Perhaps the most common frustration among GF bakers and confectionary artists has to be the inability to recreate the properties of plain old flour. Muffins made with coconut and rice flour seem to lack the ability to rise, and often have a somewhat sandy consistency to them. If you haven’t mastered the ability to make typical GF flours work for you, almond flour may be your saving grace.
The cheapest and most reliable place to purchase almond flour from (that I have found) is www.jkgourmet.ca. A five-pound bag costs $45 and lasts for about a month if you are frequently baking. The larger the quantity you purchase, the more of a discount you will receive. Buying the 25-pound bag will cost you $187.50, as compared to buying five, five-pound bags which will cost you $225. It’s worth it to purchase this flour in larger quantities, especially when you start to use it in every aspect of baking.
People on a gluten-free diet might be used to eating purchased gluten-free baking that tastes like sawdust and is as hard as rocks; almond flour provides a reason to bake at home instead. The first difference with using almond flour is its even, fluffy consistency, paired with a moist end product. The flour also has a slight nutty taste to it and works well with pancakes, to muffins to cookies.
An almond flour muffin basically contains a small handful of ground almonds. You can take pride in eating muffins that will act as protein fillers instead of empty carbs. Other substitutes that are helpful when baking with almond flour include using coconut oil (as a fat substitute) and substituting sugar for agave syrup or honey.
Be forewarned that you cannot substitute almond flour into recipes like you would regular flour due to its density. I have tried this and the muffins end up falling, they are still very delicious, however they do not look overly appealing especially if you are planning to serve them to guests.
A great recipe to begin with:
1/2 cup honey (or agave syrup)
1/4 cup melted butter (or coconut oil)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp grated lemon rind
1 Tbsp poppyseeds
3 cups almond flour
Preheat oven to 325.
Combine all dry ingredients. Make a well in the center to add in wet ingredients and stir just enough to mix. Line a muffin tin with muffin papers, and fill 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.
By Lauren Gagatek