Violets and Amaranth

Eating weeds and gaining grains: an adventure in eating

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A-Z: Fun with Four Flours

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I used the Four Flour Bean blend as an all-purpose flour.  This flour blend has saved our gluten-free kitchen.  It is a great all-purpose flour with some ability to hold together on its own, and a great texture when baked or cooked.  I have used it with great satisfaction in everything from cakes and cookies, to yeast breads and pie crusts.  I make my own blend, but I have also seen some of the main-stream gluten-free all-purpose flours in the grocery that seem to be the same general blend.  Based on the ingredient labels, I suspect they use a bit more sorghum flour than this recipe does, and they also use potato starch.  I find too much sorghum has a metallic taste, but the recipe that follows, minimizes that metallic taste.  I keep a container of this on hand and just use it one for one in any recipe that calls for flour.  As this adventure continues, I’m sure I’ll find times and places for other all-purpose flour blends, but for now, this is my go-to blend.

Note: there is no rice flour here.  Someday I’ll find a good use for rice flour.  If you know of one- let me know!

A complete list of flour mixes, including the one listed below can be found at the Celiac Sprue Association website.  This recipe can also be found in Bette Hagman’s Gluten Free Gourmet- a resource that never fails me.  This recipe is based on a 20 oz bag of tapioca flour (which happens to be 5 cups).

  • 3 1/3 cups garfava bean flour (this is a blend of garbanzo and fava bean flours)
  • 1 2/3 cup sorghum flour
  • 5 cups cornstarch
  • 5 cups tapioca flour

I put them all into an air-tight container, then shake.  I usually give the container before each use.

Anymore these flours can be found in almost any grocery in the baking or gluten-free aisle.  Some co-ops sell these in bulk, and of course the natural foods stores sell these.  I have been finding mine at a discount chain called Marc’s, but as friends of mine recently reported, theirs didn’t seem to carry the flours and they ended up at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.  Wherever you go to find them, if you want to cook and bake without gluten, this flour blend will see you through a lot!

Happy baking!

Updated 4/4/11 to respect copyright rules.