This weekend was pegged as a gluten free baking extravaganza; savoury scones, caramel cashew tart and chicken pie. The whole aim of our baking weekend was to find a homemade gluten free flour blend that was perfect. Saturday would be spent hunting and gathering and Saturday evening and Sunday would be spent concocting flour blends, baking and of course eating. The exploration for ingredients turned out to be more hunting than gathering. The trouble was we found it difficult to source some of the ingredients and some were grown internationally meaning we couldn't deduce whether they were truly gluten free.

Gluten free flours and flour alternatives

Is gluten free really gluten free?

Of course everything we set out to purchase was gluten free by ingredient. On the shopping list was

  • Brown rice flour
  • Buckwheat flour
  • Tapioca flour
  • Tapioca starch
  • Ground linseed
  • Fine cornmeal
  • White rice flour
  • Potato starch
  • Xantham gum
  • Guar gum

Unfortunately we came up against some barriers. To explain to those who are new to gluten free there are differing ways in which to determine if a product contains gluten, check out Determining gluten free to learn more.

What we thought would be our one stop shop, Goodies and Grains at the Adelaide Central Markets, did have the bulk of the shopping list but not all barrels of flour/starch were marked as gluten free. Also because they were in barrels we couldn't see original packaging but this may not have been much help because we can't speak the languages of where the products were sourced. To add to the dilemma the store manager and person in charge of stock ordering wasn't in to help clarify.

We left Goodies and Grains with (both clearly marked as gluten free)

  • Ground linseed
  • Fine cornmeal

We seriously wanted to bake so we tried to not let this hurdle stop us from sourcing our ingredients. We headed for Norwood Foodland, which has been mentioned as a good gluten free supermarket around the traps. We left the supermarket with

  • White rice flour (Gaganis, it is gluten free by ingredient)
  • Xanthan gum (Lotus , clearly marked gluten free)

but were still a long way from all the ingredients we needed.

Starting to wonder if we had set ourselves an impossible task we thought we should at least give the nearby Coles supermarket a try. Lucky we did because we left with a few more ingredients (Coles branded and both clearly marked gluten free).

  • Brown rice flour
  • Buckwheat flour

Exhausted from our excursion and with the shops due to close we had to call it a day. Unfortunately our trip wasn't successful enough to allow us to mix our flour blend and bake to our hearts content that evening but a bit of research did present to us that potato starch and tapioca starch were most commonly found in Asian supermarkets.

On Sunday morning we tracked down the nearest Asian supermarket, Thuan Phat Supermarket, where we managed to buy the following (we couldn't determine if the manufacturing process was gluten free but the brands did not have any gluten containing products in the store).

  • Tapioca starch
  • Potato starch

At the end of our prolonged hunting and gathering trip we had everything on our list except tapioca starch and guar gum, which meant we could only trial our savoury scone recipe. The difference between starch and flour presented issues for us throughout the whole trip, starh vs flour is a topic we will revisiting on our blog soon. We were also keen to find out more about guar and xanthan gums and their properties so keep an eye out for that one too.

And it would be cruel if in signing off we neglected to share the baking we were finally able to do on Sunday night. Our All purpose flour blend was light and fluffy and highly compatible with the delectable savoury scones we concocted that night.

Gluten free flours and flour alternatives