Wheat free and Gluten free flours
Wheat flour contains gluten which is the protein that strengthens and binds dough in baking. Because of this, when baking with wheat free flours you may need to source alternative binding agents.
Wheat free recipes using flour substitutes usually have been carefully formulated to get the best possible result taking into account the problems associated with lack of wheat gluten, therefore substitution can be a risky experiment. If you try substitution, then be aware that you may get a failure, so don't do it for the first time if cooking for an important occasion.
The flours listed below are alternatives to wheat flour. However it is important to be aware that there is no exact substitute for wheat flour, and recipes made with wheat free alternative flours will be different from those containing wheat.
Amaranth flour-Amaranth flour is made from the seed of the Amaranth plant, which is a leafy vegetable. Amaranth seeds are very high in protein, which makes a nutritious flour for baking. Alternative names: African spinach, Chinese spinach, Indian spinach, elephants ear. Wheat Free Gluten Free
Arrowroot flour-Arrowroot flour is ground from the root of the plant, and is very useful for thickening recipes. It is tasteless, and the fine powder becomes clear when it is cooked, which makes it ideal for thickening clear sauces.Wheat Free Gluten Free
Barley flour-Barley only contains a small amount of gluten, so is rarely used to make bread, with the exception of unleavened bread. It has a slightly nutty flavor, and can be used to thicken or flavor soups or stews. Blended with other alternative flours it is also fairly versatile for cakes, biscuits, pastry, dumplings etc.Wheat free Gluten free
Brown rice flour-Brown rice flour is heavier than its relative, white rice flour. It is milled from unpolished brown rice so it has a higher nutritional value than white, and as it contains the bran of the brown rice it has a higher fiber content. This also means that it has a noticeable texture, a bit grainy. It does have a slight nutty taste, which will sometimes come out in recipes depending on the other ingredients, and the texture will also contribute to a heavier product than recipes made with white rice flour. It is not often used completely on its own because of its heavier nature. Bulk buying is not recommended as it is better used when fresh, store in an airtight container. Wheat free Gluten free
Buckwheat flour-Buckwheat flour is not, despite its name a form of wheat, buckwheat is actually related to rhubarb. The small seeds of the plant are ground to make flour. It has a strong nutty taste so is not generally used on its own in a recipe, as the taste of the finished product can be very overpowering, and a little bitter. Alternative names: beech wheat, kasha, saracen corn.
Wheat free Gluten free