Using Coconut Flour for Gluten and Grain Free Baking- some tips

 

Coconut Flour Bread

For that year that my daughter (and, off and on, the rest of our family) has been following GAPS I’ve been learning to work with non-grain flours; almond and coconut. Coconut flour is my preferred flour to work with because a grain free diet should not be a diet primarily made of nuts, and it’s easy to eat too many when using nut flour in baking every day.  Coconut flour is available through small retailers in the US here.  Watch for ‘coconut flour blends’ made with grain flours, you just want 100% coconut.

What is coconut flour?

Coconut flour is very finely ground dried coconut, which is left over from extracting the coconut oil. Coconut flour is low-carbohydrate, high in fiber, and gluten free. It is a very dense flour, so in most recipes many eggs are used in proportion to the flour. The eggs allow the baked good to rise in the absence of a leavening agent (baking powder, soda, or yeast), bind the bread together in the absence of gluten. Gluten is the protein found in wheat that so many people are finding that they are sensitive to. Gluten is what makes wheat dough sticky, trapping the air bubbles from the yeast to make it rise.

What do I need to account for when cooking with coconut flour? Cooking with coconut flour

Cooking with coconut flour has both differences and similarities with other gluten free flours.   Coconut flour is finely ground, it is very dense, and it can make baked goods a bit dry. Here are some tips for working with it.

  • Coconut flour contains phytic acid. Like all nuts, seeds, and grains, coconut flour can benefit from being soaked in an acidic solution to neutralize the phytic acid. However, because very little coconut flour consumed in comparison with wheat flour, (in pancakes 1/4 cup coconut flour vs 4 cups of whole wheat flour) I generally do not do the soaking step.
  • Coconut flour is dense. Recipes using coconut flour often have many eggs in them, which helps the baked good to rise.  The eggs are also very nourishing! Eggs from healthy chickens are full of protein and healthy fats.  For this reason, baked goods made with coconut flour will not cause the blood sugar spike like grain-based baked goods.
  • Coconut flour can be dry. Nobody likes dry bread or muffins, but this can be remedied by adding pureed fruit or vegetables to the batter in place of some of the liquid called for, or even half of the fat. Adding applesauce to muffin recipes in place of butter is a well-known ‘low fat’ substitution. In this case we are not doing the substitution because we are concerned about fat, only because the pureed fruit or veggie makes a more moist treat.
  • Coconut flour tends to clump.  Batter made with coconut flour needs to be mixed very well to get all the lumps out, as the coconut flour tends to want to stick together. This is best achieved by using a whisk if mixing by hand, or by using a food processor.  Unlike gluten-containing flour, there is no worry of over mixing coconut flour containing recipes, so mix away!
  • Coconut flour baked goods are dense and filling! Because of how filling coconut flour breads and muffins are, you can compensate by using mini muffin tins to make bite sized treats.  Smaller sized loaf pans are helpful for bread making, and you will find mini sandwiches made out of this bread to be just as filling as the larger sized conventional counterparts.  Silver dollar sized pancakes are recommended for breakfast as well.  If using a regular sized loaf pan to make coconut flour bread, you may want to enjoy your sandwiches ‘open faced’, as shown.

I wanted to share my coconut flour bread recipe using applesauce or pureed onion to lighten the bread.

coconut flour bread recipe

Coconut Flour Bread Recipe

Ingredients:
6 eggs
1/3 cup butter or ghee, soft or melted
1/3 cup applesauce for sweeter bread, or 1 medium onion, pureed, for savory bread
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup coconut flour (buy coconut flour here)
Instructions:
Grease 1 standard sized loaf pan or 2 mini loaf pans well with butter, ghee, or coconut oil.  Mix all ingredients until there are no lumps. Pour the batter into bread pan, filling 3/4 full if dividing between multiple mini bread pans.
Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes for a standard sized loaf, or 25 minutes for mini loaves.  Cooking time may vary as loaf pans vary in size; bread is done when a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool before trying to remove bread from pan.  To remove, gently run a butter knife around the outside edges, between the bread and the pan.  Flip the bread pan over a plate and (hopefully) it will come out all in one piece.  Turn right side up, slice as desired, and store, covered, in the fridge.

More coconut flour recipes around the web:

Nourished Kitchen’s Coconut Flour Cake calls for a dozen eggs, coconut milk, orange extract, and other yummy nourishing goodies! (I would suggest this whipped frosting to go with it)

CHEESESLAVE’s Bacon Egg and Cheese Muffins- These are really good! I used sugar and nitrate free beef bacon from US Wellness Meats.

My Grain Free Banana Nut Muffins: Perfect alongside soup one night, then for breakfast the next day!


PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.Pin It
Print Friendly

Comments

  1. My family has been reducing carbs and has cut out most products made from grain flours. From a taste perspective, do you think the coconut flour or the almond flour comes closest to wheat (I was thinking of making crackers)?

  2. Thanks for the tips. I fell into the trap of using too much almond flour, but ended up cutting back on baked goods in general. I do need to experiment more with the coconut flour. I’m going to try your bread recipe.
    What is the best way to store it? How long does it last in the fridge? Would it work to slice it and freeze it for everyday toast and sandwiches?
    Have you ever combined coconut and almond flour in baked goods?

  3. Just wondering if you know of an acceptable egg substitute to use with coconut flour. I’ve tried gelatin and some starches but they did not work well.

  4. Gigi Berardi says:

    Thank you for these wise words! ….great post and I was inspired at the last WAPF meetings to hear the bloggers speak and so I started a new one — on food!!! If you’re following S 510 — please stay posted on current status of S 510 and local food security. See my newest post at: http://resilientfarmsnourishingfoods.blogspot.com/2010/12/cultivating-regional-food-security-and.html
    Best, Gigi

  5. Thanks for this post! I am new to coconut flours, and I really would like to try out this bread recipe. I think I may be gluten sensitive, so switching to coconut flour might be a really good thing for me.

  6. Thanks so much for sharing this. I am learning so much about going grain free from you. We are definitely not there yet but I think learning to use the coconut and nut flours for baked goods will really help me move in the right direction.

    • Angela, starting slow will keep you from burning out :) The bread recipe can be made into muffins too, the recipe fits 12 muffins exactly- great for lunches!

  7. I have a fabulous fruit cocktail cake made w/coconut flour that I developed for an article on baking w/coconut flour for Living Without Magazine. It includes some gluten free grain flours as well. It’s super moist and has been a hit with kids and adults:

    http://www.thehealthycookingcoach.com/2010/03/blog-post-3062010betty-bakermy-mother-never-gave-me-a-nickname-because-she-didnt-like-her-own-but-if-she-had-i-think.html

  8. Here’s a tip I found helpful in using coconut flour in recipes that previously called for other flours:
    For each portion of coconut flour used, add an equal amount of additional liquid in the form of water, coffee, milk, juice, dairy free milk, or coconut milk.

    This makes a huge difference!

  9. Fabulous information Cara!
    I’ve had challenges using coconut flour with vegan baking. I will try adding the extra liquid. I use ground flax seed: 1 TBLS ground flax seed to 3 TBLS water, blend in food processor or blender until thick and creamy ~ from ‘The Joy of Vegan Baking’, for hearty baked goods. For finer baking I have used ‘Ener-G Egg Replacer with good results.

  10. Great info. Since coconut flour is new and not listed in the steps for soaking, could you tell me the steps or water to flour ratio in order to best help digestion?

    • I’d just use the pureed fruit or other liquid (in my bread recipe that would be the applesauce or onion) + 1 tablespoon of homemade whey or fresh lemon juice, mix it all, and allow it to sit covered overnight. Kefir or yogurt could be used also.

    • I was just wondering about this. I’m going to try my first soaking of coconut flour (I haven’t been doing it).

  11. HI Cara,
    We’ve been working on a GAPS based diet for over 2 years now- use coconut flour for all baked goods- we have tree nut and peanut allergies so can’t use nut flours yet.
    We made your butternut squash pizzas last night, kids took some for lunch today too. We really enjoyed them!

    Tropical Traditions website has some great coconut flours recipes- I look there if I can’t find something elsewhere.

  12. This looks good. Do you have nutritional stats? And how many servings does it make?
    Can the butter be replaced by coconut oil?

    • Thanks for stopping by! No, I don’t have nutritional stats, though it is fairly low carb. I’d cut it into about 10 slices, 1 slice per serving. And yes, coconut oil could be replaced easily with butter. hope that helps!

  13. JQBancroft says:

    Did you beat your eggs/batter a good bit before pouring it into the loaf pan? My loaf was extremely squat compared to yours, and in other recipes I’ve followed with coconut flour the eggs have been beaten to give the bread height.

    • I find that I have to beat it a bit to get the coconut flour mixed in well, yes. I would imagine it also depends on the size of the eggs- the difference between medium and large eggs could add up quite a bit when you account for how many there are. Hope that helps!

  14. I read The Paleo Solution in December and have since drastically changed my diet. I’ve been looking all over for coconut-based “bread” products. It’s been very difficult not eating cereal (I used to eat upwards of 5 large bowls a day), and having these gluten-free bread products have been a lifesaver.

    I feel so much better and have so much more energy now. I’ve definitely noticed that I don’t have to eat as much volume to fill up – this stuff is dense!

    Thanks for sharing,
    Andrew

  15. I love using coconut flour in my gf baking too! thanks for the useful tips too!

    I love your blog!
    Many greetings from a gf foodie from Brussels, Belgium!!!

  16. Mah-rya says:

    Just tried making this coconut flour bread and it turned out REALLY dense, not sure if I did something wrong (didn’t beat the eggs enough, used a vegan butter sub that didn’t mix well, or ???) or if that is how it is supposed to turn out.

    Any thoughts or recommendations?

    • Coconut flour bread is pretty dense, but I do kind of whip the eggs and coconut oil or butter with the food processor- I find it’s easiest to do the whole thing in a food processor or with the whip attachment of a mixer to whip it really well.

      • Thanks! I think that would help a bit as mine didn’t rise or have much lift at all. But the taste was a HIT! For breakfast this morning, I buttered the slices toasted them in the skillet and served with a homemade mixed berry syrup on top – a grain free french toast breakfast! Perfect for my kids who were getting bored with the typical fried egg and bowl of fruit breakfast. Thanks for posting this recipe!!

  17. This may be a silly question, but when you mention using pureed onion for moisture in a savoury bread, would that be cooked or raw onion? What about roasted pureed butternut squash, could that be used?

    • Any of the three could be used. I usually use raw onion because it’s easy to just add it to the food processor as I mix the bread. Hope that helps! :)

  18. Is the honey needed? I am trying to stay away from all sugar except maybe Stevia. Does it need the honey or sweetener all really? Thanks! Sounds great! Can’t wait to try!

  19. Cara,
    I need help! We are following the GAPS and I am a subscriber to your monthly menus. My dd food allergy test came back reporting she is allergic to: Casein, Goat Milk,Rye, Spelt, Gliadin, Whey, Yogurt, Gluten, Corn, White Rice, Dairy, Eggs, Citrus, Beef, Lamb, Sugar Cane.

    What can I use for eggs in the amount that some recipes call for? How am I to get good bacteria in her diet when we can’t have dairy?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Tabitha, have you put her through the GAPS Intro diet? Dr. Natasha says in the GAPS book that a child/person with a leaky gut will essentially show that they are allergic to *everything* they eat because it’s all going through before it can be properly digested. The Intro diet does a great job at sealing up the gut lining, it made my milk, allergy go away in just a few weeks. For good bacteria, you can do the vegetable cultures without whey and that’s a great way to get healthy bacteria. Eggs- that’s tough! I don’t know that there are many or any baked goods recipes that don’t rely on eggs to hold them together, maybe just try sticking with other foods if you see a big sensitivity to it? I know my menu relies on eggs quite a bit, I’m sorry I can’t be more help!

    • Hi Tabitha I know it’s been a little while since you wrote this post and I’m sure you’ve done some research of your own. I have successfully used flax and chia seads as an egg substitute in different recipes.
      How to replace eggs using flax seed meal?
      For each egg to be replaced, 1 teaspoon of flax meal and 1/4 cup of water for every egg to be replaced. You may need to play with this a little, a couple of times I went a little overboard with the flax (4 tsp) but still turned out okay.
      Chia seeds are great too. When mixed with water, chia seeds, high in soluble fiber, form a thick gel. Place 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in a cup and add 3 tablespoons of water. Allow the mixture to sit for about 15 minutes. 1/4 cup of hydrated chia seeds equals approximately 1 egg.
      Hope this helps in some way

      Cheers

  20. Hi! When making substitutions what is the ratio… So, how much coconut flour in place of other flour? How many eggs per what measurement of coconut flour? I found a site that does muffin Mondays and would love to try some of the recipes, but they all use wheat flour. We have just started grain free and my son is nut free!! Thanks!!

  21. Totally new to this…Decided to make some pumpkin cookies, which calls out using 2 1/4 cups of A-P Flour. What I am using is a standard Libbys brand recipe. Figured this would be a good recipe to try to use Coconut Flour with first since they are usually very soft naturally given it uses the pumpkin puree. Any recommendations on substitutions…
    http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/12833/Pumpkin-Spiced-and-Iced-Cookies/detail.aspx

  22. Any information about how coconut flour rates against nut flours wiuth Candida? I find my cravings worse and symptoms exacerbated with nut flours – but not with the coconut. Anyone know why, or is it my own strange body?!

    • Diane Smith says:

      Coconut oil kills candida so coconut flour is an excellent choice if you have candida problems.

  23. Cara: I made this coconut bread over the week-end and it not rise higher than an inch and a half. I noticed after making it that the recipe it did not call for baking powder. Was that an oversight? When I cut the bread for slices they were the size of a finger sandwich, enough to put some cheese on it, not to make a sandwich.
    Help and thanks!

  24. Hey, so I just made this bread and after 40min it was golden brown on top but the bottom layer was completely eggy and separated from the top, bready layer. What did I do wrong? Perhaps I didn’t whisk the eggs long enough? I beat all the ingredients together in a food processor, so I thought that would have done the trick, but I guess not? This happened to me the last time I tried cooking paleo muffins that called for a lot of eggs as well. Almost like a quiche at the bottom and then bread on top. Makes me want to substitute something for the eggs!

  25. How did you get the bread to rise? Its delicious but looks really flat compared to yours and I followed the recipe exactly.

  26. How did you get the bread to rise so well? I followed the recipe exactly and mine looks flat.

  27. I made this with an onion (i used a red onion, which turned the bread a bit bluey-green in the middle. whoops) and it’s great, but really rich and a bit of an overkill with onion. is there another option for savoury?

  28. I thought I’d share: I used an onion (raw and red) which made the bread too strong. Next, I had half an avocado left and an apple I’d stewed. I used half the apple and the avocado and got a great, “blander” bread, perfect for spreads and toppings. Today, I just used an avocado and it’s turned out great. Just an option for those of us used to plainer bread.

    • I never thought of using avocado! Thank you for the suggestion. My daughter is very allergic to apples and I am allergic to onions, so neither would be a great option for us. She likes avocados and I don’t mind them when they’re cooked and hidden in something. I was also thinking trying pureed pear and or winter squash.

  29. This will attract interest in the direction of your upper half. A vertical stripe print can also enable to give your system some peak. In the traditional publishing world, it’s customary to publicize a printed book at least three months in advance of publication. This gives the press time to review bound galleys and work your publicity into their own production schedules. jordan space jams http://www.google.co.il/webmasters/tools/richsnippets?url=run2013.org/ceshi13.html

  30. I’ve learn several excellent stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for
    revisiting. I surprise how a lot effort you set to make such a excellent informative
    site.

  31. whoah this blog is fantastic i love reading your articles.
    Keep upp the ggood work! You realize, a lot oof people are hunting around for this information, you could aid them greatly.

  32. Hello! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection
    of volunteerrs and starting a new project in a community
    in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information
    to work on. You have done a wonderfull job!

  33. Maria Sireci says:

    Hi Cara,
    If I leave this mixture to soak before baking would that neutralize the phytic acid in the coconut flour?
    Thanks,
    Maria

  34. Stephanie says:

    This has become my go to bed recipe! Thank you so much! I have made banana, carrot, cranberry walnut, and I intend to do onion and garlic soon.

  35. The weston A price foundation posted an article about Phytates in coconut flour being essentially non-existant…that it is as if coconut has not phytic acid at all and that it does not need to be soaked…Here is the link where I read this. The info on coconut is at the very bottom..
    http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/living-with-phytic-acid/

Trackbacks

  1. [...] love waffles in our house! These, like other coconut flour ‘breads’, are rich in protein and low in carbohydrate.  Anyone looking for a quick grain free breakfast [...]

  2. [...] flour is a go to Primal hack substitute for bread-based goodies. Health, Home, & Happiness has tips on baking with coconut flour and a coconut flour bread [...]

  3. [...] Here are a few tips on using coconut flour for gluten-free baking (which may or may not also make your baking low-carb, depending). I wish there were also tips on where to find more cheap, ripe avocados in January. [...]

  4. [...] When doing the promise a number of health supplements! [...]

  5. [...] coconut flour bread today: this one posted by Ann Marie, and both the sweet and savory versions of Cara’s recipe.  I made Ann Marie’s recipe as written except I inadvertently added only one tablespoon of [...]

  6. [...] – using Ann Marie’s recipe for plain coconut flour bread and Cara’s recipes for sweet and savory loaves.  I’m not really a bread lover, wheat or not, so I wasn’t too impressed with the bread [...]

  7. [...] properly processed and fasted foods. Some may suggest these food types were primitive their load by weight loss plan their Paleolithic era because these have had so many different meats (like goat deer etc-) and [...]

  8. [...] bus at 6:30AM so their breakfast is quick. Usually Yogurt parfaits or some kind of bread/muffin (coconut flour bread lately). I often work early in the mornings on my bookkeeping job so Joe, Christopher and I have [...]

  9. [...] were given an incredible recipe for coconut flour bread by our nutritionist. It came from Health, Home, & Happiness. The first few attempts were rather dense. But the later ones (tonight’s adaptation was [...]

  10. [...] I use Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Flour.  It may behave differently than other brands.  Here are some more tips for working with coconut flour that you might find useful, from Health, Home [...]

  11. [...] real food journey.   One of the first recipes that Gina pointed me to when I cut out grains was this coconut flour bread recipe.  It quickly became a staple in our home and over the past couple months it has morphed into this [...]

  12. [...] diet so I tried made up this version of coconut flour bread. I was inspired by my new friend Cara at Health home happy but I added some personal touches to this bread to make it all mine. I used orange blossom water [...]

  13. [...] Almond flour biscuits, alone or with jam 27.  French toast made from a coconut flour bread:  http://www.healthhomehappy.com/2010/12/using-coconut-flour-for-gluten-and-grain-free-baking-some-tip… 28.  Coconut flour crepes filled with warm fruit sweetened with honey, typically bananas, and [...]

  14. [...] * Recipe created by The Word Magician but inspired by CocoForLife and HealthHomeHappiness [...]

Leave a Comment

*