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


Bernice L says:

I have oat flour, gluten free flour, and tapioca flour in my pantry now along with gluten free brownie mix

Ceylon says:

I love to use oat flour, although I’m a bit new at gluten free baking, so I haven’t experimented much.

Sara says:

I love all nut meals, and teff!

Melissa says:

Our pantry is stocked with almost everything gluten free from BRM. We love BRM products!

I use a big combination of flours, but mostly rely on white rice flour, potato starch, quinoa flour and almond flour. Never confuse potato starch and potato flour… You only make that mistake once. Ha!

Valerie says:

I’ve used brown rice flour, sorghum, coconut, and almond. I’ve also tried a few mixes including one for baking powder biscuits. I’m a month into avoiding gluten and I am feeling more and more courageous all the time !

Nicole says:

I use coconut flour and almond meal quite frequently but would love to branch out!

I love the rice flours, but I have been wanting to try coconut flour after hearing others talk about it lately. Thanks for sharing the info on how to use each flour. I’ve been eating gluten free for a few years, but still I have to look the info up all the time. Now I can just make a copy of this and have it all in one place.

Mallory says:

brown rice, buckwheat(wish bob’s carried a buckwheat!), almond, quinoa, and coconut flours!!

Julie says:

My husband is GF, so most of the time, so is the rest our family. I’m really curious about Quinoa flour.

Janni says:

What a wonderful giveaway. I’d love to have a chance to work with these flours.

So far only oat flour and (white) rice flour, though I already purchased some Bob’s Red Mill chickpea flour, too– I just haven’t used it yet!

JenniferK says:

Thanks Bob’ Red Mill for this terrific guide to your many types of flour. Overhauled my diet in January, now going strong, and have never felt better in my life. Eager to experiment with these!

Kim says:

Sorghum, brown rice and oat flour are in my arsenal!


Rebekah Shaver says:

White Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Tapioca Starch, Sorghum Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Oat Flour, Almond Flour, and I am sure there are more, but I can’t think of them at the moment. 😉

Jeffrey says:

I use Quinoa, Coconut and Almond flours quite often.

Kim says:

I am just learning all of this gluten free stuff as we had to go g-free for my son….thankful for all of these choices!

Angie Bailey says:

Sweet White Rice Flour.

Janet Johnson says:

Great article on gluten free flours! I’ve been using the corn flours and their rice flours, love Bobs Red Mill. 🙂

Christina says:

Just got married to a gluten-free guy this past summer. Learning how to bake gluten-free–things are going well!

Amy says:

Haven’t tried these yet, but I’m game.

Becca says:

We are all gluten free in our home and prefer to use coconut flour or sorghum flour! Thank you for making these awesome flours so we can still enjoy some baked goods among other things 🙂

Becky says:

I have Bob’s all purpose gluten free flour, cornbread mix and steel cut oats. I am still learning how to bake with gluten free flours.

Juli says:

I like Oat flour, Sorghum and whole grain teff. Add them to GF bagels for a great flavor.

Emily Davis says:

I have some almond flour and oat flour I’ve been wanting to try the rest.
Love your stuff!
Thanks for the chance to win something.

Erika says:

Very informative!

Spelt flour, coconut flour, Quinoa flour, almond meal & oat flour is what I now have at home. I love them ALL!

Denise W. says:

Almond flour is one of my favorites…so versatile!

Candice says:

I only ever kept rice flour. I’m happy to know you can use all of these other gluten free flour alternatives.

Pauline says:

I’m a gluten free newbie. I haven’t baked gluten free goodies yet, but I look forward to it.

Margie says:

I am really enjoying this series. I would love to try some of these different products. I just never knew what to do with them. I wish you had put this information into a downloadable PDF file so I could print it in a neat format for future reference. I know I won’t remember all this. Is the info also printed on the project labels?

Margie, You can save/print these as .pdfs from the post. There is a link at the very bottom of the post, right above the comments. Some of this information is on the packaging, but some is unique for this post. I’m so glad you’re enjoying this series!

Krystal says:

I don’t have any gluten free flours yet. My mom just discovered she has gluten issues. I was hoping to win the giveaway so I could give them to her!

Gabe Park says:

Love the stuff!

Teresa says:

I am just starting my gluten free adventure and have my first batch of bread raising right now. I look forward to trying many combinations to find what my family likes best. I used sorgham, potato starch, soy flour, tapioca flour and xanthan gum.

Monica says:

OOO I would love to try some of the ones I haven’t found in my stores! I love your gluten free line! Thank you for all of the gluten free mixes, flours and recipes!

Brena Sun says:

I’ve never tried any of the gluten free flours, but I’d love to start!

Joy says:

I love potato flour!

Thanks for the rundown of gluten-free flours. I have tried most!

Candice C. says:

I haven’t tried any of these yet. I VERY recently discovered I have gluten issues and am still in the early stages of figuring out how to work a GF lifestyle. This would be a great pack to get me started! Thanks!

Emily says:

All purpose flour, coconut flour, rice flour, and xanthan gum of course!!

Misty says:

I could make a lot of new recipes with these flours. I have never used oat flour before. Sounds wonderful!

Elena Vo says:

Gluten-free oat and rye flours. Love the breads made with them.

Ginger Garza says:

I have oat flour, almond flour and brown rice flour in my pantry! I love it and hope I win! They make my gluten free lifestyle so easy while attending pharmacy school!

Audrey says:

oat flour, buckwheat flour, almond flour, garbanzo bean flour, brown rice flour, white rice flour, xanthan gum, all-purpose gluten-free flour…I think that’s it!

Denise Montgomery says:

I have recently gone gluten free. I have used your bread flour mix twice now and it makes a great loaf of bread , would love to get free suff or coupons. Thank you for your business of giving us an option

Melissa says:

Rice flour, oat flour, and quinoa flour…I haven’t done much baking yet since going gluten-free in October because I’m afraid of the gums and all the chemistry, but looking forward to mustering up the courage. ; )

Anna says:

I’ve mixed a few together following Jenni’s recipe for my own gluten free flour mix using Bob’s products and it’s awesome. I’ve also used coconut flour on it’s own with great results. Would love to try some of these others.

Andrea says:

Coconut flour is always my go to! Its around the house at all times!

Bianca Garcia says:

What a great article! So informative! So far I have only tried Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, but I am excited to try out more! Thanks Bobs Red Mill for making so many Gluten Free options!

Kari says:

I just started using almond flour but would love to try more!

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