The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

spelt flour

saintdennis's picture

spelt flour

 I see lot different flour on the market.What is spelt flour and how its works??? The spelt flour is same as all-purpose flour I can use it just how is it or like rye flour you can use only one cup and two cups all-purpose because,must be mix with other flour. I saw 50 lb of spelt flour that cost about $ 55.00. Also I see lot of different flour such as soy , rice and I do not know how to use them. In my books I have rye,whole wheat and all-purpose.Those flours are not cheap.Does someone have any idea how to use them????   

                                           Thank You for your  help.



blaisepascal's picture

As the subject says, flours are dry finely-milled powders. Spelt flour is milled from spelt, a close relative of wheat. Rye flour is milled from rye, soy flour is milled from soybeans, whole wheat flour is milled from whole wheat, and all-purpose flour is milled from all-purpose. Er, maybe not the last one.

Different grains (and beans, and tubors, and pulses, and anything else they make flour from) have different makeups of starches, proteins, fibers, etc. As such, different flours have different effects on breads.

Probably the most important characteristic in terms of baking bread is the gluten content of the flour. Gluten is the protein (or family of proteins) that allows bread to rise.

Wheat is the main grain that contains gluten. Because other grains, like rye, amaranth, buckwheat, rice, etc, don't contain very much if any gluten, it is usually recommended to use a mix of wheat and the other grain to get a light loaf. Rye bread, for instance, made without wheat tends to be very heavy and dense. If this isn't what you wanted, it can be a bad thing.

Spelt is similar to wheat, but has a slightly lower gluten content. Not low enough to be a good thing to people with gluten intolerances, but low enough that it requires some special handling when baking.

"Whole wheat" and "AP" flour are both made from wheat. All grains consist of multiple parts, two of which are the bran (a dense, usually dark colored blob of proteins, fibers, and fats) and the endosperm (which is mostly made of starch, with some protein content). It is possible, when stone-milling wheat to achieve some separation of the bran from the endosperm, so it was possible to get a gradiation of dark flour to light flour. THe dark flour had less endosperm, less gluten, and spoiled faster. The light flour was, therefore, more expensive and prized. As such, "white bread" was typically reserved for the upper classes. Then someone invented roller mills which made it much easier to separate out the endosperm from the bran, and cheap white flour resulted. White bread, once prized, became commonplace. The bad chased out the good, and Wonderbread(tm) resulted.


Commercial whole wheat flour results when they take the streams coming out of the roller mill and remix them, to get a uniform flour that has much the same character as the wheat grains that went in. AP flour is blended mostly of the "white" portion of the flour stream, and has specific characteristics of gluten content dictated by the manufacturer. Both Whole Wheat and AP flours are made of wheat.

Ramona's picture

When I grind my spelt flour, I have found that it takes longer, but produces a more powdery type of flour, which is really good for cakes, cookies, etc.  I have also used it in my doughs, but I do add hard, red spring wheat with it.  I know that it also makes good pasta too.  It is used just like wheat in general baking, but with bread, you would probably want to add some wheat with it.  I bought the regular spelt grain, which is a golden color kernal, but I think they also sell a white spelt, but not sure, maybe it's just a white spelt flour, that is processed like wheat.