Tips For Working With Spelt Flour Substitutes
There are a lot of good spelt flour alternatives and its fairly easy to substitute so long as youre not concerned about gluten.
Since spelt is in the wheat family, you can fairly easily swap in another wheat-based flour to get similar baking results. Flavors and textures may change slightly, but you shouldnt end up with a completely unrecognizable end product.
There are also a few good gluten-free options if gluten is out of the question. But, youll generally need to make additional alterations to your recipe in order to end up with the best results.
For more ingredient substitutes and culinary principles take advantage of our wealth of knowledge in the Kitchen Ambition Cooking School.
Spelt Flour Helps Build Strong Bones And Aid Circulation
Its believed that spelt flour was first used almost 8,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest cultivated crops in human history. Spelt flour, also known as dinkel wheat or hulled wheat, is a grain or cereal thats closely related to wheat.
Spelt was an important staple in parts of Europe from the Bronze Age to medieval times. Today, its rising in popularity and has found a new market in health food stores.
Because more and more people are dealing with wheat sensitivities, spelt offers an alternative to wheat flour. Although it does contain gluten, it seems to be tolerated more easily than wheat. Plus, its an excellent source of nutrients and can easily be used in common baked good recipes.
Spelt flour is not gluten-free, so people with conditions like celiac disease or gluten sensitivities likely cannot tolerate spelt. But compared to wheat flour, it may be easier on the digestive system and offers a nutrient-dense flour option.
What About The Gluten
Spelt does have gluten, but its different than in wheat. Gluten is a complex protein made from two simpler proteins: gliadin and glutenin. Gliadin is what gives dough its stretchiness, while glutenin gives it elasticity and the structure to hold its shape. Wheat has a balance of these two proteins, but spelt has a higher gliadin to glutenin ratio which makes the gluten more fragile, breaking down easier. This means that vigorous kneading and mixing should be avoided when using spelt flour or you could get a crumbly texture. It also means that foods baked with spelt flour will not rise as high as those with wheat so you might want to use a spelt starter for recipes where you want that rise. Another trick that I use with gluten-free baking which also has issues with rising is to use more yeast and more baking powder than the recipe calls for.
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Potential Risks Of Spelt
While spelt does offer many potential health benefits, there are also a few risks. These risks include:
May Trigger Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Spelt flour is lower in FODMAPs than conventional wheat, and some products are labeled as safe, such as spelt sourdough. If you have irritable bowel syndrome and want to eat spelt sourdough, you should read the label to ensure that the loaf includes only 100% spelt flour. You may also want to limit your servings to avoid potential issues.
Blood Sugar Spikes
While whole-grain spelt may help to reduce blood sugar spikes, refined varieties may have the opposite effect. Refined spelt flour is higher on the glycemic index, similar to refined regular wheat, which can cause spikes to occur.
Effects on Nutrient Absorption
Like modern wheat, spelt contains phytic acid, a compound that can interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients.
While this may not be a problem for those eating a well-balanced diet, it may present a problem for those eating a vegan or vegetarian diet, as they get most vitamins and minerals from plant foods. Sprouting, soaking, or fermenting the grain can help to reduce the phytic acid content.
Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology: The Effect of Food Processing on Phytate Hydrolysis and Availability of Iron and Zinc.
Can Celiacs Eat Semolina
If you are celiac, you will want to avoid eating semolina. This ingredient is made from durum wheat, which contains gluten. Unfortunately, there is no way to remove the gluten from the grain even if all the processing in the world was done to it.
If you follow a gluten-free diet, I hope that this post has helped you get some answers as to whether or not youll want to continue eating products with semolina or making recipes with this ingredient.
Remember, it is not a gluten-free ingredient, so its wise to find an alternative if you try to follow a gluten-free diet.
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What Is Spelt Bread
If you’ve never tried spelt flour before, it has a slightly nutty and sweet flavor. It’s a pretty fine & light flour and honestly tastes a lot like whole wheat flour to me.
While spelt bread may not be gluten-free, spelt is an ancient grain with a stronger husk than wheat and some people actually find it easier to digest than wheat flour.
For this recipe, I decided to opt for a mix of spelt flour and all-purpose flour. The spelt flour gives this bread a nice crumb and nutty flavor, while the small amount of all-purpose flour gives this bread more structure so it can form a beautiful tall loaf of bread.
What Is The Difference Between Spelt Flour And Plain Flour
Spelt flour and plain flour are related but are milled from different species of wheat. Spelt flour comes from a specific type of wheat plant while plain flour can be made from a variety of types that are often blended together.
About the author
William is a classically trained chef, who spent years cooking in top NYC restaurants before bringing his talents home to Colorado. Now a stay-at-home dad, William has brought his passion for professional cooking home, where he continues to cook and bake for his wife and daughter.
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What Is Spelt Flour And Why Is It So Popular
Spelt, or spelt flour in this case, is more nutritious than wheat and higher in minerals such as potassium, iron, and zinc. An ancient grain, spelt is in the family along with barley, rye, and wheat. With a generally nutty flavor and light texture, spelt is commonly used because it does not crumble when used to cook.
There are some awesome health benefits included with consuming spelt. This includes improving immune system functions, lowering cholesterol levels, and strengthening bones.
As it does contain gluten, its not the best choice for anyone with Celiac, but may be tolerable for anyone with gluten sensitivity or even wheat allergies.
How To Make Baking Powder At Home
Since we are talking of flours and their use for baking, I would like to address the baking soda baking powder topic. Some recipes are using only baking soda, but that requires an acid somewhere in the recipe, like lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, buttermilk or yogurt to activate the baking soda.
Store-bought baking powder is usually made with three ingredients: baking soda, cream of tartar and corn starch. To make baking powder at home, mix:
- one part baking soda
- one part arrowroot starch
If you make it just before baking, there is no need to add the starch. Use the starch only if you make a bigger quantity in advance, to prevent clumping.
If a recipe requires 1 teaspoon baking powder, replace it with a mix of 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.
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Flaxseed Meal Perfect For Egg
Flaxseed meal is ground flax seeds. Many people dont know flaxseeds cant be digested by humans. So for us to get the benefits of eating flaxseeds, they need to be ground.
Flaxseed meal is easy to find in stores, however, it easily goes rancid when ground. The best is to use a coffee grinder or a Nutribullet with a milling blade to grind them just before using.
They are a perfect substitute for eggs in vegan recipes. To make a flax egg, mix 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal with 2 1/2 tablespoons water and add to your baking mix.
To Make My Peanut Butter Squash Muffins
Mix 1 Tbs. ground flaxseed with 3 Tbs. warm water in a small bowl. Stir and let it sit for 10 minutes until it forms a gel. Meanwhile, grate 1 ¾ cups unpeeled yellow squash and squeeze out the water. Let the squash drain while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Mix 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar into 1 cup non-dairy milk to make vegan buttermilk. Let it sit for 5 minutes while it curdles. In a bowl, combine the buttermilk, flax gel, 3 Tbs. maple syrup, 3 Tbs. unsweetened peanut butter and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Mix everything until it is smooth. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups spelt flour, ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup cane sugar, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda and 1 tsp. kosher salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the yellow squash. Spoon the batter into oiled muffin tins and fill them ¾ of the way full. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the tins for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack until completely cool.
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Five Alternative Flours Worth Trying
There’s never been a better time to experiment with flours made from almonds, spelt, or gluten-free blends.
With most of us spending more time at home and leaning heavily on pantry staples during the coronavirus pandemic, baking is having a bit of a renaissance. As a result, all-purpose flour has become almost as sought-after as disinfecting wipesand it’s almost as difficult to find. If you’re struggling to find baking supplies at your local grocer or favorite online supplier, we suggest contacting a local restaurant or bakery, many of whom purchase in bulk and might be willing to sell you goods by the pound. This is also a great time to go beyond the all-purpose variety you’re used to working with and instead experiment with alternative flours made from whole grains and other ingredients.
Below, we’ve highlighted a few of our favorite flours to incorporate into everyday baking. Read on to find out which ones you can sub into your quarantine loaves and what you should bake with the others.
Benefits Of Spelt Flour:
Spelt is more water-soluble and more easily digested than wheat flour. It is preferred by many people with wheat sensitivities and may be an acceptable substitute for some people with gluten intolerance however it is not gluten-free. Spelt is not be a suitable substitute for someone with true wheat allergies or celiac disease.
Even if you are fortunate not to suffer from a wheat sensitivity, spelt can be a great addition to your diet. I like to cook with a variety of grains and flours to help ensure we get a wide array of nutrients and the benefits of many different foods. Spelt flour has slightly more protein and fewer calories than wheat flour. It contains a broad array of nutrients and is a good source of vitamin B2, manganese, niacin, copper, phosphorus, protein, and fiber. Spelt has a much tougher outer husk than wheat. During milling, this tough outer shell helps protect the grain, preserving both nutrients and flavor. It also helps protect the grain from pests and infestations which makes it much easier to grow without the use of pesticides.
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What Does Spelt Flour Taste Like
Spelt flour is an easy wheat flour alternative to experiment with because the flavor is not as overpowering as other options such as dark rye. This ancient grain has a mildly nutty and sweet flavor that makes it a great option for savory or sweet baked goods. Additionally, an underlying tanginess can be tasted, especially if you use it as a base for sourdough bread. While it won’t dominate the flavor profile, it has a noticeable quality that makes it distinct from wheat.
Bon Appétit says that the whole grain variety has an earthier taste since the outer shell is milled into the flour, whereas white spelt flour is subtler. The flavor distinction between the two is similar to whole wheat flour compared with regular white flour. If you are wary of novel flavors, then start by using white spelt flour since it is more delicate than the whole grain variety.
Should I Use Spelt Flour If I Am Gluten Intolerant
Spelt does contain gluten so if you are gluten intolerant this may not be the best option for you. It has half the amount of glutenin that common wheat flour does. Interestingly enough, the components of gluten in spelt have some key differences that can make it more tolerable for those with gluten or wheat sensitivity.
If you are gluten intolerant, the consumption of spelt flour is not recommended.
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How Creative Can You Get While Using These Lectin
At the end of this article, I wanted to share a little story with you. Im thinking it would be useful, especially if you feel intimidated by all these new ingredients.
When I made the pictures for this article, I used about 2, 3 tablespoons of each of the flours I had in my pantry. After the job was done, I didnt have the heart to waste them. So I gathered as much as I could from the board , mixed it with some extra gound millet I had, and used this mix to bake the Lectin-Free Cornbread with Millet and Walnuts.
I used all these flours, and the result was amazing, even though it was not what I had used in the original recipe.
This is an invitation to explore and work with these flours like an alchemist. In my experience, even a failed cake or bread can be repurposed.
I hope this guide to lectin-free, gluten-free flours was useful. If you have any questions or need more information, please leave a comment below.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have celiac disease or severe reactions to gluten, you will have to check with the company if they produce the flours in gluten-free facilities, to avoid cross-contamination.
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