Gluten-Free Flour Substitutions For Baking

Going wheat free doesn’t mean you have to give up breads, cookies and pizza.

There are many flours you can use to substitute in recipes that have delicious results.

Here is a general guide to substituting flour in recipes.

There are a variety of different formulas you can try when substituting wheat flour. Experiment to see what works and tastes best for you.

Gluten-free floursOne thing to note, though, is that alternative flours don’t produce the same texture or consistency as regular wheat flour.

With the lack of gluten, you will need to add a starch to your GF flour.

Know let’s see what these Gf flour substitutes are and the starch’s to use.

Gluten-free (GF) non-wheat flours are generally categorized into three different weights, and these include:

  1. Light starch
  2. All-purpose medium
  3. Heavier whole grain

Light Gluten Free Flours

Light, starchy GF flours include:

  1. sweet rice flour
  2. white rice flour

Medium Gluten Free Flours

Medium GF flours are similar to ‘all purpose flour’- these include:

  1. sorghum flour
  2. oat flour, certified gluten-free
  3. brown rice flour, superfine

If you are unable to find sorghum flour, certified gluten-free oat flour will be your is closest option.

Heavier GF Flours

The heavier grains, including psuedo-grains like quinoa, tend to contain more protein.

Which include:

  1. buckwheat
  2. quinoa
  3. millet
  4. cornmeal
  5. nut meal (such as almond and coconut)
  6. bean/legume flours

These heavier GF flours are similar to baking with whole wheat flour. You get a similar denser product, often darker in color, and with less rise.

Starches To Use With GF Flours

Starches in gluten-free bakingGluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat. It helps baked foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue, holding food ingredients together.

In gluten-free baking, a starch needs to be substituted. These include:

  1. tapioca starch
  2. cornstarch
  3. potato starch
  4. arrowroot starch

Here are some key points to know about starch in general, and specific differences for using each one.

  • Starches need time to hydrate before going in the oven so rest your batter or dough for up to 30 minutes for improved texture of some baked goods.
  • The high starch content of some gluten free flours can result in a gritty texture. Many batters and doughs benefit from more liquid to properly hydrate.
  • More liquid may then require a longer baking time in some recipes.

Starches for the most part are interchangeable.

Cornstarch

  • This powdery white cornstarch is not the same as corn flour. Do not substitute.
  • Not ideal for baking, too much cornstarch results in baked goods with a starchy texture.
  • Stirring too vigorously may cause a mixture to break down and thin out.
  • Cooking over high heat can cause lumping.
  • Best uses for baking: to thicken pie filling and make puddings.

Potato Starch

  • Made from raw potatoes it has no potato taste. Potato starch is not the same as potato flour. Do not substitute.
  • Provides structure, tenderness and binding power in baking.
  • Too much potato starch gives baked goods a crumbly texture.
  • Best uses: muffins, quick breads and a gluten free flour mix.

Tapioca Starch

  • Tapioca starch is all starch but is also called tapioca flour in recipes. It is the same ingredient.
  • Gives chewy texture, elasticity and structure to baked goods.
  • Aids in creating a crisp crust.
  • Can be used as a thickener for pies and sauces.
  • Too much tapioca starch makes baked goods dense.
  • Best uses: cookies, a flour blend and moist breads

Arrowroot Starch

Arrowroot is extremely versatile and can even be used as a substitute for wheat flour.

It works well when mixed with other gluten free flours like almond flour and coconut flour and is perfect for bread or cake recipes.

  • no break down in acidic ingredients
  • creates a clear gel
  • freezes well and thaws properly
  • when using eggs as the primary binder, adding arrowroot powder will significantly help the process
  • lightens the textures in cakes, quick bread, and cookies in gluten-free and grain-free baking

As you can see, different starches will contribute different textures to your baking.

Take Care When Using Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is a unique, non-grain, fiber rich and highly absorbent flour. If you add it to a recipe blend, you may need to add more fat or liquid.

Therefore, you cannot substitute coconut flour on a 1:1 ratio for all-purpose flour, or most other GF flours.

Coconut flour gluten-free baking

Typically you would combine 1/4 cup coconut flour with almond flour, hazelnut flour, cassava flour and a little tapioca starch for the best flavor and baking properties.

Using coconut flour will require one egg extra in the recipe for each 1/4 cup, for both moisture and structure.

First, incorporate the egg yolks into the coconut flour and other dry ingredients.

Whip the egg whites separately, and fold them into the first mixture to make baked goods lighter.

You may also need to increase other liquids in the recipe or make small adjustments to baking times.

A substitute for coconut flour can be flax-meal, cornmeal, and almond meal.

If you want added fiber and texture in your baked goods, add 1/4 cup flax seed meal to your GF flour blend.

Gluten-free Recipes To Try For Yourself

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

Gluten Free Iron Skillet Pecan Coconut Cake

Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Gluten Free Blueberry Lemon Bread

Gluten Free Blueberry Lemon Bread

Gluten Free Blueberry Lemon BreadGluten intolerance is experienced by not a few, but many individuals. In the USA gluten sensitive affects 6% of the population, or about 18 million people.  

Around 3 million Americans, or about 1% of the US population have Celiac disease, and must also avoid gluten.

Magazine DigestionA May 2015 published study in the journal “Digestion” found that 86% of individuals who believed they were gluten sensitive could tolerate it (Resource).

Stefano Guandalini, MD, director of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, says that gluten sensitivity, a condition that doctors once dismissed but now is recognized as legitimate complaint from patients (WebMD).

The most common symptom to gluten intolerance is bloating right after eating any flour product, like bread, flour tortillas, donuts, even breakfast cereals among others that contains gluten.

Sourdough Bread on Cutting BoardAlso sourdough bread has only about 3% max gluten after the fermentation process. We prefer this bread over any other, as we do not bloat after eating it.

You might think, what is wrong with bloating some for a bit, as it will go away?

This maybe true, but bloating is a symptom of digestive issues as well as inflaming the digestive tract.

Also if you find yourself wanting to fall asleep after eating gluten containing foods, that is a symptom that your digestive tract is having difficulty digesting gluten.

Gluten Free Blueberry Lemon Bread

1 1/2 cups almond flour

1/4 cup coconut flour, sifted

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. Himalayan salt

4 eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil or clarified butter, melted

bowl of fresh blueberries1/3 cup honey or maple syrup

3 tbsp. lemon juice

zest from 2 lemons

1 1/2 cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease a glass loaf pan and cut a piece of parchment paper to line the bottom.

Combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Set aside.

Whisk together eggs, coconut oil, honey or maple syrup, lemon juice, and lemon zest until well combined.

Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until well incorporated.

Spread one third of the batter onto bottom of prepared pan. Sprinkle 1/3 of the blueberries on top. Spread another third of the batter and another third of the blueberries. Repeat one more time with the remaining batter and berries.

If you wish not to do this step, just mix the berries into the batter.

Next place baking dish into the oven and bake 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. 

Cover with foil if top begins to brown too much.  This is one draw back of gluten free baking, is the top of the cakes seem to brown fast.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Gluten free baking is really an art. How so?

Well, if you are use to baking with gluten containing flours, from a grain, and not flour from a nut, it can be caught difficult, if not to say stressful.

We say stressful, because of all the effort and time you spent on preparing and baking, to only have a flop as they say, is stressful.

Slice of Gluten Free Blueberry Lemon Bread topped with Organic ButterIf your first gluten free dessert doesn’t turn out perfect, just try again.

Link here to view our very first gluten free dessert here at Splendid Recipes and More.

It was delicious, though the texture was not right. We kept trying and have come out with some good results.

Desserts made with almond flour and even coconut flour, taste really good with a good Italian or French roasted coffee or even an Espresso.

Serve the dessert bread warm with a dab of organic butter or coconut butter.

Please leave us your thoughts on going gluten free.

What Others Are Reading:

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake

Gluten Free Pumpkin CheesecakeSome may wonder what this is all about calling a cheesecake gluten free. It is referred to as gluten free because of the crust, as it is prepared  without gluten. We used graham cracker wheat flour, gingersnap cookies, and both contain no gluten. If you would like to read about the history of cheesecake, and the battle over if it is truly a cake or not, read our article titled Thank the Greeks for Cheesecake.

The article also offers another way to prepare a cheesecake crust gluten free, using almonds, flaxseed, and oats (make sure the oats are certified gluten free). It also offers images and step-by-step instructions on making cheesecake.

Here is what you will need for the featured recipe: Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake.

gluten free ingredients for a cheesecake crust10 gluten free gingersnap cookies, crushed to flour (makes about 3/4 cup)

3/4 cup gluten free graham cracker flour

1/4 cup sugar

8 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

adding and forming cheesecake crust to the bottom of a springform panIn a medium mixing bowl combine flours, and sugar. Add melted butter, and mix in well.

Prepare a springform pan with parchment paper, and place crust in the center and spread the crust out evenly, touching all sides of the springform pan ring. Bake  in oven for 8 minutes. Place on a rack to cool.

The cheesecake ingredients are:

2- 8 oz. cream cheese, soft

1- 14.5 oz. can organic pumpkin

1 cup Greek yogurt

3 eggs, large

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp. pie spice

2 tsp. vanilla extract

¼ tsp. salt

processing cream cheese and sugarIn a processor place the cream cheese, sugar and process until smooth and creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes.

adding pie spice and vanillaAdd the yogurt, pie spice, vanilla extract, and salt and process together until well mixed. Next add pumpkin and mix in till well incorporated.

Add eggs one at a time, processing after each addition, but do not over mix.

Pour mixture over cooled crust.

Bake cheesecake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until center is set.

For best results fill a roasting pan to ½ inch from top with hot water. Place the roasting pan on bottom rack and place spring-form pan on top rack directly over roasting pan.

Do not open oven at all until 55 minutes has past. Turn off the oven and jar the oven door for one hour more. Remove cheesecake and cool 30 minutes on a rack, run a knife between cake and sides of pan to loosen as it cools. Place into refrigerator for up to 24 hours but no less than 4 hours.

Gluten Free Pumpkin CheesecakePlate and enjoy your gluten free cheesecake topped with whipped cream, and chocolate sauce.

What Others are Saying About Cheesecake:

Gluten Free Tropical Carrot Cake

Gluten free Tropical Carrot Cake - Dessert Bread and CupcakesGluten is a vital protein to wheat. But many people without knowing it are allergic to it.

Those who are bothered by gluten can suffer from digestive problems, skin problems, and even depression, too name a few.

There are alternative flours that do not contain gluten, and if you make them a part of your diet, they could help to improve your health.

Gluten-free Tropical Carrot Cake

flours used for Gluten Free Tropical Carrot CakeFirst preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

As shown in the image above, mix the potato starch and both flours in a large bowl with the following ingredients. mixed dry ingredients for Gluten free Tropical Carrot CakeThere is no need to sift the dry ingredients. When mixed together set bowl aside:

1/2 tsp powdered ginger root

1 tsp sea salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum can be a little spendy so you can substitute it for any starch, like arrow root, corn, or tapioca.

The xanthan gum or any one of these starches are needed to replace the gluten. The starch or xanthan gum holds the flours together.


The Use Of Xanthan Gum In Gluten-free Baking Explain Here – Gluten Free Zucchini Cranberry Bread


coating a glass baking pan with butter and sugarNext, coat a 7 x 4 inch glass baking pan with butter and sugar, set aside.

mixing wet ingredients for Gluten Free Tropical Carrot CakeNext, in a large bowl mix together eggs, sugars, oil, yogurt and vanilla. Add flour mixture slowly until just blended. With a large spatula, stir in carrots, pineapple, coconut, and nuts.

Pour batter into baking pan ½ inch from top. Any extra batter can be used to make cupcakes (it should make 7).

Bake 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Bake cupcakes for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Remove cake from pan.

Gluten free Tropical Carrot Cake - Dessert Bread and Cupcakes

For the frosting combine 1/3 cup cream cheese, 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons almond milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat together until smooth. Frost cake when completely cooled.

Save aside a small amount of frosting and mix half  with food grade orange coloring and the other half with food grade green coloring.

Add frosting to a cake piper and pipe onto cake to form carrots and leaves with respective colors.

Gluten Free Tropical Carrot Cake - plattedWhen ready to enjoy your gluten free dessert bread, plate and serve.

 

What Others are Saying About Gluten free Balking or Cooking: