3 Homemade Gluten-Free Baking Mixes, 3 Ways to Use Them

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gluten-free cookies

In supermarkets today, you can buy a great many different gluten-free baking mixes: for breads, for cakes, for cookies, for pretty much any baked item under the sun! But why buy your gluten-free baking mix when it's so easy to make it yourself?

Different baked goods require different gluten-free baking mixes, just like different baked goods are best with different flours -- while many all-purpose mixes exist (just like all-purpose wheat flour), take advantage of the wide variety of gluten-free flours to create baked goods that are at their best. A heartier baked good like bread will need a mix that stands up to sandwich fillings and butter knives, whereas mixes for things like brownies and chocolate fondants will need to be lighter, airier and fluffier.

Get to the root of the best mix for the recipe you're trying to conquer, and soon you'll see that homemade gluten-free baking mixes are often far tastier than anything you'll find at the store.

1. Gluten-Free Bread Mix

When creating a gluten-free bread, you're looking for a texture that is going to stand up to sandwich fillings but not be hard or tough. The lack of gluten means that flour isn't enough to get the proper texture, so a combination of xanthan gum, yeast and eggs is frequently used in gluten-free breads to get a texture both airy and structured.

As wheat flour offers a combination of protein and starch, it's important, when trying to achieve a similar texture, to use products that bring both to the mix. This gluten-free mix uses a combination of brown rice flour, tapioca flour and cornstarch. Brown rice flour provides the protein portion of the mix in addition to the nutty flavor familiar with whole wheat flour and some of the starch. Meanwhile, tapioca flour and cornstarch add even more binding power, and xanthan gum adds the elasticity needed to bring the bread together.

This mix is designed to be used with 2 eggs and 1 1/2 cup of water; the addition of eggs allows you to use less xanthan gum, which can be hard to digest. As always, experiment with your own gluten-free bread recipes. If you are planning on baking this bread with yeast, you may want to add some sugar or honey to the dough to help it rise, but you can also use this mix to bake up breads with baking powder, as you would a quick bread.

This is a great base for adding other ingredients as well: olives and nuts make it a tasty savory bread, while adding some spices, honey and dried fruit make it lovely for breakfast.

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

2. Gluten Free Fondant Mix

Fondants are some of the ideal recipes to make with a gluten-free baking mix. Because you want these cakes to be tender, not chewy, the gluten in wheat flours can often be a hinderance to achieving the ideal texture. With a gluten-free flour mix, this problem is solved!

This gluten-free baking mix uses cornstarch to bring the cake together and bind it without making it elastic or chewy. A bit of almond flour adds some nutty flavor and a touch of protein. Resulting fondants and brownies come out extremely tender and melt in your mouth!

1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup almond flour

Try using this mix as a substitute for flour in your favorite chocolate fondant or chocolate brownie recipe.

3. Gluten-Free Cookie Mix

Who doesn't love a good cookie? A light, buttery sugar cookie, a rich, chewy chocolate chip; anything's game with this gluten-free cookie mix. You can even swap out the oat flour for some quick-cooking rolled outs for a gluten-free oatmeal cookie!

To the mix itself, add 1 cup of butter, 1 egg and 1 cup of sugar (brown, white or a mix). Then stir in whatever mix-ins you'd like, and you're there!

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup oat flour
2/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 tsp. gluten-free baking powder

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Image: Cassidy

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