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The Gluten-Free Flour Blend Test

The Gluten-Free Flour Blend Test

Looking for information on all purpose gluten free flours? You might want to start on my Gluten Free Flours page, where I provide recipes for all my favorite D.I.Y. all purpose gluten free flour blends. If you want to read about my extensive testing of commercially available gluten free all purpose blends, read on here!

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Recently, I set out to test 4 commercially available all-purpose gluten-free flour blends. I conducted the test as thoroughly and scientifically as I could figure how. Don’t worry. I was a practicing lawyer for more than 12 years. I can do persnickety when I gots to.

I tested each of 4 blends in a gluten-free recipe in each of 4 different categories. I then scored each entry in each recipe in 10 categories. That’s 16 results total. It was a lot of testing. Oddly, I never got bored. So suspenseful!

The Blends

The blends I used, in the order in which I used them for each of the 4 rounds of testing, are:

  1. Better Batter Gluten Free Flour
  2. Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour
  3. Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
  4. Tom Sawyer Gluten Free Flour

The Recipe Categories

The categories of recipes that I tested are:

  1. Cake
  2. Pastry
  3. Yeast bread
  4. Cookies

The Scoring

I scored the performance of each flour (on a 1-10 scale) in each recipe in each of these 10 separate attribute categories:

  1. Cost: per cup (measured at 140 grams/cup), at the best price available for each blend
  2. Cup for cup replacement claim of each flour
  3. Cup for cup replacement result of each finished product
  4. Ease of use of each flour
  5. Raw texture of each flour by touch
  6. Cooked texture of each flour by touch
  7. Appearance of finished baked product made with each flour
  8. Taste of finished baked product made with each flour
  9. Mouth feel of each finished baked product made with each flour
  10. Smell of each finished baked product made with each flour

The Individual Test Results

Here are links to the results of each of 16 test entries. Click on each link or photo to see the detailed results.

ROUND ONE: CAKE CHALLENGE:

I made a Better Batter Devil’s Food Layer Cake. It was tasty. I made it with chocolate buttercream frosting.

Next up was the Cup4Cup Devil’s Food Cake. Same exact recipe, just with Cup4Cup gluten-free flour.

Third for cakes is Jules Gluten Free Flour in the very same Devil’s Food Layer Cake. This time, chocolate buttercream filling, but chocolate ganache on the outside. Easy peasy.

Tom Sawyer Gluten-Free Flour made a nice cake.

ROUND TWO: PASTRY CHALLENGE

Come see how Better Batter did with Puff Pastry (you’ll find the recipe, too)!

Cup4Cup makes absolutely glorious Gluten-Free Puff Pastry. A dream.

Then Jules Gluten Free tried her hand at Puff Pastry.

Tom Sawyer made Parmesan Cheese Straws.

ROUND THREE: YEAST BREAD CHALLENGE:

First up, Better Batter Ciabatta Bread.

Cup4Cup makes some fluffy bread.

Jules Gluten Free makes kneading gluten-free bread dough a dream.

Sadly, Tom Sawyer is not a bread flour. I do not recommend it for yeast bread.

ROUND FOUR: COOKIE CHALLENGE:

First up, Better Batter made ‘Nilla Wafer Sandwich Cookies like a champ.

Cup4Cup ‘Nilla Wafers were kinda puffy. More like whoopie pies than nillas.

Jules Gluten Free ‘Nilla Wafers were, well, kinda pale. But they made really nice mini cheesecakes.

And, finally, Tom Sawyer made nice crispy cookies indeed.

The Upshot

Since conducting the test, I have also done a post summing up everything I believe you need to know about Gluten-Free Flour Blends, linking to every recipe I have created for “mock” blends for some of these commercial ones I tested and giving you my opinions based upon my own experience gained through 7 days a week of baking gluten-free, for many years.

Love,
Me


P.S.
If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of My Cookbooks! Your support makes the blog – and extensive tests like these – possible!

 

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  • Jen

    Thank you so much for putting this all together in one post! Most of all, THANK YOU for all the testing and recipe developing you do. Eating gf would not be as tasty without you!

    • gfshoestring

      Thank you, Jen, for your support. It means so much to me!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Have you ever made your own? Blends can be so expensive…

    • gfshoestring

      Hi Heidi, If you click on the last link in the post, it is another post summarizing my findings from this test, and linking to all of the blends I have created. It is sometimes less expensive to blend your own, sometimes more.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Candaceiw

    this is such good information. when I buy my flours, they always ask, why I go thru the trouble to buy different flours…only for me to say, they do different things…and you have confirmed it :)

    I do LOVE your mock flours. THIS I have to try! I saw Cup4Cup for the first time at my favorite GF store and almost fell over at the price. I knew it was expensive, but not THAT expensive! WOW!

    • gfshoestring

      No doubt, Cup4Cup is a really nice blend, but the price is nothing short of a shock, Candace. I agree! The one time I do blend my own flour, other than for testing purposes, is to make my Mock Cup4Cup. It’s really nice for certain recipes!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Sharon

    which book is the vanilla cookie recipe in?  I have one of the books but don’t see it.

    • gfshoestring

      My recipe for gluten-free ‘Nilla Wafers is on the blog. Just do a search, or click through in the posts.
      Nicole

  • Candaceiw

    I live in the kringle capitol of WI and after seeing your cute little pastries, it made me think of kringle. You know how some people miss pop tarts, not me…I really miss kringle. Here is my favorite local bakery featured on Food Network…wondering, if you had any thoughts on converting it…you’d have to search kringle to get an idea of what they look like…this is just the recipe…and oh, how I miss kringle :)

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/the-best-of/kringle-recipe/index.html

  • gfshoestring

    Candace, I would suggest trying out the yeasted pastry crust from this recipe for Custard-Filled GF Pastries, which is really a Danish pastry, and making that recipe you found from the Food Network – or another you like. Just sub in my pastry recipe. Good luck!
    xoxo Nicole

  • Cynthia

    Nicole-
    For your breads do you use the  Brød & Taylor Folding Proofer that has an advertising link on your sidebar? I am curious b/c I read lots of good things about it. Living in MN the weather can impact my bread significantly. I just want to be sure what this is something that works for GF bread b/4 I drop that sort of money. THink I may have to ask for it for a xmas gift….Thank you as always. 

    • gfshoestring

      Hi, Cynthia,
      I do. I have a post specifically about my experience with the proofer. I will hunt it down and add a link to this comment. I think it would make a great Christmas gift for yourself!
      xoxo Nicole

      • Cynthia

         Great if you can let me know where that post is…I can search too..that would be AWESOME! Ok…christmas came early and I talked DH into it…now I will be making bread forever….hehehe. I am so excited. Will be delivered tomorrow. All the reviews I could find online were great so I am super excited!

        • gfshoestring

          Here is the post I did reviewing the Brod and Tylor bread proofer, Cynthia. Glad you already pulled the trigger!

          • Cynthia

             Thank you! I have already been planing on the fu n things I will be baking. I truly can not thank you enough for your cookbooks, blog and personal responses. You have changed myself and my son’s life in more ways then you know…each day i find new and wonderful ideas to help him feel like a regular kid! Proofer arrives tomorrow….gonna be waiting at the door for the UPS man.

          • gfshoestring

            You are so very welcome, Cynthia. Supportive readers like you make it all possible. For real!
            xoxo Nicole

          • Metta4

             Nicole-  With the proofer do i just put it in the pan and then into the proofer for the 30-45 min recommended in your book for the white sandwich bread and then into the oven?

  • Michele

    I can’t wait until the new book arrives. I have the first one and it is so easy to use. I also ordered the Better Batter flour on your recommendations and the results of the flour test. I will give the mock Cup4Cup a try in a few weeks so that I can make some pies for the fall/winter. Thank for your hard word and dedication.

    • gfshoestring

      Hi, Michele,
      Thank you so much for your support with the books! I’m so glad you are having success. Early success usually leads to more of the same!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Pingback: Gluten-Free Puff Pastry – with Better Batter | Gluten-Free on a Shoestring()

  • maraith

    It would be really helpful if you posted which flour “won” the challenge in which category.  All together.  Or did you do it somewhere I missed?  I got to the recipes and still couldn’t tell who won.

    • gfshoestring

      Maraith, Click on the button in the sidebar that says “all you need to know about gluten free flour.” It links to a summary post.

  • Metta4

    ok proofer is here..working in the bread but have a question.. Nicole-  With the proofer do i just put it in the pan and then into the
    proofer for the 30-45 min recommended in your book for the white
    sandwich bread and then into the oven?

    • gfshoestring

      Yup. You sure do.

      • Metta4

         any recommendations on temp…I did 85..thanks.. i am soooo excited.

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