Coeliac disease, gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity all require you to follow a gluten free diet. Sounds easy enough, except that these conditions don’t magically go away. They are life-long. The only way someone with Coeliac disease or a sensitivity to gluten will feel well is by avoiding every last trace of gluten in their lives. The law states that any food labelled as ‘gluten free’ must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) however many people who suffer from Coeliac disease need to avoid even lower quantities.

A lifetime, is a long time to simply cut out gluten. Cut the bread, cut the cake – what, forever? Here at Grassroots Bakery, we understand that finding alternatives to gluten is really at the crux of being able to live happily with conditions such as Coeliac disease, gluten sensitivity and non-coeliac gluten intolerances.

gluten free bread mix by Grassroots Bakery

We understand, because we are a family who lives with Coeliac disease, every single day. We also happen to have an intolerance to preservatives found in processed gluten free food, which means nearly everything that we eat is made from scratch at home! Our vision is always to enable people suffering from autoimmune conditions, allergies and intolerance to gluten, dairy or preservatives to be able to really enjoy food that has a taste and texture that is not compromised in any way.

So, we thought that we would share with you our list of naturally gluten free flours that we as a family use every day as ingredients when baking and cooking. In fact, many items on the list are commonly used throughout our award-winning gluten free mixes. We have found that the following gluten free flours can enable you to make really tasty, normal food.

Naturally Gluten Free Flours List

The list below is intended to highlight the gluten free nature of the ingredient and also give an indication of how you can use it when baking and cooking.

  • Potato Flour

    Is naturally gluten free. It is worth pointing out that you can buy potato flour and potato starch flour and they are actually really very different, although both are gluten free. Potato flour is a lot more nutritious but also a lot heavier and is typically only really added to sauces to thicken. Potato starch flour has had a lot of the nutrition removed but gives a wonderful texture to breads, pastries and sponges.

  • Rice Flour

    Is a useful gluten free ingredient in baking and cooking. It has a slightly grainy texture and so is better used in cakes and biscuits rather than bread or sauces. You will be able to find rice flour in most supermarkets – try the ‘World Food’ isle or the dedicated ‘gluten free’ section.

  • Glutinous Rice Flour

    This is another wonder flour that we use in the Grassroots Bakery household. It does not contain gluten. Its name comes from the fact that it gets really sticky when water is added. It is also sometimes known as sweet rice flour. Typically used in Chinese cuisine, glutinous rice flour makes absolutely delicious wraps but also can be added in small quantities whenever you need that little extra bit of stickiness in your baking – for example, when you are missing your hotpot with dumplings.

  • Buckwheat Flour

    Also naturally gluten free and an absolutely fantastically versatile flour to have in your kitchen cupboard when following a Coeliac diet. It is slightly nutty in flavour and perhaps a little bitter but the great thing about buckwheat flour is that it behaves a lot more like glutinous flour than any other gluten free flour we have used. Buckwheat crepes for example are so very easy to make as the batter simply holds in place and you are able to spread quite thin without it breaking up.

  • Tapioca Flour

    This is actually tapioca starch flour and is naturally gluten free. A good ingredient to add to your other gluten free flours to lighten the texture a little. We rarely use tapioca flour on its own – it is always mixed with other gluten free flours when used in our mixes.

  • Oat Fibre

    Is an interesting ingredient but you need to ensure it is certified gluten free (just like oats). However, as a low carbohydrate alternative, it can be used with a combination of coconut flour and almond flour in low carb baking or a Keto diet. It is quite a strong taste though so we recommend to use it sparingly!

  • Coconut Flour

    Naturally gluten free but a difficult beast to bake with! It absorbs a huge amount of water as compared to other gluten free flours and frankly, simply behaves in a different way. Use sparingly and you will not have an overpowering coconut taste and can add fantastic softness to muffins and cupcakes.

  • Chestnut Flour

    Totally gluten free and is a favourite in the family household! This flour is hugely nutritious and gives baked goods such as cakes a quite dense but light sponge. If you are making cupcakes for a children’s party, or indeed a white sponge you will want to use a blend of rice, potato and tapioca flour – however if you want a cake that is a little more substantial, a traditional Victoria sponge for example, you could use chestnut flour in combination with rice flour for the perfect bake.

  • Teff Flour

    Is naturally gluten free and some call it a wonder flour as it is very nutritious. You can actually buy different types of Teff flour – white teff and brown teff. When baking with teff flour note that it can discolour your baking somewhat (even the white teff, which is sometimes called ivory teff, impacts on the colour of baking). However, the texture produced when used in baking is good (and it’s high in protein) but it does have a strong almost bitter taste. We recommend to use it sparingly.

  • Gram Flour (or Chickpea Flour)

    Is naturally gluten free but check that there is no contamination. Used liberally in Indian cooking, gram flour is fantastically versatile. It has a high protein content which lends itself to delivering a good structure in gluten free baking. It is a little too grainy for bread or even sponge but is perfect in muffins or onion bhajis or coatings of any sort.

  • Millet Flour

    Is a grey flour with a somewhat bitter odour but is naturally gluten free (though not so easy to come by). It is a hugely nutritious flour and is perfect for making home made gluten free Chinese pancakes. For other baking and cooking recipes, we tend to combine millet flour with much lighter flours such as tapioca and glutinous rice flour.

  • Cornflour

    Is naturally gluten free but be sure to check its integrity. Cornflour is great used in combination with potato and tapioca flour when making gluten free Yorkshire puddings. It has essentially no taste which makes it a safe thickening flour for sauces and casseroles too.

We make award-winning gluten free bread mixes

Are you missing the taste of fresh crusty bread? Fed up with tasteless gluten free bread from the supermarket? Look no further. Grassroots Bakery make an award-winning range of gluten free bread mixes including white, brown and 7 seed. Simply mix, prove and bake at home to create crusty bread rolls or delicious loaves for you or your gluten free family.

Cover photo by Benigno Hoyuela