Flour is the main ingredient in bread; one of the most commonly used ingredients in most cultures and popular right across the world.
It is a powder created by grinding raw grains, seeds, nuts, roots or beans and can be used to make a variety of different foods as well as bread, including pastries and biscuits.
White flour, otherwise known as plain flour, is the most commonly used flour and is made from ground wheat.
White flour is highly refined. Made from just the endosperm of the grain, it doesn’t contain any of the nutrients which are contained in the grain’s germ and bran.
There are a number of reasons why someone may be following a gluten free diet.
They may have coeliac disease, which is where your immune system attacks and damages your gut when you eat food containing gluten. If you do eat gluten as a coeliac, you could become severely ill.
The symptoms of this include stomach ache, bloating and diarrhoea. Coeliac disease may cause damage to the intestine and prevent the body from absorbing nutrients. Therefore the best way to manage coeliac disease is with a gluten free diet.
Coeliac disease is a very severe form of gluten intolerance. But there are other less severe reasons why you may have an adverse reaction to gluten, including bloating and discomfort, which is unlikely to cause any long term damage.
If you choose to follow a gluten free diet, you must ensure that you eat a balanced diet and get all of the nutrients that your body needs through alternatives.
Unfortunately, traditional plain white flour often contains gluten, which is a protein contained in the grains barley, wheat and rye.
However, there are plenty of flour alternatives which means that if you’re following a gluten free diet, you don’t need to go without.
Doves Farm Gluten & Wheat Free Plain White Flour is a very close alternative to white wheat flour and contains no gluten, wheat, milk, peanut, egg or soya. This means that not only is this free from flour suitable for a gluten free diet, it’s also great for vegans.
Holland & Barrett Brown Rice Flour is gluten free and a great flour alternative for baking.
It can be used to make puddings and biscuits and can be used to thicken sauces for both sweet and savoury dishes.
Brown rice flour is made from ground wholegrain brown rice and has a slightly nutty flavour.
This flour alternative is made from the starch extracted from potatoes. Holland & Barrett Potato Starch is a gluten free flour which can be used in bread, sponge cakes and to bind ingredients together to make meatballs.
This nutritious power flour is made from dried coconut flesh. Coconut milk is squeezed out of the flesh, before the flesh is dried at a low temperature and ground to make this completely wheat free flour.
The Groovy Food Company Organic Coconut Flour is packaged in a convenient resealable pouch so it can be kept fresh.
It is rich in fibre and protein and therefore great for a variety of recipes including breads, cakes and muffins. It is perfect for those following a gluten or grain free diet.
You may be looking for flour substitutes which have more nutritional value than plain white flour.
Spelt flour is made from an ancient grain which is related to, and looks like, wheat. Spelt is a wholegrain which means that the endosperm, bran and germ are all included and so none of the nutrients are lost. The flour contains more fibre and protein than regular wheat flour and so it is a great alternative.
Doves Farm Wholemeal Spelt Flour is free from milk, peanut, egg and soya and is great for baking delicious wholemeal bread.
Although this Doves Farm flour isn’t suitable for a gluten free diet, spelt flour is a great plain flour alternative for Kosher, vegetarian and vegan diets.