Cooking With Sorghum Flour
Traditionally this flour has been used as a cereal food to create pancakes and fermented and unfermented porridges and flatbreads — such as the jowar roti in India — throughout different cultures. In the United States, it is becoming more common to use sorghum flour in baked goods. It can be added or substituted in any recipe that calls for flour such as cakes, cookies, breads and muffins. Sorghum flour has a bland flavor that can be beneficial for baking because it won’t add an unfamiliar or distinctive taste. However, because of its lack of gluten, it does have an influence on the texture of baked goods. Gluten acts as a binder in foods, so consider adding an alternative binder such as cornstarch to recipes when using sorghum flour. In addition, sorghum often produces a drier, crumbly final product. Adding extra oil or another fat source and eggs can improve the texture, and adding a leavening agent such as baking powder or baking soda will help the dough rise.
- Traditionally this flour has been used as a cereal food to create pancakes and fermented and unfermented porridges and flatbreads — such as the jowar roti in India — throughout different cultures.
- Gluten acts as a binder in foods, so consider adding an alternative binder such as cornstarch to recipes when using sorghum flour.
How To Soak Your Flours
Soaking your flours in an acidic medium helps to make them more digestible. Your body will assimilate more of the mineral nutrients when you soak your flours and grains.
Using Apple Cider Vinegar
I used 2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar with 1 cup of water to soak my flours for a 24 hour period, so that we would have an on plan gluten free bread option that uses easily obtained ingredients. I love that this also fits within the guidelines of the Trim Healthy Mama Plan.
You can use cultured dairy such as yogurt or kefir to soak your grains in place of the apple cider vinegar. Personally, I have used 1/2 cup of yogurt mixed with 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or 1 cup of kefir in the past.
How To Cook With Sorghum Flour
One thing to know about sorghum flour is that it can impart a sour flavor to your baked goods, along with a dry mouth feel, if it’s used to make up more than 25 to 30 percent of your overall flour mixture. That means that most bakers don’t use sorghum flour on its own but rather in combination with other ingredients, such as sweet rice flour, millet flour and potato starch. Many gluten-free bakers like to use sorghum flour as a substitute for oat flour, since it has a comparable texture and protein content.
Because sorghum flour is gluten free, doughs made from sorghum flour need some sort of binder to hold it together. Xanthan gum, a food starch produced from the fermentation of sucrose and glucose, is a common choice. Around one-half teaspoon of xanthan gum per cup of sorghum flour is sufficient for cookies and cakes, while for making breads you’d need to add a full teaspoon per cup of flour. Egg whites, unflavored gelatin, cornstarch and guar gum are also popular binders for cooks working with sorghum flour.
With that said, sorghum flour is frequently used as one component of gluten-free baking mixes which already have all the necessary binders mixed in.
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What Are The Health Benefits
Sorghum is naturally gluten free and there are a number of different varieties, though sorghum flour is usually beige or white in color and has a mild-tasting sweet flavor. This flour is often used in gluten free flour blends, though you can sometimes find 100% whole grain sorghum flour in specialty stores. The best place to find it, however, is online.
Though some gluten free flours have little to offer in the way of nutrition, that is not the case with sorghum flour. This gluten free flour is rich in protein, iron, B vitamins, and dietary fiber. It contains about 120 calories per ¼ cup flour with 1 gram of fat, 25 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams of protein, and 3 grams of sugar. It also contains small but significant amounts of phosphorus, niacin, and thiamine.
In addition to being rich in nutrients, sorghum flour has the added benefit of being low-glycemic. This is important for people with diabetes because it is absorbed into the bloodstream more slowly than other carbohydrates, preventing a sudden sugar spike. Sorghum flour is also rich in fiber which benefits your digestive system and helps you feel fuller for longer. It is rich in antioxidants as well and has been shown to help fight inflammation and heart disease.
Safe For Celiac Disease
Gluten is found in many grains, including wheat and rye. In people with celiac disease, the protein in gluten can damage the small intestine and reduce the absorption of important nutrients. Plus, it can produce symptoms like bloating or diarrhea.
Anyone who has celiac disease or sensitivities to gluten can enjoy this grain. “Sorghum is an ancient cereal grain that is naturally gluten free, making it great for anyone with a gluten intolerance,” says Gellman.
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Manage Blood Sugar For Diabetes
The fiber sorghum delivers can help manage blood sugar , which is an important aspect of living with diabetes. “Fiber helps slow down absorption of glucose into the bloodstream,” says Hernandez. “I explain it to my clients like this: It’s like driving down the freeway with a semi-truck. That truck slows down the speed of traffic for surrounding smaller cars, as they need to carefully pass the truck.”
In other words, fiber keeps a food’s glucose from dumping into the blood and causing a major spike. Instead, the sugar enters at a steadier pace, helping prevent big swings in blood sugar levels.
How To Eat Sorghum
Sorghum is a versatile grain and a great staple to have on hand. How you prepare it will depend on the sorghum product you’re using. “The whole grain or pearled varieties can be cooked on the stove, in the slow cooker, oven, rice cooker, or pressure cooker,” says Gellman.
You can use it in soups, stir-fries, salads, veggie burgers, and other dishes. “I like to use it as a base for whole-grain salad bowls,” says Upton. “I add roasted and fresh veggies on top of the sorghum and then top with some beans, feta cheese, and a perky vinaigrette.”
You can also use sorghum in place of amaranth, millet, or teff. “It’s a crunchy, nutty-tasting whole grain, so you can use it as you’d use quinoa or any other ancient grain,” says Upton.
If you want a different type of snack, pop whole grain sorghum on a stove to make a nutrient-rich popcorn-like snack, says Upton.
But you’re not limited to meals you can make with whole grain sorghum. “Sorghum also comes in other forms, like whole-grain flour and syrups, meaning you can easily use it in baked goods like muffins, breads, and cookies,” says Gellman. The flour is often found in a premade gluten-free flour mixes.
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Homemade Bread Is The Best
Im a BIG fan of making homemade bread and at least once a week, we bake a loaf of bread.
Other times we bake yeast breads such as this favorite soft gluten-free white bread, this tender brown rice bread, or this fluffy buckwheat bread, or this tasty rosemary focaccia bread.
Mostly, Im always testing and developing new bread recipes to try, because baking bread is my passion. And this time, were making sorghum flour bread.
Easy To Find And Store
Sorghum flour is fairly easy to find. Most health food stores carry it and even many mainstream grocery stores. But not all varieties of sorghum flour are created equal. This flour by Nuts.com is our go-to brand. It’s a high quality flour and the price is lower than most. Store your flour in a cool, dry place and it will keep for months. You don’t have to refrigerate the flour, but if you would like to store it for a longer period of time you can keep it in the refrigerator or freezer. Keep it in an air tight, moisture-proof metal or glass containers, or in plastic freezer bags. And, as always, bring it to room temperature before using it.
If you are experimenting with different gluten-free flours, sorghum may just be the one to incorporate into your mix. It’s easy to use and store, it will give your baked goods a nice texture, it has many health benefits, and it has a mild flavor that won’t overpower your foodâjust a few reasons why you’ll love baking with sorghum flour.
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Sorghum Noodles And Pasta
Suhendro et al. produced sorghum noodles from decorticated sorghum flour, water, and salt by preheating, extrusion, and drying. Heterowaxy sorghum produced noodles of inferior quality relative to normal sorghum. The noodles were sticky, soft, and had a high dry matter loss during cooking. Increased amylopectin and reduced amylose content in the heterowaxy sorghum limited retrogradation. The authors further reported that the timing of amylose dispersion , formation of noodles, and amylose retrogradation was critical as suggested by effects of the preheating and drying methods. Flour particle size was also critical, with finer flour producing better quality noodles. Good-quality noodles resulted when processing conditions were optimized and when the noodles were cooked properly .
E.K. Arendt, … S.R. Bean, in, 2005
Is Sorghum Gluten Free
Yes, naturally! With the growth of the gluten free food industry, sorghum has taken the spotlight. When sorghum is used as an ingredient in baking, cooking, or other applications it is able to mimic gluten containing items.
With a fine, tender texture and delicate mouth feel sorghum is sure to delight any gluten free diet. Sorghum is also high in dietary fiber, giving an added nutritional benefit, as well.
The most common sorghum used for baking and as an ingredient is the White Sorghum. It is naturally white in color therefore requires no bleaching process for it to be white in color.
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Soft Fluffy Sorghum Bread
Incredibly soft, tender and fluffy, this easy sorghum bread is perfect for making sandwiches or toast. We love spreading it with homemade jam, or making avocado toast with it. Totally gluten-free and dairy-free, but no one would know. Youll be making this delicious yeast bread recipe on repeat, so bake a loaf or two and freeze to enjoy homemade bread anytime!
Why I Used Sorghum Flour
Sorghum flour is naturally gluten free. It also is used to replace wheat flour in some bread recipes in a 1 to 1 ratio. I wanted a flour that would work well in a soaked flour recipe that did not contain gluten. Many gluten free flours tend to gel when you add liquids or they may spike your blood sugar, which we are trying to avoid.
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Where To Find It
Sorghum flour can be found in many specialty health food stores in the same section as other grains and flours 1. You might also find it in the gluten-free section if the store has one. It can also be found at ethnic food markets. It may be listed under another name. For example, in the Indian culture sorghum flour is referred to as jowar atta.
- Sorghum flour can be found in many specialty health food stores in the same section as other grains and flours 1.
Why This Recipe Is The Best
It’s not every day that you have both a delicious bread recipe and one that doesn’t require a long prep time. In fact, if you use a stand mixer , it makes the process even easier. The mixer does all the work for you. In addition to being a somewhat hands-off bread, this recipe is also:
- Dairy free
- Perfectly textured
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Tips For Baking With Sorghum Flour
In terms of its culinary uses, sorghum is popular in many parts of Asia and Africa for use in flatbreads. In India, it is a staple source of nutrition, commonly used in traditional Indian breads called bhakri or jowar roti. In Korea, it is cooked with rice or used as a flour to make cakes called susu bukkumi. In Central America, it is sometimes used to make tortillas, and, throughout the world, it is a popular wheat substitute used in gluten free recipes.
Here are some tips for gluten free baking with sorghum flour:
- When shopping for sorghum flour, look for 100% sorghum flour that hasnt been refined, enriched, or bleached.
- Try using sorghum flour in gluten free recipes for baked simple goods like bread, muffins, cookies, and pancakes.
- Substitute sorghum flour for wheat flour as part of a flour blend, using 15% to 30% sorghum flour for the best results.
- Use a binding agent like xanthan gum or cornstarch when baking with sorghum flour to make sure your recipe turns out with the right texture.
- When baking with sorghum flour, use a little more oil or fat and an extra egg to improve the texture and moisture content of your recipe.
- Sorghum flour combines well with other mild-tasting gluten free flours like rice flour, corn flour, or potato starch.
- Store your sorghum flour in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 3 months.
- Try cooking sorghum as a whole grain using a slow cooker, rice cooker, or even on the stovetop like you would cook rice or barley.
A Little About Sorghum Flour
What gluten free flour is mild, balanced in terms of fiber and protein content and the same price as white or brown rice flour?
You guessed it! Sorghum flour!
I’ve worked with sorghum flour quite a bit and baked with it just as much – see this delicious banana cake for proof! And one of the reasons it’s a great baking flour to get to know is that it’s incredibly versatile. Millet, buckwheat and amaranth are all very close in composition to it so if you need to substitute these gluten free flours, sorghum would be your go-to.
As for where sorghum comes from – it’s milled from the sorghum kernel. It’s an ancient grain that is found in Asian countries, Australia and Africa. Fortunately it’s readily available both online and in many stores.
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