Tapioca flour, also known as tapioca starch, is a starchy white flour that has a slight sweet flavor to it. Tapioca flour is an alternative to traditional wheat flours and has a variety of uses in baking. The flour is made from the starch extracted from the South American cassava plant. When the roots have fully developed, they are harvested and processed to remove toxins. The starch is then extracted from the root by a repeated process of washing and pulping the mixture, then separating off the liquid.
Tapioca flour helps bind gluten free recipes and improves the texture of baked goods. Tapioca helps add crispness to crusts and chew to baked goods. Tapioca flour is an extremely smooth flour, which makes for a great thickener in sauces, pies and soups since it never discolors and contains no discernible taste or smell. It can also be used to replace corn starch (use 2 Tbsp tapioca flour for each 1 Tbsp corn starch). Moreover, it never coagulates or separates when refrigerated or frozen. Use in combination with other gluten free flours for best results.