Spelt Flour: Our Key Ingredient

What is Spelt Flour?

spelt flour pasta makingBoth white and whole grain versions are readily available at health food stores and online. The big advantage of the white spelt flour is that it is pretty much a one-to-one replacement for all-purpose wheat flour and can be used to make bread, noodles, cakes, and anything else that is cooked or baked with wheat. Spelt contains gluten, so it works pretty much as any wheat flour will.

At Spelt Gourmet, we are mainly interested in white flour, because we prefer to cook things that would be normally made with white flour: Italian pastas and pizza, French bread, and Asian wheat noodles. We like whole-wheat bread just as much as the next guy; whole-wheat pasta not so much. And you can’t make dumpling wrappers out of whole-wheat flour (actually, you can; we’ve done it—it was very hard work and the dumpling skins were much too chewy).

Adapting Recipes with Spelt Flour

We sometimes find that we need to adjust the quantities a little when adapting recipes to use spelt. A little less liquid is often needed for a given quantity of spelt flour than for all-purpose flour. A good rule of thumb is to adjust the liquid in your recipe down by 10-15%, but your mileage will definitely vary. By the way, if your recipe calls for cake flour, here’s an easy replacement. Just use white spelt flour instead of the all-purpose flour.

Buying Spelt Flour

We mainly use VitaSpelt‘s non-organic white spelt flour. We buy it 25 lbs at a time (50 lb bags are available as well). Organic and non-organic whole spelt flours are also available from VitaSpelt. We like to always have some whole spelt flour on hand (see our spelt pita bread recipe), but we prefer to buy smaller quantities to ensure freshness. If you’re just starting out, many health food stores carry it in their bulk sections. Buy a few pounds of it and try out some of our recipes. If you plan to do much cooking and baking, buying the flour in bulk from VitaSpelt save you significant money.