While many gluten-free recipes will call for specific ingredients, sometimes it helps to have an all-purpose flour, either to adapt a standard recipe or just as an easy substitute. Whether you choose to purchase a blend or make your own, understand what makes a gluten-free all-purpose flour different and what it may be good for, before you bake.
What Is Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour?
Traditional all-purpose flour is a wheat flour that can be used for nearly any type of baking, such as cookies, cakes and pie crusts. Gluten-free all-purpose flour functions the same way: it can be used for numerous recipes and purposes, but it is normally made up of a blend of different gluten-free flours.
These are some flours that may be included in a blend:
- Rice flour
- Sweet rice flour
- Arrowroot starch
- Tapioca starch
- Potato flour
- Potato starch
- Soy flour
- Garbanzo bean flour
- Corn flour
- Corn starch
- Almond flour
- Sorghum flour
To make the flours easier to use, manufacturers frequently include a binder, such as xanthan gum. It is typical when using an all-purpose flour not to add additional xanthan gum to the recipe, as it is already there.
All-Purpose Flour Recipe
If you like to make your own flour at home, use this simple recipe. This flour can be used for cookies, pie crusts or cakes with ease. The recipe makes nine cups of flour.
- 5 cups rice flour
- 1 cup sweet rice flour
- 2 cups arrowroot starch
- 1 cup tapioca starch
- 2 tablespoons xanthan gum
- Sift the flours, starch and gum together in a large bowl.
- Mix well to combine.
- Store in an air-tight container in the freezer when not in use.
Readymade Blends of All-Purpose Flour
If you don't want to make your own flour, there are numerous brands for sale that can work for you. Always check the label for ingredients in case of food allergies or sensitivies and to check for xanthan gum before use.
King Arthur Flour
King Arthur offers a multi-purpose gluten-free flour blend that is soy- and nut-free. It contains brown and white rice, as well as tapioca and potato starch. It does not have xanthan gum mixed in, so you will need to add it to each recipe you use with it. This blend is said to be smooth with no aftertaste.
Jules All-Purpose Flour
Jules makes an all-purpose flour that is truly all-purpose. It can be used for all types of baking, including some breads. It contains xanthan gum, so there is no need to keep extra on hand. It also contains modified tapioca starch, corn starch, corn flour, potato starch, white rice flour and xanthan gum.
Gluten-Free Pantry makes an all-purpose flour blend that contains guar gum instead of xanthan. The effect is the same; you do not need to add an additional binder to the flour. However, this flour may be tolerated by those that cannot tolerate xanthan gum. Ingredients include white rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, guar gum and salt.
Bob's Red Mill
Bob's Red Mill produces an all-purpose flour in their dedicated, gluten-free factory. Ingredients include garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, whole grain sweet white sorghum flour and fava bean flour. There is no xanthan gum included, so you will need to add your own, and anyone with a soy allergy may have difficult with the garbanzo bean flour base as well.
Gluten-Free Mama makes an all-purpose flour blend that contains almond flour. This light, non-gritty flour has a higher protein count than other gluten-free flour blends. Ingredients include white rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, sweet rice flour and almond meal. There is no binder, so adding your own is recommended.
Bring Back Baked Goods
If you've been hesitating in gluten-free baking because the various flours confused you, try using an all-purpose flour instead. Any of these blends is sure to give you a result closer to the traditional baked goods you remember, without the unpleasant side effects they could bring.