When transitioning to a gluten-free diet it may be difficult to figure out what kinds of flour you can cook and bake with. Here are 4 types of flours (out of many more) than you can try out!
Rice flour is a fine flour made from ground rice. You can purchase white rice flour or brown rice flour. White rice flour is made from polished white rice while brown rice flour is made from whole grain brown rice. Both work typically the same way in a recipe outside of brown rice flour needs to cook a little longer than white.
Rice flour can be used to make noodles, pancakes, to thicken soups, stews, and sauce. It can also be used as an alternative to wheat flour in cakes and biscuits and the base for various baked goods (some additions may be needed to help yeast bread and other baked goods rise).
Coconut flour is a soft, natural grain- and gluten-free flour produced from dried coconut meat. The fat in coconut flour is primarily saturated fat. That means it is safe to heat and it is not toxic to the body. Coconut flour boasts a light and fluffy texture and produces tender baked goods. To properly measure coconut flour, stir it with a fork and then dip the measuring cup into the fluffed flour, leveling it with the back of a knife. Don’t pack it into the measuring cup. Baking with 100% coconut flour almost always requires eggs. Eggs provide structure and binding for coconut flour baked goods.
In baked goods, you generally want to substitute 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup coconut flour for 1 cup grain-based flour. You will also need to increase the number of eggs.
Tapioca flour has become a staple for many people. Because cassava roots, from which tapioca is derived, are naturally very high in carbohydrates, tapioca starch is able to be extracted and made into gluten-free flour or “pearls.” These are used as a thickening agent in various kinds of foods or recipes — everything from pizza dough to pie filling. It’s totally grain-free, nut-free, dairy-free, vegan, seed-free, gluten-free and practically sugar-free! Tapioca Flour won’t rise like yeast, which means it’s not always a success when using it to make bread or cakes, but it tends to help hold recipes together better than almond, garbanzo or coconut flour.
It can replace cornstarch as a thickener for pies and sauces and aids in creating a crisp crust and chewy texture in baking. You can use tapioca (either instant or flour/starch) as a thickener for pies, soups, gravies, or puddings. Simply whisk a bit into whatever you’d like to thicken. And tapioca retains its texture even when frozen, which makes it a good option for thickening ice creams, soups, gravies, or anything else you might pop in the freezer—and it keeps whatever you’re thickening glossy. Tapioca flour is flavorless, very fine, and not very dense—which makes it a good candidate for mixing into and cutting some of the heaviness of homemade gluten-free flour mixes. And its natural stickiness will help bind and make chewy gluten-free baked goods, which have a bad rap for being crumbly.
Oat flour is one of the most popular forms of gluten-free flour, but if you have Celiac disease, you need to be careful to ensure there is no gluten in the oats. Oats themselves are gluten-free, but there can be cross contamination when oat flour is blended. You can easily make your own oat flour at home. One cup of rolled oats will yield approximately 1 cup of oat flour. Pulse the oats until they are ground into a powder-like consistency. Depending on the speed and power of your food processor, this process should take 60 seconds or less. Stop and stir to ensure that all the oats have been finely ground. Oat flour tends to make a baked good more moist than wheat flour. In recipes other than bread and cookies, you can substitute 1 1/2 cups oat flour for one cup of wheat flour.
Those are four flours out of MANY gluten-free flours that are available for you to experiment with!
Not interested in making your own goodies? Check out our breads, brownies, cookies and muffins!