Benefits of using Spelt Flour
Like many food groups on the market, there appear to be loads of different varieties available. Flours are probably one of the biggest and I’ve got numerous types of flours in my cupboard which I use for all various different reasons, but one of my favourites would have to be spelt flour. Spelt flour is one of the most popular whole grain, non-wheat flours available. You’ll find it a common ingredient in pastas, breads, wraps and in a variety of specifically wheat-free recipes. But what exactly is spelt flour?
Spelt is a cereal grain in the wheat family, but it is not the same thing as wheat (same genus, different species). It looks very similar to wheat in appearance, but it has a much harder outer shell before it has been milled. It has a nutty and slightly sweet flavour. One of the reasons that spelt is so popular is that it is easy to substitute into all biscuit, breads and muffin recipes, where you will get to enjoy the flavour and nutritional qualities of spelt, without dramatically changing the texture of your finished product.
It’s packed with nutrients that many other flours don’t contain. It’s got very high levels of protein and dietary fibre, and also significant levels of iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium, niacin, thiamin, vitamin B6 and folic acid.
People with wheat sensitivities can often tolerate spelt flour, which is why I like using it in baking, however, it is not gluten-free. So if you have celiac disease, this flour is not suitable.
Spelt has a much tougher outer husk than wheat. During milling, this tough outer shell helps protect the grain, preserving both the nutrients and the flavour. It also helps protect the grain from pests and infestations which make it much easier to grow without the use of pesticides. We love that!
Buying and storing spelt flour
Spelt flour can sometimes be found in the organic section of your local supermarket or in your local health food store. Bin Inn’s or bulk stores are a great option to try too.
Can you swap it in direct proportions for white flour?
Yes, you can swap the exact proportions. But because spelt is more water-soluble than wheat, it is often recommended to use three quarters the amount of liquid in a recipe when making substitutions for white flour. I will usually start with a bit less liquid than called for in the recipe and add more if needed to create the required consistency as I have suggested in these Hot Cross Scone’s recipe.
I’d love to know your favourite way you use it?