We are in some unprecedented times. Where there used to be shelves stocked full of flour and yeast, we are now forced to choose between the 3 bags of flour left behind by busy shoppers. It’s time to think outside the box!
Flour is a main ingredient in countless recipes, but did you know that there are different types of flour available? Each type has its own unique characteristics and flavors, making them perfect for different culinary creations.
If you’re looking to elevate your baking or cooking game, here are five types of flour that you need to try today.
Not only will these flours elevate your home-cooked recipes, but they will also add a touch of diversity and versatility to your pantry.
Gluten-free doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor and texture. Gluten-free flours are a game-changer for those with dietary restrictions or for those simply looking to explore new culinary horizons.
Not all of the flours on this list are gluten free, but most of them are (I’ll be sure to let you know which ones are). but even if you aren’t gluten free, it’s fun to experiment with some new baker options.
Whether you are looking to increase your baked goods protein content, or want to find a way to make a healthy pizza dough or fluffy pancakes, there is a flour out there for you!
These are the 5 flours I have on hand at all times. Each one has its benefits and some need minor adjustments but they all taste delicious!
Try it: Baked goods (find a good recipe and follow it exactly); frying
If you are familiar with Paleo, Whole30, or Clean Eating, you have definitely heard about coconut flour. This light and fluffy flour is made by grinding the pulp of the coconut and is actually the leftover coconut when making coconut milk.
Coconut flour shines when used to coat chicken or beef before frying. It browns nicely and makes your meat look like it belongs in a magazine! It also has a deliciously sweet flavor that can’t be replicated.
The general rule of thumb when baking with coconut flour is 1 part coconut flour to 2 parts liquid. I learned this the hard way while trying to make pancakes. This flour sucks up the liquid and creates a powdery consistency.
I actually find this flour a bit difficult to work with. If you aren’t familiar with it, I would not recommend using it as a flour substitute in baking unless you are following a recipe..then it’s delicious!
Try using it in these Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.
Try It: As a breading on baked fish or chicken; Mixed into muffins, scones or pancakes
Made from finely ground almonds, this gluten-free flour is a delicious option for anyone looking to try something different. Almond flour adds a nutty flavor and moistness to baked goods, making it perfect for cookies, cakes, and even bread. Plus, it’s packed with healthy fats and protein.
This is a family favorite! Almond flour has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor which is just delicious!
I love to use it to make baked chicken nuggets and fish sticks for the kids. You can fry with this flour, but I find that it can clump and fall apart in the oil, so it is best to batter the food and bake it in the oven without flipping. If you do bake it in the oven, brush it with some oil first to keep it from drying out.
When you go to the store, you may see something called almond meal. This is just as delicious but it is not the same thing as almond flour. It does have its place in the kitchen, but almond meal has a coarser ground and is not as easy to use.
If you just got home from the grocery store and realized that you bought almond meal, pulse it in a food processor to give it a finer consistency.
And if you want to kick it up a notch, top your dishes with slivered almonds. It looks beautiful and adds a little crunch!
Almond flour works great in this recipe: Oatmeal Breakfast Cookie
White Whole Wheat Flour
Try It: As a breading for chicken for fish; To brown meat in stews and roasts; As a thickening agent (mixed with cold water); as a substitute for all-purpose flour in baked goods and buns
If you follow my blog, you know how much I love this stuff. It is so easy to substitute all-purpose flour with White Whole Wheat (I like King Arthur). It does have a slightly nuttier flavor and creates a denser product but my whole family (picky eaters included) like it.
White whole Wheat flour is a versatile and nutritious alternative to all-purpose flour. It adds a wholesome, nutty taste to your dishes and can be used in various recipes. One of my favorite ways to use white whole wheat flour is as breading for chicken or fish. It gives a delightful crispiness and adds a hint of nuttiness to the dish.
Use white whole wheat flour to brown meat in stews and roasts. The flour helps create a rich, flavorful crust on the meat, enhancing the overall taste of the dish. Additionally, it can be used as a thickening agent for soups and stews.
This flour does require slightly more liquid than all-purpose flour, so I like to reduce the amount of flour when using a traditional recipe. As an estimate, I reduce it to about 3 tablespoons per cup. This flour is very forgiving so you can play around with the recipe.
Try it: In baked goods (mix with another flour) like muffins, breads and rolls
If you haven’t tried spelt flour before, you definitely need to! Spelt flour is a wonderful alternative to traditional all-purpose flour. It has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor that adds a unique twist to your baked goods.
Spelt flour can be used in a variety of baked goods, such as breads, muffins, biscuits and rolls.
It pairs well with other flours, so I love to use a combination of spelt and almond flour in baked goods. It creates such a delicious and unique flavor.
It does not rise as well as some other flours, so that is just one more reason to mix it with another flour.
When purchasing spelt flour, you will see two different types. Look for the Whole Spelt flour which contains the hull and endosperm and also has the most health benefits. With White Spelt Flour, the hull has been removed along with most of the nutrition (similar to whole wheat vs white flour).
Try it in these Cranberry Lemon Muffins
Try It: In baked goods such as cakes and muffins, flatbreads and pie crust. It’s also great for making pasta or a gluten free pastry flour!
Now this one is a treat! I first learned about Cassava Flour from Lectin Free Mama. She has some mouth watering, gluten-free, recipes that use this less popular flour so I just had to give it a try.
I am still playing around with this one but it is proving to be so versatile. It is produced from the cassava root and is gaining in popularity because it is gluten-free and a part of the anti-inflammatory diet.
It is also proving to be a substitute when a recipe calls for whole wheat flour. I have been using it as a 1:1 flour substitute and I have had great results.
The only downside to this flour is the price. However, I have been able to justify the price due to the ease and convenience of use. I have had the best results with Otto’s Natural brand.
Bonus: Garbanzo Bean Flour
Try It: In your baked goods. Substitute 1/3 of flour with Garbanzo Bean Flour.
I can’t believe I forgot to list this one, so I’m adding it as a bonus!
Chickpea flour (aka garbanzo bean flour) has quickly become one of my favorites. I like to bake with it because it creates a fluffier texture when using white whole wheat.
The flour is so fluffy that it needs to be mixed with another flour. If not mixed, baked goods will be too crumbly (you won’t even be able to pick it up without having it fall apart in your hands).
I have found that the perfect ratio is 1 part garbanzo bean flour to 2 parts white whole wheat. Baking powder will help to keep the dough fluffy!
Definitely try this one, especially if you are new to clean eating. It will help you with a smoother transition to white whole wheat.
Try it in your favorite recipe, or try these Mini Corn Dogs which use a blend of chickpea flour and cornmeal.
Did I miss your Go-to flour?
Let me know because I am always looking for new things to try! I have my eye on quinoa flour and oat flour. Once I get comfortable with them I’ll add them to the list above!
Are any of the above on your list of favorites? Let me know if the comments!