Gluten free pudding flour

I recently discovered that I can’t eat wheat, which is a major downer when making pudding. After a lot of poking around and trying out various flour substitute recipes from various gluten free sources, I found this recipe:

  • 700 grams cornstarch
  • 500 grams tapioca starch
  • 300 grams white rice flour
  • 200 grams brown rice flour
  • 200 grams nonfat milk power
  • 100 grams potato flour
  • 20 grams xanthan gum

This does, indeed, make a wonderful substitute for wheat flour. However… however, there’s a lot of weird ingredients there. They are also quite costly. I wasn’t going to let weird and expensive get in the way of making pudding, now was I?

So let’s break this list down.

 

  • 700 grams cornstarch

OK, this is a dirt cheap and common ingredient.

 

  • 500 grams tapioca starch

OK, not cheap in your local grocery store.

 

  • 300 grams white rice flour

Not readily available, and certainly not cheap.

 

  • 200 grams brown rice flour

.. what the what now?

 

  • 200 grams nonfat milk power

OK, back on normal ground.

 

  • 100 grams potato flour

… you’re kidding, right?

 

  • 20 grams xanthan gum

You’re definitely kidding now, that doesn’t even exist, does it? … it costs HOW MUCH?!!?

 

OK, time to take a deep breath and break down the weird and expensive stuff. The ingredients break down into 3 categories: whole grain flour, starches, and support ingredients.

WHOLE GRAIN FLOUR (sort of)
Brown rice flour, Buckwheat flour, Corn (Maize) flour, Mesquite flour, Millet flour, Oat flour, Quinoa flour, Sorghum flour, and Teff flour all work as “whole grain flour” for the purposes of this recipe.

STARCHES
Arrowroot flour, Cornstarch, Potato flour, Potato starch, Sweet (also called glutinous) rice flour, Tapioca flour, White rice flour, are all starches for this purpose.

Wait, what about potato flour? If you have instant potato flakes and a food processor or spice grinder, you have potato flour!

SUPPORT INGREDIENTS
Dried milk powder is available in pretty much every store. Shop by price. Xanthan gum is more difficult, and expensive. It is there to be a thickener/binding agent to replace gluten. There are some other options for the thickener such as psyllium husk powder. These kind of ingredients can be found in health food type stores such as Whole Foods or Sprouts in the USA, or online at Amazon.com. Unfortunately there is no real substitute for these ingredients, and they are expensive. Thankfully you only tend to use a very small amount in each recipe. Shop by price.

 

So, let’s break down the flour recipe.
700 grams cornstarch + 500 grams tapioca starch + 300 grams white rice flour

That’s 1.5kg of starches from different sources. Check out the starches list above to see which you can get for a decent price near you.

 

200 grams brown rice flour – use whichever of the “whole grain” flours above you can source at a good price.

 

200 grams nonfat milk power – shop by price.

 

100 grams potato flour – no need to substitute this. You’ve got the potato flakes and food processor, right?

 

20 grams xanthan gum – yeah, OK, that’s expensive. Bite the bullet and put it in, it’s only a couple of tablespoons worth.

 

By percentages: 75% starches, 10% whole grain flour, 10% milk powder, 5% potato flour. Add your xanthan gum, mix thoroughly, and label clearly.

So why should you, person who doesn’t have a problem with wheat and/or gluten, make up an exotic concoction like this? Because this mix makes the most ridiculously light and fluffy puddings, muffins that evaporate in your mouth, and allows your friends or family who do have wheat/gluten issues to enjoy some delicious pudding!

 

PIE CRUST

When using this blend to make a pie crust, the good news is you don’t have to worry about over-working and making a tough crust: no gluten! You do, however, need to work it a bit more thoroughly than wheat flour to make sure all the fat is fully incorporated into the flour. I have also found this blend to be a little more “thirsty” than wheat, so be prepared to add a little more liquid to make your pie crust.

Mind you, if you’re making your pie crust with butter (as you should!) you’ll probably be OK on the extra liquid!

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