Gluten-Free Flours 101

gluten free flour

Written by Glen Call

October 8, 2020

Baking with gluten-free flours is different than traditional flours. And because most people bake with traditional flours, there are many things to consider when shifting from flours with gluten to gluten-free. Gluten gives breads, muffins, and cookies the taste, texture, and volume that consumers are used to. When it isn’t present, you have to get creative. Here are our top five tips for baking with gluten-free flours.

Use Starch for Bulk and Texture

Gluten naturally gives texture products. If you’re looking for a better texture to your product, look at a starch to add some bulk to it. Tapioca starch, arrowroot starch, potato starch, or cornstarch work for this. And because they don’t have much taste to them, you can use them interchangeably. Think of using starches in muffins and quickbreads.

Use Low-Flavor Flours as Your Base

Some flours have less taste than others. Use rice, corn, and millet flours for those products where you want other flavors to be the hero. These flours are great for things like breading and coatings, or baking things that don’t need to rise, like flatbreads. Leave the stronger tasting flours like buckwheat, teff, quinoa, and amaranth for traditional products that use those flours.

Combine Flours for Better Results and Nutrition

Most off-the-shelf all-purpose gluten-free flours combine many types of flours to get the right texture, flavor, and nutrition that people want. This includes flours made from legumes and other items to boost the protein content for healthier products. Grab a great all-purpose flour or create your own for use in your products.

Get Familiar With Gums

Gluten is the sticky stuff that keeps things together when they’re baked. Gums like guar gum and xanthan gum can serve the same purpose in gluten-free foods. Take advantage of these gums in your baking. But remember that a little goes a long way. And if you’re using an all-purpose gluten-free mix, make sure it doesn’t already have gum in it.

Use Pans for Baking

Gluten can keep your dough together better than gluten-free flours. When baking products by putting them in bread or cake pans, you’ll keep the integrity of the bread and give it the structure that it needs.

Gluten-free flours are different, but they don’t have to be scary. With a little trial and error, you can get the right combinations together to create an amazing product that will delight your customers.

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