As gluten free baking becomes ever more popular, the gluten free options at the grocery store have continued to improve. Where once you could only find a few gluten free “flours” and had to experiment with the ratios between them in your own kitchen, now you can choose from dozens of different flour blends and a variety of gluten free mixes. While a cake mix is handy, I still prefer having a versatile flour blend on hand that I can do different things with. Some gluten free flours are not all that versatile, but Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour promised to be just that, so I couldn’t resist giving it a trial run on a few recipes.
The flour blend is made with white and brown rice flours, potato starch, white sorghum flour, tapioca flour and zanthan gum. I am generally a fan of rice-based gluten free flour blends for baking, as they often help preserve a light, tender texture in cookies and cakes. This flour blend – which promised that it could be substituted cup for cup in a “regular” recipe – did not disappoint. A cake made with it had a tender, even crumb and rose just about as high as the wheat flour version I made. Cookies baked up to be crisp at the edges and tender in the center. The flour had a nice, mild flavor that didn’t distract from the other flavors in the recipes.
The only problem that I encountered when working with this flour was that the batters turned out to be a bit thinner than conventional batters. This meant that the first batch of cookies I baked with the blend spread out a lot compared to a “regular” recipe (the first gluten free batch is pictured below, left, while the “regular” cookies are below, right). The problem was solved easily by adding an extra tablespoon or two of flour to the cookie dough, but I recommend baking a test batch of cookies just to be on the safe side. When it comes to cakes, you aren’t going to see the spread because the pan will hold your batter in place, however you might want to underfill your cupcake pans a bit so that they don’t accidentally develop flat tops.
Still, I really enjoyed this flour blend and would definitely recommend it for most baking applications. It has a great flavor, is easy to work with and only requires very minor adjustments (note: I still ate the spread out cookies, just preferred less spread for the second batch!) if the recipe isn’t exactly the way you want it. I recommend starting with my Gluten Free Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies, which are outstanding with this blend.