The Buyer’s Guide to Gluten Free Flour

Gluten free flour is a storecupboard essential for those that have a gluten intolerance – it’s a must for making anything from pizzas to pies to homemade pasta. But which gluten free flour is the best for different dishes? In this guide we dive into what gluten free flour is, how to use it in your baking, and the best gluten free flour to buy.

What is gluten free flour?

Gluten is formed naturally when water is added to flours made from wheat, rye and barley. In wheat, gluten is formed when two proteins, glutenin and gliadin come together in the presence of water and form what we recognise as cohesive malleable dough – one which can hold its shape and allows for expansion when gas is produced by the yeast (and sometimes bacteria). 

Gluten free flour is a name for flours which aren’t made with gluten products it is used in place of traditional wheat, rye and barley flours by people who have a gluten intolerance. Gluten free flour can be made from a range of different grains including rice, buckwheat and tapioca. The type of gluten free flour you should use depends on what you’re baking.

How to cook with gluten free flour?

Homemade Corn Tortillas

Corn Tortillas

Homemade corn tortillas are a great base for eggs, pulled pork or baja fish. These tortillas use masa harina flour which is naturally gluten free.

Onion Pakora 

Onion Pakora Recipe

Onion pakoras are very easy to prepare – they are made from finely sliced onions, tossed in a spiced gram flour batter and deep fried. Serve with chutney for a gluten free snack.

Spiced Crêpes

Spiced Crepes With Coconut Chutney & Sweet Onion

Niki Webster’s gluten free spiced gram (chickpea) flour crêpes are very quick to make and perfect for dipping or scooping up chutneys, pickles and salad.


Which gluten free flour should I buy?



Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain White Flour 1kg

Best gluten free flour for baking

Doves Farm gluten free plain white flour is great for gluten free baking, from biscuits to scones to cakes. The flour is a blend of rice, potato, tapioca, maize and buckwheat flours. When you use this flour in your regular recipes, you’ll need to use a little extra liquid than stated. Plus, if you’re stuck for inspiration, this gluten free flour includes a recipe for pancakes on the packet. 



Caputo Gluten Free Flour 1kg

Best gluten free flour for pizzas

Caputo gluten free flour makes it easy to bake gluten free breads and pizzas at home, without compromising on texture. This flour is a blend of rice and potato starches as well as rice and soy flour. These all-natural ingredients create a white flour that gives pizza bases and flatbreads a soft, light texture.


Doves Farm Gluten Free White Bread Flour 1kg

Best gluten free flour for bread

Doves Farm gluten free white bread flour makes it easy to bake gluten free bread at home. The flour is a blend of rice, tapioca and potato flours. The gluten free white bread flour includes a recipe for a classic white loaf on the packet, with instructions for bread makers as well as baking by hand.


Mulino Marino Organic Buckweat Flour 1kg

Best gluten free flour for pasta

Mulino Marino organic grano Saraceno flour, or buckwheat flour, is a gluten free flour that's used to make traditional pizzoccheri pasta. Popular in the Trentino-Alto Adige region of northern Italy that borders Switzerland and Austria, this gluten free flour is great for making gnocchi, pasta and crêpes.


Organic Chestnut Flour 500g

Best gluten free flour for Italian baking

Made from 100% dried organic chestnuts, this naturally sweet gluten free flour has nutty notes. Chestnut flour is also the essential ingredient in castagnaccio – a traditional cake from the Liguria region of Italy that’s completely gluten free.


Superfine Gram Flour 1kg

Best gluten free flour for fritters

Superfine gram flour, also called besan, is a widely used flour in Indian cuisine. Gram flour is made from chana dal (an Indian variety of chickpea) which are hulled and split, ground into a fine-textured, yellow-ish, gluten free flour. Gram flour has a subtly earthy aroma and slightly nutty flavour. Use it when making batters for onion bhajis, sweetcorn fritters or dumplings.


Naturelo White Masa Harina 1kg

Best gluten free flour for tortillas

Masa harina is a gluten free flour made from finely ground corn. In Mexico, masa harina is an essential ingredient for making tortillas. Alternatively, mix this gluten free flour with xanthan gum or guar gum to make gluten free bread, pie crusts and sponges.


Organic Coconut Flour 500g

Best high fibre gluten free flour 

Organic coconut flour is naturally gluten free and high in fibre. Use it in a similar way to other grain-based flours for baking, pancakes and thickening gravies and soups. It’s worth noting that coconut flour is particularly dry and absorbent, meaning that it requires a different moisture ratio to other grain-based flours. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use gluten free flour in place of regular flour?

Yes, you can use gluten free flour in place of regular flour, however you will need to adapt the liquid in the recipe accordingly. Most gluten free flours are drier and more absorbent meaning you’ll need to add more milk, water or oil, depending on what you’re making. If you’re following a recipe that calls for regular flour, it’s a good idea to try it a few times until you find the correct liquid levels.


Does gluten free flour affect baking?

Gluten free flour is drier and less absorbent than regular flour which can sometimes result in a denser bake than you might be expecting. However, once you adjust your liquid levels in the recipe using trial and error you can create a lighter, softer bake. Certain flours produce a naturally lighter bake, in particular Caputo gluten free flour.

It’s also worth following a recipe which has been written and tested using gluten free flour, as different flours will produce different results.


What gluten free flour is most like all-purpose flour?

Doves Farm gluten free plain white flour is the flour we’d recommend in place of all-purpose flour. Made from a blend of rice, potato, tapioca, maize and buckwheat flours, it’s excellent in baking recipes.

 

What gluten free flour is best for bread?

The best gluten free flour for a classic white loaf is Doves Farm gluten free white bread flour. It’s a blend of rice, tapioca and potato flours. For pizza bases, we recommend Caputo gluten free flour. The blend of rice and potato starches as well as rice and soy flour creates a soft, light texture.


Shop all gluten free ingredients here, and read our guide to gluten free pasta here.



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