Grandma's Gluten-Free Baking N Cooking

Gluten-Free Does Not Mean Flavor Free

I have tried several types of gluten-free flour mixtures. The best known author for gluten-free baking and cooking is Bette Hagman. She passed away but her books live on. Look her up on Amazon for detailed information on flour mixtures. Many cookbook authors use her flour mixtures and give her credit; others use them and do not give her credit.

I think the following information is from one of her books:

GF Flour substitute: six parts rice flour (white), 2 parts potato starch flour, 1 part tapioca flour. Use this like you would regular flour – cup for cup. Use extra egg and leavening in recipe. May need to replace oil w/mayonnaise or butter w/shortening.

White rice flour: milled from polished white rice – bland in flavor. Does not distort the taste of the baked product. Baked goods prepared with only white rice flour tend to have a grainy texture. Keeps well so it can be bought in quantity.

Brown rice flour: flour milled from the unpolished rice, this is bran-flavored. Great for some breads, muffins, and cookies where the bran taste is desired. Oils in the bran – buy limited quantities because it has a shorter shelf life. Store in freezer to extend the life.

Rice Bran: flour obtained from polishing brown rice – rates high in minerals and Vitamin B/E, protein and fiber. Good for cookies, muffins, and some breads. Short shelf life and high in oils.

Sweet Rice Flour: Excellent thickening agent. Good for sauces that are to be refrigerated or frozen – it inhibits separation of liquids.

Rice Polish: This is a soft, fluffy, cream-colored flour made from the hulls of brown rice. Short shelf life.

Potato Starch: A very fine white flour with a bland taste, excellent for baking when combined with other flours. Good thickening agent for cream soups (mix w/water first) use about half the amount you would use of wheat flour. Keeps well.

Potato Flour: Do not confuse with potato starch. Heavy flour with definite potato taste. Often can be replaced with potato buds (instant potatoes) or mashed potatoes.

Tapioca Flour (aka Tapioca Starch): A very light, white, velvety flour obtained from the cassava root, this imparts a bit of “chew” to baked goods and is excellent used in small quantities with other flours for most baking. Use in almost equal parts in recipes where “chew” is desirable, such as English muffins, French bread, and pizza crusts. Keeps well.

Soy Flour: a yellow flour having high protein and fat content, this has a nutty flavor and is most successful when used in combination with other flours in baked products that contain fruit, nuts, or chocolate. It also is excellent in waffles for its distinctive taste. Soy flour has a short shelf life and should be purchased in small quantities.

Cornstarch: a refined starch obtained from corn. It makes a clear thickening for puddings and fruit sauces. It is also used in combination with other flours in baking.

Corn Flour: a flour milled from corn, this can blended with cornmeal when making cornbreads and corn muffins.

Xanthan Gum: a powder milled from the dried cell coat of a microorganism called Xanthomonas Campestris grown under laboratory conditions. It works as an excellent substitute for the gluten in yeast breads made from flours other than wheat.

Guar Gum: a powder derived from the seed of the plant Cyamopsis Tetragonolobus. This can have a laxative effect.

Principles of Substitution for 1 cup wheat flour:

• 7/8 cup rice flour
• 5/8 cup potato starch flour
• 1 cup soy flour plus ¼ cup potato starch flour
• ½ cup soy flour plus ½ cup potato starch flour
• 1 cup corn flour
• 1 scant cup fine cornmeal
• 1 cup of the GF Flour mixture

White rice flour and brown rice flour are interchangeable except in some recipes where the white color is important.


There are other flours that are not mentioned above that I have used. Such as almond flour - it is almonds that have been finely ground.

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The best one in the UK is Doves Farm Wheat and Gluten-free plain flour mix. It's a mix of (I think...) Rice, Potato, Tapioca, Buckwheat and Maize. If this is the only kind you can buy, you can still use it to make cakes by adding a teaspoon of baking powder.

They also do Self-Raising version which makes amazing cakes!

All their packets have a few simple basic recipes on the back of the bags and they also have an address you can write to for a free Gluten-free baking booklet.
I know that Bette Hagman also has a flour mixture with garfava bean flour and some other type of flour. Do you know what the benefits to those flours are?
According to Bette Hagman (in The Gluten-Free Gourmet Makes Dessert, p.16), garfava flour is the registered tradename of Authentic Foods and she warns against using others that say they are the same mix. Apparently, they will not work in her recipes the same way.

Additionally she says, "high in protein and nutrients, it makes a better-textured baked product than rice flour." As we all know, texture is a huge component of the problem when baking gluten-free.

Gluten is a type of protein and you are basically substituting one for another; however, they are not exactly the same. It just gives you back some of the elements you need for achieving a quality baked product.

One problem with bean flours that some have reported is that they have an odor that some people do not like. One way of overcoming this is to use a lot of vanilla.

Hope this answers your question. If not, feel free to let me know.
Very helpful. Thank you!
If you're in a hurry and need to keep a bag of premade mix on hand, try Pamela's Baking and Pancake mix...makes killer Banana Bread (my non-GF friend can't tell it GF!)
i'm new to gf living (1 month, yay!), but several friends who have much more experience have all suggested a brand called "domata living flour." since my gf baking has consisted of brownie mixes, i haven't gotten any, but wondered what advantages it might have over the basic "gf flour substitute" described above?
I have not tried baking with Domata's mixes; however, they were at the NFCA Education Day in Arkansas and had made many things with their mixes. I thought the cookies and "boneless buffalo wings" were delicious. They even made pretzels and pizza without yeast using their mixes. Leslie (member of forum) bought some mixes from them but I am not sure she has had a chance to try any of them.

The advantage of some mixes is convenience more than anything - also, it usually means they have worked out some of the kinks to ensure a better finished product (whatever that product might be).

I will contact Domata and see if they will give me some more information to help you.

There are many mixes out there - you just need to experiment to see which ones work best for you. Often people have food issues other than gluten and have to keep them in mind when choosing a flour mix. Some are allergic to nightshades (no potato starch or potato flour then), some are allergic to corn (no corn meal, corn starch, corn flour), and the list goes on.

If you have no other ingredients that you need to avoid, thank your lucky stars!

If you do have other ingredients you need to avoid, please list them on your profile so that I can keep them in mind before recommending products to you.
Finally used the GF Bisquick that I found last month.  The pancake recipe on the box is a good as one for wheat.  Biscuits were edible, but not 100%.  Almond flour is expensive, but makes better items (bread, muffins, etc.) than any other flour.  I use the recipes in Breaking the Vicious Cycle.

You can make your own almond flour by grinding it in a food processor or "magic bullet" with some other flour to help keep it from becoming a paste (almond butter). Buying almonds is a lot cheaper than buying almond flour. 

I wonder what you are doing with the Bisquick mix? I tried it and loved the biscuits. I admit that I never follow instructions on the box and that might be the difference. I use real butter (cut into small cubes and chilled) instead of shortening too. 

I used olive oil in the biscuits, but I think the reason I wasn't overjoyed with them is the contrast with mine and my mother's VERY good wheat biscuits.

Any suggestions for getting a picture to upload to replace the muffin?  I'm not technically adept and can't figure out how to work it.

I see my instructions on the photo helped. Congrats!


I would not use olive oil in biscuits because it does not create the layers of dough/fat that you need for really good biscuits. I used real butter instead of the shortening (I don't like using hydrogenated fats) for that reason. Otherwise, I would have replaced the shortening with olive oil or canola oil. 


Biscuits need the "pieces" of fat for best results. 

Not sure Beth knew how to get back to this page so I am posting her reply here:
I used butter, cut in, to make biscuits with the GF Bisquick. They were good enough that even my husband who does not eat gf liked them. 
Status posted by Beth Shown



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