No wheat flour? No problem! We’ve found five alternative flours to help keep you baking delicious breads, cakes and muffins.
If you’ve been on social media recently, it seems as though everyone is making impressive looking loaves of sourdough and enough banana bread to feed an army. While it’s great to see baking having a spike in popularity, it also means that stocks of wheat flour are at a premium. Not being to find such an important ingredient can feel frustrating, but it also provides bakers with the perfect opportunity to get creative and try using an alternative flour. There’s a wide variety of non-wheat flours available nowadays and each one offers an opportunity to try something new. However, before you start baking with these, it’s best to do your research. They won’t always act like traditional flour and ‘wheat-free’ doesn’t always mean ‘gluten-free.’ But with a bit of creativity - and patience - you’ll be baking up a storm in no time!
Chickpea flour is commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. It has a nutty, earthy taste and is high in protein, fibre and iron. You can use chickpea flour to make savoury pancakes (cook them on a grill pan for a delicious brunch dish), pizza bases, bhajis and falafels.
Coconut flour is a fine, powdery flour made from dried, ground coconut pulp. It’s high in fibre and protein and has quite a sweet taste. It’s also quite dense, meaning that a little goes a long way, particularly as it can soak up a lot of moisture. It can be difficult to get a light, fluffy texture from your bakes if you’re just using it on its own, so it may be worth combining it with other flours for the tastiest results. Coconut flour also makes a great crispy coating for seafood - who could say no to a big plate of Pan-fried Coconut Crusted Prawns?
Quinoa flour isn’t just good for you - it’s easy to make at home, too. Simply take raw quinoa and roast it for ten minutes. Once it’s cooled, whizz it up in a food processor until it has a flour-like texture. You can use it to make a wide variety of delicious gluten-free bakes, including marvellously moist muffins and perfect pancakes. Plus, it’s packed full of protein. Delicious and nutritious? That’s two of our favourite things!
Rice flour has a texture similar to wheat flour, so makes the best substitute for more ‘traditional’ baking. You can also use it to make noodles, shortbread, crispy vegetable-packed fritters and light, lacy pancakes, such as South Indian Appams. It’s gluten-free and low in fat, although is higher in carbs and calories - so watch out if you’re keeping an eye on those.
Spelt is an ancient grain which bakers have been using for centuries. It was even used by the Romans! It’s an ancestor of wheat and full of fibre. Like its family members, spelt contains gluten. The gluten in spelt flour is a little more delicate than wheat gluten, so you want to pay special attention when using this flour in your cooking and baking. It has a slightly sweet and nutty taste, making it a great substitute for wholemeal flour.
Have you been cooking with alternative flours recently? If so, we’d love to hear your tips! Share your recipes in our Facebook community or tag @CirculonUK on Instagram.