Eureka! The perfect gluten-free flour mix for muffins

We have officially welcomed Fall, even though she’s not due to arrive until September 21. Jon has been singing “I love football” from his permanent weekend spot on the couch, and for me? This is the perfect season for baking (or, the perfect season for baking gluten free). :)

Gluten-free baking is tricky. When I first found out I had celiac disease, I figured I’d be eating rice for the rest of my life. After a few months, I discovered rice flour (ta-da!). I was so excited I decided I’d make my favorite pumpkin cookies, and I simply substituted the all-purpose flour the recipe called for with my rice flour. Imagine my disappointment when they just crumbled apart when I tried to pick them up. You see, gluten is the sticky part of wheat, barley, and rye–without it or some other binding agent, your baked goods will just fall apart in your hands. From there I learned that the key to gluten-free baking is mixing flours and adding a little xantham gum to hold everything together.

But on to the gluten-free pumpkin muffins, and the absolutely perfect gluten-free muffin flour dough I created.

See that texture? Just like wheat flour muffins. (If you don’t eat gluten free, you’re probably thinking, “so what?” But if you’re used to the horrible textures and aftertastes of gluten-free baking, it’s kind of a big deal.)

I adapted Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for simple pumpkin muffins. I added a teaspoon of vanilla (because you just can’t bake anything pumpkin without a little vanilla) and instead of wheat flour, I added this mix:

1 part brown rice flour
1 part sweet sorghum flour
1 part millet flour, with a little potato starch mixed in to keep the muffins from being too dry

Why did I use those flours? Because it’s what I had in the pantry. I also added a teaspoon of xantham gum, my staple for gluten-free baking. And voila! Perfect gluten-free pumpkin muffins on the first try. (I should also add that I’ve only tried this recipe once, and I should probably test it out a few more times before calling it perfect, but oh well.) These muffins are light and airy, yet moist, and they puffed up beautifully in the oven. I wouldn’t use this mix for cookies though–I tried that last weekend and was left with little cake-like bites instead of flat, round cookies. The perfect gluten-free cookie flour mix is next on my to-do list.


2 Comments to “Eureka! The perfect gluten-free flour mix for muffins”

  1. These look so yummy but I was wondering, how much of the starch did you add ? ?

  2. Hi Farzana,

    I didn’t measure the starch, but I probably used a tablespoon or so per cup of the final mix. Try that and see if the muffins turn out the way you like them (if they are still too crumbly, try adding more starch next time). And let me know what you think! :)

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