The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Using flours other than wheat.

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hamletcat's picture
hamletcat

Using flours other than wheat.

I'm new to baking bread, I do have a bread machine but I can't really use it because I am trying to make breads with flours other than wheat.  I add gluten flour but have had limited success.  The flours I am trying to use are barley, oat and lowfat soy, and sometimes I add potato starch.  I can't really seem to get the right combination of gluten flour to the other flour.  And my breads turn out dense and don't rise.  Lately I have been trying the no knead method to give the gluten time to form.  But I am not getting the open crumb and oven spring that I should be getting.  Has anyone experimented with other flours and had any success.  I can't eat wheat but would really like to be able to make bread with other flours.  

clazar123's picture
clazar123

It works great. Search "multigrain bread" and you will get a LOT of hits.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

You can't eat wheat, but you can eat other grains, and you have no problem with eating gluten? I've never heard of this condition. What exactly is your body's problem with wheat? If you really want to make wheat-free bread, you should probably start with either a gluten-free bread (just for practice, because it doesn't need the gluten formation) or a 100%rye or 100% barley, etc. recipe, which you could use the excellent search pane above to find, I'm sure. Once you get comfortable making one form of bread, then you can move on from a point of success and confidence, into more experimental procedures.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You don't have to have a problem with wheat to want to cut down on it.

Anyway....  oat, barley, potatoes and soy are making a problem because they are all contain starch but are low gluten flours, they are missing the "glue" to form a matrix and trap gas.  All the soaking and kneading  in the world will not make gluten appear where it cannot.  Trapping gas is the secret here.   I find that the problems start when more than one third of the flour is low gluten flour when mixed with wheat.  That is if you want a fluffy loaf.  Look up the various grains and compare their gluten content.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

Mini,

I didn't say it. I simply read it in the OP: " I can't eat wheat but would really like to be able to make bread with other flours." I'm not opposed to people cutting down on anything they want to cut down on, for any or no reason at all, as long as they're not trying to convince me I should do the same.

If gluten isn't a  problem for the body in question, then it can always be added into whatever recipe the person ends up using, to improve texture and add volume. However, I think a gluten-free bread would be a great starting place for learning to bake wheat-free, because as far as I know, the missing gluten is the biggest challenge in baking wheat-free. I certainly could be wrong, though, because I've never baked gluten-free or wheat-free.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I jumbled up the last sentence in reading. Sorry.  Hope you can forgive me.  I was out clearing the ice off the step and can see better now.  I should do that more often, get the circulation going.  Sunshine and ice, beautiful.

Funny about the wheat but not the gluten.  Anyway, why not try a totally different grain like corn, rye or rice?   There are Gluten free threads around here and I've seen wheat free bread flours in the supermarket.  Will check them out next time I'm there.  Might have some nice recipes on the back as well.   

 

hamletcat's picture
hamletcat

oops.  I guess I should have been more clear on what the issue is.  I use gluten flour in my baking to try to get the other types of flour to act more like wheat flour.  My body is not able to digest certain types of carbs so they end up in my large intestine can cause a whole host of problems.  When I was first diagnosed I was eating commercial wheat products which contain sugars.  I can't digest sugar properly, therefore I am turning to the no knead method which doesn't involve using sugar.  It is not actually the wheat that I think is the issue.  It is the sugar traditionally used in wheat products.  Gluten free baking is somewhat problematic for me because most of the recipes call for things such as xantham gum and guar gum, which I can't digest.  Lately I have been trying to bake using the no knead method using oat flour, barley flour and rice flour, by adding gluten flour to try to a decent open crumb and rise but I am having limited success.  

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I think you need to have a better understanding of what your issues may be-for your own sake. Wheat flour has carbohydrates, proteins,(one of which is gluten) and fats. Wheat has complex carbohydrates that our bodies break down into simple sugars that we then absorb. Sugar in bread is an added ingredient and bread does not have to have ANY added sugar.

If you need to avoid gluten-you cannot have ANY wheat flour products. Some of the other grains may be contaminated with wheat from the field and for people with celiac disease or severe allergy, that can be a problem.

If you need to avoid or control carbohydrates-you need to monitor all forms of sugar and carbohydrates-simple sugar, sweeteners like honey and agave and any starchy product such as anything made with wheat,rice,barley,oats, etc. Gluten free flours made from rice, sorghum, millet, teff, amaranth,corn,oats,barley (did I forget any?) all have carbohydrates.

You don't have to use JUST the NoKnead method for making bread. Make bread any way you want, even the regular way (from whatever flour), and just don't add sugar.

Xanthan gum and guar gum can give many people problems. GLuten free baking with either psyllium seeds or chia seeds as a binder has become more common and works quite well. Gluten free flours need a form of a binder to create a spongey texture to trap the gases in the bread dough so it will rise.

Look up Gluten free baking for additional information-it is a different way of making bread-more like making a cake batter. The websites of King Arthur Flour and Red Star Yeast both have gluten free recipes that are quite delicious.

Look in the "Baking for Special Needs" forum here and use the search box. But first-talk to your doctor and get a clear understanding of what your issues are. A well-trained nutritionist would be a huge help.

 

Xenophon's picture
Xenophon

you need to be aware of the limitations when going low-gluten.  

(and additionally, I'm a  pharmacist by training, not an M.D. but I'd advise you to find out exactly what is the nature of your digestive problem because imo the sugar issue you describe sounds strange, the complex carbohydrates in all starch based flours are broken down into basically the same sugars.  Only thing that comes to mind would be an intolerance to fructans, in which case you can't eat vegetables like chicory and Jerusalem artichoke, Brussels sprouts etc either and then you'd indeed be 'condemned' to adding wheat gluten to other flours).

The one thing I'd advise you to do is to try and stick to simple breads first, until you've got your technique down.  The more ingredients you introduce, the harder it becomes to track down the causes of unsatisfactory results.  You could add some pure gluten based bread improvers and aim for at least 10% gluten content in the final mix, then mix conventionally (not a fan of bread machines but they should work).  But it'll very much be a case of experimentation.  I've done this once (experiment) with pearl millet flour and the result was good but I hesitate to give any recommendation, you really should talk to a dietologist.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

It is better to look for a proven recipe than trying to come up with an own one when you are just learning how to bake breads - there are many in TFL that include different kinds of flours.

I would also recommend breads with long fermentation, those are generally better digestible. How do you tolerate spelt? Or other ancient wheats like kamut, Einkorn or farro?

Karin

 

hamletcat's picture
hamletcat

Thanks everybody.  It is definitely the wheat.  There is something about the starch profile in it that I seem to react to.  I also found it strange that gluten flour I don't react to at all, since it is the gluten that most people have trouble with who can't eat wheat.  I have had success with every other bread product, using wheat replacements, just not yeast raised breads.  I guess I'll just keep trying different recipes.  I can't use the binders used in the gluten free recipes, although I can use gluten.  I can eat eggs but I would really prefer to try to develop a yeast raised bread because they are more versatile.  The feedback has been great so far, very helpful.  

Spelt is next on my list to try, it might be better than actual commercial wheat flour.

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Given the long fermentation and additional action of the LAB, much of the carbs get pre-digested for you.  I've noticed that my SD starter made from Arrowhead Mills organic rye has terrific rise all on its own. Even when I feed regular ole, non-organic Hodgsin's rye flour into it for a levain it will easily double in volume. Also, I think the trick in enriching non- or low-gluten flours with vital wheat gluten is to exercize a certain restraint. Generally the producer recommends something like one teaspoon per cup. Too much gluten could make the dough too tough to expand well, at least in certain circumstances. Another idea might be to feed the yeast in any wheat-free recipe with barley malt rather than table sugar. 

Best of luck in your endeavors.