While we commonly associate flour with common wheat flours like whole wheat flour, more types of wheat can be turned into flour. One such variety of wheat flour is spelt flour.
If you have never tried spelt flour before, you may be curious as to what spelt flour is and how you can use it. I did the research, and here is what I learned!
What Is Spelt Flour?
Spelt flour is a type of wheat flour made from a specific variant of wheat. Generally, spelt flour creates an airy and light texture in baked goods, making spelt flour excellent for cakes, muffins, bread, and more. While spelt flour can replace regular wheat flour, spelt flour contains less gluten.
If you want to find out what spelt flour tastes like, if spelt flour bakes differently, and what you can substitute for spelt flour, keep reading!
What Is Spelt Flour Made Of?
Spelt flour is made from a specific type of wheat called spelt. While spelt flour is made from wheat, it is not the same kind of wheat as regular flour.
What Does Spelt Flour Taste Like?
Normally, spelt flour tastes lighter than regular whole wheat flour. Moreover, spelt flour tastes mildly nutty and sweet, but these flavors are very subtle that you may not notice them when combined with stronger-tasting ingredients.
What Is Spelt Flour Used For?
Generally, spelt flour is regarded as a versatile flour. This means that you can use spelt flour in a wide variety of recipes.
However, spelt flour is normally said to be best for baked goods, especially if the baked goods require an airy and light texture. Some examples of recipes that work well with spelt flour are cakes, scones, muffins, and bread.
Does Spelt Flour Bake Differently?
Spelt flour does not bake very differently in some recipes. Usually, you may only notice a slightly nutty and sweet taste in your baked goods when you use spelt flour.
What Is So Special About Spelt Flour?
Typically, people opt for spelt flour because of the health benefits. However, spelt flour can be excellent for people who want to taste the subtle nuances of sweet and nutty flavors.
Additionally, spelt flour can be especially great for baked goods that require a lighter texture. For instance, if you do not want a dense bread loaf, you can replace some of the bread flour with spelt flour.
Moreover, spelt flour can be beneficial for people who have a tough time digesting heavier glutens since spelt flour has a bit less gluten. However, people who are allergic or intolerant to gluten cannot eat spelt flour.
How Is Spelt Flour Different From Regular Flour?
Firstly, they are both considered wheat flour, but they are not the same. Regular flour is made from common wheat while spelt flour is made from spelt.
Surprisingly, spelt flour is often said to have less gluten than regular flour, but spelt flour has more protein. Despite that, spelt flour does not produce the same results as other high-protein flour.
For example, spelt flour can have 12-15% protein. However, spelt flour’s gluten is not the same as regular flour’s gluten, which is why spelt flour can offer stretchiness but no structure.
Another noticeable difference between regular flour and spelt flour is the flavor. Regular flour is fairly bland whereas spelt flour is a bit nutty and sweet.
Can I Substitute Spelt Flour For Regular Flour?
If you are trying to replace whole wheat regular flour, spelt flour can usually replace whole wheat flour in an equal ratio. However, spelt contains a little less gluten than other wheat flour, so you may want to retain some of the regular flour in your recipe.
Does Spelt Flour Have Gluten?
Spelt flour does contain gluten, but the gluten that spelt flour contains is different. Spelt flour’s gluten structure is weaker than regular wheat’s gluten.
However, it is still not ideal for people who are intolerant or allergic to gluten to eat spelt flour. Spelt flour can still cause adverse reactions even if spelt flour has a “weaker” form of gluten.
Is Spelt Flour Self-Rising?
Generally, spelt flour cannot be self-rising flour because self-rising flour contains various ingredients like baking powder to help dishes rise. Typically, there is no self-rising spelt flour since spelt flour is sold without added ingredients.
Do You Need To Add Baking Powder To Spelt Flour?
Normally, adding baking powder to spelt flour will depend on the recipe you are making. If the recipe you want to make does not require much structure or rise, you do not need to add baking powder to your spelt flour.
However, some recipes require more structure and rise. Therefore, you can turn your spelt flour into self-rising flour by adding two tablespoons of baking powder for every 150 grams of spelt flour.
What Can I Substitute For Spelt Flour?
One of the best replacements for spelt flour is Einkorn flour, which is made from another wheat-related grain. Einkorn flour tastes similar to spelt flour and you can substitute Einkorn flour in an equal ratio to spelt flour.
Additionally, Einkorn flour is an excellent substitute if you want another flour that is light on the digestive system. Einkorn flour is less starchy and high in protein, making Einkorn flour easy to digest.
If you want a gluten-free alternative to spelt flour, rice flour is a good choice. However, it is best to use white rice flour and since rice flour is dense, you may want to reduce the rice flour by ⅔ of whatever the recipe requires.
Read our related articles to discover what self-rising flour is, what strong flour is, and millet flour substitutes.
Spelt flour is a type of wheat flour, but it is not the same as regular wheat flour. Spelt is said to taste slightly sweet and nutty, and can easily replace wheat flour in most baking recipes.
Typically, spelt flour is best used for recipes that need a light and airy texture. However, spelt flour does not offer much structure in recipes, which is why you may need to add baking powder to your spelt flour.