What are the best gluten-free flours for baking? Cooking or baking with gluten-free flour has some health benefits and also when mixed with water, it can make the dough elastic, and although it won’t have the same texture or structure as bread made with high protein, it will however just as effective and healthier too.
Working with gluten-free flour is going to require practice and patience, but the nutritional value is considered enough reason to substitute it for the all-purpose flour. There are different types of gluten-free flour however they are not made the same way and understanding each one is ideal for choosing the right one.
Gluten is a certain protein that is found in wheat flour and it is considered to be what gives structure to baked goods. However, some people are sensitive to gluten and their body can’t break down this gluten protein.
Each gluten-free flour has its distinct flavor, texture, and nutritional composition. While gluten is safe for some people, it is not ideal for people with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or people who want to simply avoid it.
Hence, this article contains a list of the best gluten-free flours you should substitute for wheat and barley.
An In-depth Guide On Gluten-Free Flours
What are the health benefits of gluten-free flours? Most people just avoid gluten because they have an intolerance for it however certain people are highly sensitive to gluten.
A gluten-free diet sure has many benefits, it may help ease the digestive system, reduce inflammation and even promote weight loss.
Gluten-free flour means you need to avoid any flour that has gluten in it. While gluten itself is not harmful to the body, you still have to avoid it if you have gluten intolerance. Symptoms of gluten intolerance or celiac disease include constipation, nausea, headaches, skin rashes, bloating, inflammation and fatigue.
If you do have a disease like celiac, autoimmune thyroid disease, arthritis, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or an allergic reaction to wheat, it will be highly beneficial to cut out gluten from your diet.
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Everyone has a different reaction to gluten but cutting it out from your diet can help reduce some symptoms from digestive issues.
The 10 Best Gluten-Free Flours For Healthier Baking
Gluten is a type of protein that is commonly found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye.
While gluten causes no to the body, it has no essential nutrient either and an autoimmune reaction can be triggered if people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance consume gluten flours. To prevent this, here are lists of gluten-free flours for healthier baking.
1. Buckwheat Flour
Buckwheat flour is on the list of the best gluten-free flour you should get for healthier baking. This flour has more protein and dietary fiber than oat or whole wheat. Buckwheat can also help control your blood sugar level which makes it the ideal choice for people with diabetes.
People often think buckwheat contains gluten due to the word wheat but it’s gluten-free. It has a rich earthy flavor you can’t help but like and you can combine it with other gluten-free flours too. This gluten-free flour can be used for baking cookies, pancakes, and any baked product that is not required to rise.
Our Favorite Gluten-Free Buckwheat Flour
I. Pure Living Liv Organic Sprouted Buckwheat Flour- Best Gluten-Free Flour For Pancakes
Why we like it: Pure Living Organic Sprouted Buckwheat Flour is just the type of gluten-free flour you should substitute for whole wheat or all-purpose flour. This is perfect for making gluten-free pancakes and reviews claim it tastes really good as well. This mixes well with other gluten-free flour too. Read verified reviews on Amazon.
II. Arrowhead Mills Organic Buckwheat Flour Bag- Best Organic Buckwheat Flour
Why we like it: The Arrowhead Mills Organic Buckwheat flour is another gluten-free buckwheat that can easily replace your wheat flour. This flour gives your baked goods a distinctive flavor and it is an excellent source of fiber as well. This gluten-free flour is suitable for international dishes like soba noodles, crêpes, pancakes, and blinis. Tap to read verified reviews on Amazon.
2. Sorghum Flour
Sorghum flour is another common gluten-free flour and it does have different varieties for you to choose from.
This flour can be found in 100% whole grain as well. But it is made from the ancient cereal grain and it contains some essential nutrients like protein and fiber. It has a mild flavor hence it can be mixed with other gluten-free flour.
Our Favorite Gluten-Free Sorghum Flour
I. Bobs Red Mill – Sweet Sorghum Flour Gluten-Free- Best Gluten-Free Flour For Simple Baked Goods
Why we like it: Bobs Red Mill sorghum flour is one of the most recommended types of gluten-free flour to go for. This is not just affordable but can be used in all kinds of simple baking. It can be used to thicken soups and gravies too. It has a nice sweet flavor which makes it ideal for pizza crust and pancakes.
II. Authentic Foods Sorghum Flour Superfine- Best Gluten Free Flour For Cookies
Why we like it: Your cookies and muffins need the best gluten-free flour to make them healthy. The Authentic Foods Sorghum Flour has a slightly sweet taste and it contains nutritional composition that may help with digestion, it is also high in protein. This gluten-free sorghum is suitable for cookies, muffins, bread, and pancakes.
3. Gram Flour
There is so much you can do with gram flour which is also known as chickpea flour or besan. Gram flour is not just for baking, it can be a great binding agent for veggie burgers and fritters. This is another common gluten-free flour well-known for making pancakes.
Gram flour is an excellent substitute for wheat flour and it is a staple ingredient of Indian cuisine. This gluten-free flour can be used as a thicker for gravies, sauces, soups, and stews. It can also be sued in making flatbread, pancakes, and waffles.
Our Favorite Gluten-Free Gram Flours
I. Laxmi Freshly Milled Besan Gram Flour- Best Plant Based Flour
Why we like it: Laxmi Freshly Milled Besan Gram flour can ensure you get healthy baked goods every time. This is not just healthy but has an amazing nutty flavor as well and it is excellent for traditional Indian cooking. This flour makes a wonderful addition to your meals and it is high in fiber.
II. Navitas Organics Chickpea Flour- Best Value
Why we like it: Navitas Organics Chickpea flour is an excellent substitute for all-purpose flour. This is better for healthier baking and it does have a great distinct flavor. This gluten-free flour contains essential nutrients like mineral fiber and protein. It is a highly absorbent gluten-free flour and it can be used for making crackers and crêpes.
4. Almond Flour
Almond nut itself contains lots of benefits and the same can be said about its gluten-free flour too.
Almond flour contains many minerals, some of which include calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese. If you are looking for gluten-free flour to help make fluffy light cakes then almond flour is perfect for that.
Our Favorite Gluten-Free Almond Flour
I. Blue Diamond Almond Flour- Best Gluten-Free Flour For Keto Diet
Why we like it: Blue Diamond Almond flour is another suitable gluten-free flour and this has been made with no added sugar and can still be used as a substitute for regular flour in cookies. Almond flour is also perfect for a keto diet and it can be great in baking.
II. Gluten Free Mama’s: Almond Blend Flour- Best All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour
Why we like it: If you are looking for gluten-free almond flour with all the essential nutrients then here is one you should consider replacing your wheat flour with. This almond blend is all-purpose flour and it’s perfect for adding to your cookies or even your fried foods.
5. Teff Flour
Teff flour is a gluten-free flour typically used in making traditional Ethiopian flatbread. It’s the perfect gluten-free bread that works with chocolate and brownies. It can be used in simple quick baking like cookies, muffins, and pancakes.
Just like sorghum grain, this flour is made with an ancient type of grain.
Our Favorite Gluten-Free Teff Flour
I. Bob’s Red Mill Teff Flour- Best Gluten-Free Flour For Flatbread
Why we like it: Teff flour is the best type of flour for making traditional flatbread and if you are looking for the best teff flour then you should consider this. One serving of this flour provides 10% of your daily value of iron and it is ideal for gluten-free bread too.
II. Haldeman Mills Whole Grain African Teff Flour- Best Gluten-Free Flour For Cooking
Why we like it: This is an excellent teff flour for basic cooking and baking. This is a freshly milled flour and it is high in nutrients like magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. This flour is also high in vitamin protein and fiber. It is ideal for injera bread in Ethiopia and just like your regular flour, it provides structure to bread.
6. Coconut Flour
Coconut flour as the name implies is made from dried ground coconut meat and it can be used for baking although not a common type of gluten-free flour but it does have many health benefits. There are lots of recipes that have been specifically created for coconut flour.
You don’t need much coconut flour when you are baking or cooking since it’s super absorbent. It’s a typical type of gluten-free flour that is meant for all kinds of baking goods and it adds a natural sweetness to recipes.
Our Favorite Gluten-Free Coconut Flour
I. Pillsbury BEST Organic Coconut Flour- Best Wheat Flour Substitute
Why we like it: Here is another excellent substitute for wheat flour. This organic coconut flour is easy to store and just like other types of gluten-free flour, it does contain some essential nutrients. Although this is best mixed with all-purpose flour or all-purpose gluten-free flour, it can also be used as a stand-alone ingredient.
II. Cookoo Coconut Flour Organic- Best Paleo Friendly Flour
Why we like it: Cookoo Coconut Organic flour is another healthy gluten-free flour worth trying. This flour is pretty versatile and it can make healthy baking a constant thing as well. It is the ideal gluten-free flour to go for if you are trying to lose weight or have digestive issues.
7. Tapioca Flour
Tapioca flour is extracted from the cassava plant starch which is why it’s very starchy but it is slightly sweet as well. You will have to combine this with other gluten-free flour and only very little of this flour is needed.
It can be mixed with quinoa flour or brown rice flour for any baked treats.
Our Favorite Gluten-Free Tapioca Flour
I. Iya’s All Natural Tapioca Starch Flour- Best Gluten Free Tapioca Flour For Thickening Soup
Why we like it: This tapioca starch flour gives baked goods a nice smooth chewy texture you can’t help but like. This is a tasteless and odorless flour but with essential benefits and great taste. All-natural tapioca starch is perfect for thickening soup or used as a binder in gluten-free recipes.
II. Gluten Free Tapioca Flour Bundle- Best Gluten-Free Flour For French Bread
Why we like it: Tapioca flour needs to be mixed with other flour in baked goods and cooking since it can’t be used alone. This gluten-free flour is a plant-based flour that can be substituted for wheat flour in many recipes and it is suitable for thickening stew, sauces, and soups.
8. Brown Rice Flour
Brown rice flour is made from 100% brown whole grain hence it is gluten-free. This flour is quite versatile and it has a mild nutty flavor that makes it perfect for thickening sauces and gravies. This flour contains bran, endosperm, and germ, it can be combined with other gluten-free flour for making cookies and bread.
Brown rice has lots of benefits just like other types of gluten-free flour. It is rich in fiber and protein however to nurse it is not contaminated with gluten, look for ones that were made in facilities that do not process wheat.
Our Favorite Gluten-Free Brown Rice Flour
I. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brown Rice Flour- Best Gluten-Free Flour For Muffins
Why we like it: If you do need a versatile wheat flour alternative then you should go for Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Brown Rice flour. This brown rice flour is finely grounded and it’s all-natural as well, it can be used in making muffins, cookies, and basic baked goods as well.
II. Authentic Foods Superfine Brown Rice Flour- Best Dairy Free Flour
Why we like it: Authentic Foods Superfine Brown rice is another great gluten-free flour to go for and this is a dairy-free product as well. It is very similar to wheat flour and can be used in baked treats and cooking as well. The texture of this product is quite smooth and doesn’t have that gritty texture in finished products.
9. Chestnut Flour
Chestnut flour is another gluten-free flour with lots of protein and a slightly sweet flavor.
This type of flour is pretty popular in Tuscan cuisine and it’s a healthier substitute for wheat flour. Chestnut flour is a naturally sweet flour since it is made from chestnuts and it is suitable for baking basic goods and the perfect substitute for gluten-free recipes.
Our Favorite Gluten-Free Chestnut Flour
I. Amisa Gluten Free Organic Chestnut Flour- Best Grain Free Flour
Why we like it: This is on the list of our favorite type of chestnut flour to go for due to the sweet classic taste and nutritional value as well. This flour is suitable for making flatbread and can be substituted safely in gluten-free recipes.
II. Gluten Free Chestnut Flour- Best Gluten Free Flour For Biscuits
Why we like it: If you are looking to create perfect Italian traditional biscuits then here is the best gluten-free chestnut flour to help you achieve that. This flour adds a slightly nutty earthy flavor to many baked goods and it is free from all allergens hence it’s the perfect substitute for your all-purpose flour.
10. Oat Flour
Oat flour is another popular type of gluten-free flour and it offers a tender crumb combined with a mildly nutty flavor. This gluten-free flour is made with 100% gluten-free flour and it contains a soluble fiber which is called beta-glucan which does have numerous health benefits.
Oat flour has been around for quite a while and it’s not just loved for its flavor but the numerous benefits it offers as well. Oat flour contains both soluble and insoluble fiber and when buying this flour, ensure it is certified gluten-free.
Our Favorite Gluten-Free Oat Flours
I. Gluten-Free Prairie Toasted Oat Flour- Best Gluten Free Flour For Cupcakes
Why we like it: Prairie Toasted Oat flour is suitable for making those tasty cupcakes of your choice and it happens to be a great vegan alternative to traditional flour. It works in basically any baking recipe such as cakes, brownies, and pancakes. This gluten-free flour works as a thicker for gravies, stews, and chili.
II. Shepherd’s Natural Oat Flour- Best Gluten Free Flour For Pastries
Why we like it: Shepard’s Natural Oat Flour comes in handy for making your gluten-free cakes and basic pastries as well. This gluten-free flour contains a good amount of fiber and protein which makes it perfect for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. It can be used in baking bread, making biscuits, peanut cookies, and brownies.
Can I just replace flour with gluten-free flour?
Yes, you can replace your regular flour with gluten-free flour. However, this might not work in all recipes like muffins or cookies unless the recipe calls for it. Gluten is a structural protein ad lack of it in a baked good can cause it to crumble but using gluten-free flour can make it light and fluffy instead.
Does gluten-free flour rise?
Most gluten-free flours are dense and heavy, but they are not kneaded, so one rise is what it happens to get. Too much gluten-free flour to make bread dough can become too dense and heavy and it, in turn, prevent it from rising. However, there are simple baking methods like covering it with a damp towel that can enable gluten-free flour to rise.
Is gluten-free flour good for cakes?
There are lots of cake recipes that can help replace regular flour with gluten-free flour and you can also create your recipe as well. You will have to practice cooking with gluten-free flour to get it right though. Best gluten-free flour for cakes includes buckwheat, chickpea flour, chestnut flour, Soy, and rice flour.
Do you have to bake longer with gluten-free flour?
Gluten-free flour takes longer to cook but it tends to turn brown fast so you need to keep it at a slightly low temperature to prevent it from burning. Baking with gluten-free flour is a bit tricky and every recipe is different but generally, you should work with a low heat setting.
Does gluten-free flour Bake the same as all-purpose flour?
For yeasted baked recipes, gluten-free flour is more suitable than all-purpose flour. The gluten-free flour has a higher protein and fiber content and you can conveniently replace it in all your traditional recipes.
Is gluten-free flour healthier than regular flour?
Not all gluten-free flours are considered healthy but most are healthier than regular flour. Gluten-free flours that are made from healthy ingredients like almonds, quinoa, chestnut, and beans do offer numerous benefits and are healthier than refined white flour.
Gluten-free flour might not be suitable for all kinds of baked goods, but this doesn’t mean you can’t create your recipe.
The gluten-free flours listed above not only offer nutritional benefits like protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber but most tend to taste better than the regular flour.