Gluten Free, Soy Free All Purpose Flour Mix

Sometime in my early days of gluten free baking I learned the following:

Truth #1: Gluten free baking takes longer than non-gluten free baking.

Truth #2: I still have only 24 hours per day.

Conclusion: If I’m ever going to get around to cleaning the kitchen or folding laundry, I need to reduce the amount of time allocated to gluten free baking.

I will admit that there is some hyperbole in that, but if you’ve ever had a similar thought, then gluten free flour mixes are for you.

If you’d like to learn more about why you have to use so many different flours together, what the flours do, and which gluten free flour mix is best for you, make sure to read my ebook, The Gluten Free Survival Guide. Several chapters are devoted to gluten free cooking, and you’ll get all of your questions answered there.

Gluten Free Flour Mix

Flour Mix Options:
Store-bought gluten free bread mixes are the easiest. You just dump the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients into a bread machine and flip on the switch. If you’re like me though, you’ll run out of bread mix at the most opportune time and with gas for our car at $3.25 a gallon, I can’t justify running to the store for one bag of mix.

I’ve found that homemade flour mixes work the best for me. Years ago I made-up a recipe for an all-purpose gluten free flour mix that contains brown rice flour, cornstarch, soy flour, and masa harina. Both John and I like the taste and 3 of the ingredients are available locally at very inexpensive prices.

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 be sure to give it a try.

A New Flour Mix Recipe
Over the past few weeks, several of you have written to ask whether there is another ingredient that you can use instead of the soy flour. Soy is one of the 9 most common allergens and many of us that have issues with gluten also have issues with soy. Sorghum flour is used in many gluten free bread, so I’ve hesitantly suggested that to many of you.

Hesitantly, because I hadn’t tried it myself. I don’t like suggesting things that I haven’t tried myself, so I ordered sorghum flour from Bob’s Red Mill and made up a batch of flour mix. Thus far we have made sandwich bread, biscuits, and pancakes and all of them have turned out exceptionally well. I’m all out of sorghum flour now, so I’m going to give you the recipe and let you try out it too.

How to Use an All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix
Just in case you’re new to this type of experiment, here are a few guidelines.

1. If you have a gluten free recipe that lists several types of flour, sum the amounts of each flours and substitute an equal amount of flour mix.

2. Check the recipe that you’re altering and make sure the ratio of flour:starch is about the same as in your flour mix. For instance the flour to starch ratio in my mixes is somewhere between 5:4 and 6:3. (The masa harina acts somewhat similarly to a starch – it absorbs a lot of water). If the recipe that you’re converting has a 3:4 flour to starch ratio, then the recipe author has added additional starch to “lighten” the recipe. If you are confident in your math abilities, then you can probably figure out how much additional starch to add. Otherwise, find another recipe for this type of experiment.

All-Purpose Gluten Free, Soy Free Flour Mix

3 parts brown rice flour
3 parts cornstarch
2 parts sorghum flour
1 part masa harina or corn flour

1. Depending on how much mix you want to make, choose a measuring cup. If you want 9 cups of mix, use a 1 c. measure. If you just need a tad, you can use a 1/8 tsp. measure =)

2. Whichever measure you choose is now a “part”. Scoop out the appropriate amounts of each flour and pour into a large mixing bowl.

3. Sift/whisk/stir the flours until they are extremely well combined. No streaks of corn starch allowed.

4. Store in an air-tight container in your pantry, refrigerator, or freezer depending on how long you think it will take you to use all of the mix. The colder the storage area, the longer the shelf life of the flours.

Comments

  1. I’d love to hear how your recipes turn out with this mix. Please leave a comment and let me know =)

  2. I LOVE sorghum! I use in it nearly EVERYTHING I bake!! I still have to get used to the masa harina though, It makes everything taste like an enchilada to me! ;-) I like regular corn flour a lot! my basic mix is 1 pt. brown rice, 1 pt. sorghum, and 1 part tapioca… although this month I’m going to try to use soy in place of the tapioca since it’s a healthier flour! Nice post about mixes!!

    I also like to make several homemade GF mixes for bread at a time so that I can simply throw in the bread machine when I need it!

  3. Carrie, where do you get the regular corn flour? I guess I could grind some cornmeal through a coffee grinder and make my own. You’re right about the masa harina, though. It does have that tamale/enchilada flavor to it. I can’t taste the masa harina at the ratio that I use, but I did add more once when I was short on another flour and the taste was definitely there. And I had to add extra liquids because that stuff really soaks it up.

    I need to get back in the habit of pre-making my bread mix too. I did a lot of that in preparation for David being born so that anyone could make the bread. But somehow I stopped doing that, even though it made so much sense.

  4. thanks for the new mix! i use sorghum a lot and am lucky to live in walking distance of Whole Foods. this is a good reminder that I need to make up my own mix as I get into a baking rhythm. I haven’t found it yet, but i hope to. I’ll probably use tapioca flour in it, mostly because i’m such a big fan of yucca that I think cooking with a flour from it is cool.

  5. okay I’m looking to make a great sandwich bread in my bread maker & your gluten, casein and soy free is a start…but we can’t use corn either HELP!

  6. Hi Merrit, Can you use tapioca starch? Or Potato starch? Any of these starchy “flours” should work well in the mix. I’ve used the tapicoa starch and could not discern any differences in the baked goods I made with that batch of the mix versus ones that contained corn starch.

  7. Although I already have a couple of flour mixes that I keep on hand, this one looks good. I’ll give it a try the next time I need to mix up a new batch. I definitely like using sorghum.

  8. # out of the four ingredients I can’t any suggestions for subs for sorghum. I already use tapioca and arrowroot for the others

  9. @Angel: You might try millet flour or any lightly flavored bean flour.

  10. I can’t find masa harina or corn flour that states that it is gluten free. Am I missing something? Bob’s Red Mill doesn’t offer either of these products as “gluten free”. Help!

  11. Debi, plain masa harina and corn flour are naturally gluten free so any brand will do. As a substitute for either you can use just plain cornmeal that you put through a food processor blender and whirl.

  12. @Debi: I use the Maseca brand. It’s with the Hispanic foods in almost all of the grocery stores in our area.

  13. My favorite GFCF sandwich bread recipe is a slight variation of Bette Hagman’s Cinnamon-Raisin-Nut Bread found on p. 85 of the Gluten Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy. This book is also on line at: books.google.com/books?id=dbtR_jmoYpMC&pg=PA65&lpg=PA65&dq=bette+hagman+cinnamon+raison+nut+bread&source=bl&ots=cZ4Q. Just scroll to p. 85.
    I use arrowroot flour in the flour mix because I can’t have corn. Omit the raisin, nuts, and cinnamon for sandwich bread. Also consider trying the the raisin bread. I purchase yeast through an Amish market and it is far fresher than the grocery store. Bread consistency is superb and the loaves are 3+ inches high. I use 9×5 metal pans lined with parchment paper. I always double the recipe. Cool, slice and freeze. If cooled entirely in the pan bread will not sink. For every other batch premix second recipe of dry ingredients so the next time I need bread I only have to mix the wet. This is not the fastest bread due to the many ingredients but it’s worth the effort. I dislike rice flour recipes due the to grainy quality. I purchase arrowroot, tapioca flour and dried orange peel in bulk. Haven’t found bean flour in bulk but it’s slightly cheaper at my local health food store than online.
    Regarding xanthan gum- Now Foods has one that is certified to be wheat, corn soy, dairy free, salt, yeast, milk, and sugar and starch free. Their label also describes Xanthan Gum as a fiber produced from pure culture fermentation of the Xanthomonas Campestris microoganism.

  14. I am trying to find some gluten free soy flour. Do you have an online resource?

    thanks,
    jamie

    • @Jamie: We have Arrowhead Mills soy flour in our pantry right now. I think we picked it up at Whole Foods, but it’s also available in a six-pack at Amazon.

  15. Thanks for the post. My son Liam (2 and 1/2) is gluten and soy free. Can this mix be used for pancakes or waffles?

  16. Hi
    Is corn starch the same as cornflour or is it fine polenta (I think) as that it was what we refer to it as in Australia. Also with the soy flour can I substitute anything else other than Sorghum as this is hard to come by. As you can see we don’t much of anything “down under”. I was in Greece visiting relatives a few months ago and was so amazed how advanced a small country like that that be compared to this dry land!!! It’s so great reading this site I feel that everyone is going through the same trials and tribulations as me.

    • @ Renee: Corn starch is a very very fine, powdery substance that is essentially the dried starch from the corn liquids. It has no taste and no nutritional value. It’s commonly used as a thickener in gravies or to add lightness to gluten free breads.

  17. Renee- I know people who sub oat flour for the sorghum maybe that will work for you? Just use your food processor, coffee grinder, blender or grain mill to make oats into flour.

  18. I just made waffles using a modified version of the above mix.
    3 parts brown rice flour
    3 parts tapioca starch
    2 parts sorghum flour
    1 part coconut flour
    Can’t wait to make scones, cookies, cupcakes and bread using this mix.
    Thanks for the great ratios!!!

  19. This is great! I was wondering if you find any problems with cross contamination in any of the bobs red mill products? we are allergic to soy here, along with many other things, but I’m worried about the cross contamination. Thanks!

    • @Tina, Bob’s Red Mill actually tests all of their gluten free products to make sure that they meet gluten free standards, and they have facilities that are only used for their gluten free products. As long as you’re using the BRM products that are marked “gluten free” you shouldn’t have a problem.

  20. Where do I get sorghum flour from? I live in the Boston area and the only place I’ve seen was through websites (Barry Farms or Bob’s Red Mill). Are there any local gigs that carry this?

  21. I am just curious if you have ever (or know someone who has) used arrowroot in place of cornstarch?

    • @Stacie: I haven’t used arrowroot starch but I think that they are interchangeable. There will probably be small differences, but I don’t think that it will greatly affect the outcome of the recipe.

  22. Juanita Thomas says:

    Thanks for the wrap recipe and the flour exchanges, too. I am very anxious to try it!

    I have soooo many allergies, so am constantly looking for something new and good. I had found nothing that could be used for a sandwiches except for rice tortillas from the health food store.

    Sandra Lewis in her “Allergy and Candita Cooking book has a lot about flours. She also has cracker recipes. She says that arrowroot is an edible starch binding agent, especially in goods made from non-gluten flour. It supplies no vitamins and very low protein. It is easily digested and excellent for use by perons requiring a bland, low salt and love protein diet.

  23. Does anyone have a list of the “All purpose flours” and the “Starch” flours? I am very new to gluten free bread baking. Could anyone tell me how much baking powder should be added per cup of flours? Any help is appreciated. Thanks Katie :)

    • @Katie: the starch flours are potato starch, corn starch, tapioca starch (aka tapioca flour), and arrowroot – they absorb a lot of liquid and have very little nutritional value. An all purpose flour mix is a mix of flours that can be used for a lot of different recipes – it may be made up of grain flours (rice, sorghum, millet, etc), bean flours, and/or starches.

  24. Just an FYI for people with CORN intolerences-
    I don’t feel well when eating SORGHUM I believe because it is related to corn. I also feel unwell with MILLET.

    Is GF OAT or ARROWROOT the best substitutions for your recipes that call for corn or millet?

    Thank you for all your helpful info. on GF baking!

    • @Susan: I haven’t used GF oat flour or arrowroot flour. I would suggest a bean flour (soy or garfava) instead of the sorghum. You could use arrowroot or tapioca starch instead of the cornstarch, and almond flour for the masa harina. I’d also suggest checking the comments for both of my flour mix recipes in case someone has tried any of these and left a note about it.

  25. Juanita Thomas says:

    My food sensitivities run rampant, and it is so hard to find recipes that omit things I can’t eat!

    This recipe is very flexible; I have used rice, amaranth, spelt, and wheat flour. I have also used a variety of oils, as they are important, too. Here is the original recipe. (Be sure to follow directions.) My favorites are brown rice flour and olive oil. I don’t have the touch to make it really pretty, as it is kind of fragile and breaks. (Some of you talented cooks, help me with this.) However, I love the taste with my egg free, sugar free, soy free, corn free, mgm free, milk free, pumpkin pie! I haven’t tried it will my apple pie recipe, but will this week.
    I like a 9.5″ pie pan, but you have more crust to work with in an 8″ pan. For pumpkin or apple pie, put filling in unbaked shell.

    Pie Crust
    1 c plus 2 T flour
    1/2 t salt
    1/3 c salad oil
    2-3 T cold water

    Shape dough into flattened ball. Place flattened dough between two 15 inch strips of waxed paper. (tape two together if needed. I have also used plastic wrap.)

    Wipe table with wet cloth to prevent paper from slipping. Roll pastry 3″ larger than inverted pie pan. Peel off top paper. Place pastry, paper-side up, in pan. Peel off top paper. Ease pastry loosely into pan.

    Trim 1″ from the rim of pan and fold excess under – even with pan. Flute edges.

    Bake 12-15 minutes at 475 degrees.

  26. Does anyone have a list of gluten free flours that shows which ones are “all purpose” flours and which ones are the “starchy” flours? Example; Is sorghum a starch flour? Could it be used to replace tapocia flour? Also, what is the flavor of the different types of flours. I really like Pamelas baking and pancake mix. Does anyone have a copycat recipe of this? Any help is appreciated. Thanks
    Katie

  27. I don’t do well with corn. I saw the comment that says one can substitute arrowroot or tapioca starch for the corn starch. Is tapioca starch the same as tapioca flour? Where does one find arrowroot? They don’t have it at Whole Foods or our local supermarket?

    Thanks

    • Hi Nadia, tapioca starch and tapioca flour are the same thing. It is hard to find – the Whole Foods near me usually has the Ener-G brand, but not always. The next place that I would look would be the Bob’s Red Mill website or Amazon.

  28. Juanita Thomas says:

    I got Bob’s Red Mill tapioca flour last week at the health food store. Used it last night in my apple pie, and it made the crust a little easier to handle, but the temperature was not right. If you use the crust recipe, watch the temp.

  29. Valerie says:

    Oh, I am so glad to find your website! Recently I discovered that my husband, 3 kids, and I are allergic to the grains wheat, oats, and corn (among other things). We were grinding wheat grain and making our own bread in a machine. Now I desperately need a homemade bread machine mix. I, too, love Pamela’s bread mix but it is too expensive to make several times per week – we just eat too much – LOL! I don’t want to trade our healthy whole wheat bread for a GF equivalent to white bread so I’d like to use flours high in protein and fiber. I can find (and afford) millet, tapioca flour, potato starch, dry garbanzo beans, and brown rice flour. (I may start grinding the millet, beans, and brown rice myself.) I stay away from soy b/c of genetic modifications and estrogenic effects. Is there a way to use these ingredients to get a good bread? I’m not a baker so I have no idea what is needed and why. Which brings up a good question – why is cider vinegar necessary in some? We’re also allergic to yeast. I can’t wait for your answer. Thank you!

    • @Valerie: Given the flours that you have available, I’d use 3 parts brown rice flour, 3 parts tapioca flour, 2 parts garbanzo flour or millet flour and 1 part potato starch. I’ve never used millet, but based on what I’ve read I think this mix will work well. I would caution you, though, about using your mill and bread machine. Since you’ve used wheat in them, you’ll have to scrub every crevice to try to get all of the gluten (and other allergens out), if that’s even possible. I’ve heard a lot of people recommend that you just buy new equipment all together, because otherwise you run the risk of continuing to have all of these allergens in your diet. I realize that buying new equipment would be really expensive, but I wanted to mention it in case you haven’t read about this before. And for you other questions, the cider vinegar helps soften the dough and Karina’s Kitchen has several great soda bread recipes that don’t use yeast.

  30. Tapioca flour as you say is also tapioca starch, it is also both cassava and manioc starch in spanish markets. Go to the Goya section of regular grocery and find Yoki band of ‘manioc starch’, 500g (17+1/2 oz) bag varies slightly in price but in NH is normally far less than $2 for bag. Recipe on the bag for tapioca muffins, no problems with this brand both for gf mix and using it 100% to make pan de queso little cheese rolls. I also buy the majority of my gf flours at Asian markets, far cheaper and finer ground. Trader Joes for almond meal.

    Can anyone recommend a good bread baking machine. I use my old machine for testing (it’s my live away from home son that needs gf) but need a new machine for clients breads. I had read of Emerils new machine but also many negative comments.

  31. Juanita Thomas says:

    I thought whole wheat is gluten loaded? Am I wrong?

  32. Juanita Thomas says:

    Mary Frances, this is your soy free GF mixture! (I love it!) I just got a recipe for soy free GF Flatbread Wraps. I made it last night and am so excited about it. I got it, but changed it a good bit, so I think I can claim it. It looks like it is a keeper for me! no eggs, no soy, no yeast, no corn, no baking powder, no sugar! Is it manna?
    (I do use corn and aluminum free baking powder, but not here!) I hope others can use this, too.

    GF Flatbread Wrap
    Serves 8

    2 ¼ c GF flour
    1 tsp xanthan gum
    3 T olive oil.
    1 t salt
    1 c buttermilk

    1. Mix all ingredients, adding buttermilk last in stages so not to be too wet for the mixture. The dough needs to be just past the crumbly stage, and be able to form a soft, firm ball in the hand.
    2. Roll into golf ball sized rolls as thin (like pie crust) as can be rolled into a circle. Dough sticks to wooden utensils, so use a glass to roll on plastic or glass board.
    3. Cook on hot griddle (375) or pan for 1 minute or more on each side. Some brown spots will show as on a flour tortilla. Keep warm until served.
    4. Store in fridge: can brush with olive oil and garlic and rosemary or other favorite spices and crisp in oven to use as chips.

    5. Uses: as wraps, around meat filling, or salads, sprinkled with cinnamon and Xylitol or honey. Try warming in a damp paper towel for freshening for use later. This is good with soup or salad as a cracker, either fresh or freshened. Can be frozen in gallon plastic bag and taken out as needed.

  33. Valerie says:

    Oh, that flatbread recipe sounds yummy! Do you think I can use rice “milk” instead of the buttermilk? Thanks!

  34. Juanita Thomas says:

    Yes, I believe you can use whatever kind of milk you can use. I think it would be worth a try, anyway! You might need other opinions. I have to be careful of milk, too. What I used was powdered buttermilk. Maybe it depends on what part of the milk you are sensitive to.

  35. I would like to avoid xanthan gum and guar gum. Is there anything else that can be substituted in recipes?

  36. Juanita Thomas says:

    You don’t say why you want to avoid these items. Are you allergic to them or is it for anther reason? They are what makes your bread rise. I made a recipe the other day that called for vinegar for rising. It worked, but the dough was very hard to handle, as it is very elastic. It kept shrinking back to the original shape.

  37. Juanita Thomas says:

    Nancy,
    Have you tried arrowroot? Sandra Lewis and Dorie Fink say this about it in “Allergy and Candida Cooking”, page 240.

    “It is a fine, silky white powder with a faint licorice aroma. Its fine texture allows it to thicken quickly when cooked at low temperature. When boiled in water, it yields a transparent, ordorless, pleasant tasting jelly. It can also be used as a binding agent, especially in baked goods made from non-gluten flours. Being almost pure starch, arrowroot supplies no vitamins and is very low in protein. It is easily digested and excellent for use by persons requiring a bland, low-salt and/or low protein diet.”

  38. Juanita Thomas says:

    Mary Francis,

    When making the GF soy-corn-egg-yeast free flour mix, I understand you can make self-rising flour by adding 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt to 1 c GF Mix. Can you use xanthan gum in the mix also, and if so, how much?

    You have no idea how much I am enjoing this flour mix! Thank you, thank you, and thank you again!

  39. Slightly odd question, but I do not have a gluten intolerance – is it possible for me to use regular flour instead of gluten free in the gluten free recipes I have (which I have a lot of fo my sister!) I’m never quite sure what to do about recipes that call for xantham gum and potato starch etc, and how much I could just leave out on the basis I’m using normal flour!

  40. Hello,

    I JUST discovered your site and I am very excited to try out some of your recipes. I do have a question about substituting flours. I take tolerate corn. I know cornstarch can but sub. with tapioca flour. What about masa harina or corn flour…I can’t find masa harina so what can I sub. the corn flour with ?

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experiences with other who need to be GFree

    Blessings,
    Sandi

  41. I’ve been gluten free for years, but never have done much with breads. I recently got a bread machine & have tried a few recipes with only fair results so far. Scones were gummy. I also avoid corn, milk and eggs and I’m wary of soy, so still end up making substitutions. I haven’t yet tried (pricey!) almond flour as a substitute for masa harina. What else would work there?

    Your comment about the ratio of flour to starch is helpful, but I’m not sure what’s flour and what’s starch, as the names aren’t always consistent. Any help on that? What about Montina and Mesquite flours?

    Love your blog. I’m getting email updates.
    PS I’m a B’ham native.

  42. Barbara Webb says:

    What can I replace cornstarch and corn flour/masa harina with? My daughter found out she should not eat gluten, soy or corn. Im finding all of the bread recipes using cornstarch/masa harina flour mixes. I did find one using a mix with sorghum flour but still had corn in it.

  43. @Mary Frances I am allergic to corn also. I will substitute Arrowroot for the cornstarch but what would you suggest for the corn flour? Is there anything comparable to corn flour out there? I am really craving corn bread.

    @Barb, I too have gluten soy and corn intolerance. Substitute arrowroot for constarch, have not found what the substitute for actual Masa or corn flour. Used Sorghum has a different taste but works replace the cornstarch with arrowroot works fine.

  44. I believe that sorghum is related to corn so I would avoid that also. I’m not sure what the best substitute is but I just posted an egg, corn and yeast free recipe so you may want to try that. Good luck!

  45. @ Susan thank you for this info. Do you have a site that I can look this up? I have scoped the internet and can not seem to find that they are related?

  46. Stefanie says:

    Hi everyone. I am new to this great site! Great to have more GF recipes to test. I have been used to flour mix recipes that includes brown rice, tapioca flour and potato starch. Not to take any glory/credit from this site, but have you gals also tried Annalise Roberts site as well for some of her recipes that don’t use corn? Not guaranteeing corn/sorghum-free bread recipes but she’s got other great recipes that don’t use corn… http://www.foodphilosopher.com/

  47. Lovely and informative read!! I am gluten intolerant and highly allergic to Sorghum Flour – is there any other type of flour I can add more of or substitute the Sorghum with? I’m still researching because this is still all new to me. Any tips or thoughts? Thank you very much! :)

  48. I have 2 small boys who require gfdfsf diets. The flour mix info is intriguing and I look foreword to trying it out! Breads, etc are their major comfort foods. Thanks!

  49. I was wondering why the GF All Purpose Flour Mix requires brown rice flour? Is there a difference between the consistency of white rice and brown rice flour?

  50. Sarah Butcher says:

    For those corn free people look up recipies with mostly Quinoa flour in them. I make a quinoa bread with Spelt flour or Sroghum flour and it tastes like cornbread. My neighbors didn’t believe that it wasn’t cornbread!!! you can buy quinoa and grind it or google quinoa flour if your local store doesn’t have it. Quinoa and Sorghum are GF but Spelt is not.

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  1. [...] 2 c. Gluten Free, Soy Free All Purpose Flour Mix 1/3 c. sugar 1 Tbsp. baking powder 1 tsp. xanthan gum 1/2 tsp. salt 6 Tbsp. vegetable shortening 1 [...]

  2. [...] * If you’re allergic to soy, you can substitute Mary’s Gluten Free Soy Free All Purpose Flour Mix [...]

  3. [...] is the flour mix for the next one: FLOURS! Here is the recipe: RECIPE! page_revision: 17, last_edited: 1246847042|%e %b %Y, %H:%M %Z (%O [...]