Almond flour is not only delicious and satisfying but also easy to use in your baking. It has a rich nutritional profile that consists of protein, fiber, potassium, vitamins, and healthy minerals. Almond flour is also a great option for people with gluten intolerance.
How much almond flour do I substitute for regular flour? In most baking recipes, you can use almond flour as a regular flour substitute. The first step is to get the rations right. Almond flour is moist and doesn’t have the same binding qualities as regular flour. That’s why most recipes will do well if you substitute the ratio of 1:1. For example, if the recipe calls for three cups of wheat flour you should use the same amount of almond flour. As you measure the flour, don’t pack it down.
Almond flour is high in fat, so you don’t need too much butter as you would use in regular flour. The only downside is that it lacks the binding power, so you need eggs in most baking recipes.
Aim for stiff batter by adding the flour until you find your desired texture. To reduce the total amount of flour used in baking, you should combine almond flour with other flour.
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- Dutch oven
- Large mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Bread thermometer (fancy or a budget one)
- Scoring lame
Extra (nice to have):
- Kitchen scale
- Dough scraper and bowl scraper (yes, they are different)
- Cooling rack
- Baking stone (you don’t need a dutch oven if you use this)
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When substituting gluten-free flour for regular flour, you need a flour conversion chart. It becomes easy to replace one type of flour with another.
Since almond flour carries more moisture, you may have to add more on your baking recipe than the regular flour. While there’s no standard rate for substitution, you should pay close attention to what works in your recipe. If the ratio of 1:1 doesn’t work, you can try 1:2 ratios.
The basic guideline is that a cup of regular flour is equivalent to 1 cup of almond flour. This is only an approximation as most flours have different properties. Remember, regular flour gives the structure of the bake. It creates an elastic framework that helps to trap the air.
In almost every recipe, you have to do some experimentation. The right conversion will be determined by factors such as weight, texture, and fat content.
You can also add more almond flour to stiffen the batter. Once you know the conversion ratio that works for you, you don’t have to do any guesswork.
Before you settle for a specific ratio, you may want to do a trial run. Keep in mind that almond flour doesn’t have the protein needed for binding flour.
When you use regular flour, long strands of flour form due to the presence of gluten. Depending on how you work on ratios, you might end up with dry bread which could be downright inedible.
Why substitute regular flour with almond flour
Most wheat products contain gluten, a protein commonly found in wheat, barley, rye, and other cereal crops. Unfortunately, some people don’t have the necessary enzymes to digest almonds.
This is where gluten intolerance comes in. Sometimes, healthy individuals can get to a point where their digestive system cannot keep up with the demand.
This results in undigested food particles that can irritate the gut lining leading to painful cramping, bloating, and diarrhea.
Sometimes, the body produces antibodies and has problems identifying healthy tissues with foreign gluten. It ends up attacking itself causing autoimmune diseases like psoriasis, arthritis, and lupus.
Why almond flour is a better substitute than most flours
Almond flour is a rich source of vitamin E which acts as an antioxidant in the body. It prevents damage from free radicals that cause premature aging, cancer, and heart disease.
Another important nutrient is magnesium, a mineral that helps to reduce blood pressure and controls blood sugar. When you use almond flour, you can improve insulin function which is beneficial to patients with type-2 diabetes.
Almond flour can also help patients with celiac disease. Because it’s gluten-free, it protects the lining of the stomach to prevent symptoms such as bloating, tiredness, skin rashes, and more.
Almond flour can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Dozens of studies suggest that if you eat bread made from almonds you can balance your cholesterol levels.
For a modern baker, ground flour is cheaper than other gluten-free fours. You can prepare yours at home by grinding some almonds using a food processor.
But before you ground them, you should dry them to remove the excess moisture. If you want a moist, tender mixture you should buy flour made from blanched almonds.
The particles are finer in size because the skin is already removed. Almond flour is more comparable to wheat flour and is suitable for fast bread and delicate cakes. Unlike other gluten-free flours that distract flavor, almond gives a mild, rounded flavor.
Other adjustments in the recipe when using almond flour
When baking your bread with almond flour as the substitute to regular flour, you need to adjust some variables. You have to take into account the moistness, absence of gluten, and extra density.
To replicate the sticky properties of gluten, you should consider adding other ingredients like eggs, dates, or honey. The proteins in the eggs coagulate to form a solid mass when heated.
That’s why when you mix all the ingredients with water you’ll see a gel-like consistency. Make sure you come up with a technique that allows for gluten formation.
Be realistic about the changes to the texture and flavor. It’s hard to produce light, fluffy bread without chemical raising agents or egg whites foam.
Tips to keep in mind before you use almond flour
Almond flour is a great alternative to all-purpose flour. It can be used in quick bread, cakes, cookies, and pancakes. You may want to avoid it when making yeast bread.
If you can’t balance the extra moisture in the flour, you should add more almond flour. Since almond flour is heavier in nature, you should not over pack the measuring cup.
Besides that, it burns out too quickly so you have to regulate the baking temperature. Any leftover flours should be kept in an airtight container.
If you’re using packets, make sure they are well-sealed to prevent air from getting in. And once you’re done baking bread, make sure you leave some breathing room to prevent mold buildup.
Everyone should know by now that white flours aren’t particularly good for people with gluten intolerance. But since most recipes call for regular flours, you should learn which substitution works the best.
If you suffer from wheat allergies, avoid using regular wheat flour. Instead, use almond flour as it can successfully replace most flour recipes. Make sure you keep almond flour fresh to prevent it from becoming rancid in storage.