How to use millet flour and sorghum flour is third in my 12-part blog series on baking with gluten free flours. Although the science of baking may be interesting to some, my goal is to share just enough information to help the everyday home cook.
Knowing the properties and best uses for individual flours will help you find the ones that work best for you. This is turn will improve your baking, increase your confidence when making substitutions and maybe inspire you to try something new.
Are Millet Flour and Sorghum Flour Similar?
Millet flour and sorghum flour can be substituted for each other but that’s not why I put these together. I simply choose these because I learned about them at the same time. When I was new to gluten free I had never heard of either of these flours.
At that time I tried many recipes and used new flours with no knowledge of their properties. It was the struggle that eventually led me to write this series.
When I finally found a flour blend that worked in the majority of my baking it was a game changer. That flour blend is what I now call my EGFG gluten free flour blend and it includes both millet flour and sorghum flour.
Eventually I learned how to experiment in a way I could learn about different flours. You can read how I do that by using my blend in the final post of this series, How To Use A Gluten Free Flour Blend.
The important thing to remember is that you can make fabulous baked goods without knowing it all.
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Gluten Free vs Grain Free
Millet flour and sorghum flour are both grains ground into flour so they contain protein and starch. Only pure starches are grain free.
The journey to improving your gut health is individual so if you’re struggling to determine what to avoid beyond gluten you may want to learn more about grain free baking. Check out my post Beyond The Gluten Free Diet.
Baking with Millet Flour
Properties of Millet Flour
- Easily digestible grain flour
- Mild, sweet, nutty taste that works in savoury and sweet recipes
- Adds delicate, cake-like crumb to baked goods
- Helps build structure in dough
- High calcium content, 10% protein
- As part of a gluten free flour blend
- In quick breads and muffins
- Sprinkling on bread before baking
- More than 15-20% in bread recipes decreases volume and results in coarse, mealy texture
- More than 20% in muffins and quick breads leaves a starchy taste
- Consuming large amounts of millet is not recommended for people with thyroid concerns
Baking with Sorghum Flour
Properties of Sorghum Flour
- Mild, sweet flavour and a smooth texture
- Works in savoury and sweet recipes
- Helps bind moisture and increase CO2 bubbles formed during bread making
- Rich in iron and fibre, 12% protein
- Sold as sorghum flour or sweet, white sorghum flour
- Breads, quick breads and muffins
- As part of a gluten free flour blend
- As a substitute for oat flour
- Used to make beer (which I have never done…but just so you know)
- More than 30% sorghum causes a slightly sour taste and dry mouthfeel
- Should be stored in fridge or freezer (I keep mine in a container with items to make my blend all in a cupboard. I only freeze the rest of the package.)
Where To Buy Gluten Free Flour
Bob’s Red Mill sells both millet flour and sorghum flour (also called white sorghum flour) online. I also find millet flour at the Asian grocery store near me (the brand is Watson) and sorghum flour at local health food stores.
How To Use Sorghum Flour and Millet Flour on YouTube
How To Use Sorghum Flour and Millet Flour for Gluten Free Baking
Recipes Using Millet Flour
Surprisingly I don’t have even one recipe using millet flour alone. I do have over 100 recipes with millet flour as part of my EGFG gluten free flour blend. Here are a few and you can see many more in a table I included in the post How To Use Rice Flour.
- Sticky Date Pudding, Strawberry Shortcake, Cinnamon Churros and more
- Rhubarb Streusel Muffins, Pumpkin Ginger Muffins, Cranberry Orange Muffins and more
- Yorkshire pudding
- Leslie of My Gluten Free Cucina makes a lovely Millet Bread that’s excellent for French Toast
Recipes Using Sorghum Flour
- Homemade Crusty Bread
- Soft Dinner Rolls
- Orange Cupcakes with Orange Icing
- EGFG gluten free flour blend (uses both millet flour and sorghum flour)
- Jowar (sorghum) flatbread – I haven’t mastered this simple recipe that’s popular in Africa and India but I tried it to reply to a comment on my YouTube channel.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or tips about using these flours in gluten free baking.
If you’re new here follow along and get your free resource, 29 Tips for Cooking with Gluten Free Flour.
Originally posted 2017, updated October 2022.
This is the third in a series of blog posts on gluten free flours. My intention is to provide a basic overview of several gluten free flours for the everyday home cook, both new and experienced. Let me know in the comments below if you have a specific problem with your baking or a tip you’d like to share.
How To Use Gluten Free Flour series:
- How To Use Rice Flour in Gluten Free Baking
- How To Use Starch in Gluten Free Baking
- Millet Flour and Sorghum Flour
- Corn Flour, Cornmeal and Masa Harina
- Almond Flour and Quinoa Flour
- Binders in Gluten Free Baking
- Chickpea Flour
- Teff Flour
- Buckwheat Flour
- Coconut Flour
- Oat Flour
- A Gluten Free Flour Blend
I am wondering if you have any good substitutes for potato flour. Thank you.
Hi Anne! My Crusty Bread recipe is the only recipe I have that calls for potato flour. If you can’t tolerate potato flour you can substitute cornstarch in a yeast bread recipe. Your bread will be slightly more pale so try sprinkling your bread with brown rice flour. If you’re keen on experimenting you might also increase the brown rice flour by a few tablespoons and decrease the cornstarch. Another substitute is using 3/4 cup unseasoned mashed potatoes in place of 3/4 cup potato flour. I hope one of those substitutes appeals to you. Happy baking!
For people who cannot eat nightshades, mashed potato cannot be substituted. I have successfully substituted potato flour with arrowroot (starch or flour same thing) one to one.
Thanks for sharing that substitute Marlene. I don’t know if Anne just didn’t have potato flour, couldn’t find it or couldn’t eat it. Either way one can never have too many substitution suggestions. Thanks again and happy cooking!
>> Consuming large amounts of millet is not recommended for people with thyroid concerns
Can please you elaborate a little on why this is? I have thyroid probs and am trying to go gluten free, but have never heard this before!
Is it bad for Hashimotos (autoimmune), hypo (underactive), hyper (overactive), or all types of thyroid conditions?
Hi James. I read this in the gluten free cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen which I would call a credible resource. There is no amount stated, just that large amounts of millet may suppress thyroid function. I think this is rare but I recommend you consult with your doctor or a registered dietician to be safe. The good news is people are cooking with all kinds of flour combinations and you can certainly find out without millet flour. Check out my the table in my post, 11 Gluten Free Flour Recipes, to see what flour combinations people are using. Good luck!
Very much appreciate your time and effort in this post and all your other very informative blog posts 🙂 Thanks.
I glad you’re finding it helpful Tess. I don’t think the learning ever ends but neither does the need to cook. 🙂 Thanks for letting me know!