Today, I hosted a Google+ Hangout on How To Bake With Coconut Flour. My guests were Bob’s Red Mill‘s recipe specialist, Sarah House, and a group of talented food bloggers, Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food, Cara from Cara’s Cravings , Jane from The Heritage Cook, Lexie from Lexie’s Kitchen, and Kelly from The Spunky Coconut.
We asked and answered lots of questions, and I wanted to summarize some of the tips we shared and learned from the session.
For all the details, watch the video of our hangout.
- Coconut flour is a gluten-free/grain-free flour and has lots of fiber, protein and iron (coconut flour has 60% fiber; 56% of that is insoluble fiber; 40% protein).
- Coconut flour attracts a lot of water and fat which will keep your gluten-free baked goods moist for a lot longer (gluten-free baked goods have a tendency to dry out very quickly).
- Coconut flour recipes typically call for a lot of eggs; however, if you’re egg-free, try the following egg substitutes: ground flaxseed or chia seed + water; or arrowroot and tapioca starch. You’re looking to replace the structure that eggs provide.
- For fewer calories and less fat, leave out some of the egg yolks and use the egg whites – they will provide the structure.
- If you are adding coconut flour to a gluten-free flour blend or substituting it for flour in a regular recipe, Sarah suggests using coconut flour for up to 20% of that blend. You will need to increase the liquid and/or fat combination by about 20% (fat preserves the long term moisture of the final baked product).
- You can use either liquid or solid fats (e.g., coconut oil) with coconut flour; if you use liquid fat in place of solid fat in a recipe, you’ll need to reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/4.
- Recipes that work best with coconut flour include pancakes and tender pastries (cupcakes, muffins, cakes, quick breads).
- Using 100% coconut flour doesn’t work well if you’re trying to achieve crispy cookies (they are on the soft chewy side) nor does it work in yeast raised bread (at least we haven’t figured out how to make it work yet); however, combining coconut flour with almond flour or other flours helps to achieve a crispier texture.
- Try using coconut flour as a thickener in soups and stews (Cara’s done this), as well as in frosting (gives it structure so it pipes nicely).
- When using a liquid sweetener (e.g., honey, agave), use it in the same proportion as you would use in a regular recipe, but it will affect the liquid content of the recipe (so you may need to reduce some of the liquid in your recipe, e.g., water, milk); for a low-carb sweetener, Carolyn uses granulated erythritol which adds bulk (doesn’t attract moisture) unlike Splenda or powdered stevia. Kelly uses coconut sugar and stevia, as well as honey and applesauce for sweeteners.
- To give baked goods more rise and structure when using coconut flour, try adding whey protein powder or psyllium husk powder; vinegar and baking soda can also help add more rise.
- When storing coconut flour, it’s best to keep it airtight and freeze it since coconut flour absorbs moisture.
We certainly learned a lot from our session today!
Here are some fun things on our list to try following today’s session: using coconut flour in coconut whipped cream to give it more structure; developing a crispy cookie or oatmeal style cookie using coconut flour, and successfully making yeasted bread using 100% coconut flour (perhaps try using whey protein powder or psyllium husk powder).
As promised, here are some coconut flour recipes to get everyone started on their coconut flour baking journey:
Cookie Dough Stuffed Pancakes
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Totally Coconut Doughnuts
5 Minute Mug Brownie
Chocolate Marbled Cupcakes
Chocolate Glazed Banana Cupcakes
Chocolate Coconut Flour Cupcakes
Sweet Potato Pie Truffles
Low Carb Panini Recipe
Coconut Milk Bread
Onion Poppy Seed and Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour Recipes
Cooking with Coconut Flour by Bruce Fife
The Spunky Coconut Grain-Free Baked Goods and Desserts: Gluten-Free, Casein-Free, and Often Egg-Free
The Spunky Coconut Cookbook, 2nd Edition: Gluten-free, Casein-free, Sugar-free
The Paleo Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook (available for pre-order now for 34% off)