If you enjoy cooking at all then baking is probably one of your favorite things to do! The cakes, cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and so much more just fill the house with heavenly aromas. Sometimes we need to make something gluten free or just want to experiment with different ingredients. Let’s look at these 5 flour replacements for baking.
What is all purpose flour and why do we use it the most for baking? It is a combination of hard and soft wheat flours which is why it is composed of 10 to 12 % protein. It can come bleached or unbleached – bleached is softer and more fine in texture. However unbleached is best for the structure of any baked good. For example use unbleached flour to bake cookies, pizza crust, biscuits, and yeast bread.
My favorite flour replacement for baking is Almonds flour followed by rice flour, oat flour, tapioca flour, spelt flour, and lastly coconut flour.
Almond flour is also called almond meal or ground almonds. It’s made from grinding down sweet plain almonds into powder. It’s more often than not made from blanched almonds which means the skin has been removed. However almond meal can be made with rather blanch or in blanched whole almonds. Almond flour has a consistency similar to corn meal as opposed to wheat flour.
Almond flour is a good flour replacement for baking especially when making gluten free and low carb recipes. It’s uses in pastries and baked goods like almond macaroons and pie fillings as well. It’s also a main ingredient in marzipan and almond paste. That’s because it helps create a rich, moist, nutty factor. Almond flour is high in polyunsaturated fats, omega 6 fatty acids, and vitamin E.
This form of flour is also called rice powder because it’s made from finely ground down rice. It’s different than rice starch however which is made from steeping rice in lye. Rice flour is a popular substitute for wheat flour and it’s also great for thickening soups and pie fillings. It can be made from brown or white rice, but first the husk is removed before the raw grain is finely milled.
What is rice flour used for the most? It’s used for confections such as rice cakes, macaroons, and certain types of bread buns. Sometimes it’s used to powder the tops of pastries like powdered sugar.
I love making my own oat flour at home because it’s so healthy and simple. All you need to do is ground, blend, or process quick oats dry oatmeal into powder. Using a coffee grinder can help get the flour really fine. Oat flour is fine and brittle like almond flour or rice flour. You can use it in equal portions to wheat flour.
Oat flour is literally just ground down oatmeal, and I like to use quick oats because they’re already thin and soft. However it can also be made from finely ground oat grouts. Groats are the kernels that have been removed from the inedible hull of the oat grain. When you buy oat flour this is likely the type you will be getting.
4. Tapioca Flour
Tapioca flour is made from the starch extracted from the roots of the cassava plant. Which is a shrub adapted to the hot conditions of the Tropics. This is what boba is made out of. Tapioca flour helps bind gluten free foods and helps the texture of baked goods.
This root vegetable starch flour is also known as tapioca starch. It is essentially a starchy white flour that has a slightly sweet flavor. This is a great alternative to wheat flour because it’s so versatile. Furthermore it is extremely smooth which makes it a perfect thickener for sauces, pie fillings and soups. Additionally it never discolors and has no discernible smell or taste. It can be used to replace corn starch as well. Another great aspect is that it never coagulates or separates even when refrigerated or frozen.
Spelt flour is another great flour replacement for baking. It is ground from the ancient spelt grain. It is a primitive relative of modern wheat. Spelt flour is easily digestible and quite delicious. It is a whole grain flour and can be used in most recipes calling for all purpose flour or whole wheat flour. Spelt flour is great for baking bread, cookies, muffins and waffles. Spelt flour is also a good source of fiber and other nutrients.
More things about Spelt flour you should know, it has a mild flavor that is nutty and kind of sweet. The light texture helps you avoid heavy dense baked goods.
Coconut flour is one of a variety of food items made from the fruit of the palm tree Cocos nucifera, (the coconut). It’s literally made from dried, ground up coconut meat. Additionally, coconut flour is a natural byproduct of coconut milk production. It is a similar color to what flour and not a bad replacement either. It’s naturally gluten free and low in carbohydrates making it great for keto baking.