The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Is millet flour supposed to have an afterflavor bitterness?

clazar123's picture

Is millet flour supposed to have an afterflavor bitterness?

I have bought millet flour from Bob's Red Mill and Arrowhead Organic Flours and both times the millet flour had a very bitter afterflavor. The "Use By" dates were in the future (2014 and 2015) so they should not have been "old". I contacted both companies -who have EXCELLENT customer service and am awaiting replacements. I had the same experience with sorghum flour.

While I am awaiting the replacements, I tasted the same flours in the bulk bins at a local food coop. Same thing. Very bitter afterflavor. 

So is millet flour typically initially sweet tasting with a bitter afterflavor?

BreadBro's picture

Wait, wait, wait. Are you tasting the raw flour? You might want to bake it first and see how it turns out. No matter the flour, if you taste it raw it will have a generally unpleasant flavor.

clazar123's picture

Raw wheat flour tastes starchy-almond flour tastes a bit sweet/nutty. Buckwheat flour a bit starchy/sweet/grassy. Soy flour tastes starchy/beany/bland.You get what I mean.

I don't want to eat raw flour but if the flour tastes bitter raw, it will taste even worse when it has been mixed with liquids. I'm not talking a little bitter,either. The millet and sorghum both tasted initially sweet but as it sat on your tongue just a few seconds it developed a medicinal bitterness that was just awful-reminiscent of the saponins from unwashed quinoa.

The reason I tasted my flours in the first place is that the first loaf I made with these flours tasted awful- very bitter. I had heard millet and sorgum described as sweeter/nutty/kind of wheatty(the sorghum). I did NOT expect bitterness.

Crider's picture

after being milled before it starts getting rancid. I mill my own sorghum flour once in a while, use it immediately, and it isn't bitter at all.

I don't know anything about millet, though. I think Bob's Red Mill packs their flour in nitrogen, so if I had some I would put it in the freezer after I opened it.

clazar123's picture

I use a Nutrimill for my wheat but I need to use a different mill for the gluten free grains. I have 2 smaller electric mills that don't get the wheat quite as fine but after feeling the consistency of the commercially ground white rice flour, millet and sorghum, I think I can get close.

So what do you use to mill the sorghum?

embth's picture

I keep millet flour in the freezer and have not had a bitter flavor.  Millet adds a nut-like flavor to bread.  I also keep chestnut flour, flax seed, sunflower seeds, and whole wheat flour in the freezer.  Anything that is apt to get rancid stays in the freezer.

isand66's picture

I have also used the Millet flour and did not experience any bitterness at all.