One of the biggest complaints I hear from those new to a gluten-free lifestyle is the incredibly high price of gluten-free foods and expensive specialty flours. And of course, they are more expensive. The gluten-free flour mixes you see on the shelves of your local grocery store contain a long list of ingredients, some necessary, some completely extraneous (not to mention potentially unhealthy). Coupled with the fact that they tout the markings of one of the biggest health and diet trends of the decade, an obscene markup is not surprising.
So why not make it yourself? There is a widespread inaccuracy in our society that boxed mixes make baking easy. Somehow taking the mystery out of eggs, flour, and sugar when combined. The fact is, that boxed mixes speed up your assembly time fractionally, still require just as many dirty dishes, the same amount of energy to heat your oven, the same amount of time to bake, and the same amount of clean-up. Not to mention they contain a plethora of preservatives, generally the very lowest quality ingredients, and in the long run, cost you more than baking from scratch.
The Right Tools for the Job
If you own a food processor or a blender, making your own alternative flours is incredibly easy. If you have neither of the aforementioned appliances, go out and buy one, or both, immediately. If you bake or cook for yourself and your family even a modicum, the investment is worth it.
Gluten-free oat flour is sold at a much higher price than regular oat flour, the easiest way to address the hurdle is to simply make your own oat flour using ingredients you probably already have on hand. Oat flour is one of the most approachable flours to make yourself and is a great jumping off point for those new to the world of gluten-free baking. Not to mention the fact that it adds an amazing butterscotchy note to the recipes you use it in.
4 cups Whole Rolled Oats ( sometimes referred to as “Old Fashioned”)
Pour your oats into the bowl of your high-speed blender or food processor.
Process on high until the oats have transformed into a fine powder.
Sift the oats through a fine-mesh strainer, reserving the larger chunks. Return the pieces that were too large and blend again, repeating the sifting process.
Store in an airtight container.
You can use your oat flour in a recipe on its own, or if making your own gluten-free flour blend, weigh, and whisk into your other ingredients.
4 cups of rolled oats render about 2 cups oat flour, once ground. Depending on how much oat flour you need scale up or down accordingly.
Feel free to grind your oats in bulk and save for future recipes. Oat flour keeps practically indefinitely sealed in an air-tight container or bag in the freezer.
Depending on your Equipment
Store bought oat flour is very fine, in fact, no matter what tool you have you won’t be able to get your flours as fine at home. However, in a side-by-side comparison, the difference between a muffin (for example) made with store-bought oat flour and one made with your at-home version, renders a product with differences that are negligible if at all noticeable.
For the finest grind use a high-speed blender like a Vitamix. Using a food processor renders a slightly coarser product.