Normally, most flour that we see at the store is made from wheat, which is gluten. Nowadays, more people have been offering more gluten-free flour alternatives to cater to specific dietary needs.
If you have never heard of gluten-free flour, you may be wondering what gluten-free flour is. I did the research, and this is what I learned!
What Is Gluten-Free Flour?
Usually, gluten-free flour refers to any flour that is free of gluten, so wheat and other-related ingredients will not be used. Some types of gluten-free flour include nut flours, root flours, legume flours, rice flours, oat flours, and more. Moreover, different types of gluten-free flour will work best with different recipes.
Do you want to learn more about gluten-free flour types and which gluten-free flour is best for specific recipes? Keep reading to learn more!
What Does Gluten-Free Flour Mean?
Generally, gluten-free flour means that the flour is made from ingredients that contain extremely little or no gluten.
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that foods like flour can be labeled as gluten-free if they contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten.
As such, the FDA has found that this amount of gluten is safe to be considered gluten-free because it will not affect people with celiac disease.
What Is Gluten-Free Flour Made Of?
Normally, you can expect gluten-free flour to be made from ingredients that are not wheat, barley, or rye.
Here is a list of common gluten-free flour variants that you can try:
- Almond Flour
- Coconut Flour
- Buckwheat Flour
- Amaranth Flour
- Sorghum Flour
- Rice Flour
- Arrowroot Flour
- Corn Flour
- Oat Flour
- Chickpea Flour
- Tapioca Flour
- Cassava Flour
What Is The Difference Between Gluten-Free Flour And Regular Flour?
As you can guess, the difference between regular flour and gluten-free flour is the gluten content since gluten-free flour has very little to no gluten.
Normally, regular flour is made from wheat and similar ingredients, such as rye. Some other examples of wheat-based flour are cake flour, bread flour, and more.
Since regular flour contains gluten that traps carbon dioxide and gives food structure and stability, you will usually not get much rise or volume when you use gluten-free flour.
Additionally, some people note that gluten-free flour tends to create looser batters that need more liquid than regular flour.
Another difference you may notice is texture because gluten-free flour tends to produce very dense textures.
On the other hand, regular flour (depending on the variant that you have) can produce lighter and softer textures.
Can I Use Regular Flour Instead Of Gluten-Free Flour?
You may use flour instead of gluten-free flour for most recipes, but only if you are not serving your food to anyone with wheat sensitivities or allergies.
Typically, people who have issues consuming gluten can develop a negative reaction even if they eat a small amount of gluten.
Moreover, some recipes require little to no rise, such as flatbread. Therefore, you may be better off with gluten-free flour instead of regular flour for those recipes.
What Gluten-Free Flour Is Best For Cake?
Generally, one of the best types of gluten-free flour to make a cake is almond flour because almond flour contains a lot of fat, which can make your cake moist and soft.
Plus, almond flour features a slightly nutty and sweet taste that can complement a cake, and almond flour is already a common ingredient for other desserts like macarons.
If you want to use almond flour for a cake recipe, try to use roughly ¼ less flour than what is stated in the recipe.
Another alternative to almond flour for cakes is coconut flour because coconut flour offers a good structure for cakes.
However, coconut flour has a fairly noticeable coconut flavor, so some people mix coconut flour with almond flour to tone down the coconut flour’s taste.
Moreover, you may want to use ¼ less liquid when using coconut flour while adding another moisture-enhancing ingredient, such as an additional egg.
What Gluten-Free Flour Is Best For Yeast Bread?
Normally, you are better off using a brand of gluten-free flour because they contain ingredients like xantham gum that can mimic the rise gluten and yeast can offer in bread recipes.
For instance, Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour and King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour are excellent options to make yeast bread.
What Gluten-Free Flour Is Best As A Thickening Agent?
Typically, the best type of gluten-free flour to use as thickening agents will be starchy flour because the starch will thicken your food easily.
For instance, tapioca starch, potato starch, arrowroot powder, and white rice flour are all starchy kinds of flour that can work as a thickening agent.
However, they have different flavor profiles that will suit different recipes. For instance, tapioca starch tastes strong and sweet, making tapioca starch ideal for desserts.
What Gluten-Free Flour Is Best For Frying?
Normally, most people agree that rice flour is the best gluten-free flour for frying. Moreover, more people prefer rice flour over wheat flour for frying because rice flour gets crispier than wheat flour.
Additionally, people may use a combination of cornstarch with rice flour as part of their batter for frying.
What Gluten-Free Flour Is Best For Pasta?
Generally, legume-based gluten-free flour is ideal for making pasta, but the pasta can be a bit heavier than regular wheat pasta.
Some common types of gluten-free flour that are used to make pasta include garbanzo flour, gram flour, lentil flour, and more.
Take a look at our other articles to discover what farina flour is, what fortified flour is, and what finger millet flour is.
Gluten-free flour is any type of flour that does not contain any gluten, which includes almond flour, cassava flour, coconut flour, and more.
Since gluten-free flour behaves a bit differently than gluten-containing flour, there will be specific types of gluten-free flour that work best for different recipes.