saying so long to gluten-free girl

everything ends, eventually

This is a public post for all you who are joining me here in the last week. Today is the day to subscribe, if you like what you find.

Tomorrow some time, before the end of the day, our website developer is turning Gluten-Free Girl into a password-protected private site.

I wrote an email to the Gluten-Free Girl mailing list—the last one I will ever send as GFG—so many of you who are new here know this already. But, as a brief recap….

Danny and I once never imagined letting go of our site or the work we did there. But it ran its course. (As my brother said, “It lasted longer than the Beatles.”) We changed. We started imagining a different life. And we have not updated the site since 2017.

And yet, we have been paying the exorbitant hosting fees for the site ever since. Letting go fully takes time, often times much longer than we ever imagined. Now that I have a job I love, both kids are in school, and my book ENOUGH is in the world and I am seeing the effect of it on others? I know what my work is in the world. This newsletter is part of it. Gluten-Free Girl is not.

I have changed all my handles. I have let go of it all. And tomorrow, it is going away.

However, Gluten-Free Girl is not going away entirely. Danny and I have so much of our lives on that site. Taking the site down to only those with a password gives us the time and space to slowly sift through it, to decide which essays to cull for our own memories and our kids’ sakes. And it also gives us the chance to figure out what we want to do with all…those…recipes.

This also gives us the chance to share the site with those of you truly care about it being around for awhile. If you are a paid subscriber of this newsletter, you will be receiving the password to GFG, plus updates to that password. This is the day to make the choice to subscribe.

Plus, in looking at old recipes this week, Danny and I have been feeling a lot of nostalgia. And the intense need to revise! So many of the foods on that site still feel like ours but we make them differently now. Here, on a regular basis for paid subscribers, we will be sharing our updated versions of some of our most favorite foods. We want to give them to you.

Today, I’m sharing the post I wrote years ago about how to make a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix, along with the video. So many of you asked to keep that one public that I am putting it here. It’s an exercise in nostalgia for me to see it—I still had breasts then!—and I am going to leave it as I wrote it, rather than revise it.

Thank you to all of you who have been part of this journey. My life has been made more meaningful by your presence in the community of GFG. I hope you can join us here too.

Love,

Shauna


July 11, 2012

As you know, we like to make our own flour mixes in this house. Any of our recipes that call for a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix are based on a 40/60 ratio: 40% whole grain and 60% white flours/starches. Once you figure out your flours, and you shake up a big container of it? You have flour for any recipe you want to create.

However, we haven’t been able to show you exactly what we mean until now.

Here’s me, being goofy again, explaining how to make a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix. (We have one on the whole-grain mix coming soon.)

In the mix I demonstrated here, we used 200 grams of sorghum flour, 200 grams of millet flour, 300 grams of sweet rice flour, and 300 grams of potato starch. (That’s for 1000 grams of flour mix. If you want twice that, simply multiply everything x 2. If you want 5 times that amount of flour, simply multiply everything x 5.) That’s the combination I have been using lately, mostly because I tried to simplify this for you, using as few flours as possible.

Remember that wheat flour is not all gluten protein. It’s part protein and part starches. That’s why we mix whole-grain flours (most of which are very high in protein) with starches (not much nutritional value but they help make the flour mix hold together and make it look white enough to make familiar-looking baked goods).

But that’s just the flour mix we use here. This is really important to us: we want you to make your own flour mix. Please don’t think of us this as our flour mix. Make it your own. We are happy as heck that the percentages of whole grain flours to white flours works in gluten-free baking. Now, make your own.

In case you were wondering, here are the gluten-free flours available to you, broken down by categories:

WHOLE GRAIN FLOURS

brown rice flour
buckwheat flour
corn flour
mesquite flour
millet flour
oat flour
quinoa flour
sorghum flour
sweet potato flour
teff flour

WHITE FLOURS/STARCHES

arrowroot flour
cornstarch
potato flour
potato starch
sweet rice flour
tapioca flour
white rice flour

NUT FLOURS

almond flour
chestnut flour
coconut flour
hazelnut flour

BEAN FLOURS

fava bean flour
garbanzo bean flour
kinako (roasted soy bean) flour

See how many choices we have?

Now, as you can see, there are more categories than whole-grain flours and white flours. The nut flours and bean flours are their own categories. However, if I add some to the gluten-free all-purpose flour mix, I add them as whole grains. (Technically, sweet potato isn’t a grain but we put it in that category.) Why? Because they’re so high in protein. However, understand that they work differently than sorghum or millet.

I really don’t like the bean flours. To me, they always taste like beans. The exception for me is the roasted soy bean flour, which I’m loving in cookies lately. However, you might love garbanzo flour. Add it as a whole-grain flour in this mix.

I really love almond flour in crumbles and bready things. However, remember that the nut flours are full of good fats, so they will throw off the ratio of your baked goods. Recently, I made a pie crust that just didn’t work. Frustrated, I kept puzzling as to what happened. Then I remembered I had added some almond flour to the mix and that mean the crust had too much fat.

What we like to do is make the gluten-free all-purpose flour mix with the whole-grain flours and white flours. Then, if I want a specific taste? I’ll add almond flour as part of the total weight of flour in a recipe. Or a bit of roasted soy flour. I play.

So you can make a mix based on what you like, what you need, and what you can afford. Allergic to rice? Make a mix with millet, sorghum, arrowroot, and potato starch. Some of those whole-grain flours not available where you live? Use brown rice, corn flour, cornstarch, and white rice. You want to make up a mix based on what you have in the kitchen that moment? Go for it.

Of course, it’s not that simple. Each of the flours absorbs water differently. (Coconut flour sucks all the moisture out of a baked good, which is why it annoys me.) Some flours have a particularly strong taste, like mesquite or quinoa, so you want to use them in small doses. But you’ll find your way. Keep playing.

This is really all about playing.

(Also, remember this: if you want to convert your favorite gluten recipe gluten-free? Start by subbing 140 grams of this flour mix for every 1 cup of gluten AP flour.)

Start baking!