Have you ever wondered what the best gluten free flours are and which recipes these blends work best in? Baking with gluten free flour is like a chemistry project; each blend can behave differently in a recipe. Read on as I try to demystify gluten free flours.
- Best Gluten Free Flour For Baking:
- Baking With Individual Gluten Free Flours
- Best Gluten Free Flour For Bread (Yeasted):
- Best Gluten Free Flour For Cookies:
- Best Gluten Free Flour For Frying:
- The Best Gluten Free Flour For Cakes:
- The Best Gluten Free Flour For Pizza:
- The Best Gluten Free Flour For Pancakes:
- The Best Gluten Free Flour For Pie Crust:
- The Best Flour For Biscuits
- Best Flour For Pasta
As I write this, I realize there are so many gluten free flours and blends on the market. Each varies by grain and starch content ratios, as well as ingredients. Because of this, I will include several flour blends under each category. The blends that I list are blends I have tested. There are probably dozens of blends I haven't tested.
If you have great luck with a gluten free flour that I didn't mention, feel free to comment below. I would love to learn about more flour blends!
Best Gluten Free Flour For Baking:
It is impossible to state what the absolute best gluten free flour for baking is. Each flour blend has its strengths and weaknesses. Some blends do not rise well in yeast recipes, while others are better for getting those flaky layers.
One thing you need to look at when choosing what gluten flour to use is the ingredient list. First, make sure the blend has either xanthan gum, guar gum, or psyllium husk. These are what will help to hold together your baked goods. Regular wheat flour is sticky and holds together, but gluten free flour doesn't have this stickiness. This is why it is so important to add it in.
Second, what is the grain to starch ratio? Ingredients on the label are in order from the most to the least. Is the first ingredient a grain or starch? How much starch is listed? This will affect how much moisture to use in a recipe. If you use a starchy blend in my Gluten Free Sugar Cut Out Cookies recipe, you may need to add more flour or the cookies will spread!
One of the most common questions that I get from my readers is why a recipe was dry, spread, or didn't turn out as mine did. 99.9% of the time it is because of the gluten free flour blend the reader used.
If you are new to gluten free baking, be sure to read all of my Gluten Free Baking Tips, so you are ready to get started!
A quick word on measuring flour. To measure your gluten free flour, I recommend using either the spoon method or leveling method.
- Put the measuring scoop into the flour and fill. Do not pack the flour. Use a knife to scrape along the top to remove the extra flour.
- You can also use a spoon to fill the measuring cup. Use a knife to level along the top to remove the extra flour.
- Many prefer to measure their flour on a kitchen scale. I have found that every blend has a slightly different weight. This is due to the flour/starch ratio in gluten free flour blends. Because my readers all use different blends, I use either step one or two to measure my flour.
Baking With Individual Gluten Free Flours
Individual gluten free flour types can be great in baking, but you need to combine them with other flour and starches, plus a binder for them to work well in a gluten free recipe. I use a custom blend in my Gluten Free Bread Machine Bread recipe. I also have a really easy DIY Gluten Free Flour Blend that works really well in so many recipes.
- Sorghum Flour - This is a flour I love to use in my blends. It is light but not starchy. It has a very mild flavor and absorbs liquids well.
- Rice Flour - Usually brown rice flour is used, but some commercial blends include both brown rice flour and white rice flour. If rice flour isn't milled super finely, it can leave a grittiness to your baked goods. I only use Authentic Foods brand rice flour because this brand mills their rice flour extra fine, which means no grit. Any batter or dough made with rice flour should sit for 20-30 minutes before baking.
- Mochiko (Sweet White Rice Flour) - This natural gluten free flour is the star of mochi. It is sweet and light. It is well known for fluffy Mochi Waffles and these Mochi Muffins. I love how inexpensive this flour is.
- Millet - Millet is another gluten free grain that mills nicely for blending with other gluten free grains. I haven't used it in any of my recipes, but here are some great gluten free millet recipes to try.
- Oat Flour - Oat flour is easy to use in a blend, but it is critical to use certified gluten free oat flour.
- Buckwheat - Buckwheat is a strongly flavored gluten free flour. It has an almost nutty flavor. It is a nutritious flour, more so than plain rice flour. The name of this grain is misleading because buckwheat is gluten free. I typically blend it with another flour to mellow out the flavor. Try these Gluten Free Buckwheat Pear Pancakes.
- Cassava Flour - Cassava is made from the ground root of the cassava plant. It is popular in the keto and paleo realms. Try it in these Cassava Flour Pancakes.
- Tapioca Starch - Tapioca starch is similar to cassava flour. Tapioca is the starch extracted from the cassava root. It is powdery light and is a great addition to gluten free flours. It is a good alternative to cornstarch or potato starch.
- Potato Starch - Potato starch is an inexpensive common starch used in many gluten free flour blends.
- Cornstarch - Cornstarch is also an inexpensive, commonly used starch.
- Binders - Xanthan gum, guar gum, and psyllium husk. These are the glue needed to hold gluten free baked goods together.
Best Gluten Free Flour For Bread (Yeasted):
Jules GF Flour is another great gluten-free flour blend that works well in many recipes. I have used it for pie crust, biscuits, and bread. So far it has done well in my recipes.
Better Batter regular is a great all-purpose 1:1 gluten free flour blend. I love it for cookies, cake, pie crust, biscuits, and muffins. (Note, the brand often has sales on their flour on their website.)
This is an awesome gluten-free flour blend for pizza crust, biscuits, and pie crust. It is also great for yeast recipes! Note, this blend does have dry milk powder, so it is not suitable for those who avoid dairy.
This Authentic Foods Steve's Gluten Free Bread Blend is hands down the best gluten-free flour for yeasted bread recipes. With this flour, you can braid, shape, and roll incredible bread, cinnamon rolls, and pizza crust. (Note, it doesn't work in a bread machine.)
My all-time favorite gluten free flour for bread, especially shaped bread and rolls, is Authentic Foods Steve's Gluten Free Bread Blend. You can braid it, as I do in my Gluten Free Challah recipe, or roll it as in my Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls recipe. This flour is life changing!
My second favorite is Cup4Cup. Note to my dairy-free readers because Cup4Cup does have milk powder in the mix. Cup4Cup makes gluten-free flour blends without milk powder, including whole grain. I used their whole-grain blend (green bag) to make these Gluten Free Yeast Rolls. They almost taste like wheat!
Better Batter is another blend that works well in yeast recipes. They make a regular blend and a gum-free blend without xanthan gum. Many swear by this flour, but I find it is really expensive. They have sales on their website often, so I recommend waiting for a sale.
NOTE: Gluten free bread can be tricky because some 1:1 gluten free flour blends do NOT work well with yeast. Bob's Red Mill and King Arthur Measure for Measure do not work well with yeast, and it is stated on the back of their bags.
Best Gluten Free Flour For Cookies:
One thing I love about making gluten free cookies is you do not need to use one of the expensive flour blends to make cookies. The secret to using a less expensive flour blend is to let the batter sit, so the grittiness of the ground rice flour softens.
King Arthur Measure For Measure - One of my favorites for cookies, it is also economical. You can find it at most local grocery stores. Try it in this Gluten Free Butter Cookies recipe.
Bob's Red Mill 1:1 - I find this flour blend nice, but it is grittier than King Arthur. It is also economical and sold at most grocery stores. Let a batter made with this blend sit for 20-30 minutes, and you will love the results.
Best Gluten Free Flour For Frying:
Almost any gluten free flour will work well for frying. One of my favorites is Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Flour in the red bag. It contains some bean flour, and this really lends itself to savory recipes. Try it with this Gluten Free Chicken Fried Steak recipe.
If you are making a sweet treat fried in oil, I like to use Cup4Cup in my Gluten Free Fried Donuts recipe. I tested King Arthur Measure For Measure and Bob's 1:1 in this Gluten Free Funnel Cakes recipe since funnel cakes don't require yeast.
The Best Gluten Free Flour For Cakes:
I am a firm believer that you do not need to use an expensive flour blend to make cakes, cupcakes, loaf cakes, or quick bread. As I mentioned above, with cookies, you can use a less expensive gluten free flour blend to make these items.
Tip: When using gluten free flour, you need to let the batter sit for 20-30 minutes so the rice flour can soften.
King Arthur Measure For Measure - I used this flour in combination with some almond flour to make the Gluten Free Lemon Cake pictured above. I also love this flour for my Gluten Free Vanilla Cake recipe, which is also featured in this Gluten Free Wedding Cake recipe.
Cup4Cup - This is a nice flour blend that works well for cakes. It is more expensive than the King Arthur Measure For Measure, so I don't use it this often for cake.
Authentic Foods Steve's Cake Flour - I have only tested this new flour blend once in my Gluten Free Banana Cupcakes recipe, and it worked really well. This blend is not cheap, but if you are concerned about grit or if you don't like the less expensive brands, use this for cakes and muffins. I found I needed about 3 tablespoon to ¼ cup less of this flour than other blends.
Pillsbury Gluten Free Flour - This flour was a big surprise. I have tested it in most of my Gluten Free Mug Cakes recipes, and it worked so well!
The Best Gluten Free Flour For Pizza:
When making pizza, you need to ensure you use a gluten free flour blend that works with yeast. As I mentioned in the bread section above, some blends state on their packaging that they do not work well with yeast.
Pillsbury Gluten Free - This blend was a surprise for me. It worked well in my Gluten Free Deep Dish Pizza recipe.
If you are making pizza, try this simple homemade Gluten Free Pizza Sauce recipe.
The Best Gluten Free Flour For Pancakes:
King Arthur Measure For Measure is my go-to for pancakes. As I often recommend, let the pancake batter sit for 15-20 minutes. This will help make them softer, and it eliminates any potential grittiness. Try it in my fluffy Gluten Free Pancakes recipe
Bob's Red Mill 1:1 and Pillsbury GF are also flour blends I use for pancakes.
This 12-inch cast iron skillet is great for making pancakes!
The Best Gluten Free Flour For Pie Crust:
Cup4Cup - This is my #1 choice for pie crusts because it helps make pie crusts extra flaky and delicious. It is easy to work with. Try it in my popular Gluten Free Pie Crust recipe.
King Arthur Measure For Measure, Bob's Red Mill 1:1, and Jules GF are also very good flour blends for making gluten free pie crusts. If you use Bob's or King Arthur, let the dough sit for 15-20 minutes in the refrigerator.
The Best Flour For Biscuits
My traditional Gluten Free Biscuits recipe gets rave reviews. I tested 9 different gluten free flour blends to see which blends work well for biscuits.
Cup4Cup was my favorite as it rose the highest. Better Batter, King Arthur Measure for Measure, Bob's Red Mill 1:1, Pillsbury, and others worked well. If you use gluten free Bisquick, read my tips to make Gluten Free Bisquick Biscuits to avoid these from tasting like grit.
I also have a lot of fun flavored gluten free biscuit recipes like brown sugar cinnamon and cornmeal.
Best Flour For Pasta
I have only tested Cup4Cup gluten free flour to make homemade gluten free pasta. It worked well running through my gluten free pasta attachment for my standing mixer. If you want to give making pasta from scratch a try, you will love this Gluten Free Ravioli recipe.
If you love the recipes you find on my blog, I would love for you to sign up for my newsletter (and get my free gluten free lemon dessert e-cookbook!)
This post was updated from an older June 2015 post with more details and easier-to-follow directions.