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Top Substitute for buckwheat flour (10 Best Options)

Buckwheat flour has a strong flavor and lovely texture, making it a favorite for pancakes. Despite its name, buckwheat flour does not contain wheat. On some occasions, it can be challenging to find this flour. Luckily, there is a substitute for buckwheat flour that suits your needs. Some of these substitutes may be better than the others for your recipes, but it depends on your recipe.

white bowl filled with grey-colored buckwheat flour, package with flour next to the bowl.

What is Buckwheat Flour?

Buckwheat flour, a gluten-free grain, comes from the seeds of the buckwheat plant. It is not part of the wheat grain family or the grass family.

This flour is popular in Eastern Europe, Asia, and the United States. You can use this flour in baking recipes such as the classic buckwheat pancake, unleavened bread, and noodles.

Because buckwheat flour doesn’t contain gluten, the recipes also require binding agents and leavenings in their dough and batter to accommodate buckwheat.

However, some binding agents and leavenings may also contain gluten. If you want your recipe to be gluten-free, you can only use the buckwheat flour with arrowroot powder or tapioca starch.

You can find buckwheat flour on supermarket shelves or in health food stores. It has a long shelf life.

What does Buckwheat Flour Taste Like?

Buckwheat flour has an earthy, nutty, intense, slightly bitter flavor with a sweet aroma because it comes from grassy seeds. It has a similar taste as rye or whole wheat flour.

Many recipes that call for buckwheat flour also include wheat flour to enhance flavors and texture. It is also gluten-free, making it a good option for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

When baking with buckwheat flour, you may need to add a little more liquid to the recipe since it is not as absorbent as wheat flour.

10 Best Buckwheat flour substitutes

You need to consider some factors when finding a substitute. There is no exact substitute, but here are the best ones that will get you by. Some of the gluten-free buckwheat substitutes below may still have sharp flavors but are not as strong as buckwheat flour.

You can generally substitute buckwheat flour using a one-to-one ratio to get similar results.

1. Whole Wheat Flour

Whole wheat flour may be the best substitute if you are not too concerned with gluten. It is also the easiest substitute to find because it is available in most grocery stores. This flour is light brown and has a coarse texture similar to buckwheat. It is a good substitute, especially for baking bread.

Whole wheat flour comes with a milder taste than buckwheat, but it is the best baking flour. It contains gluten, so your baked goodies will be fluffier and softer when you opt for gluten-free flour substitutes.

You may also use white flour as a substitute, but whole wheat flour offers a more similar taste and color. Besides, whole wheat flour has more nutrients.

2. Spelt Flour

Spelt flour is milled flour from wheat, so it is not a gluten-free substitute. As far as taste is concerned, spelt flour is the closest substitute you can find.

This flour substitute is almost similar to plain flour, except that it is milled together with the outer layer of the grain. The outer layer of the grain is where most of its flavor and nutritional value comes from.

Spelt and buckwheat have a nutty, slightly sweet flavor and firm texture making them work well in pasta and baked goodies. Spelt flour contains gluten but has a higher nutritional value than regular wheat flour.

3. Quinoa Flour

If you’re looking for a more savory option, you could try this flour. Quinoa flour is made from ground quinoa, and it has a nutty flavor. Quinoa flour is a good source of protein and fiber, and it can be used in many recipes.

People usually buy whole quinoa in bulk because quinoa flour is expensive. You can have whole quinoa ground into flour in a flour mill or at your home in a food processor. This flour is a good option if you are gluten intolerant.

It is brilliant to use quinoa flour as a substitute because it is a healthy option. However, it takes up a lot of moisture, so your cookies or other recipes may be crispier.

4. Oat flour

Oat flour can contain gluten or gluten-free. It has a milder flavor, and it will not alter the taste of your recipes. However, it comes with a different texture than buckwheat flour.

You may have to adjust the measurement of oat flour when using it as a substitute in baking. Otherwise, the result may be spongier or softer.

Double-check the package of oat flour because some of them may not be gluten-free. If you have oats in your home, you can grind them in your blender or food processor to make oat flour.

5. Chickpea flour

Chickpea flour or garbanzo bean flour comes from finely ground chickpeas. This flour has a smooth white texture. Using it in baking will give your recipes a distinct nutty flavor different from buckwheat.

Many cooks still consider it a good substitute for buckwheat flour, primarily when used as a binding ingredient. You can use chickpea flour the same way you would buckwheat flour. But, many use it only as a last option.

6. Brown Rice flour

Brown rice flour can be used as a direct replacement for buckwheat flour. The two flour have similar properties, so they can be swapped out in most recipes. Brown rice flour is a bit denser, so you may need to add a little extra liquid to your recipe if you’re using it as a substitute.

Simply swap out the same amount of brown rice flour for buckwheat flour called for in the recipe. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of buckwheat flour, use 1 cup of brown rice flour instead.

7. Millet Flour

Millet flour is a light, fluffy flour that makes a great alternative. Both flours are gluten-free and have a similar nutritional profile. This flour is slightly sweeter than buckwheat flour and has a higher protein content.

This flour can be used to make pancakes, waffles, bread, muffins, and other baked goods.

To substitute millet flour for buckwheat, use a 1:1 ratio.

8. Sorghum flour

Sorghum flour can be used as a replacement in most recipes. When using sorghum flour, you may need to add a little extra liquid to the recipe. You can start by substituting 1/4 cup of sorghum flour for every 1 cup of buckwheat flour called for in the recipe. If the dough or batter is too dry, add additional liquid, a tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency. Bake the recipe as directed.

9. Almond Flour

Almond flour is a healthy alternative to buckwheat flour. It is made from ground almonds and has a slightly sweet flavor that can complement many recipes.

This flour is high in protein and fiber, and low in carbohydrates. To use almond flour instead of buckwheat flour, simply substitute it in a 1:1 ratio. So if a recipe calls for 1 cup of buckwheat flour, you would use 1 cup of almond flour.

Almond flour can be used in a variety of recipes, including pancakes, waffles, bread, and cookies.

10. Coconut Flour

Another option is coconut flour. Coconut flour is made from ground coconut and can be used in many recipes, it has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor.

Buckwheat flour is a bit heavier than coconut flour, so you’ll want to use about 25% less of it in your recipe. You can substitute coconut flour for buckwheat flour in most recipes, but since it absorbs moisture more readily, you may need to add an extra egg or two.

Coconut flour also doesn’t contain gluten, so if you’re making a recipe that requires gluten for structure (like some bread and pastries), it’s not the best choice. However, it’s a delicious and healthy option for those who are looking to cut down on wheat or who have gluten sensitivities.

How to Choose the Best Substitute

Many people believe that replacing any ingredient in a recipe will alter the final product’s flavor. Depending on your preferences, this may ruin your recipe or become a non-issue.

While the substitutes mentioned above will give you the same texture in baking, it can be challenging to replace the intense flavor of buckwheat flour.

While none of the substitutes can replace buckwheat flavor, you can make some adjustments. This is so because buckwheat tends to overshadow some of the ingredients you use with it.

For example, if you are substituting wheat flour for buckwheat flour, you need to tone down some of the ingredients in your recipe, so their flavors are not too noticeable.

You should add more water to your recipe, depending on the substitute flour you are using. You may also need to add xanthan gum (a natural additive that can make your dough more elastic). Xanthan gum can help your dough rise and stretch in the same manner as bread that contain gluten.

If you opt for a gluten-free buckwheat flour substitute from the list, remember that the flavor will still be intense but not as powerful as buckwheat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Buckwheat Flour Gluten-free?

Yes, buckwheat flour is naturally gluten-free because it does not contain wheat. Many manufacturers often process buckwheat in shared equipment with grains (barley, wheat, and rye). This means that while buckwheat may still be non-gluten, the possibility of cross-contamination is still imminent. Therefore, it is essential to check that the package of the buckwheat you are buying lists it as gluten-free.

What is the difference between regular flour and buckwheat flour?

Buckwheat flour has a more intense flavor than regular flour. It is commonly used in baking when you want your goodies to be gluten-free.

Final Thoughts

The flours mentioned above are the best substitutes for buckwheat flour. When using other flours as a substitute for buckwheat, add some extra water. The amount of water depends on the flour substitute you are using, so start by adding half of the water required in the recipe. Gradually add more water until your bread dough reaches the consistency of a thick batter.

More Ingredient Substitutes

Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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