6 Best Alternative Flours Every Baker Should Know How To Use

All over the place I flip, there is a new type of “gluten-free” this and “grain-free” that that makes your complete idea of wholesome consuming all of the extra advanced. Do not get me fallacious, I am all up for exploring the meals and habits that really feel supportive to you. But when consuming extra intuitively is the aim, then ditching the labels and discovering actual, entire meals is usually a step in the fitting course.

That is why I used to be thrilled to study extra concerning the distinctive, different flours and grains highlighted in Emma Zimmerman’s new cookbook, The Miller’s Daughter, As is true for most of the finest cookbooks, its pages comprise greater than inspiring recipes and insights on meals alone. There is a clear narrative woven all through, one which’s pushed by Emma’s and her father’s work in restarting the historic Hayden Flour Mills in Tempe, Arizona.

It is a story of neighborhood, conventional agricultural practices, and sustainability that is illustrated by every of the ebook’s 80 recipes. Each meal is highlighted—from Pickled Cherry Farro Salad with Kale and Goat’s Cheese to Purple Barley Ginger Cordial—and Emma’s even sharing her recipe for Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies under.

Featured picture by David Alvarado.

Image by David Alvarado,

I’ve all the time believed that exploring new-to-you meals and substances can encourage and revive your creativity within the kitchen. That is why we requested Emma to share her encyclopedic insights on a few of her favourite different flours and distinctive grains: the best way to prepare dinner with them, their advantages, and one thing enjoyable that you simply (undoubtedly) ought to know.

Preserve studying for Emma’s ideas on the significance of celebrating and cooking with heritage and uncommon grains, the reality behind gluten, and what she’s realized from preserving her meals selections near the earth.

Recipes excerpted with permission The Miller’s Daughter by Emma Zimmerman printed by Hardie Grant Books, Could 2022,

Why is it essential to study, prepare dinner with, and have fun heritage grains?

We develop grains that, till a short while in the past, solely existed in seed banks. We have now misplaced a lot biodiversity in our meals system. And one of the best ways to carry that biodiversity again is to eat all kinds of heritage grains.

In fact, then the query is the best way to prepare dinner with these grains most individuals have by no means heard of earlier than. And that is why I wrote my cookbook: to offer a complete vary of concepts for utilizing these grains. From easy pancakes and grain salads to extra sophisticated rye bread.

Picture by Michelle Nash

Given That Our Tradition Has Come to view gluten as “unhealthy,” how can we argue that heritage grains deserve a spot at our tables?

One very robust argument for not being afraid of gluten is that entire grains are important for our coronary heart well being. And as a lot as industrialized meals producers label meals “entire grain,” one of the best ways to get actual entire grains is by making issues like grains salads or baking with stone-milled flours.

I hope I can reconnect folks with the place their bread comes from. Bread is taken into account sacred in so many cultures, and reconnecting with bread as a Miller, I perceive why this has been true all through historical past. To name bread and different meals made out of wheat “carbs” of “gluten” simply does not appear proper when you understand how a lot work and care goes into turning wheat into flour.

I hope we are able to get again to seeing bread as a nourishing meals.

I would additionally suggest simply giving heritage grains a attempt. The flavour distinction is so clear between industrialized white flour and recent, stone-milled flour. And for me, getting access to such a spread of grains sparks a lot creativity within the kitchen.

Picture by Michelle Nash

Are there heritage grains which might be secure for Individuals with celiac illness to eat?

In my ebook, I’ve a chapter on all of the other ways to make use of chickpea flour. Chickpea flour is of course gluten-free. Nevertheless, the remainder of the heritage grains we develop and mill are very gluten-full. Lots of our clients are gluten delicate and discover that they’ll eat our flour with none points due to the clear approach it’s grown and milled.

What are your favourite locations to search out and supply these grains?

Hayden Flour Mills, in fact! However in all seriousness, I really like going “purchasing” at my very own mill. There may be a lot belief realizing who grew every crop and who milled it. There are additionally so many small mills throughout the nation now, constructing regional grain techniques—it is heartening to see this rising pattern. Native mills can all the time use neighborhood help, so begin by seeking to see if there’s a mill in your space. I put collectively a listing in the long run of my cookbook.

Picture by Michelle Nash

What Have You Discovered From reviving a historic Arizona mill and enjoying a pivotal position in America’s native grain motion?

As with all passion-projects-turned-businesses, you rapidly understand that lots of your time is spent taking a look at spreadsheets as an alternative of milling and baking. I learn someplace that it is good to rent individuals who have strengths the place you’ve weaknesses. I’ve tried to try this so I can give attention to the issues I am good at, like recipe growth and advertising.

what are your hopes for the way forward for heritage grains in America?

There was such a revitalization of small mills throughout the US prior to now ten years. However we nonetheless need to compete in opposition to massive mills which might be 100x our dimension. So we’re continually making an attempt to coach customers on the significance of native grain techniques. I hope the small mills and grain actions proceed to thrive and develop as clients make the swap for his or her well being and taste.

Picture by Suruchi Avasthi

6 Various Flours and Distinctive Grains Each Baker Ought to Know


How To Prepare dinner With It: Barley might be cooked as a complete berry (like rice) or utilized in flour kind. Purple barley is wealthy in antioxidants.

Recipe Advantages: Barley flour is delicate, so your baked items will prove very mild whereas nonetheless providing you with the sensation of satiety.

Enjoyable Reality: One of many barley varieties that we develop is Purple Barley. It has a shiny, nearly citrusy taste and it by no means fails to disappoint because it turns every part right into a deep purple hue.


How To Prepare dinner With It: Rye might be cooked as a complete berry (like rice) or utilized in flour kind for cookies, truffles, and bread.

Recipe Advantages: Rye is such a dietary powerhouse. It is an excellent supply of fiber and antioxidants.

Enjoyable Reality: Rye has probably the most advanced taste. I all the time evaluate it to espresso due to the layers you may style. We develop our rye a couple of hours north of our mill as a result of it likes a colder local weather.

Image by David Alvarado,

Chickpea Flour

How To Prepare dinner With It: Chickpea flour doesn’t act like common flour, so I by no means use 100% chickpea flour in baked items. I all the time mix it with all-purpose flour. Chickpea flour makes the very best flatbreads—just like the falafel crepes or socca. In these recipes, 100% chickpea flour works nice.

Recipe Advantages: Chickpea flour is a good way so as to add protein to a meal. You’ll assume that issues make with chickpea flour would have a really “beany” style however cooked as soon as or baked, that taste mellows out.

Enjoyable Reality: Chickpeas develop near the bottom inside a inexperienced pod.

Get Emma’s recipe for Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies


How To Prepare dinner With It: Einkorn might be cooked as a complete berry (like rice) or utilized in flour kind for baked items. I extremely suggest the einkorn waffle recipe in my cookbook, so good! Einkorn is the oldest wheat selection, so this can be a nice one for people who find themselves gluten-sensitive. It is an excellent supply of entire grains as nicely, nevertheless, it’s extremely low-yielding, so it is all the time going to be costlier than your typical white flour.

Recipe Advantages: In entire berry kind, einkorn provides a texture and nuttiness. As a flour, einkorn has probably the most intriguing taste—it is like all of the flours rolled into one. When you serve one thing made from einkorn flour folks will certainly be asking for the key ingredient.

Enjoyable Reality: Einkorn wheat is lacking its medial crevice, which is a typical trait of wheat.

Picture by Michelle Nash


How To Prepare dinner With It: Farro is mostly recognized in its entire berry kind which might be cooked like rice, nevertheless it additionally makes an excellent flour. (Plus, it is one among my favorites to work with!) Farro provides off-the-charts taste to something you make with it.

Recipe Advantages: When cooked accurately, farro berries have such an excellent texture, (that good steadiness of chewy and agency). You possibly can by no means go fallacious bringing a farro salad to a potluck.

Enjoyable Reality: Farro will get its identify from being the wheat the Pharaoh ate.


How To Prepare dinner With It: Durum is a complicated one, as a result of after it is milled into flour it is known as semolina flour. Semolina flour is historically used to make pasta, however it may be utilized in truffles and my private favourite, crackers, too.

Recipe Advantages: Stone-milled flours are all the time going to be extra nutritionally dense than store-bought white flour. Stone milling preserves the oils, germ, and bran—that is the place all of the goodness of wheat is saved. Durum is nutty and since it is a vitreous grain, it provides baked items and crackers nice construction.

Enjoyable Reality: The heritage durum that we develop is named Blue Bear Durum. It will get its humorous identify as a result of the awns of the wheat head are darkish blue. So within the area, it seems to be just like the wheat has a blue beard.

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