Now that you’ve got the basics of gluten free baking down, let’s take a closer look at some of the flours you’ll be using. Gluten free flours can be used in all sorts of baking, and many people find that experimenting outside of the realm of all-purpose flour is incredibly rewarding. Each alternative kind of flour has its own taste and characteristics that can add real character to your baked creations. From gluten free cakes and pies to gluten free waffles, you’ll find that using different flours will add variety and flavor to your baking.
Familiarizing yourself with the different characteristics of these flours will help you predict how your cookies are going to taste, or how your recipe might change when you use a new type of flour. Using a non-traditional flour can be a great way to up the nutritional value of your baking, since many of these flours are naturally high in fiber and protein. After reading our crash course, you can walk through the grocery store with confidence, knowing you can select the perfect flour for your baking.
Almond Flour: This popular gluten free flour is created by grinding blanched nuts into a fine powder. Besides having a tasty nutty flavor (it’s made from almond, after all), recipes made with almond flour tend to have a fluffy consistency. Almond flour is high in deity fiber, Vitamin E, and Calcium. It’s cholesterol free, low in carbohydrates, and low in saturated fat meaning. Test out your baking skills with this recipe for Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies, created by Erin from Meaningful Eats.
Buckwheat Flour: Although many people think of buckwheat as a grain, it’s actually a fruit that’s closely related to the rhubarb, and buckwheat flour is, you guessed it, made from ground buckwheat. Buckwheat flour is high in all sorts of awesome nutrients. It contains all of the essential amino acids, and is rich in potassium, iron, and calcium. It’s high in fiber, protein and Vitamin D. Ready to try out this awesome flour yet? Try out this Blueberry and Almond Muffin recipe.
Brown Rice Flour: This flour, made from unhulled rice kernels (aka brown rice), will lend a strong, nutty flavor to your baked creation. Many bakers prefer to mix brown rice flour with other ingredients to create a flour mix, since using brown rice alone can lead to a grainy texture. This flour has a lot of natural fats and oils, so you’re best off buying small quantities of the flour. Always store your brown rice flour in the fridge to prolong its shelf life. Brown rice is high in fiber, protein, and carbohydrates. Master this type of flour by baking these Almond Joy Cupcakes.
Coconut Flour: A slightly sweet flavor characterizes this flour made from dry ground coconut meat. Baked goods prepared with coconut flour will keep you filled up for longer, since this flour is incredibly high in protein and fiber. You will need to use more liquids, like eggs, when cooking with coconut flour so it does not work as a straight substitution for wheat flours. Lemon Bars take advantage of the naturally fruity flavor of coconut flour.
Oat Flour: If you want to try making your own flour, oat flour is a great place to start. You can easily create it by grinding certified gluten free oats in your blender. A cup of oats will yield a cup of oat flour, so it’s ridiculously easy to make. It’s also an easy substitute for traditional flours. You can experiment with proportions if you want, but starting with a straight conversion will yield tasty results. Surprise your family with these Graham Crackers, from Jessica at Chockohlawtay, the nutritional boost from the oat flour makes them perfect for school lunches.