All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix Recipe

This is the first post that I wrote for this blog and it was time for an update. I’ve added the weights of the flours and changed a few of the alternative ingredients to reflect the flours I use now. Even six years later, this flour mix is still my first choice when I’m converting a recipe to gluten-free status. ~Mary Frances 3/20/13

My homemade gluten free all-purpose flour mix is the gluten free item for which I most often reach. After almost ten years of cooking gluten free, I am amazed at how well this mix works in so many different recipes.

When I make gluten free biscuits with this mix, they taste like biscuits. When I make gluten free pancakes, they taste like pancakes. I’ve even made onion rings with this! I know I’m a geek, but this really is exciting!

When I first started cooking gluten free foods, I bought a basic gluten free cookbook and rushed home to bake some goodies for my husband. I eagerly flipped to the section on flour blends and was incredibly disappointed to find that I did not have any of the ingredients on hand, and had no idea where to buy them.

You’ve probably had the same experience!

Eventually I developed my own gluten free flour mixthat uses gluten free flours that are relatively inexpensive and widely available in grocery stores. That’s the recipe that you’ll find below. Many of the baking recipes on the blog (and in my cooking classes) utilize this gluten free flour mix.

Gluten Free Cooking School’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Mix

210 g (approx. 1.5 cups) brown rice flour
195 g (approx. 1.5 cups) corn starch or tapioca flour
110 g (approx. 1 cup) sorghum flour or garfava flour
55 g (approx. 1/2 cup) masa harina

I’ve added links to the recipe so that you can see what options are available and purchase the ingredients online if you cannot find them locally.

The brands that I use are Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flour, sorghum flour, garfava flour; Argo cornstarch; Maseca masa harina, and Bob’s Red Mill or EnerG tapioca starch.

Tips for Measuring Gluten Free Flour

This recipe has been on the blog for years, and it was originally given as a volumetric ratio of 3:3:2:1. That is, I would use 3 cups brown rice flour, 3 cups corn starch, 2 cups sorghum flour and 1 cup masa harina. Or if I wanted a small batch of flour, then I would grab a 1/4 cup measure and use 3/4 cup each of brown rice flour and corn starch, 1/2 cup sorghum flour, and 1/4 c. masa harina.

While you’re still welcome to follow that ratio, I have since begun measuring by weight instead of volume. Weight measurments are much more accurate for flours, and if I measure by weight and you measure by weight, then we’re much more likely to get the same results with my recipes. That’s a good thing!

The only disadvantage to weighing this flour mix is that the weights are not easy to remember. Make life easy on yourself and jot down the weights on a piece of paper and tape it to the inside of a drawer or cabinet in the part of the kitchen where you do your baking.

Instructions for Mixing and Storing Gluten Free Flour Mixes

Combine all the flours in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. If you’re new to mixing flours, the goal here is to not see any clumps or streaks of indiviual flours. By the time you’re done it should be one homogeneous bowl of flour. Transfer the flour to a canister or other air-tight storage container and you’re done!

Since I use this mix so often, I usually make up a very large batch and store it in a large canister so that it’s ready whenever I decide to bake. I do keep my flour canister on the counter, but I go through it pretty quickly. If you don’t bake often, then you may have better luck storing the flour in a freezer bag in the freezer, so that the flours do not become rancid.


Comments

  1. Can I use this flour mix for everything? (cakes, pie crust, etc…?) I told you I’m new at this. ;)

  2. JoAnna,
    I actually haven’t made any cakes or pie crust since we started a gluten free diet. I’m pretty sure that it will work for cakes, given how it’s turned out on the biscuits and pancakes. I’m less certain about the pie crust, since gluten free doughs are very sticky and don’t have much stretch. Which would you rather me experiment with first, cakes or pie crusts?

    Mary Frances

  3. I don’t know! I guess pie crust. That would be a more universally used thing to know. Thing is, I am gluten-free… but I am putting my whole family on the same diet (once they eat through the remaining glutenous things in the house). I am married and have two kiddos, 2 1/2 & almost 4. Hubby doesn’t mind the diet as long as it tastes good and the kids can have all the ‘normal’ stuff. They are all joining me because gluten is thought to bring on auto-immune disorders and my family is full of them…. not to mention, my husband has serious digestive issues that I link to gluten intolerance.

    You are so brave to experiment even for others! What desserts have you been eating all this time?

  4. I don’t know if anyone has used coconut flour, but it is wonderful to make cupcakes with. For quite some time I couldn’t find it in the stores; I ordered it online from Bob’s, but recently I noticed in the local health food store. The cupcakes are actually springy, moist, and taste the closest to the real thing that I’ve ever had. Coconut flour also has an extremely high fiber content (even higher than beans I think) so it is good for you and has very low carbohydrates.

  5. Lori,
    I’ve never used coconut flour. Is that the only flour that you use in your cupcakes or is it a part of a mix? And where do you get it? I’m intrigued!
    Mary Frances

  6. Melanie Fisher says:

    Hi everyone, I make chocolate chip cookies with coconut flour and they are delicious, I also made the chocolate cake recipe on http://www.simplycoconut.com and it is also quite delicious! Now I am tempting to make pie crust! Share any recipies if you will!

  7. Hi,
    If I cannot get hold of masa harina, can I substitute it with anything else?
    I’m from Singapore, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen masa harina in our supermarkets.

  8. Hi Yeo Mun,
    Thanks for your questions. Masa Harina is a corn flour, so another type of corn flour would work. You might also try using tapioca flour, if you can get that. Masa harina is similar to rice flour in texture, but it is very absorbent. You may have flours in Singapore that we do not have in the US that might be a better substitute than what I’ve suggested. If you can’t think of anyting, you can always just increase the brown rice flour and corn starch by 1/2 measure.

  9. I was going to e-mail this to you but I couldn’t find your e-mail. I noticed that you wrote on SusanV’s FatFreeVegan persimmon bread that it should be pretty easy to convert to be gf. I would really like to know what your recommendations would be. If you could post or e-mail me, I would really appreciate it. Happy December!

  10. Hi ~M,
    Thanks for the question! I would substitute an equal amount of my Gluten Free Flour Mix for the 2 c. of whole wheat flour in Susan’s recipe. I would also add 2 tsp. of xanthan gum to the dry ingredients. I haven’t tried the recipe yet as I am quite lacking in persimmons, but I’d love to know how it turns out if you make it.

  11. could you explain what it is about the soy flour that does so well in your mix? we have soy sensitivities…what would go well with the brown rice and corn as a substitute for the soy? lots of mixes have the bean flours these days, but i think the taste is too strong for baking.

  12. Melissa, I started using soy flour because it has a high fiber, iron, and calcium content compared to other flours. For me, the high fiber was a big plus because I was used to getting tons of fiber from whole wheat cereals and bread. Now that we are vegetarian as well, I like that we’re getting as much iron and calcium in our bread as possible.

    However, since you can’t do soy flour I would try using sorghum flour. It has about the same consistency as soy and is commonly used in gluten free flour mixes. I have a bag in the pantry that I’ve been meaning to experiment with, so I’ll try to use that the next time I make bread and see how it turns out.

    And by the way, I completely agree about most bean flours. I cannot stand the taste of any mix that has garbanzo or fava flour in it. Yuck!

  13. I can’t wait for you to try the alternative to Soy flour. We are soy sensative also. I will be waiting to see your results!

  14. Dusty,
    i LOVE sorghum flour, it is VERY similar to wheat flour in my opinion and I use it in my flour mixes. I hope you can use it and that you will like it!

    mary frances,
    I’ve always been intrigued by your flour mixture because I don’t like the taste of masa harina or soy flour in baked goods. I don’t know why and I wish I weren’t so sensative because both are so commonly available! I threw out my last loaf of break (very unfrugal of me… but I knew we wouldn’t eat it!) Because I used corn and soy flour in it and I just didn’t like it at all. I wish there was something you could do to mask the “beany” taste. Any ideas?? Most of my breads use sorghum and brown rice as the base, but I wish I could use something else that was a whole grain and not as hurtful to blood sugar levels!

  15. Dusti and Melissa, I substituted the sorghum flour for the soybean flour in this recipe and it worked beautifully. It rose wonderfully, had a lighter crust, and somewhat more of a sourdough tasted (to me at least). So go forth and use sorghum. I’m going to make up a flour mix this week with the sorghum and try it in a few other recipes to see how it does as an all-purpose mix.

    Carrie, I think God must have given us a great variety of taste buds. I can’t taste the soy or masa harina at all, which is why I use my flour mix for almost everything. Even my in-laws, who don’t eat gluten free, say that they can’t tell that I’ve used non-wheat flours when I make pancakes for all of this.

    But I know how you feel. I once through out an entire batch of Bob’s Red Mill Cookies because I couldn’t stand the taste of the garbanzo flour in it. I’ve also never really loved his bread mixes either, for the same reason. I guess it’s just another one of those things that we all have to figure out for ourselves =)

  16. Kathleen Whitney says:

    Hi:
    I’ve been having great luck recently with all the Betty Hagman baking powder recipes but the ones she offers for bread don’t work for my GF-sensitive husband. He can’t stand the strong taste of the yeast (talk about taste-bud sensitivities). There is no problem with them otherwise, they rise etc. I can taste the excessive yeast too. If there any way around this; less yeast, a combo of backing powder and yeast?

  17. Hi,
    I’d like to try your all-purpose flour mix, but we have sensitivities to soy and corn in my family. (Not to mention dairy). I saw the posting about substituting sorghum flour for soy. What could I use in place of the corn flour? I’ve read that millet flour is similar in texture to corn flour. Also, would potato starch work for the corn starch?
    I’m new to the gluten-free world and could use all the help I can get.
    Thanks.

  18. That’s a tough one! I wonder how little yeast you would have to use so that he wouldn’t taste it? I’ve never seen a recipe that combined yeast and baking powder, but it’s worth a shot. I’m going to see if I can get Sea over at Book of Yum to weigh in on this one. I know that she uses Betty Hagman recipes. For any other Hagman fans out there, what do you think?

  19. Karen,
    I adapted my recipe from the one in Carol Fenster’s book “Gluten Free 101″ . So I looked at that recipe again tonight, and it suggests almond flour as a substitute for the corn flour and even suggest that you can grind your own flour from slivered almonds using a coffee grinder. I also looked at what she had to say about millet flour and I think that would work as well.

    For the corn starch, you can substitute potato starch or tapioca starch (flour).

    By the way, the mix in Gluten Free 101 looks like it would be perfect for your family, so you might just want to try to get your hands on a copy of that. It was the first and only GF cookbook that I purchased and we’ve enjoyed several of the recipes.

  20. Hi Kathleen! Hmmm… interesting about the yeast sensitivity. I wonder if he could have some mild yeast intolerance that makes it taste bad to him. With the yeast recipes, you could try making the largest possible loaf. At least in “The Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread” she keeps the yeast at the same amount regardless of size of loaf, so presumably more flour would dilute the flavor and you’d still have a high rising loaf. I also noticed that the sourdough breads rise more and use less yeast granules, so you could try that (even decreasing the amount of yeast) and see how he feels about it. Your DH may not care for the taste of the sourdough, though. She also has a chapter in the same book of yeast free breads, so you could try those as your main staples. I imagine that baking powder and yeast might be able to be combined together with good results, but I haven’t experimented with that myself. You might also try switching yeast brands, or try using flatbreads (socca, corn tortilla, chebe), pancakes, or muffins as your main household bread. Good luck! Have you tried the gluten free bread mixes, like Bob’s Red Mill or Gluten Free Pantry? I wonder if they might be more to his taste…

    -Sea
    Come visit me at the Book of Yum!

  21. Thanks Sea!

  22. Someone mentioned almond flour as a substitute for corn flour. We put this in our pancakes and they are delicious. You can probably do the same thing with other nuts. I’ve tried store-bought gf bread that had pecan flour. Yummy. ;)

  23. Candi,
    Thanks for letting us know that it works!

  24. Thank you for all these posts. We have to avoid gluten, egg, soy, all nuts and a lot of corn, so I’m hoping this will work:

    3 parts brown rice flour
    3 parts tapioca starch or potato starch
    2 parts sorghum flour
    1 part millet flour

    If you think something else would work better could you post it? I tried to glean this from all the comments! I’m hoping to avoid an all out gluten sensitivity with my dd who is allergic to the top 8 except for wheat and dairy (but something’s been giving her stomach aches so off the gluten and low on the dairy for a while as she takes Glutamine and digestive enzymes). Thanks for this site. It’s been really great.

  25. Psalm 40, that mix looks like it should work. Let us know how it goes, and I hope your dd starts to feel better soon.

  26. tickledr says:

    I have thoroughly enjoyed the discussions on the various grains from all of you. I am not only dairy, soy, gluten intolerant, I am also extremely sensitive to using “regular sugar” and all synthetic sugars (aspartame and splenda – yuck!), I am also a naturopath who specialized in treating people with GI disorders. I never thought of replacing soy with sorghum, or corn flour with almond flour. Has anyone tried using arrowroot in place of cornstarch? What about using agave nectar and stevia in place of traditional sugars?

  27. Francine says:

    I use arrowroot in place of cornstarch for pretty much everything. We have a lot of food sensitivities and I am trying to keep things as “mixed up” as possible so more sensitivities don’t crop up. Use equal amount arrowroot for cornstarch.

  28. I just mixed up a batch of the “Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Mix” to give gluten free baking a try. My son was diagnosed recently with autism, he is 3, and we’re putting the whole family on the diet, because he doesn’t understand why other people get things when he doesn’t. His little brother is actually allergic to eggs and milk, so the same is going for that as well. I’m thankful for your kitchen experimentation, I have a -very- picky husband. Here’s hoping we get some great bread :)

  29. tickledr says:

    Stacy – for your sons autism, you might find a homeopathic remedy that pulls out the toxins from the vaccinations he has had. I have found it helps tremendously.

  30. tickledr-do you have any suggestions of specific homeopathic remedies/brands that would help remove toxins from vaccinations?

  31. tickledr says:

    Debbie-there are actually homeopathic remedies available that are specifically formulated to pull out toxins left behind from childhood vaccines and immunizations. Find a naturopathic physician and talk to her/him about it.

  32. mmmomof4 says:

    I’m allergic to soy and all nuts. Do you recommend any substitutions in the gf flour blend?

  33. I tried to make yeast bread with a mixture of buckwheat and brown rice flours and it did not rise. Is there something else I need to make this work? I am new to needing to be completely GF. Thanks for your help. I would just love to be able to still eat good bread.

  34. Hi Karen, Did you use any xanthan gum in your recipe? It gives the dough the structure it needs to hold the air bubbles from the yeast and rise. That being said, gluten free bread doesn’t nearly as well as wheat breads, and I think we all eventually get used to having smaller sandwiches. I have a bread recipe that uses buckwheat and brown rice flour, if you’d like to compare it to the recipe that you used. I don’t make it that often…the standard bread around here is “Finally, Really Good Sandwich Bread”. You can find both of the recipes under “Bread” in the recipe index. Hope this helps. Feel free to keep asking questions =)

  35. Gretchen says:

    Hi there. I’m new to this blog and also pretty new to the gluten free world (just the past month). To complicate matters, I am a full time rver (we live in a 31′ 5th wheel full time and travel the country – currently touring Alaska for the summer (2008). Anyway, I like the looks of your flour mixture in that those are items you can find in any grocery store; but I have a couple of questions. 1) Do I have to store it in the refrigerator once I make up a large batch? I have limited space, so if I don’t have to that would be great. 2) I’ve read that when using non wheat flour mixtures you have to increase the leavening agents. Is this correct with your flour mixture?

  36. Gretchen, if you’ll be using the flour mix up quickly you don’t have to store it. I never do. Also, I usually use the normal amounts of leavening agents when I’m converting recipes. If it doesn’t rise enough, then I increase on the next try. I figure that swapping the flours around is enough of an experiment for the first batch.

  37. I happen to love garbanzo flour… I’ve just mixed up two all purpose concoctions. I’ll let you know how they do…
    2 parts brn rice
    2 parts garbanzo
    2 parts arrowroot
    1 part coconut flour (very expensive!)
    and
    2 parts amaranth
    2 parts garbanzo
    2 parts arrowroot
    1 part coconut

  38. Hi,
    I am VERY new to all this. But am wondering if this flour mix would work well with the majority of traditional recipes for baking? (ie: traditional cookies, cakes recipes, etc) I am/used to be a novice baker and was hoping someday to share that love of baking with my child. Probably the biggest loss to date was the realization that I might be able to share that with him. A GF all-purpose flour might just be the key….
    I do realize that I will have to experiment, but would love to be able to come up with great treats for the family made with love….

  39. @Laura: Hi Laura, this recipe is very good for pancakes, muffins, yeast breads and sweet breads. Ihave to confess that I don’t make cookies that often, but I do use this mix for sugar cookies at Christmas. For cakes I use a mix that is 1/3 brown rice flour, 1/3 sorghum flour, and 1/3 corn starch.

    I’m so glad you stopped by and commented. When gluten free cooking is new it can be very overwhelming and you definitely can get lots of encouragement from the gluten free blogging community. Since you love baking, I’m sure that you’ll soon discover that you can bake really great foods even on a gluten free diet (much better than anything in the stores).And my two year old son loves to help me mix up the dough and batter for bread and muffins. He even has his own rolling pin so that he can roll out his own pizzas with me.

  40. Stephanie says:

    I’m loving your blog & the comments!
    I’m a bean-fan :) I love them! Enough that I made Socca (the Italian chick-pea pancakey thing that we kinda make like pizza) and liked it. BUT, first time I made it with garfava flour. I enjoyed it okay, but there was definitely a really beaney taste in the back/roof of my mouth from it. Next time I was at an Indian market, I bought gram flour–just chickpeas. Much Much improved, in my opinion.

    One other discovery at the Indian market: Dosa batter. At $3.99 for a nice-sized container, I could make Dosa for the family and it turned out to make AMAZING onion rings!

  41. Hi,
    I had a question about the flour mix. Can you substitute another flour for the soy flour, if necessary?
    Thanks so much for all the information…this site is such a blessing!

  42. @Beth: You sure can! Try garfava or sorghum flour instead.

  43. Hi,

    I have a recipe that calls for all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour. I’ve found a good substitution for the all-purpose portion, but can’t seem to figure out what a good substitution for the whole wheat flour might be (using an all-purpose GF flour for both flours does not give the finished flavor I like). I definately want to try to keep the whole wheat flavor as much as possible, as it makes quite a bit of difference in this recipe. I’ve heard substituting buckwheat flour or teff (one-to-one for the whole wheat) doesn’t work well, but don’t know what combination of flours/starches/gums would be best. This is for a scone recipe (in case that makes a difference). Thanks so very much!

  44. We have been GF for about a year now. I love to bake and have experimented with a lot of things. What I’ve found to make the best “goodies” is white rice flour from the Asian Market – no substitution!! There is nothing like it! I use it to make my GF flour (1part tapioca flour, 2 parts potato starch, 3 parts rice flour). I have taken all of our old favorites, (cookies, including snickerdoodles and christmas cut out cookies- which I missed the most the first year – banana bread, cakes….you name it! I make it and you can’t tell that its gf!! No grainy feel at all!! I use it pretty much cup for cup but in cookies I add a little more to make the cookies stand up better! and of course you need xanthan gum (about 1 tsp for every 2 cups). Now we probably eat too many goodies again!! I’m actually starting to gain weight!

  45. Hi there,

    I’m so glad I found this site (well, that my brother did). It’s nice to see so many enthusiastic bakers. There is always an element of trial and error in cooking, and a community like this will always get over the error part a lot quicker than each of us working in isolation.

    I have a specific question: the recipe here calls for brown rice flour. Do you think it would be an error to substitute this for rice flour (that isn’t brown)? I am aware that brown rice noodles, for example, have a different texture than ordinary rice noodles, so I imagine there will be some difference. I have found a supplier of rice flour, but not brown rice flour yet (I’ve only been looking for a short while, though, so in time I’m sure I will find the brown variety).

  46. Up near the top of this post, there was a question about substituting Stevia or Agave nectar for sugar. I have been put on a gf diet as well as many other restrictions (dairy, included), and cannot have any “regular” sugar and I have been wondering the same thing, especially with yeast breads. Sugar is what yeast eats when you proof it, so would agave or stevia have the same effect? Any of your infinite wisdom will be greatly appreciated by this newbie. :)

  47. Me again… :) I am having a VERY difficult finding extra fine brown rice flour anywhere near where I live. Is it regular brown rice flour that is used in your mixture or do I need the extra fine? I was assured that the flour I bought this morning at a grain processing mill in Toronto, is “fairly fine”, but I haven’t used it yet.

    Again, any advice is appreciated. *smile…*

    Diana

  48. @Diana: I have only used the Bob’s Red Mill brand. I just poured some of mine into my hand and you can see very small individual pieces of flour, but when I rub it between my fingers the word “grainy” does not come to mind. It doesn’t even feel like very fine sandpaper. Maybe that will help? Or you may have to try cooking with it and if you note a grainy mouth feel you’ll know to try another brand next time.

  49. @Diana: I think agave nectar would be fine.

  50. This has been a good read. I want to eliminate wheat and corn starch from my diet as recommended by Dr William Davis. I have no idea if other products cause the detrimental effects on cardiovascular health as highlighted in Dr Davis’ site, but until the science is done, I will assume brown rice, soy, potato and Teft (Ethiopian grain) are ok subs. With the information from this site (eggs/xanthate gum/cider vinegar), I hope to have better success with my bread rather than continuing to make a series of adobe bricks
    thanks for the info.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I mix up a big batch of this flour mix (usually 9 cups) every couple of weeks and store it in a air-tight container. Whenever I want to make a loaf of bread, biscuits, or pancakes I use my flour mix instead of having to measure out 3 or 4 different kinds of flours. If this sounds like something that would work for you, and you’re not allergic to soy or corn, then you can find the original recipe here. [...]

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  5. [...] mix up a big bowl of the main flours in your recipe. I used my “Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Mix” because I wanted to make “Finally, Really Good Sandwich Bread”.  Since I use my [...]

  6. [...] Ingredients 2 2/3 c. “Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Mix Recipe“ 2 Tbsp. sugar 2 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. ginger 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. [...]

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