National Flour Month: Gluten Free Flour Primer {Giveaway}

This is our third post in our series on the different flours we produce. Week one was wheat flours, week two was low carb flours


Baking without gluten can be a little bit tricky, but with the right combinations of flour and starch, baked goods can be just as delicious as their gluten-filled counterparts. Our guide is not going to tell you which flours to combine when, but it will help you understand what each flour is made out of and what it brings to the table. Even though they aren’t true flours, we’ll also cover a few starches. We will be covering bean flours next week, even though they are gluten free flours.

Some notes:

Gluten Free Flours from Bob's Red Mill

Almond Meal: Almonds are notoriously healthy nuts providing a good amount of manganese and vitamin E , as well as a healthy serving of monounsaturated fats in each 1/4 cup serving. Not only do almonds have a healthy boost of protein, they are also very low in carbohydrates and naturally gluten free. Replacing 25% of the flour in your baking with almond meal will add wonderful texture and flavor while reducing the total carbohydrates.  Although it has a lightly sweet flavor, almond meal can also be used in savory applications. Use almond meal in place of bread crumbs in meatballs, or as a coating for chicken and fish. Browse recipes for almond meal here.

Amaranth Flour: Amaranth flour has a pleasant, nutty flavor and can be used for up to 25% of the flour in your baked goods. Amaranth flour is a source of complete protein—it contains all the essential amino acids, including lysine, which is lacking in most grains. High in fiber and a good source of magnesium and iron, Amaranth flour is a spectacular addition to your diet. Browse recipes for amaranth flour here.

Arrowroot StarchArrowroot Starch is also known as arrowroot flour or arrowroot powder. This starch comes from the root of the plant Maranta arundinacea. Used in combination with other gluten free flours, arrowroot provides some thickening and stability to gluten free baked goods. It can be used in place of corn starch one for one. It is best to add arrowroot starch at the end of the cooking process because extended exposure to high heat will cause it to lose its thickening abilities. Browse recipes for arrowroot starch here.

Black Bean Flour: Bean flours will be covered next week.

Buckwheat Flour (not produced in our gluten free facility): Buckwheat flour is milled from the pyramid-shaped groats of the buckwheat plant. The dark color of buckwheat flour comes from having additional hulls of buckwheat milled alongside the creamy groats. It is high in magnesium and fiber and has a  unique flavor that lends itself to pancakes and breads. Buckwheat flour can replace up to 20% of the flour in your recipe. Buckwheat flour is naturally gluten free, but we do not produce it in our gluten free facility. Our buckwheat flour is raw.

Coconut Flour: Organic coconut flour is a delicious, healthy alternative to wheat and other grain flours. Ground from dried, defatted coconut meat, coconut flour is high in fiber and low in digestible carbohydrates. A single 2 Tbsp serving of coconut flour delivers 5 grams of fiber. The light coconut flavor allows coconut flour to blend seamlessly into sweet or savory baked goods. It makes a wonderful coating for chicken, fish or other proteins in place of regular flour or cornmeal. Because of its high fiber content, baking with coconut flour is a unique experience. Coconut flour requires an equal ratio of liquid to flour for best results. Coconut flour can replace up to 20% of the flour in a recipe, but you will need to add an equal amount of liquid to compensate.  We recommend following a recipe designed for coconut flour when getting started. Luckily, we have many recipes to experiment with in our recipe section. Coconut flour is unsweetened and does not contain sulfites.

Corn Flour: Milled from high quality, California corn, our whole grain corn flour has a mild, sweet flavor perfect for all kinds of gluten free baking. We produce a regular and a gluten free version—be sure to check the label for our gluten free symbol. Use corn flour for tortillas, breads, muffins, cakes and cookies. The fine grind, allows corn flour to blend seamlessly into baked goods. Corn flour can replace up to 20% of the flour in your recipe. Browse our corn flour recipes here.

Fava Bean Flour: Bean flours will be covered next week.

Garbanzo Bean Flour: Bean flours will be covered next week.

Garbanzo and Fava Bean Flour Blend: Bean flours will be covered next week.

Masa Harina: Masa Harina is a very special type of flour and we now offer it as gluten free (be sure to look for our gluten free symbol). Milled from corn that has had the germ removed and been soaked in lime (calcium oxide, not lime juice). This flour is ideal for making tortillas, but can be used the same way as our regular corn flour.

Green Pea FlourBean flours will be covered next week.

Hazelnut Meal: Bob’s Red Mill Hazelnut Meal is ground from whole Oregon hazelnuts, or filberts. Hazelnuts are often overlooked for their nutritional value, but these healthy nuts provide a good amount of vitamin E and a healthy serving of monounsaturated fats in each 1/4 cup serving. You can replace up to 30% of the flour in your baking with hazelnut meal to add wonderful texture and flavor.  Hazelnut meal will bring a rich, buttery flavor to your baking while adding an enticing aroma that can only come from high quality hazelnuts. Hazelnut meal can be used in savory applications, as well. Use hazelnut meal in place of bread crumbs in meatballs, or as a coating for chicken and fish.  Our hazelnut meal is not blanched.

Millet Flour:Millet flour has a light, mild flavor, making it perfect for sweet or savory baking. Replace up to 25% of the flour in your recipe with millet flour for added nutrition. Millet is an excellent source of fiber, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium. In our opinion, millet flour is often overlooked in gluten free baking—it adds whole grain nutrition and has a mild flavor, not something you find often with gluten free flours. Browse our millet flour recipes here

Oat Flour: Oat flour is another overlooked, but incredibly nutritious gluten free flour. We produce a regular and a gluten free version—be sure to check the label for our gluten free symbol. Made from gluten free oats, our gluten free oat flour has the subtle sweet flavor of whole grain oats. Oat flour can replace up to 20% of the flour in your recipe. Oat flour is perfect for pie crusts, pancakes, muffins and more. Browse our oat flour recipes here.

Potato Flour: Now here is a tricky flour. Potato flour is NOT the same as potato starch. Potato flour can be used to give baked goods a moist crumb, but it is not really the most ideal baking flour. It is made from dehydrated Russet potatoes. Potato flour has a stronger potato flavor than potato starch, but will still work well to thicken sauces and soups. This flour is best left for potato soups, potato bread and other savory items. Browse our potato flour recipes here.

Potato Starch: Potato starch is an incredibly versatile starch used in many gluten free recipes. With no potato flavor, potato starch can be used to thicken in place of corn starch (use 1-1/4 Tbsp potato starch for 1 Tbsp corn starch) or added to baked goods to help retain moisture and give a better crumb. Potato starch will thicken at higher temperatures than corn starch, which makes it great for pie fillings and sauces. Browse our potato starch recipes here.

Quinoa Flour: We’re going to just say it up front- quinoa flour has a little bit of a, well, quinoa taste to it. Earthy is a good way to describe it. That does not make it a bad flour to bake with, just one that you want to use in savory applications or with other strong flavors, like chocolate or lemon. Quinoa is very high in protein and is a great way to increase the protein of your baked good. Quinoa flour will also improve the moisture of your baked good and help produce a good crumb. You can replace up to 25% of your flour with quinoa, although some people find it to be a great stand alone gluten free flour for particular recipes (like this one for quinoa tortillas). Browse our quinoa flour recipes here.

Brown Rice Flour: An absolute staple in gluten free baking, brown rice flour is incredibly versatile. You can thicken sauces with it and use it for coating fish and other proteins, as well as produce breads, cakes and noodles. Our brown rice flour is stone ground from whole grain California brown rice. Some people find brown rice flour to be slightly gritty, but many find it preferable to bean flours. Browse our brown rice flour recipes here.

White Rice Flour: The refined version of brown rice flour, white rice flour can be used interchangeably with brown rice flour. White rice flour can be used to bake cakes, cookies, breads and more, as well as thicken sauces and coat fish and other proteins. Our white rice flour is stone ground from California white rice. As with brown rice flour, some people find white rice flour to be slightly gritty, but many find it preferable to bean flours. Browse our white rice flour recipe here.

Sweet White Rice Flour: Increasing in popularity, sweet rice flour is excellent for thickening sauces and coating proteins, like white rice flour. But don’t let that fool you- this flour is much higher in starch than regular white rice flour. This flour is used more like a starch in baking, adding moisture to baked goods. It is not sweet, despite its name, but it is often used for desserts and is the main ingredient for making the Japanese dessert, mochi. We find that people are using this more and more in gluten free baking to help bind the baked goods. Browse our sweet white rice flour recipes here.

Sorghum Flour: Sorghum flour is one of our favorite gluten free flours. It is probably the closest to approximating a wheat-like flavor and texture of the gluten free flours. It has a light flavor and can be used for every kind of gluten free baking. Use in combination with other gluten free flours for delicious, whole grain baked goods. Browse our sorghum flour recipes here.

Soy Flour: (not produced in our gluten free facility): Our soy flour is milled from whole, raw soy beans. This flour is a great source of complete protein, as well as a good source of fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. You can replace up to 30% of the flour in your recipe with soy flour. Soy flour is naturally gluten free, however we do not produce it in our gluten free facility. Baked goods made with soy flour tend to brown more quickly, so it is best to use a recipe designed for soy flour or to keep a close eye on your baking when using it.

Tapioca Flour: Milled from cassava root, our tapioca flour can be used interchangeably with tapioca starch. Tapioca flour is an excellent thickener in sauces and can replace corn starch (use 2 Tbsp tapioca flour for each 1 Tbsp corn starch). Tapioca flour helps bind gluten free recipes and improves the texture of baked goods. Tapioca helps add crispness to crusts and chew to baked goods. Use in combination with other gluten free flours for best results. Browse our tapioca flour recipes here.

Teff Flour: Like quinoa flour, teff flour has a distinctive teff flavor. Earthy and nutty, teff flour makes an excellent addition to baked goods and is the main ingredient in the Ethiopian flat bread Injera. Teff flour can replace up to 20% of the flour in your recipe. It is an incredibly nutritious flour, so adding a small amount to your baked goods will boost nutrition while providing a unique, slightly sweet flavor. Browse our teff flour recipes here.

White Bean Flour: Bean flours will be covered next week.



We’d like to give one lucky reader a set of our gluten free flours- brown rice flour, sweet rice flour, sorghum flour, oat flour, corn flour, tapioca flour and potato starch. To enter, simply follow the directions in the app below. We’ll pick a winner at random from all who enter by 12:01 am on 03/27/13.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Diana G says:

Almond flour and potato starch are in my arsenal

Haley S says:

Brown Rice flour for sure!! it’s a whole grain (:

Michelle Myers says:

I use coconut, almond and tapioca flours!

What an outstanding article! Thank you so much. As someone who is new to experimenting with gluten-free baking, this was really helpful.

Katelyn B says:

I was recently diagnosed with gluten intolerance so I have been stocking my pantry with gluten-free flours. Right now I have Bob’s Red Mill White Rice Flour and Almond Flour.

Ginger says:

I am just learning to bake Gluten Free. There is so much I want to try.

I can’t think of a more amazing giveaway!! I bake with your flours all the time, but there are still quite a few I haven’t tried. I would love to experiment with all of them. I found out I was allergic to gluten about a year and a half ago and I really don’t think I could have survived the transition without your amazing products. I use at least one every single day! Thank you so much!

R. says:

Coconut flour is one if my favorites for GF baking.

Leah says:

I’ve been using coconut flour, sorghum, and quinoa flour a lot!

Julie Enzian says:

Love you gfree flours! They are easy to find at my local stop n shop!

Mona says:

Oh, I so want to win. Love to cook gluten free!!

Brittani says:

I haven’t used many gluten free flours because I don’t know where to start. This would help!

Theresatron says:

I mostly use coconut and almond flour but I just bought Gluten Free Vegan Recipe book and uped the arsenal with millet, buckwheat, tapioca and potato!

Sara F. says:

I add rice flour and corn flour to my breads on occasion, but would like to experiment with some of the others, especially the nut flours.

Lorraine says:

I’m still very new to gluten free.Today is the the first time I’ve bought specifically gluten free flours, & I got almond meal,pecan meal, potato starch, sorghum flour, & tapioca flour as well as coconut,quinoa, & garbanzo beans to make flour with.

Karen says:

Would love to try the different flours!

Jill Hartley says:

Garbanzo, Fava Bean, and Oat are in my arsenal! I love them!

We keep whole wheat flour, rye flour and semolina. 🙂

Whoops … guess those aren’t gluten free. 🙁

I love coconut & almond! They are my favorite. But I always have on hand the GF Baking Flour from Bob’s! So easy to work with!

Johanna says:

I love using your coconut flour as well as the almond meal/flour. I’m really enjoying experimenting and look forward to trying more varieties. Thanks for the info you’re sharing.

Dawn says:

I adore all your gluten free products thank you so much for making them!

Colette tapp says:

Almond and coconut flours

Stephanie says:

I love the variety Bob’s Red Mill provides for gluten free options 🙂

jeff davis says:

I’m using a lot of the Oat Flour these days for gluten free baking.

Alycia says:

My mom is gluten free and I’m a pastry cook at a spa where we bake a lot of gluten free things. I recently started trying out new things at home, most recent was coconut flour. Which is a really different but cool flour to play around with. However, I have never used oat flour before and would love to try it out. I’m sure my mom would love using some new flours. But sorghum is always a great one to have on hand.

Jeni says:

Gluten free all purpose, I’m new to gluten free

Tari Bramlett says:

I have your Oat bran, Brown Rice Flour & All Purpose Flour at this time 🙂

Tari Bramlett says:

Oh…But only the Gluten Free Products, i have been GF since Dec 2012

Sally Moffit says:

I use Almond Meal, Coconut Flour and Ground Flax Seed Meal. Those are my current favorites. Thanks for all you do.

Sheila M says:

What a fantastic Give away, and so much fun awaits the winner to try new recipes! Thanks for the chance to win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Potato starch, corn, brown rice, coconut, almond, amaranth, and all-purpose!

Sheila M says:

I have several but tend to use the multi purpose and almond meal the most.

Liz says:

Almond flour is one of my favorites… it tastes great in both cooked and raw recipes!

Betty N says:

I mostly use almond and coconut flour.

Patty says:

Because of my allegies and gluten intolerance, I make most everything myself. I mostly use buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, white rice flour, arrowroot starch, potato starch and tapioca starch. I know it’s not a flour, but my life wouldn’t be complete without your Xanthan Gum.

Carol says:

White rice flour, tapioca flour and the GF all purpose flours are my favorites so far. I’ve finally gotten my confidence back to start baking again after finding out I’m GF.

Tayler says:

I love all of the gluten free flours I have tried so far. It’s tough to beat the all purpose though when it comes to converting non gfree recipes to gfree ones. Everything I have made with it turns out excellent. It makes my life so much easier!

So far I have just used almond and coconut flours, although I would to try them all!

Katie M says:

I currently don’t have any gluten free flours in my baking arsenal, but I have been considering adding them so that I can bake some goodies for my gluten intolerant friends.

Christopher Sorel says:

brown rice, almond meal and GF mix

Amy says:

I use just about all of Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flours! I made scones today using almond, sorghum, and potato starch. I have started to make all my own gluten free bread and experimenting with the different flours is a fun adventure.

Karen says:

So far only oat flour.

I love using almond and coconut flours! I’d like to try brown rice.

Whitney says:

Brown Rice Flour, makes for great dog biscuits!

Gidget says:

gluten free all purpose

jacquie says:

i haven’t been baking gluten-free so don’t have much experience with those flours. i use mostly whole what and oatmeal. i do like to experiment with different flours though so would like to try them all out.

tristan curry says:

My next step in gluten free living is to start using almond flour.

angela says:

almond meal and coconut flour are in my arsenal

Linda S. says:

Almond meal/flour.

Rita Bennett says:

Navigating the world of gluten free flours and baking can be quite intimidating but this helps! Thanks!

View Comments

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts

Keep up to date on the latest from
Bob's Red Mill
Subscribe Now