From scones to cakes, cookies to doughnuts, flour is a fundamental ingredient when it comes to baking delicious food.
While you’re likely familiar with traditional all-purpose flour, there are actually many different types of flour for baking that you may not have ever heard of.
Read on to discover a few alternative flours that you can use to bake delectable treats in a whole new way.
If you’re looking to do some gluten-free baking, give cassava flour a try. Made from the cassava root, this flour is gluten, grain, and nut-free, making it ideal for those with allergies.
Cassava flour is high in carbohydrates, but it’s also high in fiber which gives it a slight health benefit. Of all the gluten-free flours out there, it’s the most similar to wheat flour and can often replace it in many different recipes.
This awesome flour provides your baked goods with a new taste, flavor, and texture that people will love. The cassava is a tuberous root vegetable, which also makes this flour vegan and paleo-friendly, too.
You can get cassava flour online or at some grocery stores. Consider this alternative baking flour for your next dish and see how well it turns out.
Different Types of Flour for Baking: Pastry Flour
Making pastries from scratch is a challenging endeavor, especially if you’re new to this delicious dessert. To bake pastries, special flour is required in order for the recipe to achieve the classic flaky texture.
In the world of baking flour, it falls between all-purpose flour and cake flour and typically has a protein content of around eight to nine percent. When you use it, you’ll notice that your pastries have the perfect level of tenderness and flakiness.
You can use pastry flour in dishes like tarts, cookies, or pie crusts. It’s also perfect for making homemade croissants and quiches
To make your own pastry flour at home, just mix 1 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour together with 2/3 cup cake flour. Be sure to sift and mix the two flours thoroughly before using it to create your delicious pastry dish.
Another fantastic gluten-free flour is almond flour, which is made by blanching almonds in boiling water to remove the skins. The almonds are then ground and sifted into a fine flour that looks like traditional baking flour to the naked eye.
Many people substitute almond flour for all-purpose flour if they’re eating a low carb or gluten-free diet. It’s also high in healthy fats and fiber, which makes it a good choice for anyone looking to improve their diet while still enjoying baked goods.
When baking with almond flour, you’ll need a little bit more rising agent, such as baking powder or baking soda. That’s because almond flour is a bit heavier which can cause certain items to go flat without the right tweaking. Almond flour is best for muffins, pancakes, biscuits, cookies, and bread.
Whole Wheat Flour
Another of the many different types of flour for baking is whole wheat flour, which can add extra fiber to your favorite baked goods. To make this flour, a kernel of wheat is separated into three components during the milling process: the germ, the bran, and the endosperm.
With white flour, it’s only the endosperm that is milled. Germ and bran are added back to the flour in order for it to be considered whole wheat.
If you want something high in protein, it’s a great choice with around a 13-14 percent protein content. When baking with whole wheat flour, be prepared for stickier dough and denser baked goodies.
Wheat germ can make this type of flour much more perishable, too. White baking flour can stay good in an airtight container for up to eight months, while whole wheat flour only lasts for around three months or less. Whole wheat flour is great for pizza dough, pasta, and cookies.
Another favorite for those on a low carb or gluten-free diet, coconut flour is made by draining fresh coconuts, scraping out the meat, and grating it to separate the solids from the milk. The dried coconut meat is baked at a low temperature until fully dried and then ground into a fine flour.
Coconut flour is white in color, so it looks and feels similar to other flours made from grains with a nice, mild taste. A benefit to using coconut flour is that it’s high in healthy fats.
Coconuts contain medium-chain triglycerides or MCT which has been linked to things like weight loss and helping the body to fight against some infections. Baking with coconut flour can help you keep your blood sugar level regulated, which makes it a great option for those with diabetes or people who are pre-diabetic.
Since coconut flour is high in fiber, it’s also a good way to help promote a healthy heart. This unique baking flour tastes great, may aid in digestion, and offer a wide range of other benefits in addition to its wonderful flavor and texture.
Make Baking an Adventure
From cassava to coconut, consider these different types of flour for baking when you make your next recipe. Many of these flours are free of gluten and high in other beneficial things like protein and fiber.
Always follow the baking directions carefully when using a new type of flour to ensure you have the right ratios for a delicious baked goodie.
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