Have you ever been confused about the variety of flours? Most recipes seem to call for ‘all purpose flour’, but evidently professional bakers would always use a specialized flour (see my baking page for more info on flours). Also, my healthy food guru, Dr. Joel Fuhrman suggests not to buy anything where regular wheat flour is listed in the first 4 ingredients. So in the interest of being healthy and choosing the right flours for the job, I have tried recipes using whole wheat, spelt, brown rice, soy, amaranth, chickpea and various densities of regular flour. Each flour does have different properties and for those needing to cut back on gluten, it is important to try out the alternatives. I also believe that we benefit nutritionally from having variety in our diets. HOWEVER, I am now totally confused as to what to use each flour for, and having bought so many flours for specific recipes, I found I had about 6 mini bags of flour in my cupboards.
I decided I was tired of all these bags cluttering my space, but I wanted to have the benefits of them. Therefore, I simply dumped them all together in a big plastic (BPA free, of course) container. At first you could see the different flours, so I did decide to mix them up. Now I use this every time a recipe calls for ‘all purpose’ flour. Basically, with all these flours, you always need a mix since most of them have properties do no lend well to being the sole flour. I will admit that my baked goods may not be rich and fluffy like something cooked with regular white flour, but it works (at least nothing has been a total disaster). One of the flours was a bit bitter, so most of my baked treats are as well. Now my container is almost empty, and I think I will continue creating mixes. Ideally I will be able to stick to whole and variety grains, and then I won’t feel quite as bad having a baked good! My goal is to eliminate plain wheat flour and increase the variety of grains in my diet, and this seems a relatively easy way to reach that goal.
I would be interested to hear what flours you like and have used with success as well.