When I first discovered how much better I felt avoiding gluten I bought the standard gf flour available in the UK. After I threw out a whole banana cake because of the sandy texture I started experimenting with anything that seemed a likely contender. It is a pity I didn't blog then - some of the experiments produced remarkably bad results and it would be interesting to look back on and see how the learning progressed. I have my own electric stone-grinder flour mill, so wasn't restricted to what I could buy as flour.
After three years of experiments I settled on a standard flour to use in almost anything. I have stuck to this flour blend in recent posts as it is due to be produced by Shipton Mill later this year, so these results will be needed by people buying this flour.
I use three main ingredients:
The first is urid lentil flour (also called urad lentil). This is a small creamy coloured lentil (dark green husk) that holds baked goods together well without giving any weird taste. I buy it in the UK from Spices of India, where you can buy the flour or get the whole lentils and grind it yourself. You can probably buy it in Indian food stores if you have one nearby - as Papad flour. It is flour, along with rice, that papadums are made of.
Tapioca flour gives things smoothness and a chewy texture. Tapioca flour can also be used by pre-cooking with water to give a gel that you can use as an egg substitute and also to make raw doughs easy to handle. It gives cooked flatbreads a lot more pliability. Tapioca flour can be bought from some whole food stores, though I buy mine off the internet from Goodness Direct as the nearest store that stocks it is a half hour drive from me.
Cornmeal is the third ingredient. This gives crispness to the finished baked good. I choose a fine golden cornmeal as it gives a nice colour to the flour. I buy this from the Caribbean section at the local supermarket.
The basic flour mix has 40% urid, 40% tapioca, 20% cornmeal
I also use ground almonds when I want cakes with a moist texture and good keeping qualities.