Gluten-Free Flours: Teff Flour

Welcome to your guide to Teff flour, the nutrient packed sweet malty gluten-free flour. This is our eighth venture into the fascinating world of gluten-free flours.

overhead view of teff flour on a wooden board with spoons

What is teff?

Teff is an ancient grain which is inextricably linked to Ethiopia, it is the most important crop grown on native soil and forms the bulk of the country’s diet and nutrition. The teff grain is cooked up into porridge and used in savoury dishes, however the flour is mostly used for injera. This is a sour fermented flatbread widely used in place of cutlery to scoop up and hold food.

Teff is so incredibly important to Ethiopia that export of the grain itself is prohibited. Only teff products and finely milled flours are allowed to leave the country. As such teff is expensive to buy over here, as even though it’s now grown in other countries it is still a niche product. Teff is naturally gluten-free but be wary of ordering injera in your local Ethiopian restaurant as it has more than likely been cut with wheat to be made more economically.

What are the nutritional benefits of teff flour?

Teff is gluten-free which is great news for coeliacs and the gluten-intolerant but it is also high in vitamins and minerals and is somewhat of a ‘superfood’. It has excellent amino acid composition, it is high in fibre and calcium – a cup of teff contains as much as half a cup of spinach. Teff is rich in iron, high in protein (in fact it provides Ethiopians with two-thirds of their dietary protein) and boosts Vitamin C (rare for a grain). It is also full of the resistant starch which helps to regulate blood sugars.

overhead view of brown teff flour on a wooden board with a spoon

What is the difference between ivory teff flour and brown teff flour?

There are several varieties of teff including red teff but the most common flours we see are ivory and brown. They both have a similar texture but brown teff flour tastes slightly more earthy, white teff flour is milder and sweeter.

overhead view of ivory teff flour on a wooden board with spoon

How can you use teff flour?

Teff flour bakes up superbly but it can have a slightly grainy consistency. I use it more prolifically in chocolate recipes where the chocolate smoothes out the graininess somewhat. And if you use it alongside ground nuts the graininess also gets lost.

Teff flour is not a gelatinous flour so cannot mimic the qualities of gluten. It is possible to use it as the sole flour in recipes as long as you are pairing it with chocolate or ground nuts. Otherwise you are best to blend it in your bake with a more ‘sticky’ flour like sweet rice flour or tapioca.

The main reason for using teff flour though is its wonderful malty molasses-like taste. It is such a fine tasting, flour and like many alternative flours, if used in the right cake, will support and enhance the flavours rather than providing a neutral background.

What flavours pair well with teff flour?

Deep and rich flavours pair very well with earthy teff flour. Try it in a coffee cake or spice cake. Teff also gets on especially well with banana, caramel, oats, nuts, honey but especially chocolate, like in these Mini Chocolate Peppermint Bundts.

Mini Chocolate Peppermint Bundts

Teff flour is also the perfect flour to use in your Christmas Pudding as it goes so well with the richly spiced flavours.

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

Where can you buy teff flour?

There are plenty of brands to choose from where teff is concerned and Amazon will always be my go-to choice for my flours due to the choice and the subscribe and save option. Bob’s Red Mill is the most widely available brand and produces brown teff flour. You should be able to find it in health or organic shops, but it’s also stocked by Ocado.

Tobia Teff produces both brown and ivory teff flour and is a British company which are also stocked quite readily at health food and organic shops.


Yourhealthstore also supplies brown teff flour and is another good brand.

This post is not sponsored but the links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these links to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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overhead view of teff flour on a wooden board with spoons behind text saying guide to gluten free flours. Teff flour. the culture of teff, how can you use it, all the info you need.

MORE RECIPES WHICH MAKE THE MOST OF TEFF FLOUR

Sticky Toffee Baileys Pudding

The Baileys in this Sticky Toffee Baileys Pudding is the best way to reinvent the British pub dessert classic. Baileys is baked into the sponge and poured liberally into the toffee sauce for heavenly reasons. This gluten-free version also goes one step further by using teff flour instead of wheat flour adding a further complexity of flavour.

Black Sesame Peanut Butter Brownies

Gluten-free Black Sesame Peanut Butter Brownies are packed with honeyed black sesame, swirled generously with peanut butter layered through the brownie and topped with salted peanuts and black sesame.

Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle

Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}

Choc Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Choc Chip Cookie Dough Brownies {gluten-free}

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Gluten-Free Flours: Tapioca Flour

This is the fourth chapter in our series on gluten-free flours and here I shall be bringing you the delights of the incredibly useful tapioca flour.

Guide To Gluten-Free Flours: Tapioca Flour

Tapioca is a word which drums up all sorts of bad memories of school dinners. Congealed bowls of frogspawn with zero flavour anyone? It’s probable you won’t have had much use for tapioca as an adult, having been thoroughly convinced of its dire status as a youth. However, I very much sing the praises of tapioca, even the tapioca pearls which make up the fearful frogspawn, you may have met them more favourably in Boba Tea or when making a fruit pie or crumble (see this Strawberry Gooseberry Crumble). But for our purposes here I’m going to convince you of another fantastic member of the tapioca family. Tapioca flour.

Strawberry Gooseberry Crumble {gluten-free}

Tapioca Flour is also known as tapioca starch and is a light powdery flour ground from the dried starchy and tuberous root of the cassava plant which is native to South America. Tapioca flour is slightly different to cassava flour itself in that it is extracted from the starch of the cassava root whereas cassava flour is made from the entire root so is less processed. However, tapioca flour is much more accessible in the UK and is the flour I use on a day to day basis and will be focusing on here.

There is no protein in tapioca flour as it is a starch, like potato flour or cornflour. You can get the most out of tapioca flour in your baking by mixing it with whole grain or nut flours. A little goes a long way so it is used judiciously in my baking but its role is by no means insignificant. I have used in within my gluten-free flour blend in this Raspberry Matcha Cake to aid the moistness of the cake and to create a lightness in the sponge.

Raspberry Matcha Cake {gluten-free}

Along with sweet rice flour and oat flour, tapioca flour is the gluten-free flour I use most often. I have an Amazon subscribe and save order set up to deliver me 1kg every month and quite often I exhaust my supply well before my next delivery. I use a little here and a little there in my bakes and when making sauces so although it is a flour you may use often, you rarely need vast quantities of it.

ADVANTAGES OF TAPIOCA FLOUR

The main benefit of tapioca flour is its thickening properties, due to the fact it absorbs and retains a high water content. When we remove gluten from our baking then one of the crucial elements that we lack is the binding properties of the gluten. Tapioca flour (similarly to sweet rice flour) is one of the ways we can mimic this binding and create bounce in our bakes. It saves our cakes from being a dry crumbly disaster.

Like cornflour, another gluten-free starch, tapioca flour is excellent in thickening sauces and gives a lovely velvety texture. Its slightly sweet flavour is a little more pronounced and gives more of a sticky bind than cornflour. In this Piccalilli recipe I use both cornflour and tapioca flour to thicken just to lessen the flavour of the tapioca but I do like the extra stickiness it gives the sauce.

Piccalilli is a must-have addition for any festive table. A beautiful trio of purple cauliflower, romescu and white cauliflower preserved with autumn vegetables in delicious curried spices.

Since tapioca is completely grain-free and made up of nearly all carbohydrates it is a useful flour for those following specialised diets like paleo. I use tapioca flour in this Happiness Bread along with the more dehydrating coconut flour as it’s perfect when I’m trying to cut down on my grains and focus on healthier breakfasts.

Happiness Bread is a soft savoury gluten-free and paleo bread, perfect for kick-starting your day, nay your year.

Tapioca flour, due to its light texture, does promote springiness in your bakes. It also helps the browning of your baked goods and encouraging crusts to crisp, hence it is very useful when making pizza bases or pastry.

One of the most renowned recipes which uniquely relies upon tapioca flour alone is for Brazilian Cheese Bread or Pão de Queijo which is inhumanly addictive. When I was testing the recipe for my next post (spoiler!!) I greedily ate whole batches in one sitting. The bread is crisp and golden on the outside and deliciously chewy on the inside thanks to the tapioca flour and really highlights all the best qualities of the flour.

Brazilian Cheese Rolls {Pão de Queijo}

WHERE TO BUY TAPIOCA FLOUR

Guide To Gluten-Free Flours: Tapioca Flour

It’s not difficult to get hold of tapioca flour in the UK. You can often find 100g pots of Doves Farm Tapioca Flour in the supermarket but it’s quite costly and doesn’t give you very much. You can find more varied brands in health food shops in bags of about 500g. The cost depends entirely on the brand you purchase. My preferred brand is Bob’s Red Mill GF Tapioca Flour 500 g (Pack of 2) as it’s certifiably gluten-free and I order it through Amazon.

The links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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Tapioca Flour

OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES INCLUDE…

REMEMBER TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE FROM THE LARDER NEWSLETTER FOR EXCLUSIVE RECIPES, UPDATES AND LOADS OF GLUTEN-FREE LINKS PLUS RECEIVE ALL THE LATEST RECIPES DELIVERED INTO YOUR INBOX!

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