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Article: Explore a New World: Variety Flours

Baking & Snack
Author: Donna Berry, Sosland Publishing

Tapioca, another popular ingredient for making ¬gluten-free baked foods, is extracted from cassava roots. One company explored this application further. “We offer a premium cassava flour,” said Carter Foss, Technical Sales Director, American Key Food Products, Closter, NJ. “For ¬gluten-free baking, it is a better alternative to tapioca starch, the pure starch derivative from cassava roots. This ingredient is a bona fide flour.”

Cassava flour is composed of tapioca starch, some of which is gelatinized, and about 7% dietary fiber. “This composition provides good crumb structure, excellent crust and moistness in baked products,” Mr. Foss said. Premium cassava flour is similar to conventional white flour in terms of particle size distribution and long shelf life, and is predominantly carbohydrate in composition, unlike white flour that also contains protein.

“This flour have a bland to neutral flavor profile,” Mr. Foss said. “When used in baking, it functions similarly to cake flour, forming a thick batter rather than a dough. It needs to be complemented by other flours, starches, gums or other baking aids to achieve desired quality in bread-type applications.”

Coconut flour has emerged as a flavorful option for gluten-free baking because of its high fiber and low digestible carbohydrates. It also is a source of protein.

“Coconut flour has excellent water-absorption properties, which helps keep baked goods moist,” Mr. Foss said. “It has a strong coconut flavor and aroma profile. Some bakers are able to formulate recipes with coconut flour as the dominant flour. Most, however, will blend it with other flours and starches”