8 Kinds of Flour You Want To Keep In Your Pantry

Nicole Austin

Wondering what kind of flour to buy and why? These are the exact kinds of flour we like to keep in our pantries at all times.

When we think of flour, we usually think of traditional bleached white all-purpose flour - and yes, it’s on our list of the flours we always keep on hand.

That said, many people don't realize there are multiple types of flour that are incredibly handy to keep on hand if you like to experiment in the kitchen.

Having several types of flour on hand as a home cook frees you up to make so many more styles of dishes and baked goods than you can even imagine.

In our collective experience, we've found that these flours are going to be the key to just about any recipe you want to unlock so they're worth having around.

White Kitchen with White Tile Backsplash

Semolina Flour

What Is Semolina Flour?

Semolina is a high-gluten, coarse, yellow flour that is produced from ground durum wheat.

How Do You Store Semolina Flour?

Storing semolina flour in a cool, dark place will ensure its shelf life for up to a year. In order to prolong the storage life of your semolina flour, you can keep it in the fridge or freezer. As always, make sure the package is well sealed.

How Do You Use Semolina Flour?

Semolina is most commonly used to make couscous, semolina pasta, sweet semolina pudding, and various types of bread.

Why We Love Semolina Flour

Semolina’s sweet, nutty flavor profile makes it a delicious and unique base for recipes. While it is high gluten, it is also rich in protein, minerals, and B-vitamins.

The fiber content of semolina keeps you feeling full longer and, as part of a healthy diet, can help keep bowels regular. A sprinkle of semolina can help prevent food from sticking to a dish and add a little crunch.

Fun fact: semolina flour has less calories and more protein, fiber, and potassium than white rice.

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Chickpea Flour

What Is Chickpea Flour?

Chickpea flour is a gluten-free flour that is a traditional staple in Indian cuisine and can be used as an alternative to wheat flour.

Chickpea flour is made from ground-up chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, and is also called gram flour or besan.

How Do You Store Chickpea Flour?

Chickpea flour can be stored in an airtight container in a pantry for up to six months, and longer if refrigerated. In the freezer, it can last up to two years.

How Do You Use Chickpea Flour?

Chickpea flour is often used as a binding ingredient in fritters and veggie burgers, a thickening agent in soups and sauces, or as a batter, whether for deep-frying foods or in flatbreads and pancakes. Try using it in our easy falafel recipe

Why We Love Chickpea Flour

Chickpea flour maintains a neutral flavor that lends itself to be influenced by herbs, spices, fats, and seasonings. It can be combined with other gluten-free flours to create just about anything!

You can make it yourself easily and inexpensively from the comfort of your home by grounding dried chickpeas in a high-speed blender.

File 2 - Air Fryer Falafel

Coconut Flour

What Is Coconut Flour?

Coconut flour is a by-product of coconut milk production. It is made from dried, ground coconut meat. It is commonly used as a substitute for wheat flour in gluten-free baking.

How Do You Store Coconut Flour?

Like its counterparts, coconut flour does best stored away from direct sunlight and in a cool, dry, dark place.

The nut oils in coconut flour mean that it can become rancid if you store it without care - place this flour in an airtight container and refrigerate.

Coconut flour that has gone by will be very clumpy (beyond normal small clumps), smell odd, and taste slightly bitter.

How Do You Use Coconut Flour?

Coconut flour is very absorbent, so a small amount goes a long way in baking- this also means that you will need to increase the amount of liquid in a recipe, so be mindful.

The slight naturally sweet flavor of coconut flour means that your desserts and breakfasts will have an extra kick, meaning you can cut back on sugar or replace it with other natural sweeteners without a negative effect.

Coconut flour is great for no-bake recipes since it’s both delicious and safe when raw. We also love it to make coconut flour cookies.

Why We Love Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is an anti-inflammatory and can be used to create delicious dishes that are easy on the stomach and the system.

Gluten-free and sweet, this flour adds body and flavor without taxing your body.

Coconut Flour Cookies Photo

Almond Flour

What Is Almond Flour?

Almond flour is made from blanched, peeled almonds that have had their skins removed. It is not the same as almond meal, which is made from ground, unpeeled almonds that still have their skin.

How Do You Store Almond Flour?

Almond flour should be stored in a fridge, freezer, or cool pantry away from direct sunlight. An unopened bag is good for 2-4 months in a pantry, 6-12 months in a fridge, and even longer in a freezer.

How Do You Use Almond Flour?

Almond flour is excellent at making baked goods tender and moist, largely due to a higher fat content. This makes it ideal for cookies, cakes, quick breads, and other dense recipes

Almond flour may require more egg to bind the recipe, but can generally be substituted 1:1 for wheat flour in most recipes.

Our incredibly popular gluten free lemon crinkle cookies are made with almond flour and they're a crowd pleaser - even among those who tolerate eating gluten.

Why We Love Almond Flour

Almond flour is lower in carbs, higher in protein, and more nutrient-dense than most other flours, and because of this, it is excellent for those who are trying to be conscious of their weight.

It also contains less phytic acid, which means that eating foods that contain almond flour will deliver more nutrients.

Gluten Free Lemon Crinkle Cookies Recipe Pic

All-Purpose Flour

What Is All-Purpose Flour?

All-purpose flour is a medium-gluten flour that, living up to its name, is versatile and suitable for baking just about anything.

Whether you wish to make pizza dough, pie crusts, cake, or bread, you can use all-purpose flour with excellent results.

How Do You Store All-Purpose Flour

As with all flours, keeping all-purpose flour cool is going to keep it fresh. Airtight containers are best, particularly as flours will attract insects that will ruin your stash. Refined flour is good for about twelve months, depending on storage techniques.

How Do You Use All-Purpose Flour?

Just about any way you want - yes, really. All-purpose flour is truly that.

Although you can have better success for certain recipes using specific flours, all-purpose flour is a clear winner to keep in your pantry unless you have a gluten sensitivity or allergy.

Why We Love All-Purpose Flour

All-purpose flour is easy to purchase, available at just about any store that stocks pantry staples. It is inexpensive, versatile, and almost all recipes account for this type of flour to be used.

If you buy in bulk and you do any amount of baking or cooking, you’re probably going to get your money’s worth with this flour.

Baking with Kids Pic

Self-Rising Flour

What Is Self-Rising Flour?

Self-rising flour is flour that already has baking powder and salt added. This flour either comes pre-packaged from the factory or is made at home in advance to save time later.

How Do You Store Self-Rising Flour?

Self-rising flour should be stored the same as all-purpose flour, as it is generally all-purpose flour with a couple of added ingredients.

It is especially important to keep it from becoming moist or humid, as it contains other ingredients that could clump or change the consistency.

How Do You Use Self-Rising Flour?

Self-rising flour should be used when you are looking for even, consistent texture. It is a staple in Southern recipes, such as cornbread and buttermilk biscuits, and is excellent for pancakes, scones, cupcakes, and muffins.

Try replacing all-purpose flour and baking powder with self-rising flour in popular recipes such as our fluffy buttermilk biscuit recipe.

Why We Love Self-Rising Flour

Gluten-free all-purpose flour is the easiest way to achieve flour replacement for traditional recipes that you’d like to make gluten-free. Often pre-mixed with additives that replicate traditional gluten in recipes, gluten-free all-purpose flour is a staple for gluten-free baking and requires no guesswork.

Leavening agents such as salt and baking powder help give your recipes a rise without using yeast.

When making it from home, you can decide which type of salt or baking powder you’d like to use, giving your flour a customized touch. I prefer aluminum free baking powder.

Gluten Free Biscuits Picture

Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour

What Is Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour?

Gluten-free all-purpose flour is the easiest way to achieve flour replacement for traditional recipes that you’d like to make gluten-free.

Often pre-mixed with additives that replicate traditional gluten in recipes, gluten-free all-purpose flour is a staple for gluten-free baking and requires no guesswork.

How Do You Store Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour?

Gluten-free flours tend to spoil more quickly, and fare best stored in the fridge or freezer.

Plastic, resealable containers that gluten-free flour tends to come in makes a better storage solution than the typical paper bag, but it isn’t always airtight.

Pressing the air out of the container once it is mostly sealed will make the most of the resealable bag’s purpose.

How Do You Use Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour?

Gluten is a structural protein, so if you do not have 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour mixture, you will need to add xanthan gum or guar gum.

Replacing the flour alone, if it is not 1:1 (aka measure for measure) and ready to go, will not yield the results you’re looking to achieve.

To keep it simple, purchasing a pre-mixed bag of flour will save you the time, money, and guesswork.

If you miss and love the flavor of banana bread and want to try a gluten free remake of an old favorite, our gluten free banana bread bars recipe may just become your new favorite treat.

Gluten-free crepes are another delicious treat that are very versatile for all!

Why We Love Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour

Gluten-free all-purpose flour is an easy way to take any recipe you love and enjoy and make it delicious and available for people with sensitive digestion or allergies to gluten.

People who struggle with gluten intolerance or allergies often have limited diets which can impact their enjoyment in food and everyday life.

Replacing all-purpose flour with 1:1 gluten-free flour can make it easier for both novice and expert gluten-free bakers to create and enjoy delicious foods that are safe for the whole family.

Gluten Free Banana Bread Bars Pic

Cake Flour

What Is Cake Flour?

Cake flour is a finely-milled flour that is usually bleached. The texture is soft and the content is low-protein, which creates a fluffy, tall output in recipes.

How Do You Store Cake Flour?

Cake flour is good for up to a year if store in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry place. Sunlight can cause oxidation or heat increases and spoil your flour sooner.

How Do You Use Cake Flour?

Unsurprisingly, cake flour is usually used to bake delicious and savory cakes, as the composition lends itself to soft and tender crumbs.

Cake flour is great for more than just cakes- try in recipes with a tender, soft texture such as brownies, cupcakes, scones, and quick breads.

Light and fluffy pastries and desserts are also an excellent use of cake flour.

My favorite light and fluffy cake takes on a new twist with this delicious pineapple angel food cake recipe thanks to the addition of cake flour.

Why We Love Cake Flour

For soft, pillowy and delicious recipes, cake flour is excellent. The tender texture is a favorite and noticeably different from all-purpose flour for recipes that you want light and fluffy.

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Nicole is a self-published author of fiction novels, and a lover of food and spending time in the kitchen with her six children. She lives in coastal Maine where she loves exploring new recipes especially those that can save time, money and wow a crowd.

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