Mill xanthan gum
Mix together in the container. Store in air-tight container. (We do store the extra xanthan gum in the fridge in a plastic ziploc bag.)
We have always used Bob's Red Mill flours. I can not speak for other brands of these same flours. We know that these flours work and that no one has reactions to them, so we have always stuck with them. You can buy them at most local grocery stores these days. You can even order them online. If you plan on using this flour a lot, you can ask a local health food store to order you these flours in bulk. But for the average amount of cooking and baking, the single recipe is usually good enough. We have a family of 9, so we usually make the double recipe.
SOME recipes we bake, call for a little extra xanthan gum to make the baked goods not crumble. Since there is no gluten to hold things together, the xanthan gum is the binder. Some recipes need a little extra binder.