Inexpensive Gluten-Free Flour Mix


Image shows a bowl of flour with a wooden scoop. Text reads "Inexpensive gluten-free flour mix"

Gluten-free flour mixes are notoriously expensive. Shockingly expensive. Quite frankly, with the grocery budget I have, I simply can’t afford them.

Fortunately, making your own inexpensive flour isn’t as hard as it sounds, and with the investment of a Kitchen grain mill Mill, it costs only a fraction of what many of the pre-mixed flours cost.

Here’s the recipe for my mix:

  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 2 cups white rice flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Guar or Xanthan gum (optional – see notes below)

This is the mix I use for pretty much everything except for bread. It’s the cheapest way I can find to make gluten-free flour because all of the ingredients are common.

Brown rice can be found in nearly any grocery store. The last time I bought it, it cost roughly $.59 per pound. We’re fortunate to have friends in the middle of the Missouri farmland and picked up a couple of 50 Lb. bags while visiting them for only a fraction of that price.

White rice is also found in grocery stores, and is typically cheaper than brown rice. Again, I try to buy in bulk. Since white rice is pretty starchy, it can take the place of some of the starch, which is much more expensive than rice.

Cornstarch is the most expensive ingredient of all here, that’s why I use as little as I can. Still, at $.79 per pound, it’s much cheaper than the typical pre-mixed flour.

One tip for making your gluten-free cooking much cheaper is to switch from xanthan gum, to guar gum. I’ve read articles about which gum to use for which application but honestly, I’ve used guar gum for everything and haven’t noted a difference. Again, guar gum is only a fraction of the price of xanthan gum.

Also, you’ll note that I don’t add the gum directly to my flour mix. You can (I’ve seen recipes that use 2 tablespoons per 5 cup batch of flour), but it’s a tremendous waste. While, yeast breads, cookies, biscuits, and a lot of things do need gum to hold them together, you’d be surprised at the number of baked goods that don’t need it.
For instance, pancakes and waffles (as long as they contain eggs!), many cakes – I’ve used this recipe, with my own flour mix rather than the one suggested,  to make 9×13 cakes with fantastic results – As well as muffins and many other quick breads, require no addition of gums!
As gum is the most expensive ingredient in gluten-free baking, this is a huge money savings!

By my calculations, making your own flour mix according to the recipe I’ve provided above should cost you .34/pound. I’ve never been able to find any flour mix for less than $2.50/pound, so that’s a pretty amazing savings!

Of course you have to factor in the initial cost of a grinder. The one I have  costs $179 on amazon.com. Ouch! I typically grind five pounds of flour a per week so if I’m saving $2/pound by grinding my own flour, it would take 18 weeks for the grinder to pay for itself. That’s not bad! I’ve had this grinder for over two years, but it’s a hand down from my mother-in-law so I have no idea how old it really is. That is to say, it’s well worth the cost!

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    1. I’ve found millet to be a good substitute, I like buckwheat, but it seems to give some things a bit of a crumbly texture.

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  4. Another option for a mill is a small coffee grinder. I have one that I got new for about $15-20. I only use it for grinding grains and it works well for me.

    1. Thanks for sharing! My familiarity with coffee mills only extends to reading The Long Winter (by Laura Ingalls – author of the famous Little House On The Prairie), glad to know modern coffee grinders work better than that! 😉

  5. Hi! You said that you use this flour for everything except bread….
    so what do you use for bread?
    Thank You!

    1. I usually custom mix depending on the recipe. Most of the time I use half starch instead of 1/3, and depending on what other flavorful ingredients are in the bread recipe, I might add millet or sorghum flour for flavor. You can see examples in some of the bread recipes listed here.

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  7. Hi, i was just wondering what is the purpose of adding cornstarch. I would also like to know if it is necessary to add cornstarch if i do not intend to use rice flour.

    Thanks 🙂

    1. The starch really helps hold doughs and baked goods together, plus makes them a little “lighter”. Generally, you want 30-40% starch and 60-70% whole grain ration in your gluten-free flour mix.

  8. In the recipe for this it says brown rice flour and white rice flour. My question is why you would need a grinder if it is already flour?

    1. I had the same confusion, and i think the directions are a bit unclear, but i think she grinds rice to make the rice flour and then those are the measurements of the ground rice flour that she uses. My question is, if we don’t have a grinder, can we buy the brown and white rice flour and just mix it with the cornstarch. That seems like it would be a lot quicker and and option for those of us that don’t have grinders and don’t want to make the investment.

      1. Hi Pam, Just read your comment regarding the grinding process. Just so you know it takes only a couple minutets to gring your rice, or wheat or whatever you want to use. Something to think about. Grinding your own flour gives you fresh flour, which is so good. The flour you buy can be months old before you get it. Just thought I would share my experience with you. Have a great day.

    1. Do you have a recipe for a great GF pizza dough? A lot of the recipes I’ve come across are like a batter. Thank you.
      Ps. Could I use the calzone recipe as a pizza base??

  9. I no longer use any gums. I add a tablespoon or two of psyllium, ground flax or chia and an extra egg. It tastes much better. 🙂

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  11. Is there a special way that you grind your brown and white rice?

    I have a grain grinder but have yet to use it



  12. Can you just use all brown rice instead of half brown and half white? The white rice doesn’t have as much fiber.

    Also can you just grind some dried corn or is it too hard?

    1. You can use all brown rice, but you may want to adjust how much starch you add as a result – brown rice is not quite as starchy.

      As for the corn, if you grind corn, you get cornmeal. I think you have to roast corn to make corn flour, and remove the germ to make corn starch.

  13. I didn’t see in your recipe at what point you added the guar gum. Do you use it at all with both rice flours and corn starch?



    1. I typically add gum with the dry ingredients in a recipe, but you can also mix it in with the flour mix and omit what’s called for in recipes.

  14. I found this page as a result of looking for a recipe for gluten free egg noodles. But you just list the cornstarch, white and brown rice flour. You mention guar gum but you don’t really say how much to add to the flours for noodles. You say you might not need it and if you do you can add 2 TBS. This recipe is very unclear, especially for people that are new to gluten-free cooking!

    1. In some recipes, you don’t need guar gum, and I prefer to leave it out, and only use as much as a particular recipe calls for for that reason.

      BUT, if you want to add guar gum to your mix at a flat rate so that you don’t have to get yet another ingredient out when you’re making a recipe, then you can add 2 Tablespoons to this flour mix recipe, mix it well, and omit any additional gum called for in a recipe.

      Hope that helps.

  15. Wanted to comment that I made your noodles this week using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 flour. My Mother used to make noodles all the time, but she never told me how she did it. Oh my gosh, I really thought I had died and gone to heaven. They did put me in mind of the frozen noodles from the grocery store. Next time, and there will be a next time, I will cut them way smaller than I did as they do swell up and roll out thinner. Even my husband thought they were good and I said I could do that again. Many thanks for your recipe which gave me the inspiration to try making the noodles!! If you use the recipe for Lasagna, how wide would you cut the noodles?

  16. I have started thinking of gluten free as my oldest son and youngest daughter has problems with gluten. I jump in with both feet when I start with something. Can you give me a name where I can purchase rice so I can mill my own flour? I really am anxious to try the gluten free receipt you described.

    1. We used to order for pickup at Martin Rice Mill in Missouri, but since we moved to Texas, I just buy it at the cheapest price I can find it – often Walmart tbh.

      Good luck!

  17. What purpose does corn starch have in this recipe? I want to make your lasagna noodles, and hoping it’s not necessary for that purpose.

    1. Most gluten-free flours are low on starch, so the added starch helps lighten, tenderize, and bind the batter. Some gluten-free baking and cooking can be done without starch if there’s a lot of added egg.

      Hope this helps!

  18. Thanks for this recipe. I am wondering if you tried potato starch?
    I need a substitute for the corn……

    1. Potato starch can be good mixed with tapioca starch, but the best substitute for corns starch is arrowroot powder.

  19. Hello elsie,
    Can I substitute brown rice flour with white rice flour?
    I don’t have a grind mill and brown rice flours are very expensive in the market.
    The only cheap flours I find around me are white rice flour and cornstarch.
    Please reply

    1. I made this flour mix and I’m eagerly waiting to try this mix in your recipes where you have particularly used this inexpensive GF flour mix.

  20. I bought the same grinder that you have and I was wondering what setting do you use to grind the rice? Course or Fine?

    Thank you

  21. Is the 2 cup white and brown rice and 1 cup cornstarch formula per 1 cup of all purpose flour you would use in baking?

    If not, how much would you need of each to equate one cup of all purpose flour?


    1. No, that’s the formula for getting the ratios on your gluten-free flour mix correct. You’ll use one cup of the mix for each cup of flour mix called for in your recipe.

  22. I have made Home-made Egg Noodles for my family at Thanksgiving and Christmas (as well as other times throughout the year). They have become a family favorite and much expected item! My daughter has recently found out she cannot tolerate gluten in her diet. Therefore I have been tasked with finding a gluten-free recipe for the egg noodles so important to my family! I am hoping you can help me!

  23. Thank you for sharing the recipe. My husband seems to be sensitive to all starches, I’ve tried corn starch, potatoe and arrow root. He gets tummy aches. Do you know if there’s anything I can replace starch with in gluten free flour mix? Thanks

    1. If starches aren’t working for you, I’d look in to going grain-free with something like coconut flour. You’ll use a lot of eggs, but with the right recipes, no starch.

  24. This was great. I have been making my own rice cereal w my vita mix. I’m going to try the flour I also. I’m sure it will work. How do you feel about potatoe and tapioca starched in the general mix

    1. Yes, in most cases. Baked goods tend to dry out a bit more quickly, and the taste of rice is a little more prevalent.


  26. Hi Elise – I just need a little clarification. Does the egg noodles recipe require guar gum or not? And if so, how much? Sounds as if you only use guar gum for your bread recipes.

    Thank you!

  27. Do these noodles hold their own when reheating soup or lasagna leftovers? Every brand I have tried is complete mush once they have cooked/baked. I am very careful not to overcook. I would love to have a noodle or pasta that really keeps its body once cooked! Maybe this recipe is it????

  28. Little dense here. You buy the rice uncooked packages and then grind for this flour mix. New to all this.

  29. I have a granddaughter that is now eating gluten free but can not have anything with almond or other nut flours as she is allergic to tree nuts. So I am a real newbie at this and want to make cookies and cakes she can eat. Why do I need a grinder? Can I just mix the Brown rice flour , white rice flour and cornstarch all together? Thank you

  30. Thank you for taking the time to put together this site! I found you when I was looking for GF Egg Noodle recipe. Just a note about xanthan gum – please don’t use it – check out what it is – it is the bacteria that causes black rot on cruciferous vegetables. I have a really bad reaction to it. It killed 21 babies when they added it to their formulas. This is a bacteria that tells you when it’s time to throw away your vegetable and now they are adding it to everything under the sun. Guar gum is better. I try to avoid all gums. I’m going to try out your flour mix. How do you make the rice flour? I will look through your blog and see if you have directions 🙂 Thanks!

  31. This was very helpful.
    I have a family member who is allergic to
    Cane sugar, wheat, and yeadt.
    We ate always looking for things for her.

  32. Thanks! It has been very helpful. My wife bought a grinder many years ago and hasn’t used it much. Now we can dig it out and use it for something healthful.

  33. I used your recipe for flour to make Pierogi dough for my GF daughter for Christmas 2019. I filled it with my family’s pierogi filling. They were so good she didn’t even re-heat on Christmas eve but ate the cold ones right out of the bowl.

    Thank you so much – it made my daughter’s Christmas.

  34. Hey Elise,
    Good looking GF flour recipe!
    Just wondering if I can use flax seed meal instead of gums?
    Is the gum just for binding where there is no egg?
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Sift, no. Sifting flour just mixes it and incorporates air. You might try using a food processor but doubt you will get similar results. A grain grinder GRINDS the grains.

  35. THANK YOU!!! I am new to this gluten free flour thing…. my son needs to be gluten free…. and I can’t believe how crazy expensive gluten free flour is. I have a grain mill so this recipe is perfect!! THANK YOU!

  36. I don’t have a grinder . Is there a particular brand of white and brown rice you can recommend? I notice there are colors and consistency differences. Thank you for this flour blend. I have been making my own and the cornstarch seems like a cheaper option to the other starches.

  37. I just found this, in looking for a better gluten and tapioca free lasagna noodle recipe. I tried to link to the grain mill, and it goes to flavored almonds!!!

  38. I can’t wait to try this recipe! Does anyone know if grinding is absolutely necessary? Are the texture and consistency similar enough to substitute for all/purpose and/or whole wheat flours in biscotti?

  39. I followed your link to that grain mill. I don’t know when you priced it, but it’s now $299! A lot more than the $179 you quoted.

  40. Hello, I just made a test batch of your GF noodles. They are great right into the pot. Can I make them a couple days ahead of Thanksgiving and freeze or refrigerate before the big day. Thank You

    1. All home made noodles can be made in advance and frozen or refrigerated. Be sure they are completely dry before putting away. If not they will mold when thawed and placed into the cupboard for use at a later time. I keep mine frozen until I use them. This prevents molding.

  41. Do you have an already prepared mix that you like for noodles? We don’t bake often and I wouldn’t really invest in a grinder. Thanks!

    1. She makes her own flours using the whole rice. If you buy the rice already ground into flour then yes, just mix it together.

  42. I use your flour mix and it is great. Do you have a recipe for bread flour mix for a bread machine?

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