A few years ago when we first started baking gluten-free, we hardcore STRUGGLED. We read about the advertised 1 for 1 blends which almost seemed too good to be true (we quickly learned that our favorite recipes didn't quite work with just a straight equivalent of the gluten-free blend and did end up requiring some modifications, but we'll share tips on how to easily modify flour-based recipes to be gluten-free later!). As we learned the ins and outs of gluten-free baking on our own and went through ALL the ups and downs that come with it, we totally understand how hard it can be if you’re new to gluten-free baking trying to figure out what to do. The first thing we can recommend? Try different all-purpose blends! Don't be discouraged if the first one you try with your grandma's cookie recipe doesn't work, thankfully now-a-days there are multiple options!
To make things a little easier for you, we've put together a list of five of our favorite blends and what we love using them for.
1. Cup4Cup Multipurpose Flour
We LOVE Cup4Cup for recipes at home. As a blend that has a greater portion of various starches as key ingredients, it doesn’t have the typical ‘gritty’ texture you often find in baked goods. But too much starch can also be complicate getting baked goods to hold together, so it’s not always ideal. It also contains dairy so a must-avoid for any dairy-free individuals as well! We didn’t immediately try this as it isn’t as widely available (Target and Amazon do both carry it online though!) but we fell in love with it for pie crusts, sugar cookies, rolls, and pastries.
2. Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour
This blend is a well-balanced mix of multiple gluten-free flours but is heavier with the brown and white rice flours as opposed to the starches in Cup4Cup. This was one of the first blends we tried since it’s in-store at most Targets and some grocery stores! We loved it for chocolate chip cookies, cakes, and sweet breads.
3. King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure
This blend is actually quite similar to Bob’s in that it’s key ingredients are rice flours, which are great binding agents. It's also widely in grocery stores which makes it a great first flour to test with a new recipe. King Arthur is great for cookies, cakes and sweet breads too!
4. Blends by Orly
We first came across Orly with her gluten-free bakery on the Upper West Side in New York City! Everything she makes is delicious, so we knew we had to try her gluten-free flour blends. Blends by Orly has 4 different blends that are already tailored to your baking needs! Our favorite was the Manhattan blend (of course 😉) which we LOVED with cream puffs and other pastries!
5. Better Batter
This one is very similar to Cup4Cup in being heavier in the starches included but has two differentiating factors: it includes Pectin which acts as an additional binding agent and it doesn’t include any dairy! The only downside is we have yet to find it in a retail store (maybe soon??) but you can order it through their online store! We love Better Batter for sugar cookies, pastries, cakes, pie crusts and more!
We hope you find the perfect blend for your favorite recipes! Comment below if you've tried other blends too, we love trying new blends!
P.S. Simple Tip: always measure your flour by weight instead of volume! If a recipe calls for 1C, it generally weights about 140 grams, but each blend is slightly different. Check online for the exact weight to use!