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Have you tried making bread with gluten free flour yet?
If you’ve got a gluten allergy, it’s time to start now.
Fatigue, headaches, problem skin, digestive issues such as diarrhea and constipation, and neurological issues are just some of the symptoms of a gluten allergy.
More and more people are realizing that they are allergic to gluten, but the good news is that there are a ton of options out there for sufferers.
Even with a gluten intolerance you can still have your cake (or bread!) and eat it.
There are many types of gluten free flour available that are just as good for home baking as regular flour, so you can still indulge in all those yummy baked treats that you enjoy.
We’ve put together this guide to the best gluten free flour available to buy. Let’s take a look…
- 1 What is Gluten Free Flour?
- 2 Types of Gluten Free Flour
- 3 Best Gluten Free Flours
What is Gluten Free Flour?
So what is gluten free flour?
In essence, it is a flour made from plants and grains other than wheat (brown and white), rye, barley and triticale which contain the gluten protein.
It’s this gluten protein that gives dough its elasticity and helps it to rise, so a gluten free flour mix typically contains a mix of various alternatives such as rice, buckwheat, teff, amaranth, almond, quinoa, garbanzo or tapioca flours, or potato starch amongst others.
These flours are usually then blended with a binder such as xanthan or guar gum, or ground seeds like psyillium, flax, or chia, to replace the gluten and give the flour the necessary elastic quality so it holds its shape when water is added to form a dough.
Single grain gluten free flours are trickier to use as they are a little runnier, and are best reserved for sweet treats like cookies or pancakes.
A readymade gluten free flour mix is ideal for most applications, or you can make your own mix from 2 or 3 different flours to suit your tastes.
Here’s a great video guide on how to make your own:
Gluten free flour behaves a little differently to regular flour, so using it for home baking requires a slightly different method.
If you choose a gluten free flour without a binder, the dough won’t retain its shape, so your dough will need to be placed in a container such as a loaf pan for baking.
When baking with gluten free flour, you’ll find that the quantities and measurements of ingredients in a recipe can also be different, so it’s not always a case of substituting the regular flour with the same amount of gluten free flour — it can often take a few attempts to get your baked goods to turn out the exact way you want them.
Weighing ingredients rather than measuring them out in cups is the most sure fire way to succeed. Baking times can also differ greatly when using gluten free flour as opposed to wheat flour.
It’s worth noting that there are also plenty of gluten free cookbooks around which are full of tempting home baking recipes specially designed with gluten free flours in mind.
It’s worth investing in one — particularly if baking with gluten free flour is new to you — to save yourself a lot of time and effort.
Types of Gluten Free Flour
Just like with regular flour, gluten free flour mixes come in many different varieties to suit different purposes.
Both plain white and brown flours are available — usually made with a base of either white or brown rice flour.
There are also some fantastic all purpose gluten free flours, as well as self raising which contains a typical raising agent.
Gluten free flours are available with or without an added binding agent such as xanthan gum.
In addition to bread flours, there are also ready-made gluten free cake and cookie mixes if you’re looking for something quick and easy.
Best Gluten Free Flours
For some of the best gluten free flours on the market, check out our list below…
This all natural Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour can be used for baking homemade cakes, cookies, breads, pancakes, waffles, muffins and more. No wonder it’s one of the most popular gluten free flour mixes on the market!
It’s made from a mixture of potato starch, sorghum, tapioca, garbanzo and fava beans and is totally vegan.
To make the best use of this gluten free flour, adding a binding agent such as guar or xanthan gum is recommended.
- Includes lots of fiber, whole grains and protein
- Easy to bake with
- Works well for many different uses
- Good value for money
- Rises well
- Nice texture
- Can usually be used in the same quantities as wheat flour for most recipes
- High quality mix
- Can have a bean-like aftertaste if used in a bland recipe
Totally organic, the Namaste Foods Organic Perfect Flour Blend is made from a mixture of sweet brown rice flour, brown rice flour, arrowroot powder, tapioca starch, sorghum flour, and xanthan gum.
With this all purpose flour you can bake all your favorite recipes, simply substitute the wheat flour cup for cup. The bag can be re-sealed to keep contents fresh.
- Suitable for people with nut allergies
- Includes healthy whole grains
- Xanthan gum binder is already added
- Great taste
- Nice consistency
- Very versatile
- Takes some trial and error to perfect a perfect rise and lightness
Rice flour, flax seeds, quinoa flour, buckwheat flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour and xanthan gum are all combined to create this gluten free flour which can be used for making all kinds of baked goods, simply replace the regular wheat flour cup for cup.
- Wholesome and healthy
- Excellent quality
- Great consistency and texture
- Suitable for all kinds of uses
- Delicious taste
- All natural
- A little expensive
- Not organic
King Arthur Flour is America’s oldest flour company, and they pride themselves on high quality, wholesome products.
Free from gluten, preservatives or anything artificial, the King Arthur Flour Multipurpose Flour is made with a blend of rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, whole grain brown rice flour, and has added vitamins. No wonder it’s so popular with the gluten free crowd!
- Light, fluffy texture
- Can be used as a directed substitute for wheat flour cup for cup
- Full of flavor – tastes like regular flour
- Easy to bake with
- Works well for any recipe, either sweet or savory
- Some bakers find this flour a little gritty – it may require some extra sieving
- A little expensive
This award winning All Purpose Gluten Free Flour by gfJules is totally vegan and guaranteed not to be gritty, it’s also Soy-free, wheat-free, nut-free, and dairy-free, so is great for people with other allergies too.
It’s made from a mix of modified tapioca starch, potato starch, corn starch, white rice flour and corn flour, with added xanthan gum for elasticity, and can be used 1-for-1 as a substitute for wheat flour in any recipe.
- Great texture and taste
- Not gritty
- Excellent quality
- Simple to bake with
- Great online recipe suggestions
- Good for use in bread making machines
- Some bakers find it necessary to add additional water for a perfect dough mix
Our final contender is another Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour — this time made with just pure wholesome ground oats.
Totally vegan, gluten free and Kosher, this wholegrain oat flour is ideal for adding to other gluten free flours to boost their nutritional value and give a tasty oat flavor to sweet or savory recipes.
- Packed with protein
- Pure and natural product
- Full of flavor
- Very high quality
- Good, non gritty texture
- Very versatile
- Can be crumbly. Best used with a binding agent
- Too finely ground for some bakers’ purposes
Which is your favorite gluten free flour?