Otto's Naturals is a new brand for a grain-free substitute for all-purpose flour. It is made from the cassava (or yuca) root, just like tapioca flour is, but the difference between that and cassava flour is that cassava flour contains the whole root with only the peel removed. Tapioca flour is an extracted and bleached form of the starch. Because it is grain-free, cassava flour is also gluten-free and because it is from a root, it is also nut-free! Take that, allergens!
What makes Otto's Naturals stand out from other cassava flour brands is that this company uses a unique peel removal process to ensure that no pieces are left behind to make the final product chunky. What's more? When I say it's a great substitute for traditional all-purpose flour, I'm not exaggerating. Most recipes can use cassava flour at a 1:1 ratio where white flour is called for! That means no more of the crazy conversions I have to use with other paleo options such as coconut or almond flour.
I was so excited to receive a trial package from Otto's Naturals as soon as they began production in the beginning of February 2015. I was able to crank out two paleo bread recipes that have given me real headaches with other types of flour - Pizza Crust and Tortillas. I also made a recipe for Raspberry Macadamia Cookies just in time for Valentine's Day using what I had left of my sample. Each of these recipes comes out so delicious and soft, just like "normal" bread and baked goods. This type of flour doesn't have a strong taste of its own, so you truly can create both sweet and savory recipes with it!
The one thing I noticed when creating my pizza crust is that cassava flour is perhaps a bit less absorbent than all-purpose flour, meaning you don't need as much liquid in it to get the same texture as with wheat flour recipes. So be a little careful with liquid measurements when using this in new recipes and add the liquid slowly, mixing it in with the flour and other dry ingredients until your desired consistency is reached.
Bottom line: I will definitely be ordering more flour from this company in the future and I highly recommend that you give them a shot, too. It couldn't be more easy than this to get back those foods some of us haven't eaten in years!