An ongoing compilation of Gluten Free flours/baking ingredients. This is a compilation from various sites that I will continue to grow and edit as I see and learn more.
Two basic categories:
Protein/fiber flours: brown rice flour, millet flour, chickpea flour, sorghum, flour provide structure, stability, flavor, texture and nutrition
Starches: corn starch, potato starch, tapioca flour and sweet rice flour are fine in texture and create breads that have a soft crumb and a smooth texture.
A mix of both is required to produce a good loaf of bread.
Almond meal – contains protein, fibre, omega 3.
Agar agar – derived from seaweed, contains a good amount of protein and iron, and is a plant based alternative to gelatin (may be used substituted using equal amounts).
Amaranth – a powerhouse of nutrition and protein packed seed (the highest protein GF flour, higher even than wheat flour). Contains a large amount of lysine, an amino acid not normally present in large quantities in grains. Also contains phytosterols, antioxidants, more magnesium, iron and fiber than other GF ‘grains’ and twice as much calcium as cow’s milk. Has a nutty, earth, grassy flavor. The seeds may be ground into a flour. Can be used for thickening sauces or coating foods such as diced meats prior to frying. Use up to 25%/volume in GF mixes to boost nutritional content. More than this may make baked goods too dense or heavy and reduce bread rising as Amaranth readily absorbs liquids.
Arrowroot – derived from the starch of the Maranta arundinacea plant, a tropical perennial native to Central American and the West Indies. Used as a thickener.
Baking soda – must be combined with acidic ingredients such as butter milk to create carbon dioxide to increase volume in baked goods.
Baking powder – a combination of baking soda and cream of tartar, which is acidic. Twice as strong as baking soda. Ensure GF product used.
Buckwheat flour – contains manganese and high in protein and fiber. Buckwheat isn’t actually a wheat but a fruit seed from the rhubarb family. It has a robust flavor.
Chia – another nutritional powerhouse with a good source of plant based omega 3, antioxidants, calcium and boron. Has a nutlike flavor and holds up to nine times its weight in water and thickens and emulsifies bread dough. Grind and soak chia prior to adding to your mix (soak in the bowl when proofing yeast).
Chick pea/Garbanzo bean flour – dried chick peas ground into flour. High protein and source of iron. Depending on the brand may have a sweet or slight bitter flavor, may add a yellow tinge (color of flour) to baked goods.
Coconut flour – a relatively new addition to the gluten free flour family. It readily absorbs liquids and can be tricky to bake with. Because of this you’ll notice many coconut flour recipes contain a lot of eggs/egg replacers/liquids which don’t look like your usual baking liquids/dry ratio.
Cornmeal – made from dried corn kernels and may be ground fine, medium or coarse. Each grind suits a particular dish so follow the recipe. Make sure it has a Gluten Free label.
Cornstarch – made by grinding the corn kernel endosperm (inner tissue) after the kernels have been steeped for several days. Used as a thickener. When mixed with a small amount of cold water it works as a roux – a thickener.
Gelatin – made from animal bones/connective tissue. Binds cold dough, holds it together and reduces crumbling when baked.
Guar gum – ground from seeds of a plant grown in Pakistan and northern parts of India. Better in cold foods such as ice-creams than baked goods.
Hazelnut meal – generally produced following the removal of the oil from pressed hazelnuts. Contains vitamin E and adds a sweet, buttery and nutty flavor to baked goods.
Flaxseed meal – Great nutritional value, containing most of the B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, alpha linolenic acid/omega 3, fiber and antioxidants. Purchase small amounts of flaxseed meal and turn over fairly quickly (make sure you buy pre-ground meal that has been stored in a refrigerator, not from the supermarket shelf, and store in the fridge at home).
Millet flour– most commonly found as the small seed in bird seed, belongs to the grass family. A good source of protein, B vitamins and magnesium. Has a slightly sweet taste.
Oat flour – technically oats do not contain gluten but not many oats are certified gluten free .
Pecan meal – pecans have antioxidant properties, are cardio-protective and contain oleic acid, a fatty acid which may reduce the breast cancer risk.
Potato starch – very different from potato flour, made from raw potatoes, used as a thickener or to add body to dough.
Potato flour – see above, made from cooked potatoes and denser than potato starch.
Pumpkin seed meal – Pumpkin seeds contain zinc, magnesium, manganese, iron & plant based omega 3 and have anti-inflammatory & antioxidant actions. Pumpkin Seeds also contain a good amount of copper.
Quinoa flour – Quinoa is native to South America and is a protein rich pseudo-grain (it’s actually a seed). It is also high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, and reasonably high in vitamin E, B1, B2, B6 and folate. Quinoa flour can have a bitter flavor.
Rice flour – may be made from white or brown rice (brown rice has a better nutritional profile) which has the outer husk removed.
Skim milk powder – Adds to nutrient profile by adding calcium and protein, helps bread rise and maintain moisture when baked.
Sorghum flour – a cereal grain and important food crop in Africa. It also known as milo or jowar. Contains three times the natural fiber and twice the protein of white rice flour
Soy flour – roasted soybeans ground into a flour. Also comes in a defatted version that has had the oils removed which improves shelf life. Has a bright yellow color. May be genetically modified.
Sweet rice flour – known as mochiko in Japanese, it is made from short grained glutinous Japanese rice and has similar properties to starches as it adds body to dough.
Tapioca/Cassava flour – derived from the yucca plant which is a starchy topical tuber. Adds body and chewy texture to breads and aids in browning the crust.
Teff flour – another important African food crop, and is the staple grain in Ethiopia. A nutrient rich flour as the grain contains the bran and germ, it contains good amounts of protein, iron and calcium. It has a deep brown color and has a slightly sweet, molasses-like flavor. Used to make the fantastic Ethiopian flat bread, Injera.
Xanthan gum – A natural carbohydrate, produced by the fermentation of the bacteria Xanthomonas campestris , which when combined with corn sugar creates a colorless translucent substance which is dehydrated and ground into Xanthan gum. The corn used may be genetically modified, and perhaps not soaked prior to processing, which may reduce mineral absorption in the body (due to the phytates). Used in ice creams to provide a smooth mouth feel.