Monday, June 13, 2011

My Geeked up Gluten Free Flour Blend: The Big Batch Theory

Math, Science, History
Unraveling the Mystery
It all started with a Big Batch!
(of flour and starches)

First things first. I really do not prefer to keep a gazillion different types of flours and starches around to make all the various different recipes I use day after day. I would MUCH rather have just one flour mix that is suitable for almost everything I make. With that in mind, I challenged myself to create a blend of Gluten Free flours and starches that suited my personal preferences. All of my recipes are developed to accommodate my favorite mix.

Since I use this mix for everything, it made sense to make a bulk batch, or as I like to call it, "The Big Batch." One problem.........I am not very mathematical or scientific. The way I went about roughly mixing my favorite flour blend was lazy at best. I never gave it a second thought and would add two bags of this and one bag of that. Sometimes I would keep the different types of flour separate and measure out but that leaves odd leftover amounts you really can't do much with until you add more back in. I could not share my favorite blend with you really. It was not exact so I asked my husband for help.

Meet the hubs. Im sure that most of my readers do not realize that my husband studied physics in college.  If you never get the chance to get to know him better, you will never realize that he is much brighter than he looks.  I lovingly call him "the mad scientist" and his FB page picture is of Beaker from the Muppets.  Thats him, carrot topped mad scientist.  The way he goes about accomplishing anything has an experimental flair to it.  I learned early on in our relationship that he had a reputation for doing most things with a twist of Rube Goldberg to it.

Without breaking a sweat really, he immediately came up with cups of measure in a spreadsheet form. Easy Peasy, right?



He suggested, though, that I should start weighing each flour and keep track and tried to explain to me the Weight versus volume theory.  All flows over my head really.  How it ends up is that we are mixing our Big Batch of flours and starches by weight.   Most bags of Bob's Red Mill Flour's and Starches are 24 ounces per bag.  Tapioca Starch comes in a 20 ounce bag so you will have to add a tad bit more to that portion to equal 24 ounces.

How do I recommend you mix up your big batch of flours and starches?   Easy.  Grab a bucket from Lowe's.  Wash it out if you must.  Its not food quality bucket, its just mixing bucket.  This one was a bit small for the job but it was what we had.

Grab your handy dandy drill and drill a hole in the lid the size of the top of the paint mixer attachment.

Add your flours into your bucket.  I'm adding 4-20 ounce bags of Tapioca, 3-24 ounce bags of Brown Rice Flour and 1-24 ounce bag of Potato Starch.  Add 1 pound of additional Tapioca Starch to equal 24 ounces per bag.  I don't think it would hurt if you just added a one pound box of Corn Starch instead nor do I think it would be a big deal to just skip the added portion.  There I go again, not being very scientific.  LOL.

Insert your lid with the hole onto the shaft of your fresh and clean Paint Mixing Attachment facing downward.  Insert the mixing blade into the flour and attach the lid tightly. Insert top portion of Drill bit into drill.  Mix it up good.  We let it mix for about 7 to 10 minutes.
Voila, you have a big batch of your favorite Gluten Free Blend and you did not have to pay a fortune for it.  You end up with 12 pounds of your favorite blend.  Our local Market has Bob's Red Mill at $3.25 a bag (20 to 24 ounces).  8 bags x $3.25 a bag equals $26.00 per 12 pound batch.  This option is about $2.17 a pound.

Maybe you think that making your own big batch of flour is crazy talk.  Maybe you have a full time job, Karate, Swim Lessons, Baseball, Ballet, Soccer.  No way you were going to get time to do all this.  Right? Below you will find some other worthy and outstanding flour blends that can easily be substituted in my recipes.  Just remember, if the blend has Gum already in it, leave that part out of the recipe.

Better Batter Flour is $56.01 for 15 pounds.  $3.73 a pound
Tom Sawyer Flour is $51.75 for 15 pounds. $3.45 a pound
Jules GF Blend is $$119.70 for 30 pounds.  $ 3.99 a pound

Note: As with anything, especially with Gluten Free baking, different flour blends may give you a different end result.

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