Saturday, 13 July 2013

The Best Gluten Free Flours for Bread Baking.

A good place to begin when it comes to gluten free bread is gluten free flours. There are so many out there ranging from grains to beans to nuts and seeds. There are also starch flours which are very much needed in gluten free baking to add lightness.  This list comprises of the flours and starches I have found to be the best for bread baking and their nutritional benefits. You will notice that I have not added rice flour.  Rice flour is not a good flour for making bread. Its stiff, heavy and it doesn't like to rise slowly. I love it in quick breads, but not for yeasted breads. I have added teff flour though I have not had the chance to use it being that it is very hard to get where I live but speaking from other gluten free bread bakers, it is wonderful so in respects to their knowledge and experience, it gets the go ahead!

Sorghum Flour: Sorghum is one of the oldest known grains and a major food source in Africa and India. Compared to corn, sorghum is higher in protein, lower in fat, and similar in mineral composition and vitamin content. Sorghum is high in insoluble fiber, with relatively small amounts of soluble fiber. It's more slowly digested than other cereals, which may be beneficial to diabetics.
Sorghum has a bland flavor. The flour is often used to make flat unleavened breads.A very good substitute for wheat flour in many recipes, especially if combined with other, more denser, flours.

Sorghum Flour

Millet Flour: Millet is a term applied to a group of grains from small-seeded grasses. Millet is about 11% protein. It contains high amounts of fiber, B-complex vitamins (including niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin), the essential amino acid methionine, lecithin, and some vitamin E. Millet is particularly high in the minerals iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Like buckwheat and quinoa, millet is not acid forming, so it’s easy to digest.
It can be used to thicken soups and make flat breads and griddle cakes. A lighter colored, slightly drier flour. Great when mixed with heartier flours such as teff, hemp, or almond- but not recommended on its own.

Millet Flour

Buckwheat Flour: Despite its name, buckwheat (also called kasha) is not a form of wheat or even a grass. It’s actually related to rhubarb. Buckwheat is an excellent source of fiber and nutrients. The groats make a healthy and tasty side dish. Buckwheat flour is made by grinding the small seeds (called berries) of the buckwheat plant.
The flour has a strong nutty taste. Almost perfect substitute for wheat flour when used in pancakes, muffins, and cakes. Mix with a starchier flour such as cornstarch or tapioca flour to get dough that rolls out well too!

Buckwheat Flour

Teff Flour: Teff flour is made from the grains of a grass that’s native to northern Africa. Teff seeds are the smallest grain in the world – about the size of a poppy seed. Teff flour has long been a nourishing staple in Ethiopia. Teff flour contains many essential nutrients and can be used in recipes for bread, cakes, tarts, snacks and pancakes. It can also be used to thicken soups and sauces.
This is an all around good flour that works in many types of baked goods. It has a stronger nutty flavor and darker color than sorghum and buckwheat. A nutritional powerhouse, but it is oftentimes hard to locate in supermarkets.

Tapioca Flour: Tapioca flour is made from the root of the cassava plant. It’s a light, soft, fine white flour. Tapioca flour adds chewiness to baked goods and is a good thickener. A great "second" denser flour to use along with many flours such as sorghum, millet, and buckwheat. It is also called tapioca “starch”. Can be used like cornstarch to thicken sauces, and freezes well... although it does impart a "shiny" look.

Tapioca Flour

Potato Starch: While potato flour is made from whole dehydrated potatoes that are ground into powder, potato starch is the result of extracting just the starch from the potato. Potato starch is a fine white flour that has a light potato flavor which is undetectable when used in recipes. Like potato flour, it’s often used as a thickener. It has a very long shelf life when stored in an airtight jar in a cool and dark place.
Similar texture to tapioca flour and cornstarch when used in baking. When thickening sauces, it tends to produce gummy results.

Potato Starch

Corn Starch: Cornstarch is a fine, white powder milled from corn. It’s used to thicken recipes and sauces. It has a bland taste, and therefore is used with other ingredients that will give flavor to the recipe. Corn starch can also be mixed with other flours to make batters for coating foods. It isn't only a great thickener in soups, stews and sauces; it also works similarly to tapioca flour in recipes. Check labels to make sure there is no hidden gluten.
Note: Cornstarch is not Corn Meal or Corn Flour


  1. Just found your Facebook site and your blog. I've been GF since March 1, after being diagnosed with celiac disease in February. I'm going to attempt GF bread next week. Thanks for all the tips!

  2. Your welcome Julie! Everything you need to know, you will find in the pages of this blog. Good luck and enjoy!

  3. Hi thanks for all your GF posting lots of helpful info. I'm also on low lectin diet, so corn is out, I have just bought Bob's Red Mill tapioca flour, it says replace twice as much when replacing cornstarch in recipes, I was wondering if that's just when thickening or can I replace like for like with cornstarch in recipes when baking? Thanks M

    Just so you know, Cornflour IS same as cornstarch in the UK.

    1. Hi there, Starches have different strengths and weaknesses, so it is a possibility you may need to adjust the amounts when using as a thickener. In baking they are- for the most part- interchangeable. I'm glad to hear you are benefiting from my blog!!!