If you’re following a gluten-free diet, one of the challenges you might be facing is gluten-free baking. Many of the recipes on the web call for all-purpose flour or cake flour for different types of baked goods. Learning to bake with almond flour can help you overcome the obstacle of recreating many of your favorite foods so that they’re gluten-free friendly.
Baking gluten-free foods can actually be a great way to add more dimension and flavor to your foods through the use of almond flour. The use of almond flour, or almond meal, adds a layer of nutty flavor and aroma to your baked goods that can be very complementary, depending on what you’re making.
Take a loaf of banana nut bread, for example. Almond flour can help emphasize the nuttiness of the bread and pairs beautifully with ripe bananas.
The following are some helpful tips you can incorporate when you’re using almond flour to make gluten-free baked goods so that they come out perfectly every time:
Choose the right almond variety
Almond flour is actually sold as either almond flour or almond meal. While the two are often used interchangeably, there is a slight difference between the two when it comes to texture. Almond flour tends to be ground into a finer consistency, while almond meal is a tad coarser and often contains bits and pieces of the almond skin.
If you’re making pastries, almond flour is probably the better choice. If you’re making baked goods like breads or cookies, the almond meal will do just fine.
Refrigerate or freeze almond flour
Since almond flour has a higher content of oil than other flours, it’s more prone to oxidizing and going bad sooner. To counteract this issue, it’s best to refrigerate or freeze almond flour.
Almond flour can be stored in the fridge for six months while freezing the flour will help it stay fresh up to 12 months.
Use room temperature ingredients
Unless a recipe specifies otherwise, it’s usually best to use room temperature ingredients when you’re baking with almond flour. If your ingredients are cold from the fridge, there’s a greater chance your batter will become clumpy.
Adjust the baking temperature
If you’re baking a gluten-free recipe, then most of the time it’s fine to follow the suggested baking temperature and time. If you’re adapting a recipe to be gluten-free and subbing in almond flour, it’s best to lower the baking temperature by 25 degrees and keep an eye on the baked good.
Foods made with almond flour tend to brown faster in the oven, so you’ll want to keep a watchful eye on the food as it bakes. If the top and sides of your baked good are browning too quickly, you can cover the baked good with a sheet of aluminum foil.
Weigh your flour
Almond flour cannot always be subbed for other flours, cup for cup. Almond flour tends to be lighter in weight than, say, wheat flour. Therefore, it’s important to use recipes that provide the flour content in ounces or grams rather than just cups or tablespoons to make a proper substitution.
Let the baked goods cool
Baking with almond flour will yield baked goods that are much more delicate and tender than baked goods made with other flours. That’s why it’s very important to let baked goods made with almond flour properly cool before cutting them or enjoying them.
If you don’t wait for them to properly cool, you run the risk of destroying the delicate structure of your baked good or you might end up feeling like the baked good is too soft or soggy.
Gluten-Free Recipes to Try
Try your hand baking gluten-free with almond flour by trying some of our favorite recipes: