substitute for flour in bread

Flour plays a fundamental role in bread-making, contributing to its structure, texture, and overall quality. It serves as the primary ingredient that provides the necessary gluten to create the desired dough elasticity and rise during baking. However, there are instances where substituting flour in bread recipes becomes necessary, either due to dietary preferences, allergies, or specific health reasons.

Purpose of Flour in Bread:

  • Gluten Formation: Flour contains proteins that form gluten when mixed with water, giving bread its structure and chewiness.
  • Texture and Volume: Flour’s proteins and starches help trap gases produced by yeast, causing the dough to rise and resulting in a light and airy texture.
  • Binding Agent: Flour binds the ingredients together, preventing the bread from crumbling and maintaining its shape.
  • Moisture Retention: Flour retains moisture, contributing to the bread’s softness and preventing it from becoming dry.
  • Flavor and Aroma: Flour’s carbohydrates break down during fermentation, producing flavorful compounds that contribute to the bread’s taste and aroma.

Why Replace Flour in Bread:

  • Gluten-Free Diet: Individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity need alternatives to traditional wheat flour.
  • Low-Carb Lifestyle: Those following a low-carbohydrate diet may seek flour substitutes with fewer carbs.
  • Grain-Free Preferences: Some people avoid grains for various health or dietary reasons.
  • Paleo Diet: The paleo diet excludes grains, making flour alternatives essential for bread recipes.
  • Allergies: Allergies to wheat or gluten require non-traditional flours for bread-making.

Substitute: Almond Flour

Almond flour is a popular gluten-free alternative with a subtly nutty flavor.

Nutrient Amount per 1/4 cup
Calories 160
Total Fats 14g
Carbohydrates 6g
Proteins 6g

How to Make: Almond flour is readily available, but you can also grind blanched almonds into a fine powder.

Substitute: Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is high in fiber and imparts a mild coconut flavor.

Nutrient Amount per 1/4 cup
Calories 60
Total Fats 2g
Carbohydrates 19g
Proteins 6g

How to Make: Coconut flour is derived from ground dried coconut meat.

Substitute: Cassava Flour

Cassava flour is a starchy alternative that can mimic wheat flour’s texture.

Nutrient Amount per 1/4 cup
Calories 110
Total Fats 0g
Carbohydrates 27g
Proteins 0g

How to Make: Cassava flour is produced by grinding the root of the cassava plant.

Substitute: Oat Flour

Oat flour is a fiber-rich option with a mild taste.

Nutrient Amount per 1/4 cup
Calories 120
Total Fats 2.5g
Carbohydrates 22g
Proteins 4g

How to Make: Oat flour can be made by grinding rolled oats.

Substitute: Chickpea Flour

Chickpea flour, also known as besan, is rich in protein and adds a nutty flavor.

Nutrient Amount per 1/4 cup
Calories 100
Total Fats 3.5g
Carbohydrates 13g
Proteins 5g

How to Make: Chickpea flour is made from ground dried chickpeas.

Nutritional Facts Summary Table:

Nutrient Calories Total Fats Carbohydrates Proteins Source Works Best In
Almond Flour 160 14g 6g 6g Nuts Various baked goods
Coconut Flour 60 2g 19g 6g Coconut Gluten-free recipes
Cassava Flour 110 0g 27g 0g Root vegetable Texture mimicking
Oat Flour 120 2.5g 22g 4g Grains Various baked goods
Chickpea Flour 100 3.5g 13g 5g Legumes Flatbreads, pancakes


  • Can I substitute almond flour for all-purpose flour in a 1:1 ratio? Almond flour has different properties, so it’s best to follow recipes tailored for almond flour.
  • Is coconut flour more absorbent than other flours? Yes, coconut flour absorbs more liquid, so recipes may require adjustments.
  • Can I use cassava flour for gluten-free bread? Yes, cassava flour can be used to make gluten-free bread with proper adjustments.
  • Can I replace flour with oats in any bread recipe? Oat flour can be a suitable substitute, but you may need to modify the recipe slightly.


While flour is a staple in bread-making, various alternatives offer the opportunity to accommodate different dietary needs or preferences. Whether you choose almond flour, coconut flour, cassava flour, oat flour, or chickpea flour, each substitute provides a unique flavor and texture, allowing you to enjoy freshly baked bread without compromising your dietary goals.

Ji Eun Kim

Written by Ji Eun Kim

Don't listen to anyone who says you can't be vegan and do well in sports and fitness. Vegans can do great, look good, and feel awesome!

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