5 Favorite Gluten-Free Flours

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sorghum flour

One of the first things I learned about gluten-free baking is that there is no single flour that replaces wheat flour.  There are many gluten-free flours to choose from, and today I am sharing my five favorite gluten-free flours as well as a couple of my least favorite flours, and a few I want to use more often.

5 Favorite Gluten-Free Flours

(The following links are affiliate links. See note at the end for more information.)

Sorghum Flour

  • Sorghum flour has long been one of my favorites.  While too much of it can make foods dry, using it as part of the flour in a recipe ads a soft texture.  Did you know sorghum has as much protein as quinoa?

Millet Flour

  • I was so please when I first started using sorghum flour, and I felt the same way when I tried millet flour.  It too benefits the texture of baked goods.  After trying it, I began substituting it for part of the sorghum flour in recipes.  The two combined work wonders.

Brown Rice Flour

  • I know some people are not rice flour fans, however, I like using some brown rice flour in many of my recipes.  You want to buy one that if finely milled or it will feel gritty.  I mill my own flour, so I don’t have a particular brand to recommend.  Combining sorghum, millet, and brown rice can result in a well-balanced whole grain flour mix.

Sweet Rice Flour

  • Sweet rice flour is not used in large quantities in recipes, but a little helps to keep baked goods moist.  It’s also terrific for gravies.

Starches

  • As much as I love the flours mentioned above, they fall short on their own.  Starches are necessary in many recipes to lighten the flour mix.  Tapioca starch gives foods a definite chew which is why I like it in pizza crust.  Many recipes, though, call for more potato starch than tapioca starch.  Potato starch is very different from potato flour, but tapioca starch and flour can be used interchangeably.

flour-in-sifter

2 Gluten-Free Flours I Don’t Like

Bean Flours

  • When I first tried garfava flour years ago, I was so thrilled with the texture it gave to the bread I made.  I also loved the idea of the protein it added.  However, I didn’t care for the digestive effects nor the bean flavor.  My husband is particularly sensitive to that bean flavor and he could taste the tiniest bit of bean flour I would put in a recipe.  Eventually, I gave up on it and don’t use it any more.

Quinoa Flour

  • Quinoa is healthy, there’s not doubt about it.  I like eating quinoa in it’s whole form, but I don’t like the flavor of the flour in baked goods.  It’s simply a personal preference, but that’s why you don’t see it used in my recipes.

3 Gluten-Free Flours I Want to Use More

Buckwheat Flour

  • I have used buckwheat flour some and want to use it more.  I find that it has to be used in small amounts, but that makes it easier in some ways.  I would like try substituting a little bit of buckwheat in some of my favorite recipes.

Almond Flour

  • I’ve never done much with almond flour.  In fact, I’ve only used almond meal.  I like the idea of using a non-grain flour and hope to experiment with it when I have time.

Teff Flour

  • I’ve seen teff flour more and more in recipes and baked products and would like to give it a try.  Part of the problem with teff flour is that I never see it in the store (at least not a trusted brand) and I forget to order it online.

Note: The links in this post are Amazon affiliate links which take you to a page displaying that particular flour sold by different brands.  I am not recommending all of those brands.  If you have celiac disease or are highly sensitive to gluten, some brands have higher levels of cross contamination than others.  Please check each company’s policy and/or certification.

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question markWhat are your favorite gluten-free flours?

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Comments

  1. I love sorghum, sweet rice, and the starches too. And I agree about the flavor of quinoa..I’m not looking forward to when Brittany and I spend a whole month testing quinoa flour recipes!

  2. Great discussion to start! I love sorghum, millet, and brown rice, unfortunately I cannot find any of those where I live. Currently my most commonly used flours are chestnut flour, almond/hazelnut meal, buckwheat, and corn and white rice. I would love to use teff more as well. For starches I use a variety – potato, tapioca, glutinous rice, and cornstarch. Most of what I use is dictated by what I can find…

  3. I use a lot of teff (have to get it at a health food store), coconut, brown rice and sorghum. Been using a lot more potato starch these days. I like the heft it gives things.

    • Brooke, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Glad to hear you like teff. My local health food stores only carry Shiloh Farms which I don’t trust because of cross contamination. I will try and remember to order some soon.

  4. Stephanie Wilson says:

    I haven’t been on the gluten free lifestyle for a long period of time, but I love Almond flour and Coconut flour. Combined they are fabulous together! Every time I have tried using sorghum my food has an after taste to it, any suggestions as to how to use it more effectively?

    • Stephanie, I wonder if it’s the particular type of sorghum flour you are using. Have you tried more than one brand? Maybe try using a smaller amount of sorghum. I always mix it with other flours.

  5. I love buckwheat flour an cannot recommend it more! It’s very nutritious, and while it does have a strong flavor, it complements many savory flavors and fruits quite nicely.

    An eggy crepe-like pancake is one easy way to use it. Wrap them around lentil salad, or top with a fruit compote.

  6. I’ve still not bought and used sorghum – it scares me a bit I must admit! Plus, I seem to get stomachaches when I eat products made with sorghum, and I’m not gluten-free! No idea why, just an aversion to that one :)

    I couldn’t agree more on the bean and quinoa issues, but I do like buckwheat and almond flours. I actually like buckwheat when used in higher percentage, but I’m kind of nutso for whole grain taste and find a lot of the gf flours to be lacking in that hearty taste. buckwheat fills in nicely.

  7. Christine says:

    Teff is one of my favorite flours. I get Bob’s Red Mill at Wegmans. Brown rice and almond flours are other staples in my kitchen. Tapioca and arrowroot are my starches since I’m allergic to corn and have to minimize nightshade consumption (I react strongly to tomatoes) so I don’t use potato starch. We do use chickpea flour – though primarily for a flatbread that we use as a pizza crust. I also use coconut flour on a regular basis, though only for recipes that call for it since it requires a different amount of liquid than most other flours so I can’t sub it easily (yet – haven’t had time to experiment.) Quinoa is the one grain I cannot eat in any form just because I cannot get past the taste, though my husband enjoys it.

    Have you tried sprouting the beans and then milling them into flour? The sprouting process is supposed to use up the phytic acid and other compounds our bodies don’t easily digest (which is what causes digestive issues) and actually increases the vitamins and protein quality of the beans. Most beans/grains/seeds can be sprouted, and the process usually gives a better end product when used for flours and baked goods. I’ve just started learning about this, so I’m no expert, but it might be worth a try if you have the time.

  8. I’ve been using almond and coconut flours in baking cupcakes (recipes from both Elana Amsterdam and some paleo bloggers). Coconut flour does make a pretty good cupcake but be careful about the finished product. It does not do well sitting out and needs to be refrigerated. Elana explains this in her book, Gluten-Free Cupcakes.

    I also like sorghum, millet and brown rice flour for breads. I’m with you on the flavor of bean flours, particularly in breads. However, for some recipes, like cookies or anything that already has a pretty substantial flavor on its own, I don’t mind it.

    I have also experimented with teff and quinoa but not enough to be able to draw any conclusions on whether I like them or not (mostly I was trying out various bread recipes, most of which I wasn’t impressed with — I have since started using Silvana Nardone’s bread recipe–http://bit.ly/fnjxi0–which, so far, has been my favorite). I would eventually like to try substituting some of the flour in Silvana’s bread recipe with some flax seed to give it more of a whole grain texture and nutritional value.

    I have used buckwheat to make pancakes with. It has a much stronger flavor than the pancakes I was use to making which I wasn’t expecting.

  9. I use such a variety. Almond, and corn flours, coconut sometimes too for baked goods. I do like quinoa and the very best pasta we have found (hubby thought it was wheat when i first served it) is a quinoa pasta by Andean Dream. I also like the starches and sorghum and buckwheat and teff. However, i have moved away from using grains much. Baked goods are more of an occasional treat now rather than an everyday part of our diet.

    What i don’t like is finding recipes that use rice flour much. I use a combination of brown, white, and sweet rice flours in the baking i do. But i try to use only a small amount of rice flour in baking as i find the result of too much rice very gritty or sandy. I recently found a wonderful recipe for pie crust, but it called for 1 full cup of rice flour. I cut that by half and made the other half cup a mix of my other flours, but the result was still very very gritty. The next time i would only do 1/8 to 1/4 C of rice flour.

  10. My understanding is that Quinoa has to be really well rinsed before use to get rid of the bitter outer coating. Perhaps that is what you taste as it is still present when you grind it.I for one will NOT be rinsing, drying and then grinding this flour. Life is too short for that.!

  11. Rogene says:

    Another buckwheat lover here. I use it as a 1:1 flour replacement or sometimes 50/50 with sorghum. The flavor to me is caramel/butterscotch, but doesn’t work in everything. I think it works best in some cookies, cakes, etc. My multipurpose blend is sorghum, br. rice and a starch. I does make a cake that looks very nicely browned — sometimes they turn out white depending on the flours used. Then my multigrain blend has all the “exotic” stuff in it including amaranth, quinoa, teff, millet… I also like to substitute fkax seed meal for about 1/4 c. flour for a little Inutritional boost. I use the “protein flours” as much as possible, but have not tried the nut flours/meals mostly due to cost.

  12. I bet you wouldn’t guess that I’m gluten intolerant as well :P
    I’m visiting from the SITS 31 day blogger challenge.

    Thank you for this list – your opinion is greatly helpful. I haven’t ventured into baking my own gluten free goods as yet and am actually quite nervous about trying the new flours.

    Also I have a friend who tried to make gluten free cupcakes for me – the first set blew up in the oven, the second was rock hard and the third just didn’t solidify. She was using a gluten free flour mix. That scares me …. if a mix couldn’t do it – how can I figure it out?!

    I think I’m similar to your hubby in that I can taste bean flour in everything that it’s in. NOT GOOD…ewww….

  13. I need to look for uncontaminated sources of millet and buckwheat. The times I have tried them, I got a small reaction from it, so I figured it was a cross-contamination issue.

  14. Great post! I’m a huge fan of sorghum flour as well. I have found that a mix of sorghum, millet and buckwheat flours work great in muffins (w/ starches of course). Karina (GF Goddess) uses the combo in some of her recipes.
    It definitely took me a while to get warmed up to buckwheat, but I love it now.
    I also can’t get enough almond flour!!

  15. I like that gluten-free baking is becoming more common, but if I see almond meal/flour one more time I’m going to scream! haha. I can’t have almonds or gluten (or xanthan gum for that matter) so finding a recipe that will work for me is such a pain!

  16. What I would love to know are what are everyones favorite all purpose flour blend is.

    My absolute favorite is Jules Gluten Free. I am just curious if there is another brand out there that would be even better. I tried Donata or Domatz (can’t remember the spelling) and I didn’t like it at all after trying Jules.

    Still have not found the absolute perfect homemade sandwich bread. My son and I both have Celiac Disease. He loves Udi’s bread. Wish I could find a recipe close to that one. Now drop biscuits and french bread I have amazing recipes for.

    Thanks
    Kim

  17. I really like coconut flour in baked goods, especially deserts.

  18. With the whole arsenic scare going on with rice, we have been using Sorghum. Our daughter was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease so we have to be careful etc…
    Question:
    When making cakes with Sorghum flour, what do you recommend to decrease or remove any grittiness? I bought my daughter a gluten free cupcake that was made with rice flour. It was not gritty. Not sure what they added to it. It was moist and fluffy. Can we achieve the same result with Sorghum?
    Thanks for your help :)
    Best,

    Dan

    • Hi Dan. No matter what flour you are using the amount of grittiness depends on how finely it is ground, not what is added to it.

  19. I’m looking for wheat free AND rice free recipes for bread, rolls, biscuits, cakes, cookies, anything. Most of the recipes I find that are gluten free use rice flour. I have no experience to know what flour (or combination of flours) to substitute for the rice flours. Any help would be appreciated.

  20. My favorite GF flours are almond flour and oat flour. I use these all the time in baked goods. The combination of these two flours can pretty much substitute equal amount of any wheat flours in any recipes, plus they are both whole grain and full of protein, fiber etc.

    I have been meaning to also try sorghum and coconut flour. I agree about the rice flours and starches. I am always hesistant to use too much of those as almond and oat are such great nutritious alternatives.

    I am curious to know the ratio if I were to make my own blend of sorghum plus another whole grain flour and one starch. Which starch would be optimal in terms of health benefits? I am assuming tapioca. Thanks for this great post.

  21. What is Teff flour made from?

  22. Great post – have you tried chestnut flour. We’ve used it for making pancakes (have used millet flour and works a treat) and have come across Italian recipes for gnocchi using chestnut flour. Going to try and bake with over the next couple of days – let’s see how it turns outs :-)

  23. jasmine says:

    I’ve never tried sorghum before. So next week I will pursue out to buy it. I Dont eat wheat and the breads that I do eat are from a brand called Ener-g. I buy the tapioca bread slices. However I’m interested in making my own bread. Im not a pro at this that’s why Im googling and landed here.I wanted to know would sorghum coconut and maybe brown rice flours be a good concoction?

    • Hi Jasmine, and welcome. I like sorghum and brown rice together. Coconut flour is a whole different ball game. I like it but haven’t baked with it much since it requires a higher proportion of liquid to flour. You can’t just substitute it for another gf flour. When experimenting with coconut flour, I would follow a recipe first.

  24. Teresa Milliken says:

    I just saw teff flour at Bob Mills online

  25. What’s the difference between almond flour and almond meal? New to this whole thing about 2-3 weeks now *yay just in time for Christmas =[*

    Thanks

  26. Elizabeth Yancey says:

    I need to be on a gluten free, glutamate free diet. Do any of your favorite flours contain glutamate?

  27. FYI Almond Meal and Almond Flour are the same thing.

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