Better Batter Pastry Flour Hack: Mock Cup4Cup

Better Batter Pastry Flour Hack: Mock Cup4Cup

A New Blog Series: Gluten-Free Flour Hacks

Some things must be impossible. Everybody says so. You can’t do this, or you can’t do that. The thing is, I’m still looking for the line of demarcation between gluten-free possible and gluten-free impossible. Since I haven’t found it yet, I’ll just keep pushing ahead.

When I started testing gluten-free flours, I found that Cup4Cup made amazing gluten-free pastry. The whole experience was dreamy, from the way it behaved raw to the way it baked up. So light and flaky. And I rather enjoyed the whole thing.

But I’d prefer not to buy different gluten-free flour blends for different purposes—too complicated for me. Instead, I figured I’d just hack Better Batter all purpose gluten-free flour to make it into pastry flour, cake flour, bread flour, self-rising flour. You get the idea.

It’s a new series, here on the blog. I think I’ll call it Gluten-Free Flour Hacks.

A Mock Cup4Cup Gluten-Free Flour, With Better Batter

This go-round, I made Better Batter into a mock Cup4Cup gluten-free flour. It’s cheaper than buying Cup4Cup, which costs a pretty penny, and it’s easier than keeping different flour blends on hand all the time.

It worked a treat.

Most of what you see here is just my basic recipe for gluten-free pastry crust, not puff pastry. And these blueberry mini pies were incredibly light and flaky, and the dough was smooth and incredibly easy to work with.

I did use this flour to make gluten-free puff pastry, too (I used some for these cheese straws), and it behaved just as I remember Cup4Cup had.

Here’s how to do it.

Better Batter Pastry Flour Hack: Mock Cup4Cup
Recipe Type: Flour
Author: Nicole @ Gluten-Free on a Shoestring.com
Prep time: 2 mins
Total time: 2 mins
Serves: 1
Mock Cup4Cup Pastry Flour using Better Batter Gluten Free Flour
  1. In a blender or food processor, grind the nonfat dry milk into a fine powder.
  2. To make 1 cup of mock Cup4Cup gluten-free pastry flour, combine the finely ground nonfat dry milk, Better Batter and cornstarch in a large bowl and whisk to combine well. Store in an air-tight container until ready to use.
  3. Can be halved or used in multiples (doubled, tripled, quadrupled, etc.) easily.

I can only be certain that this will work with Better Batter flour as a base, as I used its particular protein and starch constitution as a guide.
As of the time of this post, Carnation Nonfat Dry Milk Powder is included in Nestle’s gluten-free products list. To ensure a gluten-free product, always check the label and the manufacturer’s website for current information.


P.S. A blog is more work and a lot more expensive than it may look! I really appreciate your buying a copy of My Cookbook to support my blog habit.

P.P.S. I hope you had a happy Mother’s Day. I really do. And I hope someone baked for you. Or at least bought for you. Or at least gave you some peace and quiet. Oh how I love a nice big slice of peace and quiet!

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  • […] pastry flour, but it’s super expensive. So, in an effort to make it more affordable, I hacked Better Batter into Cup4Cup using nonfat milk powder. There were plenty of you who said – hey! what’s with the […]

  • May 21, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    oh Nicole…I think that this hack will be just what I need to finally get the cream wafer cookie recipe to work! That cookie is so pastry like-light and flaky that it would just have to work don’t you think? Those cookies are the only thing I have ever made from your recipes that didn’t rock my socks. :( But I think just may be the ticket to success! I’ll keep you posted.

    • May 22, 2012 at 12:51 PM

      Hi, Stephanie,
      The secret to that recipe is to freeze the dough at every turn. I’ve tried it in other ways, and that’s the only way that works. Feel free to experiment with the cake flour, though.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Sallie
    May 16, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    I have been gluten free for about 3 years. Have tried and trashed many a recipe – but NOT any of yours. They are always spot on and I thank you, thank you, thank you for saving me time, money and lots of frustration. I have your first cookbook and have pre-ordered your next one from Amazon. You are the bomb!!! If you are ever down the way of S.C., give me a shout – would love to meet up.

  • Angel
    May 15, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    You are AMAZING, Nicole!

  • Patti
    May 15, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    Brilliant!! Love this idea. Went to g-free cooking class last week. Very helpful, but the baker used no less than 4 different flour mixes. Dear daughter got me the mixes for Mother’s Day. But holy smokes, now my pantry is packed with mixes!!!

    Again, brilliant! Can’t wait for more “hacks”. Maybe that will be the basis for your 3rd cookbook Nicole?!

    • May 15, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      One mix as a base is plenty for me, Patti. I think that using so many different gluten-free flour blends is going to be a thing of the past, to be honest. It’s just not sustainable for most people. Life is complicated enough. Who needs 4 ‘everyday’ blends of flour? Plenty more hacks coming your way. And don’t tell anybody, but I’m hoping for a gluten-free bread book for book #3. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Kristi
    May 14, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    On another note, I made your Chocolate Breakfast Muffins. Holy Smokes! I received rave reviews and some gluten eaters had them and had no idea. They were shocked when someone told them they were GF. I LOVE THAT! Thanks for making me a hero.

    • May 15, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      Hey, Kristi, I’m so glad those muffins went over big. They’re a personal favorite of mine. You are a hero!
      xoxo Nikki

  • Ligea
    May 14, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    Nicole, thank you for taking the time to perform the gluten free flour test. I can’t believe you came up with this wonderful C4C substitution! I have C4C in my pantry, but I’m afraid to use it because it’s so expensive! I’m definitely going to use it up on puff pastry (I’ve been DYING for baked brie with cranberries and walnuts) and some ciabatta based on your test results. I come up with recipes from time to time (this weekend was orange cranberry muffins), but am currently too busy to do the type of recipe formulation and testing you do. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us! I’m going to order the cookbook right now!

    • May 14, 2012 at 8:16 PM

      I totally get that you’re babying the Cup4Cup, Ligea. Makes sense to me.
      I’m very happy to do the recipe formulation and testing. You do your thing, and we’ll meet back here. :)
      Thanks so much for ordering a copy of my cookbook!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Moe
    May 14, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Any chance we can get rid of the cornstarch? Corn allergy here :O(

    • May 14, 2012 at 6:46 PM

      Moe and Ellen,
      I haven’t tested this with any substitutions, which would essentially create a new blend. Feel free to experiment.

  • Ellen
    May 14, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    I am so looking forward to a dairy free version of the pastry flour hack. With this in mind, I am drooling over the blueberry mini pies. However, I also have a sensitivity to corn which means no cornstarch. What can I use in its place? While I am not allergic or sensitive to sugar, my nutritionist recommends a substitute like agave or stevia. Thoughts, please. Thank you.

  • Rochelle
    May 14, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    What did you use as your filling?

    • May 14, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      Hi, Rochelle,
      1 cup (140g) blueberries + 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons (16g) cornstarch + 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, mixed and allowed to marinate for a few minutes.

      • Rochelle
        May 17, 2012 at 9:55 AM

        Yummy! Sometimes I use frozen blueberries-did you use fresh or frozen? I hate for it to be too liquidy!

        • May 17, 2012 at 12:04 PM

          Hi, Rochelle,
          I have done both, but I usually prefer frozen because they’re generally more ‘perfect.’ The cornstarch ensures that the mixture doesn’t have too much liquid.
          xoxo Nicole

  • Jeff
    May 14, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    I wonder if you’ve read the “Ideas in Food” blog’s experiments in gluten free flour mixes, very interesting!

  • Jackie Fretwell
    May 14, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Well Nicole, just when I thought I was doomed to have to buy yet some more flour for pastry cooking, (I’ve got 30lbs worth of back stock of better batter flour that I just bought) I thank you for making me not have to buy any more, now I can just use what I have, You my dear are a genius!!! Fer Realz!!!
    We love you more than you know, and just so you do know I made the devil’s food cake yesterday and the family LOVED them!!

    Kudos to you girl!

    • May 14, 2012 at 3:48 PM

      I think we should be able to have everything we want without crowding our pantries unreasonably. So glad the devil’s food cake was a hit! Oh, and you’re very welcome. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Kristi
    May 14, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    I love you. I love you. I love you. I love C4C for something and buying it is expensive and a PAIN. I am so happy. I tried doing my own hack and it was OK but now I have this. Woohoo!

    • May 14, 2012 at 3:47 PM

      I knew you’d be all over this, Kristi. :)
      xoxo Nikki

  • Margaret
    May 14, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Just to clarify, are you using this blend for a regular pie crust too? And do you add the powdered sugar to it for a sweet pie? I think I need to get a scale. You have finally made me do it. It’s all your fault. But I am not blaming you. I am thanking you. You make me want to bake and cook more! By the way I finally took the time to make the chocolate chip cookies from your book. I am thanking you for that too. I made them Saturday and they were delicious. But I was sure that like most GF cookies, they would be dry and crumbly on Sunday. But they were still soft and chewy! And they are soft today too. I also put some in the freezer. I will be checking those soon to see how they are after freezing. The only problem? My husband (who is not GF except he does it for me) loves them. Neither of us can stop eating them. That’s not a bad thing except for my hips. I have no will power when it comes to good GF baking–with BB flour and recipes from your blog and cookbook.

    • May 14, 2012 at 3:46 PM

      Hi, Margaret,
      Good question. Yes! Use it 1:1 in place of Better Batter in regular pastry crust. You can add powdered sugar, but you absolutely don’t have to. Oh, those cookies have a permanent spot in my freezer. They are a staple. Expect much from gluten-free baking! It it doesn’t deliver, something’s not right! And I accept all the blame. Pile it on, sister. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • May 14, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Oh no!!! I was SO waiting for this and then it has milk…a huge no no for me. Sigh…back to the drawing board.

    • May 14, 2012 at 9:31 AM

      Don’t worry, Cynthia. This is just a mock Cup4Cup. I’m going to do another pastry flour hack that is dairy-free. :)
      xoxo Nicole

      • Annie
        May 14, 2012 at 10:19 AM

        Thanks, Nicole! You are awesome!! I really appreciate the work you do!

      • May 14, 2012 at 2:20 PM

        You, my dear, ROCK!

      • Victoria
        May 14, 2012 at 2:39 PM

        Please do! Some of us need that as badly as we need GF!

        • May 14, 2012 at 3:47 PM

          Oh, it’s coming. I’m working on a whole dairy-free protein thing. Don’t you worry, Victoria. :)
          xoxo Nicole

        • Susan Plocher
          May 15, 2012 at 12:05 PM

          SWEET! I was going to say “Oh no! Dairy…no can do.” As usual, you always come through for us, Nicole! Thanks, and am eagerly waiting.

        • deb
          May 15, 2012 at 12:41 PM

          Yea!! Glad I read the comments! I was going to suggest that you could have a link or something that gave the dairy free alt. because I love your recipes and hate to go looking for a dairy free version.
          Keep up the fantastic work!

  • May 14, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    Those look yummy. I baked my mom a gluten free raspberry cobbler yesterday, using Bloomfield Farms all purpose baking mix. I tend to lean towards cobblers and dump cakes, anything that doesn’t dirty up a lot of dishes or take a lot of time, but I sure wish I lived next door to you to help eat your leftovers and failures (if there are any).


    • May 14, 2012 at 9:32 AM

      If you lived next door to me, you would get a whole lot of baked goods delivered. But I don’t share the failures. I don’t want to wear out my welcome. :)
      xoxo Nicole

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