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Best Flour Mixes, And Places On Internet To Buy Flour Bulk


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12 replies to this topic

#1 Angelica

 
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Posted 12 April 2011 - 03:36 PM

This is a two-part question, since I have just gone gluten-free about a week and a half ago.

I (was) a huge baker- kept a mess of flours on hand and famous for my breads and muffins (my colleagues would fight over them-- think on that-- college professors fighting over blueberry muffins.) Anyway the whole baking thing is for me the hardest thing about going gluten-free. We have a gluten-free bakery here in town and they make a fantastic bread, but it cost $8 a loaf, and I am determined to somehow make a bread that good. Willing to try at least.

Okay first of all, what are people's opinions on the mixes? I have seen Pamela's, Bob's Red Mill and King Arthur Flour locally. I tried the Bob's Red Mill Biscuit mix- the biscuits came out of the oven looking nice, and they were flaky but when I bit in they tasted like dry hummus to me. Then I checked the label and noticed the garbanzo bean flour in it. Wasn't working for me, but I am curious about the others... given how expensive it is to buy the mixes, it seems like a waste of money to try them all out if they don't end up working for me...

Anyway, I have gotten a few cookbooks and decided that i want to try to make my own bread with my own mix. Thing is the flours needed are very expensive at the store-- I am curious, do any of your buy off the internet at a bulk rate? Where is the best place to get bulk flours (like brown rice, potato starch, tapioca... ect)?

Advice for a newbie?
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#2 mamaw

 
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Posted 12 April 2011 - 05:48 PM

Hi & welcome

I know you can buy betterbatter flour in bulk. It is a blend www.betterbatter.org Plus they have loads of recipes on site.
Jules flour can also be purchased in bulk.

Domata Living Flour as well in bulk.

Meister's flour in bulk.

These are already blended flours so the guess wrok is taken out...

Have you checked out online the online site whcih I'm notsure we are allowed to mention but is begins with A, has six letters & is a well known river!!!!! I hope you get the clue.

You could also check out the gluten free trading company.They sell large items.

Authenic flour has super fine white & brown rice flour that is very good. Super fine will make for a better texture, not gritty as reg. rice flour.

I would not recommend rice flours from China, at the beginning of my gluten-free journe I used those because it was so cheap. After a few months my lead levels went sky high ...

I like sorghum flour, teff flour, adds some protein & fiber ...

hth



mamaw
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#3 mushroom

 
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Posted 12 April 2011 - 08:41 PM

I can't buy any commercial bulk flour because of either soy or potato starch. I make my own mixes which almost invariably involve sorghum and/or buckwheat, also brown and white rice, tapioca, arrowroot. My favourite is 1 cup sorghum, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1 cup white rice, 1/2 cup tapioca. This is my all purpose flour. I try to buy these flours in bulk but it's hard down here (down under). Asian markets have sorghum (Jowar) and white and sticky rice but no brown. But I don't use so much of that anyway. My Asian market was munted in the earthquake :(
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#4 tea_and_crumpets

 
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Posted 12 April 2011 - 08:53 PM

I like Better Batter very much. If you buy from the website that shall not be named, that shares a name with a river, and you have a Prime account, you can buy 2.5 lb boxes without having to pay for shipping.

I bought some Jules Gluten Free recently and, thought I haven't played with it as much as Better Batter, I like it as well. That one you have to buy direct from her company. I was able to use a first-time customer discount and not have to pay shipping.

My last flour blend is the one mentioned in Anneliese Roberts's Gluten Free Baking Classics, with superfine brown rice flour, tapioca and potato starch. I made that myself last time but it was such a pain next time I will just buy it pre-mixed.

I will probably eventually pick between the Better Batter and Jules, because they're similar enough that I don't need both.
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#5 Takala

 
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Posted 13 April 2011 - 06:19 AM

If I were going to use a mix, I'd go for the Pamela's.

I am not a "supertaster," a person with extra taste buds, so I don't have a problem with the bean flours the way some people do. Other people find rice flours really gritty. I don't do well with a lot of white, high glycemic index type flours, so I tend to go with mixing up my own variations, with a lot of almond meal and the higher protein types of gluten free flours, such as amaranth, buckwheat, etc. I make my own almond meal in a blender, it's much cheaper that way.

I would experiment with the much smaller amounts of gluten free flours and mixtures before committing to purchasing larger quantities of anything. For one thing, you don't know how you are going to react to any of the ingredients, long term. And secondly, tastes vary.

Many gluten free recipes tend to need to bake at slightly lower temperatures for a longer period of time than gluten bearing ones. Also, a smaller pan if you are doing breads, such as an 8" by 4", instead of a 9" x 5", is almost always going to work better. Different types of pans produce different results. Some people swear by glass baking dishes. I like cast iron for round breads, and I have a German made 8x4 metal loaf pan I picked up off a clearance rack, that works much better than any of the cheap metal ones. BAKING TIMES VARY because every ingredient reacts differently. ALWAYS test your item before the final pull out, this will save you loads of frustration.

There are two kinds of basic baking mixes, one for things that one intends to use for breads, and the other is for things that are supposed to end up like cakes make with bleached wheat flour. If I were going to want something to serve to others that was supposed to be in the "cake" category, I'd use a rice blend with either cornstarch or potato starch and tapioca, with maybe some sorghum added. With these types of gluten free flours, one must add either xanthan gum, guar gum, or a flax or chia seed and hot water slurry to make up for the missing gluten, or the results tend to be too crumbly. Add too much xanthan, and it comes out too rubbery.

With other types of mixes, if egg is used, sometimes less or even no xanthan gum is necessary. The ones I have done this way are with almond meal, amaranth, garbanzo, and buckwheat as part of the mixtures. When a small amount of vinegar is mixed in with the liquid, and the buckwheat is left to soak for a little bit before adding the ingredients, it seems to make the result act more like gluten flour.

Too much vinegar at the wrong time makes yeast slow. I mostly do quick leavened breads with the rise provided by egg, vinegar or lemon juice, and baking soda. Adding different ingredients may mask the bean flour taste. The best quick bread I've done that imitated real bread, was one of Betty Hagan's recipes with garbanzo flour and yogurt. Also, adding cumin and pinches of sweet spices such as cinnamon, chai spice, or chinese five spice, or a tiny bit of molasses, can make things taste better.

If you are experimenting with something just for the taste, you can always do a very small version in the microwave, in a 4" to 5" glass ramekin or cereal bowl. These bake up surprising quickly, and tend to be tender and moist when fresh, if you just need a small serving or two of bread really fast. I have done a lot of "muffins" this way and they are really good in the morning.
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#6 celiac-mommy

 
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Posted 13 April 2011 - 06:31 AM

I buy Pamelas from Amazon by the case. I have it set up on a subscription, so it's even cheaper and I get a shipment automatically every 2 months.
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Son tested negative-bloodwork (8/07), intestinal issues prompted biospy (3/08), results negative, but very positive dietary response, Dr. diagnosed Celiac disease (3/8)


#7 catsmeow

 
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Posted 13 April 2011 - 08:47 AM

I would not recommend rice flours from China, at the beginning of my gluten-free journe I used those because it was so cheap. After a few months my lead levels went sky high ...






mamaw

OMG, How do you know if your rice flour came from China!!! That is some scary SH*T!!!
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You've cat to be kitten me right meow

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#8 mamaw

 
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Posted 13 April 2011 - 02:14 PM

It will say on the package....here is another scary thought. Several weeks ago on the news they had a blurp about don't buy rice foreign rice ( china) because they don't have enough to feed their own people & much of it is imported to the US. So to help alleviate this problem they are sending over rice that is rice & ground up plastic .... I had to listen to this on all three news prodcasts to make sure I was hearing that correctly. Others called me & was shocked same as me....

Good rule of thumb is don't buy anything that originates in China.

Thailand products have been safe to date...except I don't eat the seafood ... I only use wild caught seafood, I will not eat anything that come from farm-raised fisheries....polluted ponds...don't do it for my family...
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#9 artboys

 
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Posted 13 April 2011 - 09:31 PM

I found this website..no idea if it's any good. I'm also interested in this topic and will be watching for reviews.

http://www.kingarthu...ied-gluten-free
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#10 jherring

 
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Posted 14 April 2011 - 07:16 AM

I'm in the same boat. I used to bake for EVERYTHING because it was always requested and fought over. Now, I feel like I'm starting a whole new Chemistry experiment every time I make something. It's an adventure!

The best place that I've found to buy has been www.Lame Advertisement.com. They have excellent deals and great customer service! I had one bag of flour that came punctured and they immediately sent a new one, no questions asked. Feel free to use this referral code (URU745) for $5 off your first order.

Good luck!
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#11 Angelica

 
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Posted 14 April 2011 - 07:26 AM

Thank you all so much- I am so new to all of this that I have been feeling overwhelmed. It is just good to get some feedback on brands to look for and ideas to try out.

I am going to buy some small boxes of different mixes and try them out before I buy in bulk-- I figured as much but your advice was really super helpful.

And I had never heard of Better batter. Going to have to look for that. And thanks for the made in China warning-- my parents had a cat that died from the contaminated pet food (broke my dad's heart) a few years back. Now he doesn't buy anything (food wise) from China-- including for the new cats (they eat a new premium American food.)
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#12 sa1937

 
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Posted 16 April 2011 - 06:27 AM

I found this website..no idea if it's any good. I'm also interested in this topic and will be watching for reviews.

http://www.kingarthu...ied-gluten-free

King Arthur is a well-respected company so I had no hesitation placing an order yesterday. I've never tried any of their flours but have seen some mixes in a local grocery store.

The one thing I really wanted to try is the 9x4x4" bread pan as baking gluten-free bread is my biggest challenge. Hopefully with the higher 4" sides it will provide additional help with rising and provide stability for the dough/batter.

BTW, if anyone orders, I googled KAF and found a discount code CWQ54 so was able to save 10% on my $30+ order. I was really trying to get free shipping but couldn't find a code for that.
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Positive Celiac Blood Panel - Dec., 2009
Endoscopy with Positive Biopsy - April 9, 2010
Gluten Free - April 9, 2010

#13 sa1937

 
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Posted 16 April 2011 - 07:04 AM

I bought some Jules Gluten Free recently and, thought I haven't played with it as much as Better Batter, I like it as well. That one you have to buy direct from her company. I was able to use a first-time customer discount and not have to pay shipping.

My last flour blend is the one mentioned in Anneliese Roberts's Gluten Free Baking Classics, with superfine brown rice flour, tapioca and potato starch. I made that myself last time but it was such a pain next time I will just buy it pre-mixed.


I also bought a 5-lb. bag of Jules gluten-free flour and downloaded the free e-books (also as a first-time customer). Yesterday I baked my first loaf of bread using it (Beer Bread from her Free For All Cooking cookbook that I added to my last Amazon order at the last minute to get free shipping). She has a lot of allergen-free recipe adaptations for those who have to avoid certain products. Since I didn't have gluten-free ale, I used ginger ale (one of the substitutions). I have never baked gluten-free bread that rose that much...actually one side is really funky. lol She gives directions for baking in both a regular oven or using a convection oven. Since I have convection, I used it and perhaps that's why I ended up with a funky looking loaf of bread that rose so much higher on one side than the other. I wonder if it's because she uses Expandex modified tapioca starch. Tastes pretty good though. Next time I make it, I won't use the convection setting...or maybe I should have turned the loaf after it had baked for 10 to 15 min. ???

Gluten-Free Baking Classics has been the cookbook I have turned to the most. I have always made up my own flour mixes and find the the pizza crust from that book is very good. I made two and stuck one in the freezer so I can't comment yet on how that will hold up. I especially like the Multigrain Sandwich Bread recipe that has seeds added at the last minute (sesame, sunflower and flax). The pizza crust uses the brown rice flour mix and the multigrain bread using a different flour mix. I've only made up small batches of the flours as I didn't want to get stuck with a lot on hand.

I also bought Betty Hagman's The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread but haven't tried any of the recipes from it yet.
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Sylvia
Positive Celiac Blood Panel - Dec., 2009
Endoscopy with Positive Biopsy - April 9, 2010
Gluten Free - April 9, 2010




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