Baking Bliss: Alternate Flours

There is an art to baking – and specifically, bread making – that is hard to deny. Working the dough with your fingers, the complex process of heating, cooling, then heating again – it’s time-consuming but somehow more wonderful for it.

 

If you have perfected your bread recipes and know how to bring a loaf to the perfect finish, there’s plenty more experimentation for you to try. While a natural next step might be dumplings or pastry, if you don’t want to move on from bread, then why not try using different types of flour?

 

For most of us, when we read the word “flour” we think of wheat flour – it’s the essential staple that most of us grew up with. However, wheat is not the only grain that can produce a flour capable of making bread.

 

We have all become more aware of “gluten-free” options throughout food, thanks to a rise in the wellness trend and a better awareness of Celiac Disease. The problem is that most gluten-free bread you can buy off the shelf are… completely hideous, there’s no other way of putting it! Furthermore, many find their home baking attempts, done with such precision only to fall apart the moment knives from the likes of http://www.cutitfine.com/shun-classic-bread-knife/ touch them. This is not bread making for the faint of heart: gluten-free isn’t easy!

 

If you love making bread then, you have a real fresh challenge on your hands. Can you master the alternative flours and produce a gluten-free bread that doesn’t taste terrible, and doesn’t fall apart the moment it comes to slicing it? The challenge is yours – and if you’re brave enough to take it on, then you’re going to need to be ready to master some of the alternative flours…

 

Chia Flour

 

Chia seeds have become a staple of the “wellness” craze and – unlike many superfoods – they’re actually pretty useful. As https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds/ shows, they have a solid nutritional profile, so definitely worth trying when experimenting. Flour is made from the ground seeds, which you can do for yourself if you have a grinder.

 

Pro Tip: Baking times may need to be increased with chia flour. You may also want to increase liquid measurements as the flour is quite dense.

 

Coconut Flour

It seems that you can use coconut for next-to-anything nowadays, so it comes as no surprise that there is a flour version too. If you’re worried about a strong taste of coconut ruining a savory recipe, don’t be – the taste doesn’t translate.

 

Pro Tip: Higher liquid measurements are essential when substituting wheat flour for coconut flour. It’s denser and will dry out faster if you use eggs/milk etc. at levels required for wheat flour.

 

Almond Flour

Almonds are great in terms of nutritional and the flour – basically almonds ground down into a powder form – are a staple of many paleo recipes. Almond flour is easier to work with and makes a good entry level non-wheat flour.

 

Pro Tip: Almond flour is less absorbent than wheat flour, so you will need to alter liquid ingredients to compensate for this.

 

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