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How To Stock Your Gluten Free Pantry for Baking

How To Stock Your Gluten Free Pantry for Baking

Stocking Your Gluten Free Pantry [pinit]

I get a lot of emails. I have a page on FAQs which really does answer most Frequently Asked Questions. Nobody reads that, though. I’m convinced of it. But I so want you to be successful, and I so want you to see that it’s really not very hard to bake gluten free. So when you email me and ask where I buy this or that, or where you can find this or that, this is the link you’ll receive. It may take some time to get back to you, but the response will be super nice. Unless you’re mean or demanding, and then I’ll be pretty mad at you. Hint: don’t end your email with “please advise.” It’s too bossy.  *ETA: Apparently, “please advise” can be meant to be deferential! Who knew? Don’t worry – when it’s a respectful email in general, I don’t nitpick.

Before you read on, please understand a few things:

  1. I am not affiliated with any of the sources I mention, other than perhaps having developed a nice rapport with the proprietors since I’ve called them to make sure their products are safely gluten free or to make sure they have something in stock before I open the floodgates. In fact, I don’t even really love nuts.com that much, even though I buy a lot of individual flours from them. Their customer service has been lacking at times, and their shipping costs are too high. And, to drive home the fact of my lack of affiliation, I was even careful not to include any amazon affiliate links in the list (and few actual links at all).
  2. You do not have to buy any of these products. This is an FYI.
  3. These are not the only sources for these products. These are simply my sources. Do you have a better source? Let us all know in the comments!
  4. Wondering what to do with all of the individual gluten free flours? Check the Gluten Free Flours Page. It’s all there. Wondering how to use the flour blends? I’ve got that covered too.
  5. Don’t want to make your own all purpose gluten free flour blend? Don’t! Unless indicated otherwise, Better Batter gluten free flour (buy it directly from the company and get the best price) and Cup4Cup gluten free flour work in all of my recipes. Wondering how the main commercial blends work? Check out the results of the extensive testing I did a while back.

Well, then. Here’s a peek inside my Gluten Free Pantry:

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Superfine white rice flour (I buy Authentic Foods brand, on amazon.com because I have a Prime membership so shipping is free) *ETA: I just learned that Vitacost.com just started carrying Authentic Foods flours! Great news. Thanks Erin!!

Superfine brown rice flour (I buy Authentic Foods brand, on amazon.com because I have a Prime membership so shipping is free) *ETA: I just learned that Vitacost.com just started carrying Authentic Foods flours! Great news. Thanks Erin!!

Superfine sweet white rice flour (ditto the Authentic Foods info above)

Tapioca starch/flour (I buy it online at nuts.com)

Potato starch (I buy it online at nuts.com)

Xanthan gum (I buy it online at nuts.com)

Potato flour (I buy it online at nuts.com)

Sweet white sorghum flour (I buy it online at nuts.com)

Teff flour (I buy it online at nuts.com)

Cornstarch (I buy it online at nuts.com)

Yellow cornmeal (I buy “gluten free corn meal” online at nuts.com)

Masa harina corn flour (I buy “gluten free masa harina corn flour” at nuts.com)

Certified old fashioned gluten free rolled oats (I buy it at Trader Joe’s, and I grind some of into oat flour sometimes, or pulse it in a food processor a bit to make more like quick-cooking oats – I do not buy any other, more processed oats because I’m cheap)

Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder (I buy Rodelle brand for a relatively reasonable price on amazon.com)

Natural unsweetened cocoa powder (I usually buy Hershey’s regular cocoa powder, and/or Hershey’s Extra Dark cocoa powder (a blend of natural and Dutch-processed that I like mostly because it’s very dark in color, and sometimes I want that), and find them both at my local grocery store (although I’ve been having trouble finding Special Dark lately))

Whey protein isolate (I buy NOW Brand online at amazon.com, and it costs 73¢ per ounce—not the $1 million dollars per ounce some angry people would have you believe)

Expandex modified tapioca starch (I buy it from Montana’s Gifts of Nature – full information on my Gluten Free Resources page)

Ultratex 3 (I buy it from willpowder.net – full information on my Gluten Free Resources page)

Coconut flour (I buy it online at nuts.com)

Blanched finely-ground almond flour (I buy it online at either nuts.com or honeyville.com (much better price, slower shipping)—*ETA: According to a reader below (thanks, Patty!), Honeyville almond flour is available on amazon.com for the same price as on honeyville.com, and you can get it in 2 days with free shipping if you are an Amazon prime member; great tip!)

Arrowroot powder/starch (I buy it online at nuts.com)

Cream of tartar (I buy McCormick brand at my local grocery store)

Kosher salt (I usually buy Diamond Crystal brand at my local grocery store)

Baking soda (I buy Arm & Hammer brand at my local grocery store)

Baking powder (I buy Rumford brand (aluminum free) at my local grocery store)

Ground cinnamon (I buy McCormick brand at my local grocery store)

Pure powdered pectin (I buy Pomona brand online from pomonapectin.com – you use it without the calcium packet) *ETA: I just learned that amazon.com now carries Pomona pectin, and you can even buy it in bulk for a better price. Thanks, Allison!

Nonfat dry milk (I buy Carnation Instant Nonfat Dry Milk, and find it at my local grocery store, but you can order it online from soap.com, and many other online and brick-and-mortar retailers)

Instant yeast (I buy Red Star brand quick-rise instant yeast; I find it at my local grocery store sometimes, and otherwise I order it online at amazon.com (just search for “red star quick rise yeast”))

Sugars: Granulated sugar, confectioners’ sugar, light brown sugar (I buy Diamond brand at my local grocery store or my wholesale club)

Turbinado cane sugar (I buy Sugar in the Raw brand at my local grocery store)

Granulated coconut (palm) sugar (I buy it online at nuts.com, and in my local Trader Joe’s)

Honey (I usually buy clover honey at Trader Joe’s, but when I plan to bake with a lot of it (like making candy), I use something milder, like wildflower honey)

Semi-sweet chocolate chips (I buy Nestle brand, usually at my local grocery store)

Dairy-free gluten-free chocolate chips (I buy Enjoy Life brand online at amazon.com when I find a sweet deal – and then I stock up; a reader recently told me how much she loves Rice Dreams dairy free chocolate chips so I tried .. .and I agree!)

Bittersweet baking chocolate (I usually use Scharffen Berger 70% cacao dark chocolate, and buy it on amazon.com)

Dipping chocolate (for pre-tempered chocolate for molding and dipping, I love Chocoley.com—perfect for my upcoming book Gluten Free Classic Snacks!)

Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening (I buy it at my local health food store or online at amazon.com, but only in the cool months or it melts during delivery! If you are concerned about the sustainability of Spectrum’s product, Tropical Traditions is a much better choice)

Unsalted butter (I buy it at my local Trader Joe’s, but it’s frequently on sale at the traditional grocery store)

Organic virgin coconut oil (I buy it at my local Trader Joe’s)

Eggs (I buy cage-free eggs at my local Trader Joe’s)

Pure vanilla extract (I buy McCormick brand at my wholesale club or at my local grocery store)

Gel food coloring (I buy Americolor brand, as it’s all gluten free, and I order it from amazon.com)

Whole raw almonds (I buy them at my local Trader Joe’s)

All other nuts, seeds and dried fruit, I buy online at nuts.com (Trader Joe’s has them, but they’re usually made on shared equipment, etc.)


  • Stock up as little or as much as you like. These are not the only sources for these products. These are just my sources for these products. I am thorough and pretty experienced, but far from all-knowing. If you have better sources for any of these products, please by all means share in the comments below! Especially if you’re outside the U.S. and have found sources, please tell us.



P.S. Do you have your copy of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread yet?

If you liked this recipe, you'll love my new book!

Gluten-Free Small Bites

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  • Jenn Hare

    Are there any flours that can be used for baking that aren’t so costly? What are your thoughts on biting the bullet and buying bulk or just buying GF box mixes from the store for use.

    • The superfine rice flours are costly, but essential for good gluten free baking (except for possibly yeast bread, which I discuss more in my new GF bread book). The other flours really aren’t that expensive, Jenn. But as I explain in the post, if you don’t want to build your own blend, then don’t! I have done extensive testing of commercial all purpose blends, and linked to the results in the post.

    • Niki Moen

      If you buy in bulk from Better Batter and watch their facebook page for coupons, you can get some pretty sweet deals. I’ve been able to purchase the 50 lb bag for around $50. For me, the convenience factor is huge; between my two jobs and family of 6, I am incredibly busy.

    • Donia Robinson

      Better Batter often has deals on their web site. I try to stock up when that happens. Sometimes they will have an overrun, and run out of boxes before they run out of bags of flour. Or just overstocked in some size. At their web site, click Shop Now in the menu across the top, and then Discounts/Sales on the left side. Not only do I find it more convenient to buy a bulk size, but having it around makes it seem much less daunting to actually whip out something. I have a big container of Better Batter and a big container of Nicole’s bread flour recipe. The boxed mixes (like for cake, for example) at the grocery store are very pricey. They might end up being about the same price per pound, but then I realize that I’m paying for sugar (which is inexpensive), baking powder, cocoa, etc., so buying the plain flour and making my own mix is far cheaper.

      • Baking mixes for cakes, cookies, pancakes, etc. are a total scam! Crazy expensive, and contain totally inexpensive ingredients that they mark up like crazy because of the convenience factor (which I don’t discount, but I prefer to make my own mixes, and then just store them in my pantry). Well said, Donia!

  • PamG

    Would love to know what you use each of these for! I’ve been GF for 5 years now and I’m JUST getting comfortable with it….

    • Please follow the link for how to use the component flours in the post, Pam.

      • PamG

        Not needing a blend – just curious – I bought superfine sweet rice flour and forgot why and what specific purpose it was for! And the expandex and ultratex are a mystery to me….

        • Pam, Expandex and Ultratex are for the bread flour blend in my new bread book. I don’t use sweet rice flour, typically.

  • Tabitha

    Thank you so much for all of the information! I’ve recently started venturing into gluten-free baking for my celiac husband. I started with the all-purpose flour from Bulk Barn, but I noticed that some of my baking has a weird sweet pea aftertaste to it (would you happen to know why?) I’m going to try making a mix next, as I think that will take away the aftertaste and probably make things easier.
    I have your book “Gluten Free on a Shoestring”, which is now one of my favourite cookbooks! I’m looking forward to getting your new book and trying out making my own bread. :)

    • Hi, Tabitha,
      Without knowing what the flour blend contains, I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to tell you anything about it, other than to say that there are a lot of wacky blends out there! If it’s a bean flour blend (usually made with chickpea/garbanzo bean flour), those are simply awful and are good for essentially nothing, in my opinion.

  • Katherine

    Thanks for the list! We have always bought our component flours locally, because I’m just so impatient, but I’m going to check these out! It sounds like especially the whey protein isolate is a good idea online. Now if you could just come fix my mail service — it’s terrible :)

  • Cheryl Robinson Thomas

    So glad to have this info in one neat spot. Thank you so much! I’ve started building my GF pantry stock and just need to add a few more things from the list. Can’t wait for a time to start baking…

  • Jackie Fretwell

    Very cool, Nicole! Thanks for giving us a peak at your pantry! I’m happy to say that mine is almost perfect, I’ve got the protein on its way here now.
    You’re a doll! :)

  • Erin Lowery Baerwaldt

    I buy almost everything from Vitacost.com. Not sure how their prices compare to nuts.com but they are priced the lowest i have seen compared to local or amazon and they have free shipping over $50. My orders usually arrive in one to two days after ordering. Love it! They are even carrying Authentic now! :) And i have signed up for free with ebates and get cash back on my purchases with Vitacost. Free $!

  • WTFPinterest.com

    Very helpful, as always. You have just answered my Pomona question! I had ordered in bulk from Amazon but, with illness and holidays, hadn’t yet gotten around to asking you if the calcium just gets tossed. Thanks for all you do. I am officially ready to get my bake on (finally!)! Thank you for everything!

    • Until you mentioned it, Allison, I hadn’t even checked amazon recently to see if they carried Pomona pectin. They never did before! That’s great to know – and yes, toss the calcium packet! That must be the most FAQ I get by email (and everywhere else)!

  • Jennifer S.

    this truly is the bestie best best post yet on this kind of stuff. I love it!! I also remember not to use: “Please advise” on any of my emails, because I think I do!! LOL!!! Thanks for being the best GF goddess around!

    • Thanks, Jennifer! Yeah, “please advise” is kinda demanding. :0

  • I didn’t know that Vitacost carried Authentic products, Erin! That’s awesome to know. Thank you so much! And we’re big fans of ebates and fatwallet in my house. Well, my husband is a big fan. I’m a big forgetter, despite being a fan. :)

    • Erin Lowery Baerwaldt

      They JUST started carrying Authentic and it is cheaper than amazon! I need them to carry the pectin (and Expandex!) but i was super excited to see the flours. :) Thanks for taking the time to make this list.

      • That is so good to know. I will edit the post to reflect this important news, Erin! Thanks a million. I love it when the comments can make the post itself better!

        • Mare Masterson

          Some of my stuff I have purchased from Amazon has been shipped by Vitacost.

      • Donia Robinson

        Erin, I love Vitacost as well! I sent them a request asking them to carry Expandex. They wrote back immediately and asked for a SKU number, etc., so I’m really hoping it will happen. Perhaps you could email them as well. I think they really listen to their customers! I even told them to see Nicole’s blog for just how in-demand the product is, and the nationwide shortages caused by her book. ;)

        • Erin Lowery Baerwaldt

          Donia, i will email them for sure!

  • craig wilhelm

    most people don’t have 5 or 6 different kinds of flour in their house.i have I at my house.

    • Hi, Craig, That’s why I state in the post that this list is just an FYI. Buy as little or as much as you like. I would like to make sure you understand that 1 single gluten free flour is never going to be enough for baking. If it’s a blend, then that will work just fine!

  • Thank you, thank you for the pictures of the protein powder – I was having a hard time figuring out which ones, plus I love photos. I got a good morning snort from your “please advise” – we always used it at work with higher ups as a sign of respect, so it’s interesting to read you find it bossy. I love how we all interact with words in different ways. Happy new year, and thanks again for your awesome book, you’ve given me the confidence to try GF bread at home after some non-gum failures :)

    • Really, as a sign of respect, Lisa? When I was a practicing lawyer, it was used by the partners to indicate that they owned us! And they relished it. ;) It also matters what the rest of the email sounds like, too, I guess. I get lots of I-need-to-know-immediately emails! :)

      • Hi Nicole – yes, believe it or not, as a sign of respect. Which I guess is an indication of the company culture, now that I read your interpretation. I won’t say where I worked but I was a marketing/PR writer at a huge tech company, so our “bosses” were engineers and LOVED that phrase from us marketing folks. I can’t imagine the number of emails you get – thanks for collecting all the info in one place! I truly value your blog and recipes and the research you do – hope you have a great new year! Best, Lisa

  • BKD

    I use Swanson Herbs to buy most of my flours. I have had good results with their products, and the vitamins, especially probiotics if you need them. Good prices. I was so glad to find this website, and I am enjoying the recipes, Nicole. I also bought two cookbooks. They are indeed awesome! Happy New Year

  • Thank you thank you thank you SO MUCH for sharing this! I’m only about 4 months in to living gluten-free (necessary for health reasons) and I’m still working on navigating this new way of cooking/baking. Your FAQ page was the second thing I read when I discovered your blog (right after the About page) and it has been incredibly helpful. Thanks for sharing such great info and delicious recipes. Hope you have a great 2014!

    PS – the gf chewy sugar cookies and Nutella monster cookies were a big hit with my gluten-loving Italian in-laws at Christmas. :)

    • Hi, Stephanie,
      So glad the FAQs page has been helpful! And that the cookies were a real hit. If you’re making cookies for gluten-loving in-laws already, you’re in great shape!

  • Mare Masterson

    I’ll see your “please advise” and raise you “Please contact me with any questions or comments.” I am sure that being a former practicing attorney you have had enough of “please advise” to last 10 lifetimes! I am lucky the attorneys I work with are gravitating to plain language writing these days and hardly use “please advise.”

    Oh Nicole, you continually amaze me! I am redoing my pantry (buying and organizing) and here comes your timely post, yet again! I am even preparing my orders for the various flours…hoping to have enough $$ to order and venture out into making my own flour blends! It all depends on the cost at the end of my list. I may have to scale it down to just having the things for the rye bread (the starter and the flours) because I do have Better Batter in the pantry, and then make another order at a future time for the rest.

    If I should ever win the lottery to where I do not have to work, I will be happy to relocate to your area (and be near family again) and assist you for free. It is what I do best!

    • I didn’t know you worked with lawyers, Mare! I practiced law in large, international law firms, and I’m afraid the lawyers who work at firms like that are not exactly known for the courteousness. ;)

      • Mare Masterson

        I have been in legal profession for over 30 years. Started as a Word Processor. I am now a Paralegal. I totally understand about the large international law firms and their lack of courteousness. I used to work at a large NY firm in the early 80s.

  • Amy

    I got Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread for Christmas and have been baking like crazy! So far bagels, banana bread, monkey bread…so many tasty GF breads! One question that I have is should I only use expandex when I am making the bread four, or should I also use it in my AP gf flour when tapioca is called for? I don’t really understand what the difference is. Thanks for all of your amazing GF work!

    • Hi, Amy, Wow you are off to a great bread-baking start! Expandex is not at all the same as regular tapioca starch/flour, so definitely don’t sub it in place of anything! Just use it for the bread flour. :)

  • Adaptagirl

    Thanks so much! And, I just bit the bullet and ordered a case of Better Batter flour (I’m on their financial aid list) as well as ordering the Expandex from Montana’s Gifts of Nature. I’m making the choice to take care of myself, including cooking gluten-free. And the owner is a sweetie who cares that his customers succeed in transitioning to gluten-free.

    • Yeah, Larry is so nice. It’s lovely to do business with a real human being!

  • Sheree

    I need to know more about Idaho spuds signature photo bits . What are they. I looked up the product and was still I sure . I am in western Canada . It is ai tant potato flake ?
    I want to make the quick potato crust quiche

    • They may not sell them where you live, Sheree. You can just use Betty Crocker GF potato flakes, or another dehydrated potato flake. I’m afraid I’m not familiar with Canadian brands!

  • Bev T

    Amazon.com carries pure apple pectin in 1 pound and 2.5 pound containers. You are not throwing away money (no calcium packet to throw away), and there are no other additives.

  • Donia Robinson

    That chick up there looks pretty fierce. He looks like he’s saying, “This is my brother. You are NOT going to eat him.”

    • LOL you are so right, Donia. I love that little chick. He’s mostly there for his extreme good-looks.

      • Donia Robinson

        My son’s classroom hatched eggs last year, and I’ll admit that I watched the webcam way more than I should have. They were just so darn cute! Especially when newly hatched, they would all get settled down, then one would get antsy and they would all startle awake and jump around. Hilarious, and super cute.

  • Anneke

    I love this post! In fact, I loved the title of this post before I even read it. I did, however, read it, and all the comments, and the FAQs (read those before, but wanted to refresh my memory) before asking my own question. Which is, what are your thoughts on storage? Refrigerator, freezer, cabinet, counter? In original containers or in glass or plastic? The reason I ask is that long ago (when I was much, much younger and not experienced in life, I think I had been in my own apartment for about 5 minutes!) I was still using that grain that starts with WH and rhymes with eat. I had a bag of that dreadful stuff in my pantry, and did not know that after a period of time, the bugs take over and infest your home. They were everywhere; I still shudder to think of it! I now have a pathological fear that my flours will get little visitors at the least provocation, so I store most everything in the fridge. I think that I don’t need to, though, do I? And, I really need the fridge space for my breads that are happily proofing away.

    As for Please Advise . . . totally get what you are saying about that! I know I have used it, but I hope never with you! It does seem to fit when dealing with people who have been unhelpful and patronizing in the first place, and since that would never be you, I think I am off the hook.

    Thanks for this post, love it!

    • This post is, indeed, right up your alley, Anneke! As far as storage (*and oh my goodness I scream like a banshee at the sight of any bug at all in my home I am such a baby*), I go through flour so, so quickly (easily 30 pounds, if not more, a month) that it’s never even a whisper of an issue with my main squeeze flours, but anything that is prone to spoiling (like almond flour, for example) I store not in the refrig, but in the freezer. It does tend to cause flours (especially high moisture ones like almond flour) to clump, so before I use it I let it sit on the counter for a bit, but I do store it in the freezer.
      At least I’m not totally alone with my interpretation of “please advise”! I had no idea anyone interpreted it differently (live and learn!).

    • Jennifer S.

      I must be the only whack-a-do on here, because I don’t find “please advise” or “Please contact me with questions or comments” at all offensive. I guess that is my corporate nature……

      • It’s not that “please advise” is offensive. It’s that it gives the impression that I work for you, Jennifer. “Please contact me with questions or comments” has no subtext to me!

      • It’s not that “please advise” is offensive, Jennifer. It just gives the impression that I work for the person using it. “Please contact me with any questions or comments” is not the same at all! That one’s totally without subtext to me.

    • Kate S

      I hear ya!!!! I hate finding bugs in my pantry/kitchen! Especially in any of my precious GF items. I won’t tell you my horror story that we still haven’t figured out how it happened, but that was actually before going GF… I have snapware rectangular cereal keepers that are air-tight and I have had 0 problems with bugs in my flours, oats, etc that I store. They are also ok to put in fridge or freezer. Plus they are rectangular and great for saving space since they all fit neatly next to each other in my tiny pantry. I do want to switch to glass containers eventually just to rid my house of more plastics, but for now they work.

  • MitchRoy

    As requested, here is my contribution! Cream of Mushroom soup was one of my staples. I had to have at least 4 cans at any time so I could make dinner even if my original plans fell through. But of course, CoM soup has gluten in it, so we’ve changed over to a mixture of cream cheese and those horrible jars of mushrooms. The mushrooms have the same consistency as the CoM soup, although a little less flavor.

    • Thank you, MitchRoy! Preserved for eternity, instead of being lost on Facebook. :)

      • PamG

        And I would like to share MY solution for MY “go-to” soup of cream of chicken….take 1 3/4 cups milk – boil – add 2 tsp of GF chicken stock/bouillon (I use low sodium Better than bouillon) dissolve and add about 3 TBL of corn starch to 1/4 c cold water – stir in and return to boil to thicken. Depending on your bouillon you may want to add more or cut back because of sodium levels….) works like a charm!

        • Emilegion

          I’m new to GF (about 3 weeks in), and I just had to do this sort of thing in a pinch, since I was making a casserole. Since it was a tuna and rice casserole, I ended up using ranch for half of the milk, and added dill to match the flavor of the tuna. I ended up liking it better than CoM!

    • margeryk

      Cambells has a gluten free mushroom soup. It’s ready to eat, not condensed, so I don’t know how it would work in your recipes, but I use it for stews or to braise meat.

      Gardennay ® Soups
      Harvest Mushroom with Real Cream

    • Karen Tobin Cole

      Pacific Organic makes cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, and cream of celery all GF. My local Kroger stocks them in the organic section of the store. They come in little boxes and are the same size as the cans of Campbells.

    • Moe Trabold

      I use Progresso Cream of Mushroom ready to eat. It is gluten free! my store used to carry the Pacific brand, but stopped. I really like the way the progresso turns out with my stews. Sometimes I coat the meat in a little rice flour first and it helps thicken the broth while it cooks since it is not as thick as the condensed.

  • I don’t have any items to add, as you’ve done a fantastic job, as always. I stopped by to say that I blogged about your focaccia from GFOSBB. The focaccia was fabulous! http://louanneskitchen.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/focaccia-gluten-free-and-traditional/

  • Jen Novotny Erhart

    Just want to share two things. First — thank you thank you thank you! I am new to your page and your cookbooks, and love everything I’ve seen so far! Second, I just want to share that Bob’s Red Mill offers almost all the flours you listed (I don’t know about teff), and at least here in the Great Plains it’s readily available on the grocery store shelves (good news for those of us who are uncomfortable buying things online).

    • Hi, Jen, thanks for the kind words! Bob’s Red Mill can be good for some things, but I recommend against their rice flours (they are decidedly gritty), their almond flour (same issue), and their tapioca starch/flour (poor quality, I’m afraid, and often has a metallic taste).

      • Jen Novotny Erhart

        I guess I haven’t had any of those problems. Diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks, right? :-)

      • Kate S

        So glad to hear this! I thought I was crazy that I was noticing a funky taste especially when using the zanthum gum free flour. I was using bob’s red mill tapioca! I really need to check out the GF store that’s around here and see what they offer. If no luck, nuts.com here I come!

  • margeryk

    Dear Nicole,
    Thank you for the help. I have been transitioning to gluten free baking since October, and find your books and blog are one of my go-to resources. Right now, I’m trying to find a source of protein isolate so I can bake from the bread book. I’ve found that my local bulk food store stocks it. But I’m wondering how essential freshness is for this product? I’ve found that with whole grain flours like sorghum, and even brown rice, buying from bulk bins is useless, since the flours go rancid under those conditions. Would the same thing happen with the whey protein, do you think?

    • Hi, margeryk,
      I’m never comfortable buying anything at all in bulk bins, because of the both the freshness issue that you mention, and also because of the propensity for cross-contamination of one product with another. You can almost count on it. I wish I had better news for you!

      • margeryk

        That’s okay–it’s pretty much what I expected. The price is great, but one of the most important lessons I’ve learned so far is that you don’t save any money if you can’t eat what you make. I bought a lot of flours from the bulk store when I was getting started, and found that some of the things I was baking, particularly bread, had a very off taste. Could have been the tapioca starch, or the oils in the flours going rancid. Yesterday, I purged my pantry of all those flours and have rebooted my baking with flours from nuts.com (thanks for the recommendation). I just spent an afternoon baking, with very satisfying results.

    • Allison Sondak

      I have to say, after volunteering with an organization that had been given a very generous donation of a number of bulk bins (they are a FORTUNE), I would concur with Nicole’s opinion that anyone worried about cross-contamination should absolutely avoid all bulk bin foods. I was tasked with disassembling and cleaning the bins before we used them, and there’s no good way for a store to really clean them properly once they are installed. Generally not a huge problem, but you never know if they rearranged what was where and if what is now the rice flour bin was once the whole wheat flour bin.

    • Kate S

      I also wouldn’t recommend things from bulk bins. I’m not celiac and I can deal with trace amounts without issue. However, the protein isolate I bought from the bulk bin in a pinch (I was REALLY impatient to try bread recipes) didn’t work well. When I went and looked at the info attached to the bin the next time I was there I saw that the protein content was WAY lower (half maybe?) then the kind Nicole recommends. You can never really be sure of the quality and then add on contamination. =/ Super bummer..

  • margeryk

    Thanks so much for posting this. I have been trying to find a way to get Authentic foods superfine flour up here in Canada, and this company, unlike Amazon.com, will ship it internationally.

  • So interesting, Bev. That’s great info. I wasn’t aware of it at all. Thanks for adding that!

  • Natalie

    I think you SHOULD post your affiliate links! You work so hard and give us so much good info for free. You should get a lil somethin’ somethin’ extra in return! You know, other than BUYING ALL THE BOOKS!!!

    <3 You rock, BTW ;)

    • Thanks, Natalie! That is so kind of you to say, and it truly means a ton to me. I’m definitely not at all against affiliate links, in fact, I’m in favor of them as I believe that bloggers, like everyone else, should get paid for their work. But I avoided them specifically in this post just to avoid even the hint of bias in the products I mention that I stock, right down to the fact that I don’t love nuts com but find them to be a necessary evil at least for now!
      You rock, too. :)

  • Thanks, Louanne!

  • Christine

    Thanks so much for the pantry information! I have been transitioning to GF for a few months because of health and it is not an easy task! Your books and site have been a huge source of information. Question about the Whey Isolate..I ordered a 5 pound container off of Amazon, visulizing a 5 pound bag of sugar LOL! The container is huge! I divided up the Whey into freezer bags and was wondering if it is okay to freeze for storage? 5 pounds is a lot of Whey!! I have all three of your books and have learned so much!

    • Erin Lowery Baerwaldt

      Christine, i was also shocked how large my container of Whey isolate was!! Thank you for asking this question because i haven’t been sure what to do with it all!

      • Yes, it’s a very big container, Christine and Erin, because it is light as a feather, so it takes up a fair amount of space! You can definitely freeze it. I never do, since I go through it very, very quickly. You can even premake some bread flour, and then put that in containers and freeze those.

  • Candice Krogh

    thank you this list. It is very helpful. And thanks for the pre-made GF flour suggestions. I know making them saves money, but my time is money as well. :) Knowing there are high quality products out there helps in this transition to a GF life.

    • Absolutely! I never advocate one method or the other, as which way to go is such an individual decision. I, too, am grateful to have multiple options these days.

  • Candice

    Thank you so much for this resource. It is nice to see everything in one place for easy reference. Thank you for your recommendations for high quality flour. Time is just as important to me as money, so some things I just buy. :)
    Do you know of a pre-made brand that doesn’t contain Xantham Gum? A few of you recipes call for it. Just curious. Thanks again.

    • Hi, Candice, There are some blends that don’t contain any xanthan gum, but the ones that I have tried (King Arthur Flour all purpose and Tom Sawyer gluten free flour) are both very high in starch, and I don’t really care for them. The basic blend is so, so simple though (just superfine white rice flour + potato starch + tapioca starch/flour) that I don’t mind mixing it up when I need it. Plus, I use tapioca starch/flour quite often in other recipes as well (especially Against the Grain style bread recipes) that I buy quite a lot of it anyway.

  • Heather

    Thanks, Nicole! I wanted to let you all know that Navan Foods does have Expandex back in stock. I bought some on 12/29.

    Also, I’m able to get Madhava organic coconut sugar at my local Super Walmart for way less than I was buying it from Vitacost. It’s not always in stock so when it is I usually buy 4-5 bags of it since we use it for our coffee in our house.

    Happy shopping:)

    • That’s all great info, Heather! I will update my resources page to reflect that Navan is back in stock. Expandex abounds! And that’s also great info about coconut sugar, as it can be kind of spendy. I will keep an eye out for it elsewhere!

  • Kelly

    Thanks so much for everything! I have found that I can buy organic coconut oil at Costco. It comes in a big tub and has been the cheapest per oz of the stores in my area.

  • jswwrites

    This is great, thanks! I have only been GF for a little over 3 weeks. So far so good, except 2 accidental glutenings. Baking GF is of particular interest – good thing I love a challenge! We’re moving next week, so I haven’t tried anything yet, but that’s the first thing on my list once we’re settled. I did find the Trader Joe’s GF oats the first week, and have guarded it from my oatmeal loving husband with my life. He’s going GF with me, but he’s using up all the oatmeal and cereal we already had, so hands off mine!

    • Definitely protect what’s yours, jsw! I’m so grateful that Trader Joe’s carries those white-labeled oats. Great, great resource!

  • Kim

    Thanks for the cookbooks and just got onto your blog. My son just recently found out he has Celiac disease. He is 16, and this has been hard adjusting to gluten free foods. But your books have been a blessing to us. Thanks again.

    • Hi, Kim. I have to imagine that 16 is a hard age to all of a sudden have to make these sort of changes. If he’s missing things like Pop Tarts and Girl Scout cookies, I have recipes for copycat versions of many of those on the blog (just use the search function). Does he have a favorite food that he can no longer have? Maybe I already have a recipe for it, or can develop one. Hang in there, and I hope you’ll keep coming back to the blog! xo Nicole

  • Becca Wright

    I’ve been looking around at Expandex, and when you add in shipping it gets pretty expensive. Is it absolutely necessary for your bread blend or can I just use regular tapoica starch?

    PS: I love loved your cornbread recipe, we made it last night and it’s my favorite cornbread ever, gluten free or not.

    • Hi, Becca, Yes, it is absolutely necessary. It behaves nothing like regular tapioca starch, I’m afraid. If you are particularly concerned about the cost of it, try using Ultratex 3 in its place. You use less of it, so it is less expensive. However, you do use a bit more whey protein in its place. Please see #6 on this page of resources for information on how to do it.

    • Adaptagirl

      The cheapest shipping on Expandex I’ve found is at Montana’s Gifts of Nature (http://mtgfnakedoat.com/). Yes, you have to call them, but the guy is as sweet as can be.

  • Patty

    Fyi… if you have an Amazon Prime account, the Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour is the same price as on the Honeyville site, but you get it in 2 days for “free” with the Prime shipping…

    • Ooooh I did not know that, Patty! That’s a great tip! Thank you so much. Oh how I love my Prime shipping, and I will be doing that forever more!

  • April

    I have a question about the instant yeast. Is the Red Star quick-rise yeast the same as say.. Fleischman’s Instanty Dry Yeast? Google results are inconclusive, and I figured you would be the best person to ask. :) My only reason for the question is because the Fleischman’s brand on Amazon is way cheaper than Red Star, and you get a lot more. of it. Any info is appreciated! I have come to depend heavily on your books when it comes to baking! :) Thank you!

    • That sounds like a great idea, April. The names of yeast do tend to differ slightly from brand to brand, and there doesn’t seem to be much of a standard to count on, I’m afraid. But that’s an instant yeast (which really just means that it has a greater concentration of live yeast), and it should work just fine!

  • Bernadette

    Fantastic resource – thank you! For those who use Enjoy Life chocolate chips and chunks, vitacost generally has them at a really good price (we are dealing with multiple food allergies here, so I can hit the minimum for free shipping on vitacost in a heartbeat). FWIW, I actually prefer Enjoy Life chocolate chunks to most other chocolates – can’t say that about too many allergy friendly prepackaged foods! :)

    • I agree, Bernadette! The Enjoy Life chips are much, much higher quality than any other chips. I use them in everything now! Good to know about Vitacost. I had been ordering them on amazon.

  • Jenny

    Hi, does anyone know if it’s possible to get Expandex or an equivalent modified tapioca starch in the UK?

    • Emma F

      I ordered ultra tex 3 from modernistpantry.com and they shipped it to Australia for me. Didn’t take long either and you can buy a small amount to start off with.

  • Mary Garrard

    Hi, I have found a Hodgson Mills GF all purpose flour mix that has only millet, sorghum, and brown rice flours in it. I’ve been using it and it works great. I got it, believe it or not, at Walmart. My local Walmart, not a superstore, just a grocery, has a GF section with a number of products at decent prices, like Tinkyada pastas, and they even have a GF orzo!

    I don’t bother with superfine flours (waaaay too expensive!), and I have found that my baked goods turn out just fine with the regular ol’ stuff. I’ve never had a gritty anything–cookie, bread, muffin, pie-crust–nothing. Actually, the one thing gritty I have made was cornbread, but that was from the cornmeal, which was a little more coarse than usual and didn’t soften up enough while baking. Otherwise, I have great results from Bob’s brown rice flour and Trader Joe’s ground almonds, as well as teff and sorghum from Bob’s (I live in the Portland, Oregon, area, so I can go buy my GF flours from their bulk bins). I make my own buckwheat and oat flour in the coffee grinder, and if I’m out of ground almonds, I make that in the coffee grinder too.

    • I’m glad you found something that works for you, Mary. I would just like to mention for others’ benefit that using rice flour that is not superfine will not make the baked goods fail to work. And if you don’t taste a grittiness, then it works for you. But other readers should understand that, if you plan to bake for anyone else, they may very well detect the grittiness (I know I do, as do most other people). You simply cannot get a superfine consistency using any regular personal home appliances.

  • Su Norris

    Hi, Can you use your bread on a shoestring receipes in a bread machine please? Thank you Su

    • Hi, Su, I don’t use or recommend use of a bread machine. They differ significantly from brand to brand and provide inconsistent results.

      • Su Norris

        Thanks for that I regret having bought my bread machine, bread nice for one day then goes heavy and solid and not that nice out of the freezer either.

  • Becca Wright

    Thanks – I did call them and he was just as sweet as advertised. The shipping was less than the cost of the Expandex, which at least consoles me a bit.

  • Wow, Nicole, this is awesome! Thanks for putting this together, it’s nice to have it all in one place :) A one stop research resource!

  • Tabitha Tschudin

    I have a question about the pectin.? Can I use Ball brand 30 min instant pectin . I tried to make banana bread and it turned out really gummy and fell flat

    • No, you can’t use Ball pectin, Tabitha. It has other additives.

  • Dawn

    Well I am off to the big towns today, can you tell me what size “big Glass Jar” I should look for.

    • If you are referring to the glass jar used in Bakes Bread for the sourdough starter, I usually use a 1 liter glass jar and it’s fine.

  • Dawn

    Hi Nicole, Thanks for the “Glass Jar” info I should have no trouble finding a 1 liter mason jar. I have been looking at the isolate whey protein while I am in the city, there are so many options to choose from, do you have any tips to help me get the best product. % of each ingredient etc. Thanks, Dawn.

    • Hi, Dawn, there shouldn’t be many options for whey protein isolate. There are other types of whey (whey powder, sweet dairy whey, etc., and even whey protein concentrate), but whey protein isolate is different. For every 28 grams of product it should be about 25 grams protein.

      • Sona Bran

        Nicole could you speak to why isolate and not concentrate? It is very confusing as I have read the islolate strips some nutrient (cant remember now) from it.

  • Emma

    I’m quite new to gluten free (only a couple of months in) but as a massive baker I love your blog! Unfortunately I find it hard to get most of the things on your list, I’m in the UK and a student so being able to find things I can afford that are gluten free is very difficult but I have found that Doves Farm is a great brand if you aren’t in America, they sell lots of different blends and yeast, all kinds of things and most of the time it works like a charm! Just like regular flour, I’m still working on making pastry though if you have any tips! :D

    • Jennifer

      HI Emma, I had issues with pastry too. However if you google for gluten free shortcrust pastry you should find a link about 3 or 4 down the first page to the thismorning website. I’ve tried it and it’s as near as I’ve got yet (haven’t tried any of the lovely recipes here yet!)

    • Alison Stevens

      Hi, me too am new to G/F and live on (Canary Island) I have not baked anything yet, although I did make an amazing chocolate cheesecake last week.
      I have made cheese sauce to go with my fish pie, which I used Rice flour and Rice Milk.
      I have purchased SCHAR different flours, they do a bread one, pasta, and cake flour, obviously more expensive but was surprised to see their range.
      I have found on you tube how to make own coconut flour and almond flour, which could work out cheaper, again have not made but have purchased fresh coconuts, and (almonds that are imported from U.S.A) still trying to figure out why I cannot find fresh almonds here we have plenty of almond trees.
      I searched different sites (google) and have subscribed to a couple of G/F pages who send recipes direct to your inbox.
      All the best (any baking tips please send and disasters so we know what not to do).
      Still cannot purchase Arrowroot here yet?

  • Elena, Age 11

    the whole almonds are cheaper at Jewel. my mom and i figured that out since we’re cheap, also:)

  • helen

    hi I am new to this…. where do I start…. I live in Australia…. so I am new to it all gluten free products for cooking do I get rid of everything in Pantry

  • kim Alexander

    Was wondering why “kosher” salt? Thanks!

  • kendaljack

    Some Costco stores sell Honeyville almond flour and other GF food items.

  • tamib

    Have you heard of the Lucky Vitamin website? It has Better Batter 5lb on sale for $19.91. Amazon has it for almost $39.00 for a 5lb box. Just trying to stock my pantry before your book gets here. :)

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