Find out if flour is safe for a gluten-free diet, which types of flour are gluten-free, and what brands to look for.
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Are you just getting started with a gluten-free diet and wondering what types of flour are safe for you? If you love to bake, you may be wondering what you can use in all your favorite recipes.
Can you use all purpose flour in your best pancake recipe? Can you buy the $2 baguette on your way out the grocery store for a quick side dish for dinner tonight?
In this post, we’re going to talk about flour and how it fits into a gluten-free diet. We’ll talk about what people are generally referring to when they are talking about “flour” and “all purpose flour” and what grains are used.
We’ll also talk about what flour is made from, used for, and if it’s gluten-free. We’ll also talk about your options for gluten-free flours and I’ll share some brands you can be on the lookout for next time you’re getting ready to bake something delicious.
What is flour?
Flour is a finely ground powder that’s made from different types of grains, nuts, seeds, beans, or roots. When most people think of flour, their first thought is to think of wheat flour or all purpose flour as that’s the most commonly used flour in baking in the US.
What is flour made from?
Flour can be made from many different ingredients, like grains, seeds, nuts, beans, and roots. Most of us think of flour that comes from wheat when we hear the term “flour” and that’s what most people are referencing when the qualifier of what kind of flour is dropped from the term.
If someone says “flour,” they’re usually referring to flour made from wheat.
What is flour used for?
Flour is used mainly in baking, in breads, cakes, cookies, and all kinds of baked goods. It is also often used as a thickener for soups, stews, gravies, and sauces, as the starch works with warm liquid to thicken the liquid.
Different types of flour can be used for different purposes. You can use wheat flour or all purpose flour for many different recipes, but you may not be able to use coconut flour, corn flour, or rice flour in exactly the same ways, because the properties of the flour differ.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
You can find gluten in whole grains, but also in many processed foods as well. Many processed foods have hidden gluten in them in the form of gluten or wheat derivatives.
These are also in the form of flavorings, binders to keep ingredients together, or other additives.
Is all-purpose flour gluten-free?
All purpose flour is made from wheat grains. Wheat contains gluten, making all purpose flour not a safe choice for folks following a gluten-free diet.
Is white flour gluten-free?
White flour is another name for all purpose flour, and this type of refined flour is made from wheat, making it not a good choice for people who avoid gluten for health reasons.
Is wheat flour gluten-free?
Wheat flour is made from wheat grains. Wheat contains gluten, so wheat flour should be avoided on a gluten-free diet.
Can I buy gluten-free all-purpose flour?
You can find gluten-free all purpose flour to use in place of a traditional wheat based all purpose flour. Many of these gluten-free options are made using a blend of different types of flours to mimic the same texture and properties of traditional all purpose flour.
You can find gluten-free all purpose flour at many grocery stores and health food stores. You can also buy them online.
Brands of gluten-free flour blends
There are a number of gluten-free all purpose flours and gluten-free flour blends available at many grocery stores, health food stores, and online. Use this list of options to give you an idea of some brands to shop for next time you’re looking to buy this ingredient.
- Better Batter
- Bob’s Red Mill
- King Arthur Baking Company
- Namaste Foods
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list. There are probably dozens, maybe hundreds, of other brands of gluten-free flour blends and options out there.
Read on: 5 best gluten-free flour blends
What types of flour are gluten-free?
There are a number of gluten-free flour options available that are made from all kinds of delicious gluten-free ingredients. Read more about each of these gluten-free flours using the links below.
- Is Almond Flour Gluten-free?
- Is Coconut Flour Gluten-free?
- Is Corn Flour Gluten-free?
- Is Oat Flour Gluten-free?
- Is Rice Flour Gluten-free?
These are other gluten-free flours you can find that I haven’t written about here on the blog yet.
- Amaranth flour
- Cassava flour
- Chickpea flour
- Millet flour
- Quinoa flour
- Sorghum flour
- Teff flour
I hope if you’ve been wondering if flour is safe for your gluten-free diet, that you have been able to get a straightforward answer here in this post. Some types of flour ARE safe for a gluten-free diet, but those that are made from wheat are not.
If you’re gluten-free, steer clear of any all purpose flour that’s not labeled as gluten-free or any wheat flours.