DIY All-purpose Gluten-Free Flour from Grains

DIY All-purpose Gluten-Free Flour from GrainsAre you spending too much on store bought all-purpose gluten-free flour or individual flours that you mix together? Do you find yourself eating the loaves of bread sparingly because of this?

Today I’m going to present to you a solution that will bring your bread rationing to an end. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying an all-purpose gluten-free mix or mixing store bought flours from individual grains to make your own flour mix, this method is going to save you lots of money.

I was amazed that it only costs $1.50 per pound when I make it at home, including all the materials (both grains and starches) and wear and tear on the machine I’m using. Can you believe that? It’s also significantly faster and a lot less messy than mixing individual store bought flours.

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Please join me today in making this awesome all-purpose, gluten-free flour! Before we get started, I’d like to share with you some of my past flour mix experience.

My husband, Brad, started the gluten-free diet in 2008. Ever since then I’ve been searching, experimenting, recording successful recipes, and discarding failed recipes with this new baking challenge. Is that similar to what you’ve been through too? I used to buy brown rice flour in bulk at Whole Foods Market, and white rice flour, sweet rice flour, and starches in packages at my local Asian grocery stores. I would mix them together at different ratios to get my homemade, all-purpose, gluten-free flour mix.

Because grains lose their freshness much faster after being ground into flour, I would only buy the flour I could use in a week or two. As a result, I would often find myself short of a flour ingredient in the middle of making my flour mix. Then I would have to put every thing away and make the loaf another day. Frustrating, isn’t it?

It was this frustration that motivated me to buy a mill and make my own all-purpose, gluten-free flour mix. Since I started this blog a year and a half ago, I have been using this all-purpose, gluten-free flour mix for most of my pastry baking. If you, or your family, need to be on the gluten-free diet for a long period of time, and you also like all sorts of homemade pastries, making your own gluten-free flour mix is definitely the way to go.

DIY All-purpose Gluten-free Flour from GrainsWhy should you make your own all-purpose gluten-free flour from grains?

  • Convenient

You can grind your own flour at home. Not only grains, but also legumes. Sometimes you may see recipes that call for garbanzo bean flour or flour from other beans. You can grind them yourself if you have a mill at home. You can vary the ingredients and their ratios for each batch of gluten-free flour mix. Owning a mill puts you in control.

  • Save Money ($1.5/pound vs. $4/pound)

Compared to $4 or more per pound of mix you get from stores, making your own saves big money. I buy most of my grains in bulk and use the WonderMill to grind the grains into a multi-grain flour. The WonderMill itself costs approximately $250, but it is really a wise investment and a handy machine to have in your gluten-free kitchen. This mill has stainless steel parts, so it will give you nice and clean fresh milled flour. With a limited lifetime warranty, this mill will save you lots of money in the long run. (plus, very helpful and friendly customer service)

DIY All-purpose Gluten-free Flour from Grains

  • Make fresh flour mix

When you grind your own flour, you’ll enjoy the fresh taste of the flour. It also maintains a majority of the vitamins and minerals when the grains are freshly milled and stored at low temperature (although we don’t rely on grains as our main source of vitamins). I usually store my surplus all-purpose gluten-free flour in the freezer.

  • Avoid cross contamination

Those of us on a strict gluten-free diet will need to be careful of cross contamination with gluten products. Buying good quality grains is important because you are going to grind the grains without rinsing or soaking them.  If you know your grains are gluten-free, and you’re using your mill only to make gluten-free flour, you probably don’t have to worry about the contamination. Oats should have a GF label due to its susceptibility to wheat contamination.

  • Free of Gum

Some of you may feel uncomfortable after consuming flours that contain xanthum gum or guar gum. Most of the store bought flour mix has gums already added as a “glue” that helps to hold the gluten-free flour dough together. You can’t avoid it by washing it out. But you can definitely avoid it when you make your own flour. I like to use psyllium husk powder instead of xanthum gum or guar gum in my recipes lately. However, you can add it later if you need it in recipes. The all-purpose gluten-free flour we are going to make today is gum and psyllium husk free. It is a pure flour mix.

How to make all-purpose gluten-free flour from grains?

It’s really simple! Here is how I did it. You can also check out this video.

  1. Carefully weigh each grain of the appropriate weight by adding to a large mixing bowl on a kitchen scale (explanation below).
  2. Toss them together in this same bowl.
  3. Turn on the mill and pour the mixed grains into the mill.
  4. Weigh the starches.
  5. Add the starches into the milled grain flour. Cover the container and shake to mix well. Voila!

What’s the formula for my gluten-free flour?

DIY All-purpose Gluten-Free Flour from GrainsI’m sure there are millions of different flour mixes available. My initial idea of this flour mix is from Shauna at glutenfreegirl.com. This flour works really well with the recipes on this blog. This all-purpose gluten-free flour is made of

                                       20% wt.*        Millet

                                       20% wt.          Brown Rice

                                       30% wt.          White Rice

                                       30% wt.          Sweet Rice

                                       10% wt.          Cornstarch

                                       10% wt.          Tapioca Starch

                                       10% wt.          Potato starch

* % wt. means percentage by weight

You can replace millet and/or brown rice with other whole grains, such as oats or quinoa. The yield baking texture will be quite similar.

DIY All-purpose Gluten-Free Flour from Grains-2

Why I use weight instead of volume (measuring cups) in the measurement?

  • More Accurate

The volume varies by the coarseness the grains are milled to. It also varies depending on how tightly you pack the flour into the cup. But when you measure by weight, it is more precise. The volume of the flour doesn’t affect the ratio if the weight is correct. Each cup of non-compacted flour mix, using my formula and the pastry setting on the Wonder Mill, should weigh approximately 140 to 150 grams. In some recipes you can measure 150 grams of my all purpose flour when it calls for 1 cup.

DIY All-purpose Gluten-free Flour from Grains

  • More Convenient

Weighing the grains and mixing them together before they are poured into the mill, will save you from having to deal with a messy job of measuring and mixing the flours later. It is also much easier and quicker to mix grains than flours. You don’t even need a measuring cup and no more flour dust flying around.

Where do I get my grains?

Millet: I bought this 50 lbs bag of hulled millet from Honeyvillie Farms at Amazon. It’s very clean and doesn’t contain any visible dirt or chips. It’s nearly 100% hulled. I also bought millet from Great River Organic Milling and Golden Prairie before, but there was more unhulled millet and much more dirt in the packages (it may vary from batch to batch).

Brown Rice: Uncle Ben’s brown rice or generic grocery store brand brown rice. I try to avoid buying brown rice grown in the arsenic contaminated cotton fields in Texas and Louisiana due to the higher arsenic content, see link here. Most packages say where it was grown and packaged.

White Rice: Thailand jasmine rice (25 lbs bag from Sam’s Club)

Sweet Rice: Thailand sweet rice (10 lbs bag from a local Asian grocery store)

Potato Starch: from Bob’s Red Mill

Cornstarch: Argo 100% pure cornstarch

Tapioca Starch: from local Asian grocery store

DIY All-purpose Gluten-free Flour from GrainsUsing a mill to make your own all-purpose gluten-free flour is quick, simple, easy, and thrifty. I hope sharing my experience with you can really help your situation. I’d be happy to have you share with me how you make your all-purpose gluten-free flour and what your favorite flour mix is.

DIY All-purpose Gluten-Free Flour from Grains
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Tools: A large mixing bowl, kitchen scale (can weigh as grams preferred), wonder mill (see video in post), pastry brush
Author:
Recipe type: Gluten-free
Serves: 10 cups
Ingredients
  • 300 grams millet
  • 300 grams brown rice
  • 300 grams sweet rice
  • 300 grams white rice
  • 100 grams potato starch
  • 100 grams cornstarch
  • 100 grams tapioca starch
Instructions
  1. Carefully weigh each grain of the appropriate weight by adding to a large mixing bowl on a kitchen scale.
  2. Toss them together in this same bowl.
  3. Turn on the mill and pour the mixed grains into the mill.
  4. Weigh the starches.
  5. Add the starches into the milled grain flour. Cover the container and shake to mix well. The flour mix will be slightly warm at this point. Let it cool to room temperature and then transfer into a zip-lock bag. Store in freezer.
Notes
1 cup of this gluten-free flour is approximately 150 grams.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup (150 grams) Calories: 543 Carbohydrates: 118 g

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2 comments

  1. Lauren says:

    This is neat, I’ve been considering making my own flours for a while now, but haven’t really know what device to buy. I’ll definitely check out the Wondermill, it looks like a great investment! Thanks for the info!

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