A guide to Gluten-Free Flours

We get a lot of requests for gluten-free recipes. We will soon update our recipe collection to include more gluten-free options, but in the meantime, here is a quick guide to gluten-free flours to help you modify your favorite foods into gluten free versions.

 


Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour

This is hands-down our favorite gluten-free flour. It is the most similar to traditional all-purpose flour in both taste and texture. The high level of starch paired with xanthan gum allows it to act much like a gluten-filled alternative. The name Cup 4 Cup refers to the ability to swap it out for regular all-purpose flour in your favorite recipes without any other modifications. You simply use a cup of C4C instead of a cup of flour. This product works quite well where other flours fail. It has enough elasticity to make homemade bread and pastas. It has a neutral flavor with no unwanted “off-taste.” It does quite well with butter-based cookies or pastries. The neutral flavor allows the butter taste to take center stage. The flavor does fall a little flat with some items such as bread or pasta. Making bread with only water, flour and yeast would be a good example of this. The wheat flavor seems conspicuously missing. This problem is easily remedied by adding your favorite herbs or spices to the mix. The biggest downfall to C4C is the addition of milk powder. Many people who are either gluten-intolerant or have Celiac Sprue are also unable to break down dairy proteins. That makes this product unsuitable for some people. The milk powder does add a softness to baked goods and prevents the dryness and brittle texture found in many gluten-free items. Those who want to avoid gluten but have no problem with dairy should definitely try this product. It is the closest thing we have found to a wheat-based all-purpose flour without the actual wheat. Click here to find out more about Cup 4 Cup


King Arthur Multipurpose Gluten Free Flour

King Arthur makes a very neutral gluten-free all-purpose flour that performs better than most alternatives. It doesn’t have quite as much elasticity as C4C, and does require the addition of xanthan gum or guar gum for most recipes. It is the best all-purpose dairy-free flour we have found so far in terms of being truly all-purpose. Unlike C4C, it does not have milk powder and is suitable for people who are lactose-intolerant. It does not have the softness of C4C and items baked with King Arthur tend to need extra moisture. Substituting it for standard wheat flour without any other modifications to the recipe tends to result in a dryer, more brittle end product. A little practice will get you accustomed to changing the wet/dry ratios in your favorite recipes. Click here for more info on King Arthur Gluten Free flour


 

Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour

Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose mix has a great texture, very similar to all-purpose wheat-based flours. It is made primarily of garbanzo bean flour and also has fava bean flour in it, making it an excellent choice from a nutritional standpoint. It has no dairy products in it, so it is also suitable for those who are lactose-intolerant. It does require the addition of xanthan gum or guar gum for most recipes. The biggest problem with this Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose mix is the overwhelming bean taste. That is the only reason we feel it shouldn’t be your go-to all-purpose flour. It doesn’t do well with things like sugar cookies or pie crust. It does, however, perform quite well in things with a strong chocolate taste, such as brownies or dark chocolate cakes. The chocolate flavor covers the bean taste very well. It is also good for items that can benefit from an earthy bean flavor. Bean-based pasta goes surprisingly well with a heavy Bolognese sauce. A veggie Quiche with a crust made from this flour is quite delicious. Tortillas with a bean flavor make tasty tacos and burritos. Just remember to either accept the bean flavor or use a strong enough flavor to cover it, and you will be happy with this flour. Click here for more info on Bob’s Red Mill flour


 

Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flour

Quinoa flour is a healthy, gluten-free alternative to traditional wheat flours. It is made from an ancient grain that is full of nutrients. The flour is a little bitter when compared to traditional flour, and is also dryer and can result in more brittle baked goods. Both of these problems are overcome by mixing it 50/50 with tapioca flour, which is very high in starch (adds softness) and has a very neutral flavor. Quinoa flour is best used in savory recipes rather than sweet. Click here for more info on Quinoa flour


 

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