The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Looking for a gluten free pie crust flour blend.

MarkS's picture

Looking for a gluten free pie crust flour blend.

I have a close friend that is gluten intolerant. I tried to bake a pie last year for her with "gluten free" flour, and while it was edible and passable, it wasn't right. Most store bought gluten free flours are rice based and rice flour does not absorb water appropriately for pastry dough. What other options are there? I am not necessarily looking for a store bought blend, but rather different types of gluten free flours that I can blend myself. I have virtually no experience with gluten free baking. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

GAPOMA's picture

King Arthur has a recipe for a GF pumpkin pie that I be made and it works well.

I’ve also had good success with Annalise Roberts traditional GF pie crust.  It can be found at...

- Greg

MarkS's picture

Thank you, but in both cases, they recommend using rice flour. I'm trying to avoid that as it doesn't absorb water correctly for pie dough. 


What can be used other than rice flour? 

pmccool's picture

Mark, I went looking on line for GF pie crust recipes.  You are correct that most of them require rice flour.  I did notice one that specified a super-fine rice flour to reduce grittiness.  Another mentioned that there had to be a substantial quantity of starch, but did not specify a range or a minimum percentage.  Not having made GF pie crust, I can't offer first-hand recommendations but it does strike me that if so many posters are using rice flour successfully, maybe it isn't all bad.

Here's a link for some home-brew GF flour blends.  You may want to try one or more of those to see whether it meets your needs.

Best of luck with your pies.


idaveindy's picture

Paul, Excellent link.

Mark, here's a page, with video that gives some of the many options for concocting your own GF blend, and it does not have to be solely or mainly rice flour.

Many other starchy flours can take the place of rice, or play the majority role with rice in a minor role.

The main lesson is this: choose 4 parts (by weight) from column A, and 6 parts by weight from column B.  IE, 4 parts "protein flour" and 6 parts "starch flour."

The downside is this page/video does not get much (or enough) into binders.  Main binders are xanthan gum, guar gum, psyllium powder, ground chia, ground flax, egg whites.  OR a combination of several.

Matching the binder(s) to both the flour and the application is crucial.  Binders take the place of gluten in holding the dough and resultant baked product together.

Item: when using pre-made mixes, you have to be aware which ones already have a binder and which ones require you to add it separately. IE, you have to read the fine print. Bob's Red Mill makes both kinds.

Item: there is no one fixed binder percentage. It depends on what you're baking.

Item: there are at least 3 types of rice flour: sweet white rice flour, white rice flour, brown rice flour.  (Sweet rice is the same as "sticky rice." ) They behave very differently.


When you said  rice flour doesn't work for pie crust, then say " I have virtually no experience with gluten free baking" it makes me wonder two things:

1. what other starch flours and protein flours did you combine the rice flour with, and in what proportions?

2. What binders did you use if the store-bought  mix did not already have a binder?


Net: so.... keep looking for published recipes,... but.... do not rule something out merely because it  has rice flour as one ingredient.  Because... it matters what _else_ is combined with the rice flour (both starch flours and protein flours), what proportions they are in.  And... what the binders are.

I can almost guarantee you that nearly all GF recipes or GF ready-mixes will have at least some of at least one of the three types of rice flour in them.


BTW, cool tidbit to know:  Tapioca flour and tapioca starch are the same thing, but potato flour and potato starch are different things.

Bon appétit, amigo.