Flour is an essential ingredient in many recipes. It is mainly used for baking and other cooking purposes such as thickening the broth. Whether it’s cakes, cookies, pastry, or other desserts, there are as many uses for flour as there are different types.
Some types of flour are manufactured to suit the user’s diet, pastry requirements as well as the recipe being followed.
They range from white, brown, processed to whole-grain flour.
Contrary to most people’s thoughts, flour can be made from other grains and nuts besides wheat. Among them are almonds, a nut that results in healthy and highly nutritious flour.
You may be wondering if there’s any difference between the common all-purpose flour and almond flour. Many factors make the two types of flour unique and different from each other.
Most people also wonder if these types of flours can be used interchangeably or in each other’s place. To clear such doubts, it’s important to understand their differences highlighted later in this context. These give the almond flour and all-purpose flour varying structures that make it hard to make similar meals when used.
This is a type of nut flour that’s gluten-free. It is manufactured by grinding blanched almonds. Most bakers use it for baking pastries such as cake, bread, and others.
It is especially important for people who prefer low-carb meals, hence ideal as a wheat flour substitute.
The difference between almond flour and white wheat flour is visible through the dough’s reaction.
When using this flour type, you’ll be required to use other ingredients such as eggs, protein powder, and others for the absorption of liquid.
The addition of spices is also recommended to enhance its taste. Almond flour can be used to coat vegetables, fish, chicken, and meatballs to form a crunchy layer.
The nutritional benefits of this type of flour are high. It contains fiber, protein, fats, and carbohydrates in proportions of 11 grams, 19 grams, 54 grams, and 4.3 grams respectively. The flour also contains 610 kcal.
In addition to its health benefits, almond flour also gives you magnesium and vitamin E.
How to Make Almond Flour at Home
You don’t have to buy this flour from the stores if you have almonds and a blender or grinder.
The process takes approximately 5 minutes. This way, you are guaranteed to save money and also ensure quality because you’ll be in charge of the ingredients that go into the blender.
Here is a step by step procedure for homemade almond flour:
- Measure a bowl of blanched almonds and put them into your blender.
- Blitz the gadget in succession until the nuts get powdered. Be keen not to exceed the time spent blitzing the blender to avoid turning the almond powder into butter.
- The recommended time for the process is between 5 to 10 seconds on the first round. Shake the contents inside the blender before the next round.
- After that, you can transfer the flour to other containers and seal it tightly for your next use.
How Do I Use This Flour?
There are many recipes to guide you on the usage of almond flour. Besides baking and using it for other pastries, you can also make a paste and coat vegetables, chicken, and fish with it for a crunchy crust.
Other recipes include:
- Gluten-free lemon cakes
- Chocolate chip cookies (gluten-free).
- Vegan waffles (gluten-free).
This flour is manufactured using wheat grains whose husks have been removed. It is made from a combination of soft and hard wheat.
All-purpose flour is also referred to as refined flour due to its soft texture. It is highly recommended for use in baking because it enhances the pastry appearance and gives them a smooth taste. You can use this type of flour to make cakes, pizza, cookies, and bread among others.
Its protein content ranges between 12% and 14%. This explains the strength of its dough, as well as its elastic structure. There are also high gluten and yeast levels present in this flour.
The question of the nutritional benefits of this flour is highly debatable. Due to the removal of the grain’s husk, the flour is manufactured using the white part of the wheat which is starchy, leading to a considerable loss of important nutrients.
The storage guidelines advise on the storage of this flour in cool and dry places away from direct sunlight. This enables the flour to breathe and avoid dampness that can result in the growth of insects within the storage containers or bags.
How Can I Use This Flour?
All-purpose flour is suitable for all kinds of traditional baking and in some cooking recipes.
Among them are:
- Pastries and pancakes
- Pie crusts and Pizzas
Baking cakes with this flour may give you different outcomes as compared to baking using cake flour. The all-purpose flour gives you a dough that’s less tender and lighter than that of flours made specifically for cake-baking.
Bread manufactured using all-purpose flour is softer than those made with other types of flour.
No matter what flour you choose, it is always better to sift it first. You can check our flour sifter reviews for 2022 and pick the one that suits your needs.
Comparing Almond Flour to All-Purpose Flour
After highlighting their individual characteristics, it’s now easier to note their differences and suitable uses.
First, almond flour is gluten-free while all-purpose flour has gluten. Due to this and other factors such as texture and nutritional benefits, the two flour types cannot be substituted.
There are other options for substituting either all-purpose or almond flour.
Substitutes for All-Purpose Flour and Almond Flour
Since almond flour is unsuitable as a substitute for all-purpose flour, here are alternatives to choose from:
All-Purpose Flour Substitutes
This type of flour is gluten-free and a suitable substitute for all-purpose flour. It has a sweet flavor and is rich in fiber.
Oat flour is derived from oat groats and it can be used in making pancakes, bread, and other types of pastry.
It comes in different forms and textures. You can use it medium, light, dark, white, or whole, depending on the volume of bran that was used to make it
As it gets darker, the flour becomes heavier and exhibits more whole-rye flavors.
It can be mixed with white wheat flour to obtain a better texture for baking.
This flour is rich in fiber and vitamins. It exhibits a distinctive nutty flavor and is healthy and highly nutritious.
To create a balance in the dough’s texture, you can mix buckwheat flour with another flour type in the ratio of 1:1.
White Whole Wheat Flour
If you wish to substitute your all-purpose flour and still maintain its nutritional value, white whole wheat flour is the way to go.
This flour has many common characteristics that make it a suitable option. When baking, you can use it in the ratio of 1:2 with the all-purpose flour.
Almond Flour Substitutes
Despite having more fats, wheat flour can be used in the place of almond flour. For baking, you can replace every portion of almond flour with a portion of wheat flour.
Adding eggs to the mixture may not be necessary.
This is the most suitable substitute for almond flour, however, it is not be replaced in the same ratio. Instead, you can use ⅓ cup of coconut flour for every cup of almond flour.
You don’t have to adjust the temperature indicated in the recipe as both types of flour can be baked under the same heat range with the stated ratio.
There are multiple ways you can use flour, whereby, different types of flour serve different purposes. They also vary in nutritional content. You should go with the type that suits your nutritional requirements and recipe.