Wheat flour is a staple ingredient in much of the world’s food. It is usually referred to simply as “flour.” Almond flour is less commonly available, however, it is easy to make at home. People on low carb diets or suffering from Coeliac’s disease favor almond flour.
Almond flour is made by grinding blanched almonds. It is not to be confused with almond meal, which is made by grinding almonds that still have the skin on. You can make almond flour yourself if you have a coffee grinder or blender. Wheat flour is made by finely milling wheat grains. Wholewheat flour contains bran and wheatgerm.
Almond flour has a distinctive nutty taste that pairs well with most confectionery and baked foods. Wheat flour has a more neutral taste, which is why it can be added to sauces as a thickener.
Almond flour is great for baking cakes and cookies, but not so much for bread and pizza dough as it doesn’t have the right glutinous texture that wheat flour does. Wheat flour can be mixed with eggs, water, oil and fat to make pastries, breads, pasta and confectionery, while almond flour can be mixed with the same ingredients to make dough for pastry and confectionery. Wheat flour is also used as a thickener for stews and gravies.
Almond flour is lower in carbohydrates than wheat flour, and is rich in Vitamin E and minerals like magnesium and potassium, as well as healthy monounsaturated fats. It is also gluten-free, so it’s ideal for people with a gluten sensitivity. Wheat flour is high in carbohydrates due to its starchy content, and contains gluten.
References and ResourcesBBC Food: Flour
Mark's Daily Apple: The Many Uses of Almond Meal