There are a few questions that I hear every week in my baking class.
“Do you use flour mixes or bake from scratch?”
“What flour mixes do you recommend?”
After purchasing and preparing baked goods from countless mixes, I tend to do a combination of both – blending my own flours and using mixes.
I have two favorite commercial mixes that I strongly recommend. I’d like to note here that I use them because they work well – I am not sponsored by these companies.
My favorite is: Pamela’s Bread Mix and Pamela’s’ Artisan Flour Blend.
The Pamela’s Bread Mix contains the right blend of flours and starches with sorghum as the first ingredient. I also contains xanthan gum. When I begin to develop a recipe and I am not planning to blend my own flours, I almost always start with this mix.
The other mix I like for certain recipes is Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend. Neither of these mixes contains dairy.These two mixes are not interchangeable in recipes.
Note: There are many Pamela’s mixes on the market so please be very careful when you are purchasing the ingredients for a recipe. They are not interchangeable and some of Pamela’s products do contain dairy.
If you are looking at other mixes, please be wary of products that only include rice flours and tapioca. The baked goods will be very disappointing. They will come out dense, gummy, tasteless, gray, etc. You will see greater success from flour blends that include sorghum, millet, nut flours and starches in addition to rice and tapioca flours.
Before you measure any mix please shake it very well as the varied flour and starch particles will have settled during shipping and during storage. To insure that you are optimizing the performance of the mix you need to shake or stir well before measuring.
Weighing is important. You will notice that I always include the weight in grams of the flour mix in the recipe because it makes the results reproducible. (Anyone remember their chemistry teacher saying this over and over again?) These flours, starches and mixes can pack down in your measuring cup if not measured very carefully. That will result in very heavy, under baked, dense “goodies. To completely eliminate the challenge of incorrect measuring just weigh the ingredients. It’s also less messy, which is a win in my book.
If you can eat dairy I recommend Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix. The recipes on the bag and on their website are terrific. But please be aware that the baking and pancake mix has dairy in it.