Differences Between Tapioca Starch and Flour

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Baking is a fun activity that can result in a delicious product. Many ingredients can go into baked goods. One of the most popular additions is flour, a substance made from milled ingredients. Food allergies can prevent some people from eating products made from wheat. Many substitutes on the market are gluten-free, such as tapioca starch and tapioca flour.

Tapioca

  • Tapioca is a great replacement for traditional starches. It is gluten-free, so it is appropriate for people who are gluten intolerant. It is made from the starches of the cassava plant, and commonly used as a thickening agent in foods. Tapioca can be made into little pearls and used as pudding. In some Asian cuisines, you will find tapioca pearls in drinks and smoothies.

Tapioca Starch Flour

  • Tapioca starch is the starch from the cassava plant. It is made from the plant itself, not the root (unlike cassava flour). Tapioca starch can be used in place of most starches to thicken products. It is very bland and can be used without heat. Without gluten, which is derived from wheat, some baked goods lose their chewy texture. The addition of starches and gums can enhance the texture and flavor of baked goods. Tapioca starch is sometimes called tapioca flour or tapioca starch flour.

Cooking with Tapioca Starch

  • Tapioca starch is a common thickener and has excellent thickening properties. It is bland and binds well to water. Tapioca starch is not suitable as a stand-alone flour in baking. It can be used in addition to other gluten-free flours, like rice or potato. It does not stand up well to high temperatures and is rather bland in flavor. A good mix of different flours can result in tasty baked goods.

Gluten Free Cooking

  • The most common reason to use alternative flours is to avoid gluten, to which some people are allergic. Many products on the market are suitable for people who follow a low-gluten or gluten-free diet. Gluten is the part of wheat that gives bread a chewy texture and it can be difficult to replicate. Trying a variety of gluten-free flours and starches can help you find a good tasting alternative that is safe to eat.

References

  • Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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