The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

farina di castagne (chestnut flour)

embth's picture

farina di castagne (chestnut flour)

I  received as a gift a kilogram of chestnut flour.  Seems like fresh and lovely stuff....but I would appreciate some general advice from fellow bakers who have used chestnut flour in their breads.   Is it better used in sweet recipes,  will it be too strong a flavor in an Italian bread, can it become part of a multi-grain mixture?  

Thank you all....and Happy Holidays!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

upper left corner of the page.  :)   Treat as a nut flour, or non-gluten flour.   

embth's picture

Yes, I tried searching.  I found the fig bread....and the one good loaf, one not-so-good post.

Tried "googling"  chestnut flour.   So I am learning that it will make the bread a bit darker, a bit nutty in flavor.

All that sounds goood.  I love roasted chestnuts.

What is the best thing you have made using chestnut flour?   What types of products does it really work well in?

I have followed an Italian bread recipe this morning which includes some semolina and chestnut flours (a scant half cup).

Time will tell  : )

Thank you, Mini-oven, for your response.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

nor is it cooked or candied.  It is simply dried and milled.   I have never cooked with the flour.  I have had candied chestnuts, mashed & cooked,  roasted nuts and chopped up boiled nuts.  Remind me a lot of potatoes.  I suppose you could take a normal wheat bread recipe and replace up to 1/3 of the flour with chestnut flour and see what happens.  I understand it is sweet and has thickening properties, yet gluten free.  You could also roast or brown some chestnut flour before using or brown with some sugar in butter and add milk or water to make a paste.  This could then be used in more recipes like puddings or fillings for rolls or even combined then with bread dough (like mashed potatoes) to make a moist bread.  Cooked and set flour & water gel could be grated and mixed into bread dough just like grated cooked potato.  Might make interesting dark flecks in the crust surface.  Try replacing 1/3 the flour in pancake batter and see what it tastes like.  Do the same with the roasted flour.  Use some to thicken soup.  Or try some in a shortbread cookie recipe.  I can imagine a little nutmeg would be good with chestnut flavor or anything that goes well with potatoes,  chives, caraway, cheese etc.  Crackers?

embth's picture

Well...two loaves out of the oven, cooled and sampled.  Crumb is a bit darker than whole wheat (there is some whole wheat in this)  The taste is not really like roasted chestnuts which makes sense, as you say, the chestnuts in the flour were dried and ground.   My other half has some in front of him as he works in his office.   Bread rose well and has nice texture to the crumb.  So, I have at least one use for this flour.  I will keep looking online as I feel there must be some specialty cookies or pastry that makes use of this ingredient.   I appreciate your input.           

Happy baking! 

sweetbird's picture

Hi embth,

Just this morning I pulled up a recipe stored in my computer for fettucine made with chestnut and AP flour! I haven't tried it yet, but am hoping to find some chestnut flour tomorrow on a shopping trip. I regret that I can't say who the author of the recipe is; usually I save that information, but this time I didn't. Anyway, I offer it in case it intrigues you (and a topping recipe follows the pasta recipe).

All the best,  Janie

Chestnut Fettuccine

Recipe Summary
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes for the sauce and 3 minutes for the fettuccine
Yield: 4 Servings

Dough Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup chestnut flour
Pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients
2 medium sized eggs
2 tablespoons tepid water

In a food processor, place all the dry ingredients except for the water. Add the eggs. Start the mixer allowing the ingredients to blend for 30 seconds, then add the water. As soon as it starts to look like it is a heavy corn meal, stop the processor and feel the dough. It should be very dry, but when pinched between your fingers, it should stick together. Don’t add additional water unless the dough is not sticking together. Remove the mixture and knead for 10-15 minutes by hand. The amount of water could vary depending on the humidity.

If you are making the dough by hand, place the flour on a board and make a well in the middle. Add the eggs in the well and mix the wet ingredients into the flour with a fork. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, cover it with a clean kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out.

Using a pasta machine, roll a piece of the dough through each level. Once you have rolled it through the last level the dough will be ready to roll through the noodle cutter of the pasta machine. Rolling the dough through these levels also kneads it. Using the noodle cutter, roll a piece of dough through and take half the noodles and roll them around your hand to form a little nest. Put them on a kitchen towel and let them dry. If you have a pasta hanger, don’t make nests, but hang them to dry.

Note:. Chestnut flour may be found in specialty stores

Sage And Pine Nut Sauce

Recipe Sumary
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 6-7 minutes
Yield: 4 Servings

1 lb pasta
12 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup pine nuts
Several leaves of fresh sage
Salt to taste

In a deep pan, boil salted water and cook the fettuccini. If the pasta is boxed, cook according to directions. If the pasta is fresh, it will take less than 3 minutes to cook.

While the water is heating up, prepare the sauce. In a saucepan, melt the butter and the oil. Cut the sage leaves lengthwise and place them in the saucepan along with the pine nuts. Sauté it in the butter and oil, watch the pine nuts very carefully as they will brown very quickly. Remove from the stove as soon as they start to turn golden brown and allow them to finish browning in the hot butter. If the sauce needs more liquid, add a little boiling water from the pasta.

embth's picture

Thank you Janie....that does sound like a perfect use for the flour.   I have found a few cake recipes as well....mostly Italian, but it seems to be used in some Eastern European pastries as well.  It is always fun to try a new ingredient and this gift presents an interesting opportunity.   Perhaps a Christmas Eve dinner.....must get my pasta machine out.  Poor thing has not seen the light of day in years.   TFL is a wonderful resource for amateur bakers and cooks.    Happy Holidays to you and a Happy Healthy 2012!

sweetbird's picture
sweetbird you, too! It's a good time to haul out the pasta machine and have some fun. Whatever you decide to try, I look forward to reading about it.

Happy baking in 2012,  Janie