Recipes  
a website for people on special diets due to allergies, intolerances
or lifestyle choice.
 
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. . . ARTICLES

Summer 1999

Substitutes for Wheat in Baking
By Robin Russell using Internet for research

As you continue to browse this web site, you will find recipes containing many different flours in the wheat-free section, some of which may be unfamiliar to you. The following charts will provide you with some basic information about various non-wheat flours you may come across in our recipes.  Many people on wheat or gluten free diets use rice flour as a staple in place of wheat flour.  Learning about these other grains/plants will help you incorporate other types of flours into your baking which will add a greater variety of flavours, textures and nutrients to your diet. Check with your medical advisor before introducing any new grains into your diet, particularly if you have severe allergies. Those who can eat wheat without a problem can also experiment with these flours.

If you are new to using non-wheat flours do not attempt to simply substite any of the following flours for wheat in your own recipes (except spelt). Start with recipes designed for these grains until you get a feel for how they work in a recipe.

Scroll down to view all the charts, or click on a specific flour in the menu below.

Amaranth | Barley | Brown Rice | Buckwheat | Corn Garbanzo/Chick Pea | Hemp | Kamut | Millet | Oats
Oat Bran | Quinoa | Rye | Soy | Spelt | Teff

Amaranth

Origins
South/Central Americas; Mexican Aztecs,
15th cen
Flavour
robust; nut-like
Gluten Content
gluten-free, contains glycogen
Nutrients
high protein, (12-17%); "complete" protein; contains lysine, calcium, iron , potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin C,   beta carotene
Baking tips/info
- best used as complementary flour rather than primary flour
-  will add flavour when added to rice flour
- great for muffins, baking powder breads, pancakes, waffles & cookies
Texture:  smooth crisp crust; fine crumb
- not recommended for yeast breads

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Barley

Origins
various ancient civilizations
Flavour
sweet; nutty
Gluten Content
contains gluten
Nutrients
high protein; contains niacin, folic acid, thiamin, calcium, phosphorus magnesium
Baking tips/info
- must be combined with high gluten flours or baked goods will turn out too moist
- enhances yeast cell growth and adds a sweet flavour to baked goods

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Brown Rice

Origins
Asia
Flavour
mild
Gluten Content
gluten-free
Nutrients
B vitamins, vitamin E
Baking tips/info
- pie & pizza crusts; batter breads, crackers, cookies, cakes, pancakes, waffles
- yeast breads made from 100% brown rice flour (ie.: totally gluten free) require xanthan gum (a vegetable gum) to help bread rise

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Buckwheat

Origins
Russia
Flavour
robust; slightly sweet
Gluten Content
gluten-free; (wheat-free in spite of name)
Nutrients
bioflavanoid rutin, protein, folic acid, vitamin B6, calcium, iron
Baking tips/info
- can be used in combination with blander flours
- use in pancakes, waffles, blintzes, pastas
- not recommended for gravies or sauces
Texture:   moist, fine crumb

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Corn:  flour & cornmeal

Origins
North and Central Americas; Mexico
Flavour
slightly sweet
Gluten Content
low gluten to gluten-free
Nutrients
protein, lysine, vitamin A, folic acid, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, maganese
- blue corn has 21% more protein; 2 X potassium, maganese; 50% more iron than yellow corn
Baking tips/info
- eggs and chemical leaveners required when baking with the flour due to low gluten

Atole: finely ground flour from roasted blue corn
- used for puddings, tortillas & other flat breads and as a thickening agent

Cormeal:   great in pancakes, muffins, corn bread, polenta, tortillas, and as a thickening agent

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Garbanzo / Chick Pea

Origins
Mediterranean; Middle East; Central Asia
Flavour
sweet; rich
Gluten Content
gluten-free
Nutrients
high in protein, calcium and potassium
also contains:  iron, vitamin C and vitamin A
Baking tips/info
- when substituting, use 2 tbsp. per cup of wheat flour
- use in crépes, dosas (East Indian flat breads)

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Hemp

Origins
Originated in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Central Asia; has been used all over the world for thousands of years
Flavour
nut-like
Gluten Content
gluten-free
Nutrients
- excellent source of essential fatty acids:   Omega 6 (58%); Omega 3 (20%); Super Omega 6 GLA (1.6%)
- high quality protein (24%); "complete" protein
Baking tips/info
- hemp flour needs to be combined with other flours due to the high oil content of hemp seed

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Kamut (unhybridized strain of wheat)

Origins
ancient Egypt; now grown in Montana, USA
Flavour
rich, buttery flavour
Gluten Content
high gluten -  therefore not recommended for those following a gluten free diet; however, those on a wheat free diet may tolerate Kamut as it digests easier than common wheat
Nutrients
40% more protein & 65% more amino acids than common wheat
contains:  pantothenic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc
Baking tips/info
-  good substitute for wheat in baking, though final product will be heavier and denser.

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Millet

Origins
Asia; Africa
Flavour
mild
Gluten Content
gluten-free
Nutrients
protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus
Baking tips/info
- used in puddings, breads, cakes and cookies
- for a stronger flavour use in combination with other flours

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Oats

Flavour
slightly sweet
Gluten Content
low gluten
Nutrients
up to 15% protein, calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin A, thiamin, pantothenic acid
Baking tips/info
- can be added to cookies, pie crusts, and muffins and breads
- oats contain a natural antioxidant that helps baked goods maintain freshness

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Oat Bran

Flavour
sweet
Gluten Content
low gluten
Nutrients
- good source of soluble fiber
Baking tips/info
- can be added to many baked goods to increase fiber content

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Quinoa (keen-wa)

Origins
South America
Flavour
delicate; nutty
Gluten Content
gluten-free, but contains glycogen
Nutritional Content
high in protein, is a "complete" protein; also contain calcium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin E and lysine
Baking tips/info
- may be used as sole flour in pancakes, crépes, muffins, crackers and cookies
- produces a cake-like crumb
- blend 50-50 with another flour when making cakes
- combine with a gluten flour for bread baking

- grains must be thoroughly rubbed and rinsed under water to remove a sticky bitter-tasting coating called saponin
- saponin is a natural bird and insect repellant and may irritate digestion or allergies in people

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Rye

Origins
northern Europe
Flavour
strong, heavy
Gluten Content
low gluten
Nutrients
12% protein; calcium, magnesium, lysine, potassium
Baking tips/info
- tastes best when combined with flour that has a milder, sweeter flavour
- used in breads such as pumpernickel and black breads; pancakes
- produces a moist, dense crumb

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Soy

Origins
China
Flavour
mild
Gluten Content
gluten-free
Nutritional Content
high in protein, contains calcium, magnesium
Baking tips/info
- add soy flour to batters and breadings for fried foods to help inhibit fat absorption

- use up to 25% in combination with other flours in cakes, and even less in breads, otherwise they will rise too fast

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Spelt

Origins
southern Europe
Flavour
rich, sweet
Gluten Content
moderate gluten content
Nutritional Content
protein; B vitamins, iron, potassium
Baking tips/info
- good substitute for wheat in most recipes (use 25% less liquid when substituting for wheat)
- gluten is sensitive- do not over knead

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Teff

Origins
Ethiopia
Flavour
sweet; malty
Gluten Content
gluten-free
Nutritional Content
high in protein, calcium and iron
Baking tips/info
- great for quick breads, pancakes and waffles
- for yeast breads:  use 5 parts wheat flour (or other high gluten flour) to 1 part teff flour
- substitute up to 20% in recipes

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Copyright © 1999-2012 Robin L. Russell