I’ve been asked by a few people to put together a list of gluten free flours, their tastes, consistencies and how to store them…so here’s the list:
This list is the common gluten free flours that I use. You can substitute most flours within the same category unless stated otherwise in a recipe. When this is done, it is important to substitute by weight as opposed to measurement.
HEAVY FLOURS: (they give structure and binding, have a lower rising capacity).
Almond Flour: It is naturally slightly sweet and high in protein. It has natural binding tendencies and you can make your own by grinding almonds in a spice mill or coffee grinder. It has natural oils that make baked goods soft and moist. It has a stable shelf life and can be stored longer in the freezer but will need to be “thawed” before using or it clumps and is difficult to work with.
Coconut Flour: It is extremely high in fiber and it absorbs liquid quickly so it’s good when your recipe is a bit too wet you can use a spoonful to soak up extra moisture. It bakes to a slightly grainy consistency but in combination with other flours it works well. It’s lighter than almond flour so it’s good for lighter baked goods like muffins or cakes. Always use it in combination with other flours or it will suck the moisture out of your recipe. If you do use it alone, you must use a lot of eggs to keep the recipe from getting too dry. Store as you would almond flour.
Chickpea Flour (Gram/Garbanzo Flour): It also absorbs liquid quickly and is high in protein. In small amounts it can be subbed for almond or coconut flour, but you may need to add more sweetener to mask the bean-like taste if you use more than 1/4 cup. Good for thickening gravy, binding pancakes etc. It is an excellent source of protein and both soluble and insoluble fiber. It is a good source of minerals and folic acid. It has a mild aftertaste that usually disappears in a flour blend, however freezing increases this aftertaste. It has a stable shelf life.
Quinoa Flour: Another high protein flour, it can be partially subbed for coconut or almond flour. It has a strong flavor, and many be best combined with other heavy flours. It is an excellent source of magnesium and iron. Cakes prepared with this flour are delicate and freeze successfully. It quickly goes rancid but can be stored for 4 to 6 months in the freezer in sealed containers or if tightly wrapped.
Teff Flour: It is a lighter textured flour and darker in color with a pronounced flavor. It can be used in small amounts to replace one of the heavier flours. It can be exchanged with Buckwheat flour as it is similarly sticky. It is an excellent source of iron and fiber and a good source of protein and calcium. It has an extended shelf life. When stored in tightly sealed containers or if tightly wrapped, it will keep for 4 months in the freezer.
Buckwheat Flour: It results in a denser product. It has a light more neutral flavor than Teff or Quinoa. Great in cookies, pancakes, crepes and crackers. It is a good source of calcium, protein and fiber. It yields dense slightly textured bread which lacks visual appeal. It has a stable shelf life and will last up to 2 to 3 months in the refrigerator and for 6 months or longer in the freezer in a sealed container or if tightly wrapped.
Amaranth Flour: It is a lighter color and lightly flavored flour. It has higher properties of starch so more naturally binding. It is a rich source of minerals and dietary fiber and a good source of protein. It produces dense, moist bread that withstands freezing. It will last up to 6 months in the freezer if properly stored in a sealed container or if tightly wrapped.
Other Considerations: will not keep well if it is stored in a warm location or if it is exposed to sunlight. The flavor and aroma of amaranth flour will become bitter if it is stored improperly or for an excessively long period.
Millet Flour: It makes dough/batter a yellow golden color. It’s sturdier than sorghum but has a milder taste. It can be used in combination with white rice flour and potato starch for a nice all-purpose flour. It is a good source of protein and easily digested. It does have a mild aftertaste. Freezing unfavorably changes the texture and binding properties of bread. Millet flour will keep for about 2 months in the refrigerator and 6 months or longer in the freezer. The flour should be tightly wrapped for refrigerator or freezer storage. A completely filled and sealed glass jar also works well for refrigerator storage.
Other Considerations: It can become rancid quite rapidly if it is not properly stored. It is usually best to grind millet as needed to ensure the best flavor.
Sorghum Flour: It is the lightest of the medium flours, and has a soft light crumb. It is high in iron, potassium and phosphorus. It is slightly more pronounced flavor than millet but yields softer breads. It can be used in just about any recipe and is perfect for quick breads, muffins, pancakes and biscuits. It is a good source of protein a fair source of calcium and iron. Freezing of this flour alters texture and binding. It has a stable shelf life and will last for 4 months in the freezer if properly stored in sealed containers or if tightly wrapped.
Brown Rice Flour: It is a all-purpose medium flour. It doesn’t provide as soft a crumb as sorghum but is more neutral in flavor. It is stiffer than white rice flour and sometimes has a slightly grainy consistency. It works well in combination with a light flour and a starch. It has a good amount of protein and fiber and a good source of B vitamins, magnesium and zinc. This flour can be kept at room temperature for up to a month and 4 to 5 months when stored in the refrigerator, and up to one year in the freezer when stored in a sealed container or if tightly wrapped.
Other Considerations: It has a high oil content which causes it to become rancid if stored improperly or if stored for an excessive length of time.
White Rice Flour: It is an all-purpose light flour, works well in light cakes and baked goods. It can sometimes have a grainy feel, best used in combination with other flours. Usually really cheap GF products are made of this and it has a crumbly unappealing result. When properly stored, in a tightly covered container in a cool dry location, white rice flour may last indefinitely.
Sweet Rice Flour: Use no more than 1/4 cup per recipe, this flour retains moisture making batters wetter. It’s great in combination with coconut flour to balance out the moisture. It can also be used with starch to thicken gravies without any pronounced taste. It is a great main flour in brownies because like cake flour it has lighter texture and is higher in starch than brown rice flour. It also magnifies the flavor and texture of melted chocolate.
Tapioca Flour (starch): It is one of the heavier starches and will add crispness to cookies. If you use too much, it can make a recipe a bit dense or gooey. Baked goods with this starch freeze well.
Potato Starch: It is great for adding lightness and lift to a recipe. Best used in combination with another starch or another light flour. Too much will make your product taste like potatoes.
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