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A Bunch of Flours

With so many people opting or being forced to forgo gluten, fortunately these days there’s no need to give up on baking thanks to an overwhelming choice of gluten-free flours. Here, we give a brief rundown of some of the options available and how best to use them.

A Bunch of Flours

Coconut flour

High in protein, fibre and healthy fats. Coconut flour does absorb a lot of moisture, so you will likely need to add more liquid to a recipe if using in place of wheat flour. Binding agents can help too – eggs, banana and dates. Best used in conjunction with nut or seed flours.

Almond flour

This flour is dense and best used for low-rise treats. It’s low in carbohydrate and naturally cholesterol free, plus a good source of fibre. Although it can be used alone, to counter its oiliness combine it with polenta or sorghum flour.

Sorghum flour

Sorghum is a millet-like grain and is a great source of nutrition, rich in selenium and niacin. It works best at around 15 to 20 per cent of your flour mix, together with nut and seed flours, to produce more fluffy, soft baking.

Amaranth flour

An excellent source of protein, amaranth can be used as a thickener as it absorbs moisture. It’s quite crumbly to work with in baking so add binding agents, such as honey, to counter. Pairs well with bold flavours such as cinnamon and molasses.

Buckwheat flour

This is the flour to choose for delicious crêpes and pancakes (despite its name it has no wheat content). It has a strong nutty taste but if used in baking needs to be combined with a high-protein flour.

Rice flour

Rice flour has a neutral flavour, a slightly gritty texture and comes in white and brown varieties. Combine one cup of rice flour with half a cup each of corn flour and tapioca flour as a good all-purpose replacement for regular flour in gluten-based baking recipes.

Potato flour

Potato flour should be used sparingly as it can be quite heavy if used in high quantities. It makes a nice addition to pizza bases. Potato flour works particularly well when combined with sorghum or brown rice flour.

Chickpea flour

Made from ground chickpeas, this flour has a slightly nutty taste and works well in savoury dishes. It’s used widely in Indian cooking – we like to use it to make delicious pakora.

Chestnut flour

This flour can be a little on the pricey side so is best used in conjunction with other flours – it does, however, add a beautiful richness that works well with fruit, spices and chocolate.

Tapioca flour

Tapioca flour adds a chewiness to baking and is a good thickener and binding agent. Best used at about 15 per cent of your flour mix.

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