Many bakers are often on the lookout for unique ingredients that can transform their bake. Teff flour caught my attention as a beautiful, gluten-free flour that can add a little piece of Ethiopian heritage to your creations. It’s made from an ancient grain that originates in Ethiopia.
But how does it compare to another gluten-free favorite, oat flour? Oat flour, made from ground oats, has been a staple in the baking world for a long time, and for good reason. Its comforting, wholesome flavor and hearty nutrition make it a suitable flour for almost any recipe.
So get your mixing bowls ready because we’re about to explore what oat flour and teff flour each have to offer!
Comparing oat flour vs teff flour
|Oat Flour||Teff Flour|
|Substitution ratio vs all-purpose flour||100% swap with all-purpose if done by weight. If done by cup, you need 1 ⅓ cup of oat flour for every 1 cup of all-purpose||Replace 25% of your all-purpose flour with teff flour.|
|Pantry shelf life (unopened/sealed)||2 months||12 months|
|Best for baking…||Dense baked goods like pancakes, bread, and muffins||Injera (Ethiopian flatbread), cakes, quick breads, muffins, pancakes, waffles|
*Check the label/ingredients to determine gluten-free status
Differences between oat flour and teff flour
If you’re substituting all-purpose flour for oat flour, it’s an easy swap, as it can be used as a one-to-one replacement in most recipes. It’s a convenient option for adding a gluten-free twist to your favorite recipes. Teff flour should only replace up to 25% of the all-purpose flour because of its denser nature.
When it comes to dietary considerations, oat flour and teff flour are the same. Neither is suitable for those following a strict keto or paleo diet, but they are both gluten-free flours and don’t contain any common allergens.
Note: Always choose certified gluten-free oat flour if you are gluten intolerant since some oats are processed on machinery that also handles gluten.
Baking with oat flour vs baking with teff flour
Baking with oat flour will bring a lot more flavor and a softer or chewier texture to baking recipes. Because it’s so absorbent, oat flour works wonders in muffins, cookies, and quick breads and gives them a comforting and familiar taste. But as oat flour lacks the binding properties of gluten, you might have to add other binders like xanthan gum or eggs to get the proper structure for your baked treats.
Baking with teff flour will be a little different. Rather than that familiar taste, you’ll get an exotic nutty and earthy flavor that pairs wonderfully with chocolate, nuts, and spices in indulgent cakes and breads. Just like oat flour, it has a high absorbency, so it’s good practice to let the batter or dough rest for a few minutes to let the flour fully absorb the liquids. Texture-wise, it can be a little grainy but can be smoothed out with other ingredients like chocolate.
Ingredients in oat flour vs teff flour
Both flours consist of just one ingredient. Oat flour is simply ground oats, and teff flour is made from the ancient grain teff, which is cultivated in Eritrea and Ethiopia! It comes in two main colors based on the seeds: ivory and brown. The ivory flour is lighter in color and milder in taste, while the brown flour is darker and has a more distinct taste.
Oat flour + teff flour nutritional facts
|Per ¼ cup serving||Oat flour||Teff flour|
|Carbs||22 g||27 g|
|Fiber||3 g||2 g|
|Sugar||0 g||1 g|
|Fat||2 g||1 g|
|Protein||4 g||4 g|
|Glycemic index score||44||57|
Oat flour and teff flour are both quite nutritious, with 4g of protein and 2 – 3g of fiber per ¼ cup each. Oat flour also contains 2g of fat, 0g of sugar, and 22g of carbs, while teff contains 1g of fat, 1g of sugar, and 27g of carbs, making it the higher carb option. And with 120 – 130 calories per ¼ cup, they aren’t overly high or low in calories. If you’re watching your blood sugar levels, oat flour has the lower glycemic index score at 44, but at 57, teff flour maintains a moderate score.
If we go a little deeper, teff flour is nutritionally dense with essential minerals like iron and calcium.
Oat flour vs teff flour storage
The storage life of oat flour is typically around 2 months, while teff flour can last up to 12 months. This is due to the different levels of oil content in the two flours. Oat flour has a higher oil content, whereas teff flour has a lower oil content that helps to maintain its freshness.
Oat flour + teff flour alternatives
If you’re looking for an alternative to teff flour, quinoa flour is a great option that shares a similar nutritional profile and gluten-free properties. For oat flour alternatives, a blend of buckwheat flour and white rice flour can provide a similar texture and taste. This combination offers a balance of flavors and creates a versatile flour blend. Those following a keto or paleo diet can opt for almond flour in place of teff flour and coconut flour in place of oat flour.
Oat flour vs teff flour: What’s the verdict?
Personally, I find that oat flour adds a comforting touch to everyday treats. If I’m not making anything fancy or overly special but want a little more than just all-purpose flour, oat flour is a fine way to add a little depth and flavor. Teff flour is a favorite of mine if you want to impress. It’s a one-of-a-kind flour with a wonderful malty quality that will enhance the flavors of your bake rather than act as a neutral ingredient. Try it in scones, weighty breads, and delicious butter cookies!
If you’re looking for other special flours you might’ve never heard of before, we’ve broken down 61 different flours for you to check out.
Teff flour and oat flour have different flavors and textures, so your final bake might have a nuttier and earthier taste. If you’re interested in experimenting, you can start with small amounts and adjust them to suit your personal preferences and the specific recipe you’re working with.
Some people refer to teff flour as “Ethiopian brown flour” because of its rich cultural origins and distinctive brown color.