How to bake with gluten-free flours
Gluten-free baking may look so scary at first. Especially when you've never baked with gluten-free flours. But I totally feel you, I've been there. I had no idea how to bake a cake or bread using gluten-free flour. However, I experimented with many flours and now I can confidently say I love gluten-free baking! I know what kind of flour to use for optimal results and how to combine them. So If you wanna know how to bake with gluten-free flours, just keep reading!
If you are new to the gluten-free world, you are probably asking, how am I going to bake something out of gluten-free flour? Don't worry, in this post I'm going to show you my top favorite gluten-free flours, that I love to use. These flours are very affordable nowadays and you can make them at home if you have a high-speed blender.
This is by far my favorite flour. It is neutral, very light, and perfectly fluffy in the recipes. Nowadays, you can find various types of rice flour at stores. I prefer white rice flour. However, you can find brown rice flour, sweet rice flour, smooth rice flour, etc. I love using traditional rice flour, but sometimes I use smooth rice flour. It really depends on the recipe. But this one is definitely my favorite! Rice flour makes any dessert a way better. If you are asking how to bake with gluten-free flours, make a list and write down this flour. It is literally magical.
2. Buckwheat flour
My second favorite flour. Rice and buckwheat are my staples. I need to have at least these two flours on hand. So this flour is very different. It has a strong flavor and when mixed with water, it looks like it has gluten. Seriously! The batter becomes more stretchy, smooth, and really sticky. I was shocked at first. But this is how buckwheat flour reacts with liquids. Now you know why I love this flour so much. It is perfect in many recipes. The batter is naturally fluffy and so soft. I love to make pancakes or crepes with this flour. But, if you've never tried this type of flour, I must tell you that it has really specific flavor and smell. Some people don't like buckwheat at all. So it is totally up to you. But if you season it or add other yummy ingredients you will never feel its flavor. Lastly, buckwheat is so healthy for us, so if you haven't incorporated buckwheat into your diet, it is worth a try!
3. Gluten-free oat flour
Did you know that you can find gluten-free oats and gluten-free flour at the store? Well, If you haven't, now you are probably shocked! Yes, this type of oats exist. But if you have celiac disease, still be careful. There are a few people who are sensitive to oats. But if it isn't you, this flour is amazing! It has a really nice smooth and silky flavor, just like regular oats. When you are baking with oat flour your batter can be really fluffy. I love to use it in muffins and cakes.
If you like millet porridge or you love it as a side dish, you need to try baking with millet flour. It has a really sweet and soft flavor. It is perfect in many sweet and savory recipes. However, don't use this flour on its own, mix it with different types of flour because it has tendencies to be really crispy. My favorite way of using it is to add it to a 1:2 ratio. One part of millet to two parts of different types of flour (preferably buckwheat, rice, or oat flour). But, if you want to bake something crispy, feel free to use it. I really love the taste of millet and it is very nice in many recipes.
5. Legume flours
These flours are perfect in savory recipes. I love to add them to bread or buns. However, they are perfect in crackers as well. My favorite flour is definitely lentil flour. It is very easy to work with. Moreover, if you are adding legume flour to your recipes, you can increase its nutritional and protein value! Legume flours may have a slightly bitter taste so I really prefer using them in savory recipes, however, if you like the taste of legume flour, do not hesitate to experiment.
6. Nut flours
These flour are quite popular. But honestly, I'm not a huge fan of them. Firstly, if you have allergies or intolerances, nuts are really hard to digest and can cause some allergies. Secondly, nut flours are so expensive! I don't know about you but I would rather add some whole nuts into a cake rather than baking with it. But if you want to add 1-2 tbsp for the flavor it is ok! When I'm baking carrot cake I'm adding a few tablespoons of ground walnut for flavor, but that's all. However nuts are so healthy for us, but why bake with super expensive ingredients when you can achieve even a better consistency with cheaper ones (like rice and buckwheat).
7. Potato/corn starch
Want to make perfectly fluffy and stretchy batter? I have an answer for you, just add 1-2 tablespoons to your batter and you are good to go. I love adding potato/corn starch to many recipes. Especially when baking bread. It will give such a unique consistency. You can use it as a coating if you want your crust to be crunchy. Starches are really helpful when baking with gluten-free flours. But be careful, don't add too much of starches into your recipes! The batter can be really soggy and really dense. Less is better in this case.
8. Flax seeds
This ingredient is a must! It is not considered as flour but when you ground flax seeds it has flour-like consistency, so we can debate this later haha!
I truly believe that this is a very important ingredient when you are baking with no gluten. Maybe you've seen recipes with "flax egg" in it. So let me introduce you to flax seeds. These seeds are perfection. When they come to contact with the water they start to produce gel-like consistency. This is what we need in our recipes! Flax seeds (or should I say flax seeds gel) combine all the flours together. It really helps in many recipes. But if you don't have flaxseed on hand, feel free to use mashed banana or applesauce. It will work almost the same.
So right now, the question of how to bake with gluten-free flours is more clearer for you. These are my top 8 ingredients I love to use in my gluten-free baking journey. However, mostly, I'm not using one type of flour at the same time. I'm always mixing different types of flours. I love to use three types of flour in a single recipe in order to achieve the best consistency.
If you want to bake something delicious and gluten-free, check out these recipes:
Simple blueberry lemon muffins – gluten-free vegan recipe
Gluten-free blueberry lemon mini bundt cakes
The best gluten-free and yeast-free bread
Gluten-free pumpkin spiced donuts
Easy gluten-free berry crumble cake
Gluten-free banana bread
Gluten-free raspberry muffins
Gluten-free poppy seed banana bread
Peach & blackberry cake
Poppyseed cake with plums