How to Bake with Gluten-Free Flour

Learn the different kinds of gluten-free flour you can use and make at home.

Gluten-Free Banana Bread Made Easy
Photo by Buckwheat Queen.

Cutting gluten from your diet doesn't mean saying goodbye to your favorite wheat-based baked goods. These days there are plenty of delicious ways to enjoy sweet treats without gluten being an ingredient. Here, we're sharing the basics of baking with gluten-free flour so you can make muffins, brownies, and bread that fit your gluten-free diet.

Gluten-Free Banana Bread Made Easy
Photo by Buckwheat Queen.

Gluten-Free Thickening Agents

Gluten is a protein found in wheat flour that provides structure to baked goods. For example, it gives bread, muffins, and cakes their soft spongy texture.

To replace gluten, you'll need to use a different thickening agent like xanthan gum or guar gum in your baking. For each cup of gluten-free flour mix, add at least 1 teaspoon of gluten substitute.

Xanthum Gum

This comes from the dried cell coat of a microorganism called Xanthomonas campestris. You can purchase it in health food stores and some supermarkets.

Guar Gum

This powder is an excellent gluten substitute that comes from the seed of the Cyamopsis tetragonolobus plant. It is available in health food stores and some supermarkets.

Pre-Gel Starch

This gluten substitute helps keep baked goods from being too crumbly and can be purchased at most health food stores.

Homemade Gluten-Free Mixes

With the right mix gluten-free baked goods can taste almost the same as their wheat-based cousins. When using gluten-free flour mixes, it's best to start with recipes that use relatively small amounts of wheat flour like brownies or pancakes.

a top-down view of assrted flours in a bowl with a wooden spoon
Best All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blen | Photo by Buckwheat Queen. Buckwheat Queen

These two gluten-free flour mixtures can be substituted for wheat flour cup-for-cup and doubled or tripled if needed. You can also purchase gluten-free baking mixes at health food stores and some supermarkets.

Gluten-Free Flour Mix I

  • 1/4 cup soy flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour

Gluten-Free Flour Mix II

  • 6 cups white rice flour
  • 2 cups potato starch
  • 1 cup tapioca flour

More: Get gluten-free bread recipes.

These two gluten-free flour mixtures can be substituted for wheat flour cup-for-cup:

Gluten-Free Flour Mix I

  • 1/4 cup soy flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour

Gluten-Free Flour Mix II

  • 6 cups white rice flour
  • 2 cups potato starch
  • 1 cup tapioca flour

These mixes can be doubled or tripled. You can also purchase gluten-free baking mixes at health food stores and some supermarkets.

A Guide to Gluten-Free Flours

These gluten-free flours can be found in the organic sections of your local supermarket, health food stores, specialty markets, and online.

102261811 gluten free flours
Photo by Meredith Publishing.

Almond Flour

This flour made from ground almonds results in a dense and chewy baked good. It's often mixed with wheat flour to produce a lighter texture. Try using almond flour in these Easy Almond Thin Cookies, a 5-star favorite.

Buckwheat Flour

Despite the name, buckwheat is not actually wheat but a protein-rich seed from a plant similar to rhubarb. After the seed is ground, it becomes a silky flour with a purple-gray color. It can be a little tricky to work with on its own, so it is often mixed with other whole-grain flours and ingredients to make baked goods. However, when used in smaller amounts or in combination with other flours, it makes baked goods moist and tender. Try Best Buckwheat Pancakes made with buckwheat flour.

Coconut Flour

With a subtle flavor and aroma of coconut, this popular gluten-free flour is high in fiber and low in calories. It's often mixed with regular wheat flour, but be sure to fluff it with a fork before measuring it. Here's more info about baking with coconut flour, plus great recipes.

Potato Starch Flour

This gluten-free thickening agent is perfect for cream-based soups and sauces. Mix it with water first, then substitute potato starch flour for flour in your recipe, but use half the amount called for. These Delicious Gluten-Free Pancakes include potato starch.

Tapioca Flour

This is a light, white, very smooth flour from the cassava root and gives baked goods a nice chewy texture. It is also easily combined with cornstarch and soy flour. Try it in white bread or French bread recipes or this Gluten-Free Yellow Cake that has tapioca flour in the mix.

Soy Flour

This nutty-tasting flour has a high protein and fat content. It's best when used in combination with other flours for brownies or baked goods with nuts or fruit as it will mask any "beany" flavor. You can bake Perfect Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies with soy flour.

Cornstarch

This refined starch comes from corn and is primarily used as a thickening agent for puddings, fruit sauces, and Asian cooking. It is also used in combination with other flours for baking.

Corn Flour

This flour is milled from corn and can be blended with cornmeal to make cornbread or muffins. It is excellent for waffles or pancakes. This Irish Shortbread (Wheat Free Edition) combines corn and rye flour.

Cornmeal

Cornmeal can be ground from either yellow or white corn. This is often combined with flours for baking. It imparts a strong corn flavor that is delicious in pancakes, waffles, or muffins. Try these Delicious Gluten-Free Blueberry Corn Muffins.

White Rice Flour

Fine-textured white rice flour is an excellent basic flour for gluten-free baking. It is milled from polished white rice, works well with other flours, and its bland taste doesn't impart any flavors. This Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread is a great way to bake with rice flour.

Brown Rice Flour

Made from unpolished brown rice, this flour retains the nutritional value of the rice bran and can be used in bread, muffins, and cookies. You'll find brown rice flour in Alison's Gluten-Free Bread.

Kamut and Spelt Flours

These are ancient forms of wheat. While they aren't appropriate for gluten-free diets, they can often be tolerated by people with gluten sensitivities. Try these Spelt Biscuits.

Related:

Was this page helpful?
You’ll Also Love