Sunday, December 28, 2008

Flours

  • White flour is usually bleached and processed in such a way that it is (in itself) nutrient-deficient. As a result manufacturers replace the lost nutrients with (usually) synthetic compounds – creating “enriched” white flour.
  • Bean flours such as chickpea (or garbanzo bean) and even soybean are becoming popular and are a good way of adding taste and protein to baked goods*.
  • If you plan on using a lot of whole wheat flour for baking items like cakes or cookies, whole wheat pastry flour (or “soft flour”) is preferable since it is lighter than the standard whole wheat flour, but still has the nutrients and fibre. Alternatively, make a blend of ½ white and ½ whole wheat flours.
  • Incorporate a variety of different flours into your pantry. This means (most importantly) more whole – grain flours such as whole wheat, buckwheat*, oat, spelt (an ancient grain), rye*, and brown or white rice*.
  • Don’t forget, you can swap up to 1/3 of the flour in a bread recipe for any whole grain or seed – cornmeal, rolled oats, cooked rice, cooked millet or flaxseed!
* These flours are gluten free, which means that you cannot use these exclusively in breads or cakes without a celiac-safe binder (such as xanthan gum) to act as an elasticity agent and allow rising to take place.

2 comments:

Joseph said...

Thank you, this was really helpful! My partner and I are making our first homemade pizza tonight and I wanted to know about substituting whole wheat flour and grains.
Thanks!

Kari said...

Thank you for posting healthy ways of cooking. I'm an foreign exchange student from Norway, and I'm dying for some healthy bread here, and I suppose the only way of getting it is by making it myself. I just couldn't find any healthy flour, so thank you.