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Gluten Free Basics & Beyond

All About Gluten-Free Baking:

The Best All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend

Developing Our Own All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend

No storebought blends passed muster, so we made our own.

The decision to develop our own all-purpose blend came about after we tested a variety of other published recipes and storebought blends, none of which worked universally well in all types of baked goods. Our ideal blend would have a rich, round flavor with enough protein to provide baked goods with a good chew and decent browning, and we wanted the ingredients to be easy to find.

After months in the kitchen, baking more than a thousand muffins and cookies with different gluten-free ingredients and ratios of flour and starch, we finally had a reliable blend that would work well in many different types of recipes. Along the way, we learned what worked and what didn’t.

Ingredients That Work

White Rice Flour: ideal for its neutral flavor and smooth texture
Brown Rice Flour: imparts earthiness and lends heft to baked goods
Potato Starch: helps with tenderness and binding
Tapioca Starch: provides chew and elasticity
Nonfat Milk Powder: helps with structure, tenderness, and browning; adds a rich, caramel-like flavor; and helps temper starchiness (and you can omit this ingredient to make this blend dairy-free)

Ingredients That Don't Work

Bean- or sorghum-based blends: work well structurally but lends off-flavors
Cornstarch: makes baked goods taste starchy
Powdered egg whites: imparts an unpleasant meringue-like flavor
Binders: better to add them as needed to individual recipes.
Too much brown rice flour: makes baked goods gritty
Too much tapioca starch: makes baked good dense
Too much potato starch: lends cookies and muffins crumbly textures

Make Your Own Blend

Recipe America's Test Kitchen Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend

When looking for a wheat-free substitute for all-purpose flour, no single gluten-free flour or starch behaves like wheat flour—a blend is a must.