Every year new recipes sprout up both for cooking and baking, with 2017 being no exception. However, if you have coeliac disease, a wheat allergy, or are a victim of gluten intolerance, you need be extra-careful when it comes to including ingredients in your recipe. Fortunately, there are many gluten-free alternatives to all-purpose flour that you can retain in your favourite recipes!
- Almond Flour
Almond flour is comprised of blanched, skinless almonds grinded into meal. It is rich in healthy fats, protein, fibre and vitamin E. If you’re using almond flour for baking, it’s recommended to use it in densely-baked goods, such as brownies. Almond flour provides softness and moisture for baked food, and can easily perform as a substitute for all-purpose flour in most recipes. It’s best stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Rice Flour
There are two variations of rice flour: white rice flour, which originates from ground white rice, and brown rice flour, which is made from ground wholegrain brown rice. While brown rice is stiffer than white rice, both are neutral and taste equally mild. Rice flour makes for an excellent alternative to regular wheat flour, and can be used for baking common goods such as bread, or even Japanese cuisine in the form of rice noodles and desserts.
- Buckwheat Flour
Buckwheat flour is made from grinding buckwheat seeds, which are full of complex carbohydrates and high in protein, fibre and calcium. Buckwheat flour has a distinctive and rich, nutty taste, making it ideal for cookie, pancake and muffin recipes. However, it should be used together with lighter flours, or as a replacement for up to half of the flour stipulated in recipes.
- Chickpea Flour
Chickpea flour, also known as gram flour, is a wheat flour-alternative that is rich in protein, fibre and iron. It’s commonly used in many Middle Eastern and Indian households as part of their cultural cuisine. It absorbs liquids in a quick fashion, and is known for giving structure to baked goods. Because of its distinct chickpea flavour, it is best used for baked goods that exhibit strong flavours, such as fudge brownies or pizza crust.
- Coconut Flour
Made from ground coconut meat, coconut flour is naturally sweet. Furthermore, it possesses a high fat content and has the greatest fibre content of all flours. Coconut flour absorbs moisture and liquids effectively, and can be used in conjunction with other flours, replacing about 20% of your recipe’s stipulated flour amount. Eggs or additional liquids can be used together to maintain its moisture and prevent excessive dryness.
Even though gluten-free flour makes do without the wheat, it doesn’t end up sacrificing any of the flavour. In fact, some of the unique tastes and textures of flour alternatives might just end up putting an interesting spin on time-honoured classics. You’ll never know till you give it a try!
- Osena, P. (2016). Your Guide To Baking With Gluten-Free Flours. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/05/26/gluten-free-flours_n_10025528.html
- Bedwell, S. (2016). 6 Alternative Flours for Gluten-Free Baking. http://www.self.com/gallery/alternative-flours-gluten-free-baking-slideshow