10 years ago the gluten free aisle was, well it wasn’t an aisle. It was a corner in the supermarket filled with cobwebs and spiders and if you dared to pull a box off the shelf it would cover you in dust! And that’s all before you even got it home and discovered it tasted like cardboard. Well things have come pretty damn far these last 10 years. Now I’m going to share with you just which Gluten Free flour in Australia you should be using! Plus read to the end for my top gluten free baking recipes for you to try!
These days if you walk through your local supermarket you’ll be amazed at just how much choice you have! Truly, I’ve seen stores with entire gluten free/health food aisles!!! There are that many products to choose from, eat and bake with. But how do you know which products to try? How do you know they’ll even work?
Gluten Free Flours = the low down
Now we all know being gluten free can suck some times. Especially so when we have to try and convert some of our beloved recipes and sweet treats into gluten free versions that you know, taste like normal. I won’t lie, it’s not always easy. But with such a heavy push from the gluten free community we now have a bevy of actually really great products to choose from. The big businesses actually listened to us and not only created great NEW products but they went back and reworked their old staples too. Now we have so many gluten free flours and baking staples to choose from it can be hard to even know where to start. Which just caused a whole new problem!
So how do you choose a nice gluten free flour to work with?
Let’s break this down for you. If you’re especially new to the gluten free world you’re probably thinking “Jeez girl, flour is flour….. right?”. MMM wrong! There is no one singular product that can replicate gluten in any form, especially baking. So instead we use a mix of flours to create a product that will work essentially like a wheaten flour choc full of gluten.
First off you need to understand that every store bought flour blend on the market is DIFFERENT to each other. They may even use similar flours to one another, but they’ll use those flours in different quantities, therefore giving you a slightly different baked good at the end of it. So how do you know which one to choose?
What’s in a flour blend?
At it’s core gluten free plain flour is a blend of different flours, anywhere between 3 to 5 are commonly used. Each type of flour has an attribute, something it brings to the mix. Some are sticky, some are light and fluffy, each plays a specific role in a blend and in turn the baked good. This is why you’ll rarely see a recipe written with just one type of gluten free flour in it. It simply won’t bake well and ultimately it will taste and look “gluten free”…. and we definitely don’t want that.
Most flour blends on the market use a mix of the common flours:
- Corn flour (maize starch)
- Tapaioca Starch
- Rice Flour (brown, white and sticky)
- Potato Starch (different to potato flour)
This is by all means not a full list, there are 100s of different types of gluten free flours in Australia and I’ve written another blog post all about them here. So if you want to understand more about what each flour does etc etc then please head across and have a read.
BUT, I know a lot of you aren’t looking for that. I mean really, you don’t need to mix your own gluten free flour blend just to bake a simple chocolate chip cookie! Once upon a time to bake successfully gluten free, yes you had to make your own blend. But when the products on the market are sooooo good there simply isn’t a need to. I mean what is a custom gluten free flour blend anyway, if not whats already on the shelf?
Choices, Choices, Choices
Below I’m going to break down the Top 6 Gluten Free Flours in Australia (in 2020) now this is not by all means an exhaustive list. But it will give you an idea on not only how to choose a gluten free flour but the confidence to do so. Remember there are lots of other smaller brand gluten free flours on the market too that bake really well. They’re just that little bit harder to find.
My focus here at Champagne and Gumboots has always been to make gluten free baking simple, easy and delicious for you. The first word being SIMPLE! So I really don’t think you should have to run around your city trying to find a particular flour blend just to get a recipe to work!
Let’s get into it:
This has to be hands down my favourite gluten free flour in Australia. And if you’ve been following me for a while, it’s pretty much my go to for general baking.
Heavy in Tapioca and Potato starch this blend is sticky, but being high in rice flour also gives it a nice lightness.
This is a great all rounder. From biscuits to slices this flour works a treat and happens to be my favourite because of that. You’ll find Well and Good stocked in a variety of stores including select IGAs, Coles and health food stores, along with many online stores.
One of the original gluten free flour blends, the White Wings brand has been around for decades. In fact when I first started baking gluten free (gawd that was a while ago) this was one of the ONLY options on the shelves.
Surprisingly simple this blend is only 4 ingredients only! Maize and Tapioca starch and rice flour, and of course xanthan gum. (All gluten free flour blends need Xanthan gum). White Wings gluten free flour is made of basically all starches which makes it a sticky blend, but many find this to be a downside too. In my opinion it makes it a fairly limited flour and not one I prefer to use anymore. Ultimately which ever flour you use comes down to your personal preference and baking style!
White Wings can be purchased from a number of stores, again it will depend on your local store whether they choose to stock it. If you can’t find it, try asking the owner of your local IGA to get it in for you.
Free From Gluten – Woolworths Brand
The Woollies brand flour has come an awfully long way. In previous years it was unreliable and well, crappy. But since then it has undergone a remodel. Now it bakes far better and is a good cheaper option to some of the brands I list here.
The Woolworths flour blend is very similar in structure to White Wings, only that it throws in the added bonus of Rice Bran and doubles up on the corn starch. Ultimately this comes down to price, (rice brand being a cheap filler ingredient) which is why you’ll often find this flour is cheaper than the others. Again being very high in starches means this flour can be too sticky and sometimes dense.
You’ll find it in all good Woolworths stores.
Another original gluten free brand that has been around quite some time. Orgran specialises in producing great gluten free alternatives and I particularly love their GF custard powder!
In terms of their plain flour it starts with corn, which not everyone loves (or can eat!). So it can be a little more polarizing. However this blend is actually quite well balanced among its rice and starches. Which makes it a good all rounder for a lot of basic gluten free baking.
Orgran has become a little bit harder to get these days. You will have to search your local Coles, IGA and Woolworths stores. Or simply buy online!
Coles Gluten Free Flour
The Coles brand gluten free flour is another one, much like the Woollies brand, that has undergone a big change up in recent years. In fact Coles has had a significant glow up in their gluten free range and is now home to some pretty impressive products.
With rice flour as it’s main ingredient this flour blend is great for things like scones, basic cakes and the likes. However it’s second ingredient is maize again (corn flour), so it can be a little fiddly to work with since corn flour can be clumpy and gritty. Not to mention many Coeliacs also can have an allergy to corn.
You’ll find it in all good Coles stores.
Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour
I’ve saved one of my favourite Gluten free flour blends in Australia till last. This baby is one of my special secrets!
A completely different type of blend to the above flours, this blend has one purpose. Cake! Well, technically cupcakes, cakes, muffins, anything you know, cakey.
The reason for this is it’s unique blend of flours. The Bobs Red Mill 1 to 1 blend (blue label!) includes a huge selection of different types of rice flour. This makes an incredible difference, as its not only light and gives a beautiful crumb to your cakes. But it also has a stickiness to it with using sticky rice flour, this gives it a hint of the starchiness that you need without overpowering it.
If you are wanting to bake a gluten free cake from scratch then this is the blend I recommend. In fact between this and Well and Good for general baking (like brownies, biscuits and the likes) you’ll pretty much be able to bake anything gluten free really really well!
I’ll even let you in on a little secret. This blend is actually quite similar to the blend I make myself for my Gluten Free custom cake business 😉 So yes it really is that good.
You’ll find Bobs Red Mill in most health food stores and some select IGAs.
At the end of the day though, which Gluten Free Flour in Australia you choose to use really comes down to personal preference. I recommend you bake around! Try a few different blends and see which one you prefer. Everyone is different.
Now let me know in the comments below, which is your favourite gluten free flour in Australia to use for baking?