Mar 152015
 
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This is the work horse of flours in my gluten free kitchen. I use it almost daily. It costs more than other recipes in the Hard Times section because it includes tapioca flour, soy flour and xanthan gum or guar gum. These add to the cost, but they also make GLAD flour the perfect substitute for wheat flour in baking. Recipes using GLAD flour are familiar to experienced bakers because they are just like recipes that use wheat flour. Making your own gluten free all-purpose flour is far cheaper than buying it ready made. The homemade version costs fully half to a quarter as much as commercially available gluten free all-purpose flour. When times are really hard though, it may not be possible to afford all of the ingredients. You’ll have to determine where it fits in your budget. I will say I’ve been using it for over 6 years and it is definitely a tried and true recipe.

GLAD Flour

The Best Ever, Easiest to Use, Budget Friendly, Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour

Small Batch

INGREDIENTS

Big Batch

2 cups

Brown or White Rice Flour

6 pounds

2/3 cup

Cornstarch

2 pounds

1/3 cup

Tapioca Flour

1 pound

1/3 cup

Soy Flour
or Other Bean Flour

1 pound

1 teaspoon

Xanthan Gum or
Guar Gum or a combination

1/4 cup

Makes 3-1/3 cups

.

Makes 10 pounds or 30 cups

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine all of the ingredients in a large jar or plastic container with a lid. Mix thoroughly. I use my hands for mixing because I find it’s most efficient. There are usually a few nooks and crannies of flour that stubbornly refuse to mingle with their neighbors. By using my hands I can seek out these rebellious pockets and convince them to hang out with the rest of the crowd. Use this blend in any recipe calling for Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour.

Per Cup: 565 Calories; 6g Fat (9.1% calories from fat); 12g Protein; 116g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 12mg Sodium. 

Exchanges: 7-1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fat.

FLOURS

I have used both brown rice flour and white rice flour and a combination of the two in this recipe and it works just as good either way. Brown rice flour has more fiber and nutrition, so it’s the one I prefer to use.

If you don’t have soy flour, or prefer not to use it, then any bean flour may be used instead. Chickpea or besan flour or Garfava flour work fine in place of the soy flour.

Uncooked batters and doughs made with this flour have a slight “raw” flavor because of the soy flour. Some people may not even notice it. If you do notice it then fear not. The raw flavor disappears completely with baking. Your finished baked goods just tastes normal.

Recipes in this website that call for gluten-free all-purpose flour are made with this recipe. I’ve used several commercially available gluten-free all-purpose flours over the years and I firmly believe that GLAD flour out performs them all.

I’ve also tried lots of different homemade gluten free flour blends. This recipe is light-years above any other recipe I’ve tried.

XANTHAN & GUAR GUM

Xanthan and guar gum are white powders that can be found at large supermarkets and health food stores. They act as binders and thickeners in gluten free baking, essentially replacing the gluten in gluten free flour. They are not cheap, but a little goes a long way. A single bag lasts me at least a year, and I do a lot of baking. Virtually all commercially available gluten free all-purpose flour contains some xanthan or guar or, more often, a combination. The general opinion seems to be that xanthan gum is more effective than guar gum, although a combination of the two seems most effective to some people. They both work the same, so the type you use is a matter of personal preference.

Xanthan and Guar are especially necessary for making gluten free yeast breads. Muffins and pancakes can be made without gums if they contain eggs, but yeast breads will not rise or bake properly without a binder of some sort to replace the gluten in wheat flour.

Some people avoid xanthan and guar for dietary reasons. In that case you may use Glucomannan Powder (also known as Konjac) instead. It’s available at Amazon and at some natural food stores. It costs about the same as xanthan and guar. If you choose to use Glucomannan, then use 1-1/2 teaspoons for the small batch and 1/3-cup for the big batch.

If you add Xanthan or Guar or Glucomannan to your GLAD flour then it can replace any all-purpose flour measure for measure in most baking. For yeast breads you may need to add a little extra Xanthan or Guar, perhaps 1/4 to 1/2-teaspoon more per cup of flour.

TO SUBSTITUTE FOR WHEAT FLOUR

  • Use 1-cup lightly packed GLAD flour for each 1-cup of wheat flour or all-purpose flour.
  • Use 1-cup light packed GLAD flour plus 1/4-teaspoon xanthan or guar gum for each cup of bread flour.
  • If a recipe calls for 1-cup sifted cake flour, then use 7/8-cup GLAD flour.
  • 7/8-cup is the same as 1-cup minus 2-tablespoons or 3/4-cup plus 2-tablespoons.

FURTHER INFORMATION

In gluten-free baking it’s necessary to use a combination of flours to replace wheat flour. Rice flour, the most common gluten-free flour, usually makes up the base of gluten-free flour blends. By itself rice flour can produce dense, gritty, dry baked goods. Other flours are added to help mimic the properties of wheat flour. Soy flour adds browning, sweetness and helps emulsify batters. Cornstarch keeps the mixture smooth and light. Tapioca flour improves the texture of the finished product, add chewiness and contributes to browning.

The flours in this blend are inexpensive when compared to most gluten-free specialty flours. Another plus, they are available in many supermarkets or can be made at home with a coffee mill. To make small quantities of your own rice flour simply grind rice in a coffee mill, about 1/3-cup at a time, until it has the consistency of flour. If you don’t already have an electric coffee mill you may find it a worthy investment.

If you do a lot of gluten free baking and want to do so as cheaply as possible, then you may want to invest in an electric grain mill.  I have a K-tec grain mill (now Blendtec) that I’ve used for over a decade and it’s still going strong. Store-bought rice flour costs a minimum of $1.50 a pound. Home ground rice flour costs less than 50¢ a pound. For each pound of rice flour you grind yourself, you save a full dollar. Depending on how much baking you do, this can save hundreds of dollars a year. If you do all of your baking from scratch, you can easily save $1000 a year, just from grinding your own rice flour. It’s mind boggling. Buying your own grain mill can pay for itself in a matter of months. Shop around and compare prices to get the lowest price for your grain mill.

Commercial rice flour  is inexpensive at Asian and Latino food stores. Some natural food stores and Co-ops sell it in bulk. At my local market rice flour is in the Latino food section.

Tapioca flour can be made by grinding old-fashioned tapioca (not minute tapioca) in a grain mill or a coffee mill. It can also be found at health food stores, Asian markets and some large supermarkets. Soy flour is available at most supermarkets, either in the special “Health Food” section or, more often, in the conventional baking aisle. If you prefer to make your own soy flour you may grind soybeans in most home grain mills. Be sure to read your owner’s manual to make certain.

For more information on gluten free flour blends visit  Solving The Gluten-Free Flour Mix Mystery (off site).

THE SAVINGS

A big batch of GLAD flour costs me about $8 or 80¢ per pound or 5¢ per ounce. To get the price this low I have to grind my own rice flour, use tapioca flour from the Asian food store and use generic brand cornstarch. I use a combination of xanthan and guar gum, 2-tablespoons each.

The cheapest GF all-purpose flour that I can find can be purchased online from Bloomfield Farms. Including shipping, the price (as of 2015) works out to be $1.67 a pound, about 10¢ per ounce or about twice as much as my GLAD Flour. Bloomfield Farms GF flour is very good quality and if you cannot make your own, then it’s the most economical, and one of the best tasting you can buy. It performs very well in baking too.

THE CREATIVE PROCESS

My recipe is based on the talented Bette Hagman’s classic blend. Her original recipe was made up of:

  • 2 parts rice flour
  • 2/3 part potato starch
  • 1/3 part tapioca starch

Potato starch is expensive in my area so I tried my flour with cornstarch instead. It worked well, but was still a little off.  I tried adding soy flour, which I keep in my pantry. I could not believe how good the results were. I’ve tried many gluten-free flour blends and been so disappointed with the results. With this blend I am completely satisfied with my baking. It’s so easy to use too and substitutes almost effortlessly for wheat flour in most recipes.

The name happened because the kids began asking me if I was using that new flour and calling it “that new gluten-free all purpose flour blend” was a mouthful so we started calling it GLAD Flour because the family, especially the boys, were so glad that I was using it instead of any of the other blends we suffered through in the past. Thus GLAD Flour was born.

Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Ecclesiastes 9:7

 

  10 Responses to “GLAD Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour”

  1. Hi Maggie, thanks for the recipe. We are allergic to corn and soy. If I use potato starch (instead of the corn) and garfava instead of the soy, do I use the same amounts?

  2. Hi Gail, If I were substituting potato starch for the cornstarch, I would simply omit the bean flour and make Bette Hagman’s original blend. Add 1/4-cup of xanthan or guar (or a combination) to the large batch, or 1-teaspoon to the small batch. Bette Hagman’s original blend is very good. I don’t use it because potato starch is so expensive in my area, and cornstarch and soy flour are so very blessedly cheap. If I had your allergies though, I would simply omit the bean flour and then use rice flour, potato starch (instead of cornstarch) and tapioca starch–with the added xanthan or guar, and make that my basic blend. The flour from Bloomfield Farms uses this combination, if you don’t want to make your own. It works on a cup for cup basis to replace wheat flour in baking. Hope I answered your question. 🙂

  3. Miss Maggie, have you been able to bake traditional loaf breads using this blend? We loved your old site but had problems because we had to give up gluten and dairy and there was so much of it there. I’m so glad to find you again, and see you are in the same spot we are, because you have a gift for teaching other women how to manage their homes and kitchens (a gift I do not have). Anyway, just wondering if you’ve had success with loaf breads or have had to give them up as well

  4. Hi Jodi, I have prepared successful gluten free yeast breads with this blend, but don’t have a “perfected” recipe yet. I keep trying small variations to see what effect it has on the finished loaf. Hopefully by this winter (it is now Summer) I will have finished my testing. The blend itself works very well for gluten free yeast bread, but the process is different from traditional wheat based yeast bread. For instance, the batter is like thick cake batter, not like a kneadable dough. It does require additional xanthan or guar gum to maintain the proper texture and the ability to rise in a bread pan, and there is only a single rise, so it goes faster. I want my finished loaf to be the right texture, but I also want it to use affordable, readily available ingredients. So it takes time to figure it all out. Thanks for the encouragement. 🙂 I an always use it.

  5. Miss Maggie, I so appreciate your work for us. It has been and continues to be a real blessing. Through the years I have gleaned lots from this site, as well as from your Old Fashioned Education site. Your generosity is a great example to me, and I thank the Lord for you!

    • Aww, thankyou Carol. I’m glad I’ve been of help over the years. God has been so good to me, especially when I didn’t deserve it. In fact no matter how hard I try, I will never be “good” enough to deserve his blessings. This is his Grace. I don’t deserve it, but He gives it to me anyway. My goal is to give back to the body of Christ, with a fraction of the bounty I have received. It’s always nice to know it’s appreciated. 😀 😀 😀

  6. Maggie,
    Hi, Hope this finds you and yours doing ok. I was wondering if I could substitute sorghum flour for the soy
    flour in the Glad Flour mix.
    Also have you ever made pie crust with Glad Flour? My guys want a cherry raisin pie.
    Thank you,
    CharlieAnn

    • Sorghum flour sounds to me like it would work just fine. It’s not as high in protein as soy flour, but it’s not as starchy as tapioca or cornstarch either. I would definitely be willing to try it. My guess is that it would work perfectly.

      As for the piecrust, yes, I have made it with this flour. I used 1-1/4 cups GLAD flour, 1/3-cup solid shortening, 1/4 or 1/3-teaspoon salt, 1 whole egg and a few tablespoons of water (2 or 3). I was really pleased with the crust. It turned out just like wheat flour crust. The egg is invisible in the actual crust, but it seems to add strength and flexibility to the crust so that it’s easier to roll out and flakier. I keep trying to work out a vegetable oil crust, but I havne’t yet. I’ve only made this with Crisco-type shortening, I haven’t tried it with coconut oil.

      Happy to help 🙂

      • Thank you for the pie crust recipe. The pie turned out great and my husband loves the gluten free crust.
        I have found out that gelatin works pretty good as a substitute for xanthan gum. I am allergic to xanthan gum. I use a rounded teaspoonful instead a level teaspoon of xanthan gum.
        Thanks again for the recipe.
        CharlieAnn

  7. Oh good CharlieAnn, thanks for the tip about gelatin. I’ve used it once or twice in gluten-free baking, but don’t have a lot of experience with it. I may try it when I’m up for some more experimenting in the kitchen. Glad the crust turned out good. The egg really helps wiht gluten free pie crust. Makes all the difference. 🙂

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