Today, I’m going to talk about the different gluten-free flours available and what some of their properties are.
Each type of gluten free flour has a different property. Some draw in liquid, others make crust flakier, and some provide flavor. The type of flour you use will make a big difference in the texture, quality and flavor of your gluten free creations. While you should plan to test various flours to see which ones you like best, here are a few ideas for the most popular gluten-free flours.
* Almond Flour — You can make your own almond flour easily by putting dried raw almonds in a high speed blender, and blending just until the mixture is flour density. Too much, and you’ll create almond butter. It’s great for pancakes, muffins, cookies and breads.
* Bean Flours – Flours made from beans like chickpeas can be used to make breads, pastas and more. Simply wash the beans first, and then dry out in the oven completely before grinding. Use in breads, crackers and soups.
* Coconut Flour – Made with dried coconut flakes or with the left over pulp when making coconut milk. This flour absorbs liquids and makes moist textures. Muffins, breads and cakes can be made with it.
* Oat Flour – Use steel cut oats to make oat flour by blending them in your high speed blender just until flour is made. Mix with another type of gluten free flour for the best results. Try it with brownies, biscuits and pancakes.
* Other Nut Flours – You can make flour out of any dried, raw nuts. Just stop grinding right before it becomes butter. Nut flours add a dense texture and delicious flavor to your baked goods. Like almond flour, it can be used for many things including cookies, muffins, cakes and breads.
* Potato Starch — You can buy potato starch (not potato flour) to mix with your other flours to improve the texture and flavors of all your gluten free flours. Use it as a thickener for gravy, soups and stews. It’s also a good choice for making sponge cake.
* Quinoa – You’ve likely heard of this whole grain by now in your quest to eat gluten free, but you can also make flour from it instead of cooking it first. It makes a very tasty addition with other flours to make zucchini bread or other quick breads where a heavier texture is okay.
* Rice Flour – Great for use as a thickener in all your baking and as a crispy addition when frying things normally coated in flour. Has the texture of corn starch.
* Seed Flour – Using dried sunflower seeds, flax seeds and other seeds like chia seeds will also act as a binder or egg replacer when mixed with water after ground. Use in fruit crumbles, cobblers and cakes.
* Sorghum Flour – Because of its delicious flavor, sorghum flour is used for many things including breakfast cereals. It’s the best flour to use for a one-to-one wheat flour ratio in all your baked goods.
* Tapioca Flour – Also called tapioca starch, is made from the root of the manioc plant. This flour has to be used in conjunction with another flour to make complete flours for your recipes. It’s smooth texture makes it good for pies, soups and sauces.
This is a good start for your gluten free baking needs. Try mixing a few different types of flour together in order to get the right texture. Consider the textures and flavors that you want to add to your recipes. Don’t be afraid to try out different mixtures. Once you get a mixture, remember to use it in grams rather than cups. For instance, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, instead use 140 grams of your gluten free flour mixture.