The Scoop on Robin Hood Gluten-Free Flour

The Scoop

Several months ago, we shared the exciting news that Robin Hood now has a gluten-free flour blend that is made in a dedicated facility. At $8.99 for a 1.8 kilogram bag, it’s far more affordable than some other flours. (I’ve seen it on sale for as low as $4.99, too.)

The Ingredients

Here are the ingredients in this blend, in order:

  • Rice flour
  • Sugar beet fibre
  • Potato starch
  • Tapioca starch

Test Results

We’ve done some experimenting in the kitchen, and so have our readers. Here are the results!

  • Cookies, muffins, and loaves all turned out pretty well although they were slightly dense.
  • Biscuits and pizza crusts did not turn out as well. The flour seemed to give these items a strange taste (which possibly is masked by the items that would be added to cookies, muffins, and loaves).
  • This flour also worked well in savoury recipes with a small amount of flour (for example, when adding a few tablespoons to gluten-free breadcrumbs to make a coating).

The Verdict

If you’re baking sweet treats, this is a good flour to use as long as you add about a teaspoon of xanthan gum. For savoury treats (like pizzas and rolls), we’d recommend a more balanced blend, like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour.

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  1. #1 by Janelle on September 25, 2013 - 9:18 am

    Thanks for this! I’ve yet to try it – it always seems to be out of stock when I go to the store! One of my favorite blends is Cuisine Soleil gluten free all purpose mix.

    • #2 by glutenfree4hfx on September 25, 2013 - 9:20 am

      You might want to check with your grocery manager if you’re having trouble finding it. They can work wonders. :) And thanks for the tip on Cuisine Soleil; I haven’t heard of that brand but we’ll have to try it!

  2. #3 by gfandme on September 25, 2013 - 1:56 pm

    Thanks for the information. I have a bag and made crusty bread with it but I replaced a third of the flour with corn starch to lighten the blend. Turned out OK but not as good as when I mix my own blend. And thanks to Janelle for the info on Cuisine Soleil. I haven’t heard of that one either.

    • #4 by glutenfree4hfx on September 25, 2013 - 3:17 pm

      Thanks for the tip – I have a crusty bread recipe that I want to try and was debating using the flour for it. :)

  3. #5 by Dave Klein on September 25, 2013 - 4:17 pm

    This review of Robin Hood’s blend is exactly my experience as well. I suspect that Robin Hood are adding some kind of additive to the flour that’s designed to give foods baked with it a sort of sweet cookie taste; I’m guessing they think that’s what most people will want to use it for. For cookies, cakes, that sort of thing, I think the flour would be outstanding; for pizzas and breads, not at all.

    • #6 by glutenfree4hfx on September 25, 2013 - 10:17 pm

      Excellent! I noticed today on their website that they mainly recommend it for baking… Maybe they’ll come out with a bread flour soon :)

  4. #7 by Jgreen on September 30, 2013 - 9:31 pm

    FYI – there were Gluten-free Breton crackers at Bayer’s Lake Costco this past weekend. They are yummy. It had been so long since I had eaten a Breton cracker!

    • #8 by glutenfree4hfx on September 30, 2013 - 10:30 pm

      Wow, that’s amazing news! Definitely going to go look for those this week :)

  5. #9 by Dar on October 18, 2013 - 9:15 pm

    So far I have baked zucchini bread and peanut butter cookies with the Robin Hood GF blend. I find a terrible after taste. I had to toss the zucchini bread and I just made the cookies and the after taste isn’t as bad as the loaf but still very noticeably there.
    I think I will go back to the “feather light” blend that I mix up myself.

    • #10 by glutenfree4hfx on October 18, 2013 - 9:31 pm

      That is too bad :( we haven’t done much baking with it but we’ve heard a lot of people say the same thing.

  6. #11 by Wilma Jordaan on October 20, 2013 - 10:31 am

    The flour is absolutely disgusting, am so dissapointed, not even cookies taste good, tuck all in the trash! Will never buy this product again!! Taste like sand!

  7. #12 by Ruth on October 29, 2013 - 3:07 pm

    I can’t tell you how much I wish I’d read this BEFORE I bought this stuff. We’re new to GF so I wasn’t sure if it was just me and my wheaty taste buds or if this stuff really did taste like sand. Gah! On top of that there’s a bitter, lingering after taste reminiscent of artificial sweeteners. I made zucchini muffins and even threw in some chocolate chips to get it by the kids but it was a hard sell. I’ll try cookies to finish the bag but won’t be going back for seconds.

    • #13 by glutenfree4hfx on October 29, 2013 - 4:21 pm

      I’m sorry you had such a bad experience too! It’s definitely not just you – we haven’t heard many good things about this flour. :(

  8. #14 by Ellie on November 10, 2013 - 10:48 am

    Just tried the Robin Hood GF flour. I had tried tapioca starch in a blend before, so I instantly recognised the aftertaste (almost an ‘artificially sweet’ flavour) as being tapioca starch. What really turned me off is the grainy texture left in my mouth afterwards. Far worse than the usual grainy texture of (white) rice flour. I’m pretty sure it is the sugar beet fibre. I’ll use up the rest of this in oatmeal cookies with plenty of coconut & nuts & raisins in it, to hide the disgusting texture. I’ll go back to my own house blend of brown rice flour, potato starch & cornstarch for delicate cookies and such, and use Bob’s Red Mill for savoury items.

  9. #15 by Heather on November 11, 2013 - 2:27 pm

    I tried the Robin Hood GF flour yesterday in one of my favourite, reliable cookie recipes. They turned out absolutely gross – oversweet taste and a texture like sawdust. I’m taking it back to the store – the package does say money back guarantee.

    • #16 by glutenfree4hfx on November 11, 2013 - 4:23 pm

      I hadn’t noticed the money back guarantee. That is good news for a lot of disappointed customers!

  10. #17 by Carrie-Ann on November 13, 2013 - 3:31 pm

    I made Banana bread with this recipe and it was great! Even picky folks in my family liked it. I added a bit more banana http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/gluten-free-banana-bread

    • #18 by glutenfree4hfx on November 13, 2013 - 4:08 pm

      Thanks for the recipe! I am glad that it turned out for you – we’ll have to try it. :)

  11. #19 by Naomi on November 18, 2013 - 6:46 pm

    We found it really nasty – it was not an enjoyable experience! Very grainy with a bad after taste! I might just take it back too, it wasn’t cheap!

  12. #20 by Lexy on November 20, 2013 - 6:58 am

    Maybe I’m crazy, but I use this flour regularly in cookies (alterations of the recipe on the back) and in sauces etc for savoury meals. Even for the topping of an apple crisp. Loved everything so far, and my gluten indulging friends love my cookies too!

    • #21 by glutenfree4hfx on November 20, 2013 - 8:31 am

      I’m glad that you had a good experience! We use it in savory cooking as well and haven’t had any problems.

  13. #22 by Lily Stewart on December 5, 2013 - 10:46 pm

    I tried this Robin Hood Gluten Free flour to make Christmas Cake. They turned out terrible! Very dry and crumbly. I am going back to my combination of rice flour, tapicoa flour, potato flours + Xanthum gum. Very disappointed in this product.

  14. #23 by lee on December 22, 2013 - 2:11 pm

    I made the choc. chip recipe on the back of the GF bag and it turned out so well. Im not celiac but my husband and daughter are. Im a hard sell with texture and I couldn’t tell much difference between these and not GF. My celiacs were happy to have homemade cookies they could actually eat! Ill be making more and will try the vanilla cupcake recipe and choc. sugar cookie recipes I found on the robin hood GF web page!

    • #24 by glutenfree4hfx on December 22, 2013 - 3:30 pm

      Maybe that’s the secret – sticking to their recipes! I’ll have to give that try, thanks for the tip. :)

  15. #25 by Mary Lou on December 23, 2013 - 3:34 pm

    Tried making crepes with it. Awful! The flour wouldn’t stay mixed with the liquid ingredients. They didn’t cook like they normally do. The brownish color and the horrible taste caused them to make a quick bee-line to the garbage can. Yuck! I’m going back to the William Sonoma GF flour @ $25 a bag! It may be super pricey but at least it’s consistently reliable.

  16. #26 by Christie on December 30, 2013 - 12:34 am

    I just tried this flour in an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe and the results were terrible. I wish I had read the reviews first. The cookies turned out crumbly with a terrible sandy mouth feel that lingered even after drinking a glass of water. I love sweets but will be tossing all 3 doz cookies and likely returning the bag.

  17. #27 by Kieran on December 30, 2013 - 4:43 am

    I’ve typically used the Bob’s Red Mill — it’s worked pretty well just substituting 1:1 for regular flour, or for people’s custom blends in GF recipes. I decided to give the Robin Hood a try (at $8 for 1.8kg it’s just under half the cost of the Bob’s at $5 for 0.5kg), but like a lot of people have not had great experiences. Crepes and Yorkshire pudding were disastrous — the blend seems to come out really thick (maybe too much tapioca?), so both ended up being stodgy messes in the pan. I have no trouble making perfect crepes and Yorkshire puds with the Bob’s.

    I’ve also just tried the Robin Hood in the breadmaker we got for Christmas. I had to add about an extra third as much liquid as the recipe usually takes, and even then the loaf came out quite flat and dense. It’s edible, and about on par with a lot of commercial gluten free bread, but awful compared to the loaf I made yesterday with the Bob’s, which was as good as fresh wheat bread.

    Now that I have the breadmaker I’ll probably look at making up my own mix to save money, and sticking with the Bob’s for specialty baking. But I don’t think I’ll be getting the Robin Hood again — at least not until they put more work into getting their blend right.

  18. #28 by Phaedra on January 5, 2014 - 4:04 pm

    I’ve had horrible experiences with this flour, too. I’m also suspect of the beet sugar fibre component. It’s a sugar production by-product that was previously only fed to horses. Sounds like Robin Hood has coupled with a sugar company to find a convenient way to sell their waste. Tastes like it, too!

  19. #29 by Ann Hayes on January 22, 2014 - 9:16 pm

    Too bad it has tapioca starch. So many people with celiac disease have thyroid disease also, autoimmune diseases very closely related, and tapioca starch is very bad for these people. Too bad Robin Hood didn’t do a bit more research.,

  20. #30 by karren on February 13, 2014 - 10:32 pm

    I have to ask the people that did not like this product, if they used Xanthan Gum with it? Wondering if this is why so many recipes failed?

    • #31 by glutenfree4hfx on February 14, 2014 - 8:56 am

      That’s a good question. I know that my mom used xanthan gum when making banana muffins and they turned out. It’s usually required when baking with GF flours, although perhaps it’s interacting with the sugar beet fibre in a weird way?

  21. #32 by recipehunter on February 23, 2014 - 9:33 am

    I used the Robin Hood GF for the first time today in waffles. The recipe I used called for 2 cups of GF all purpose flour. I substituted with 1 3/4 RH GF and 1/4 cup corn starch. I also added 1 tsp xanthan gum I did have to add a little extra liquid because it was thick. The waffles were wonderful. As for the beet fiber I have heard it is good for you.

  22. #33 by Doreen McPhail on March 14, 2014 - 9:30 am

    I am curious how it is gluten free when it has potato starches. Arent potatoes a no no to gluten free

  23. #35 by Iris Cunningham on March 23, 2014 - 4:27 pm

    I tried my first receipt with RH GF flour, it was so awful even the dog wouldn’t eat it! Perhaps it is not possible to substitute GF flour for regular all purpose without some receipts, however there is no information on the bag that pertains to this, does anyone know the answer??

    • #36 by glutenfree4hfx on March 23, 2014 - 4:33 pm

      With most recipes, you can substitute GF all purpose flours with a little tweaking, but most people have not had any luck doing this with RH flour for whatever reason. There are recipes specifically for the flour at http://www.robinhood.ca/Products/Nutri-Flour-Blend-Gluten-Free, which you might have more luck with.

      • #37 by karren on March 23, 2014 - 5:18 pm

        I tried many versions of sandwich bread with g/f flours. I have not had any success yet. If someone knows of a great recipe for fresh soft bread please send.

  24. #38 by Dolores on May 2, 2014 - 1:12 pm

    wELL i TRIED THE FLOUR FOR A BREAD AND I LIKED IT BUT THE WAS A BIT HEAVY.

  25. #39 by Cathy on May 9, 2014 - 2:43 pm

    I used the GF flour for the first time. I am very disappointed. The flour has a unpleasant odor and the cake has a disagreeable texture. Bulk barn GF flour gives better baking results

  26. #40 by Melody on May 16, 2014 - 1:52 pm

    Robin Hood better get back into the laboratory this is awful. Try grinding it it’s way to gritty! Will not be purchasing it again! If they can improve it or make something that works in bread that will I make me try again.

  27. #41 by Yamini on July 13, 2014 - 3:46 pm

    Has anyone tried to make chapatis with this flour?

    • #42 by glutenfree4hfx on July 13, 2014 - 4:09 pm

      I personally haven’t tried but overall I find this flour to give an odd after taste. You’re probably better off using a different all-purpose mix. :)

  28. #43 by Francine on July 13, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    I personally LOVE the chocolate chip cookie recipe on the Robing Hood GF bag. Best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made.

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