Types of Gluten-Free Flours

Types of Gluten-Free Flours

Written by: Dennis Reinhardt


Time to read 2 min

Gluten-free baking involves using alternative flours that do not contain wheat, barley, rye, or other gluten-containing grains. There is a variety of gluten-free flours available, each with its unique properties and characteristics. Here are some common types of gluten-free flours and what they contribute to gluten-free baking:

Rice Flour:

  •  Type:  White rice flour, brown rice flour.

  •  Properties:  Light and mild in flavor, rice flour provides structure and a fine texture. It's a versatile option for various baked goods.

Almond Flour:

  •  Properties:  Ground almonds create a moist and dense texture in baked goods. Almond flour is high in protein and healthy fats, contributing a nutty flavor.

Coconut Flour:

  •  Properties:  Made from dried coconut meat, coconut flour is highly absorbent and requires additional liquid in recipes. It adds a subtle coconut flavor and is high in fiber.

Sorghum Flour:

  •  Properties:  Ground from sorghum grain, sorghum flour has a mild flavor and is often used in combination with other gluten-free flours. It provides a slightly sweet taste.

Tapioca Flour (Starch):

  •  Properties:  Extracted from the cassava root, tapioca flour/starch adds chewiness and lightness to gluten-free baked goods. It is often used in combination with other flours.

Buckwheat Flour:

  •  Properties:  Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat and is naturally gluten-free. Buckwheat flour has a distinct, earthy flavor and is used in pancakes, crepes, and some bread recipes.

Quinoa Flour:

  •  Properties:  Ground from quinoa seeds, quinoa flour is rich in protein and imparts a slightly nutty flavor. It adds nutritional value and can be used in various recipes.

Oat Flour (Certified Gluten-Free):

  •  Properties:  Oats are naturally gluten-free, but cross-contamination during processing is common. Certified gluten-free oat flour is safe for those with gluten sensitivities. It contributes a mild flavor and works well in many recipes.

Chickpea Flour (Garbanzo Bean Flour):

  •  Properties:  Made from ground chickpeas, chickpea flour is versatile and adds a nutty flavor. It's commonly used in savory dishes, such as socca (chickpea flatbread) and as a binder in recipes.

Arrowroot Flour (Starch):

  •  Properties:  Arrowroot starch is a gluten-free thickening agent often used in combination with other flours. It provides a light and silky texture.

Corn Flour (Not to be Confused with Cornstarch):

  •  Properties:  Ground from corn kernels, corn flour adds a mild corn flavor. It is commonly used in combination with other flours in gluten-free baking.

Cassava Flour:

  •  Properties:  Made from the cassava root, cassava flour has a neutral flavor and can be used as a 1:1 substitute for wheat flour in many recipes.

When using gluten-free flours, it's often beneficial to blend different types to achieve the desired texture, flavor, and nutritional profile. The combination of flours can help mimic the structure and characteristics of traditional wheat-based recipes. Additionally, it's essential to consider the specific properties of each flour and make adjustments to recipes accordingly, such as incorporating additional liquids or binding agents as needed.