Non-wheat flours

3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
Reading the wonderful thread on pastry vs. cake vs. bread vs. AP got me wondering:

Can anyone here give me some help with some of the non-wheat flours I've collected? I've got barley, a little water chestnut, blue cornmeal, chickpea, and an Ethiopian version of dal in flour form (or it might just be more barley; it is definitely not teff). Has anyone used any of these in breads or pasta dough? I've got recipes using some, but would prefer to hear real-life home-baking uses. Thanks for any suggestions.
 
1,839
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Joined May 29, 1999
For Breads,They are great as add-ins with white wheat flours. On their own I find the product to be lead. You could add vital gluten if it was not a wheat issue but an experementation.
For non-wheat breads and the like, I think baking powder works better than yeast or at least in conjunction with.
for pastas, I don't know, semolina has fairly large grain, though high in protein, not high in gluten. You may get away with a non wheat flour exclusivly with the bet that the eggs in the formula would hold the pasta together.

things that make you say, hummmm........:bounce:
 
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Joined Apr 19, 2001
The Japanese make a rice flour - I'm not sure about its use in baking, though - seems like most of what I see it used for are as a thickening agent, or as part of a batter mix, for tempuras.
 
579
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Joined May 6, 2001
I have several in my pantry as well: rice flour, buckwheat flour, graham flour, .....the list goes on and on. Unfortunately I've only used the graham as of yet. I'm sure my non-foodie DH thinks I'm insane each time I buy a new kind. I'll get around to using them-Really, I WILL!:bounce: LOL







p.s. Yes, I know that graham flour is a wheat flour.
 
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Regan Daley has rice flour in some of her sweets, small proportions but it works for me.
Graham crackers!!!! Maida Heatter has a super recipe, actually sorta worth the trouble...
buckwheat blinis
buckwheat pancakes
rice flour as a veg coating pre frying...eggplant especially
 
579
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Joined May 6, 2001
I've been looking for a good graham cracker recipe, thanks Shroom-I'll look into Maida Heatters:bounce:
 

isa

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Joined Apr 4, 2000
Has someone every try a non wheat bread recipe and got good results?
 
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Joined Jun 1, 2001
Not a bread recipe per se... but the wheat-free rice muffin recipe from the Joy of Cooking was quite good.

I loooove chickpea flour! It's also a marvellous binder in things like vegetarian loaves.

There's a very good recipe for chickpea crepes in The Millennium Cookbook.

As for buckwheat flour -- PANCAKES! WAFFLES! Again, the Joy of Cooking has great basic recipes; I especially recommend the yeast-raised ones, which are faboo. If you like buckwheat flour, of course... it's something of an acquired taste.

As for blue cornmeal, in my experience, it's just funky; tastes like the regular stuff, but it DOES make blue bread. Which is very cool, if a bit disconcerting to those less into Food Adventures.

I bought teff flour last week at the East Indian market. As soon as I have some time for fooling around, I'm going to try injera (fermented traditional sourdough African pancakes) and make some yummy African stews to go with them!

I have a very large collection of odd and unusual flours.

I thought I had it bookmarked -- here is a basic reference that might give you some more ideas.
http://www.wildoats.com/wild%5Fcuisi...k%5Fflour.html
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
Checked out that site: very helpful indeed. Especially the info about how much gluten each kind has.

And thanks to everyone else, too!
 
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Joined May 11, 2001
Rice flour works well in shortbread recipes. Sweet rice flour makes yummy Japanese treats called mochi.

I bought rice flour made from Forbidden Rice once -- pink rice flour. I tried to make the crepes from the recipe on the package, but it was a disgusting failure. There was a rather bitter, off-taste. It seemed like the flour had gone rancid. And yes, they did make pink crepes.
 

isa

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Joined Apr 4, 2000
I made shortbread using rice flour and cornstarch, tasted like chalk. It was truly inedible.
 
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Joined Feb 6, 2001
:) My two sons are very sensitive to wheat, so I have been using our local COOP alot! Everyone there is very helpful. They have several cookbooks as well as books on just baking bread using the alternate flours. The one I use the most is "Wheat-Free Recipes and Menus" by Carol Fenster, Ph.D. It has a carrot cake recipe that is great. You would never know it is made with an alternate wheat. I tend to use a lot of spelt flour in making bread and pasta. I use the spelt in the same amount as recipe calls for regular flour. Sometimes I have to use a bit more if the "feel" of the dough is not right. I use it in everything--cookies, cakes, pancakes, etc.
 
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Joined Nov 29, 2001
Have you tried spelt flour? When I worked for the local Bakery, they made bread with spelt flour for the wheat-sensitive.
 
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Joined Mar 4, 2000
in my brief experience with spelt flour, I found that it is a lot like cake flour, but I did have to add a touch more flour than usual. The final product was delicious.
 
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Joined Jun 1, 2001
However, spelt IS a relative of wheat. Friend of mine has wheat sensitivities, and went mad on spelt; she now reacts worse to it than she does to wheat.

It also does have gluten, IIRC, so could only be used in cases of specific wheat allergies, not gluten intolerance.

It is nice though. Hildegard of Bingen has plenty of good things to say about spelt.
 
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Joined Jun 1, 2001
She was a mystic and visionary, and appears to have been something of a polymath. She composed, painted (there is a theory that her "visions" may have been severe migraines, based on some of the images and patterns in her paintings), and wrote quite a lot. Many of her writings are just about spirituality and what she thought about that, but she also wrote extensively about food, medicine, herbs and diet, tying that as well into theories about the relation of spirit and body. (Which is where the spelt came in. She had some notion that it was somehow purer than other grains.)

She's enjoying a sort of revival right now, mostly among "spiritual wimmin," and reprints of her books are cropping up all over the place, mostly from various New Age publishers. It's quite interesting stuff, when you consider the time during which she lived and wrote. Unusual woman.
 
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