The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Amaranth or Millet? Anyone with experience?

luc's picture

Amaranth or Millet? Anyone with experience?

I've become somewhat of a grain junky. LOL!
Anytime I come across something that I don't normally use/eat/bake with I buy it in hopes that at some point I can incorporate it into my breads.

So the grains of the day are:

Amaranth and Millet and Buckwheat

Anyone with interesting recipes?
The millet I'm used to seeing used for alcoholic drinks in Nepal and Tibet. Which are great but I'm interested in using it this time in my bread.

All seem to be quite a hard grain/seed(?) so I'm assuming that an overnight soak is likely.

Do they need to be milled or can they be used pretty much as they are untoasted and unmilled?

Beyond on that does anyone have any insight into flavors they impart?

Since most of my breads these days are two day affairs - overnight refrigerator fermentation and 1 hour proofing prior to baking the next day... will these seeds offer me any possiblities that I can't get with the whole wheat and rye that I've been using?

All would seem to make fairly decent porridge.

Best regards,

titus's picture


You don't need to soak either amaranth or millet.

I haven't used amaranth in baking (we eat it as a breakfast porridge or as a substitute for potatoes). Amaranth is really delicious! You can even pop it like popcorn, although that's something I haven't done.

Millet only needs to be rinsed and toasted and added into bread -- it adds a sweet, nutty crunch. In fact, you don't *have* to toast it, but I always do. Millet can also be eaten as a porridge (but we don't eat it that way, as it has a high glycemic index).

Buckwheat -- I don't like it, so I never use it.

helend's picture

All I know about these grains are they have no gluten and are considered "easily" digestible. I have a friend who grinds them into flour but they need help such as pectin or xanthan gum to "glue" together.

Most of these grains have higher GI index and more protein than wheat.

I have been meaning to try inerja bread from ethiopa which is made from millet but haven't got round to it yet - has anybody?

Buckwheat is from rhubarb family and is easily bought in UK as a flour. It makes great pancakes or blinis - I also make it into noodles using a normal egg pasta recipe and a tagliatelli cutter on the pasta roller machine. It is a funny blue colour but a nice flavour although quite distinctive - sort of love it or hate it.

timtune's picture

Speaking about grains, i like experimenting with different grains too!
but i have yet to try amaranth and quinoa. I think buckwheat's better as a flour or milled in baked goods. i dun quite like it in the whole.

Btw, just baked a 20% millet bread with some potatoes and oat bran topped with sesame.

Image hosting by Photobucket

Waiting to test it tomorrow ;)

kenaparsons's picture

In Flatbreads and Other Flavors (a wonderful culinary anthropology by Duguid and Alford), there are recipes for both grains, though the millet one is a flatbread. If I remember correctly, Reinhart's Bread-Baking Apprentice starts off with an Amaranth loaf. I've made the millet flatbread and as said, it does have a wonderfully nutty flavor. We used it like tortillas with beans and rice.

In response to helend, isn't injera is made with teff, not millet? Or is that the same thing? I use a brown or a red teff flour for making it, but thought that it was different from millet. In any case, with the standard two day wet ferment, it is a very sour, spongy bread. Easy to make, just time consuming over the stove. 3 1/2c teff, 3 1/2c water, 1/2c corn meal, and 1Tbsp Yeast. Cover and two days later thin out to crepe batter consistency. Cook on a 12" inch skillet, one side only. Good with anything - esp. Nutella after a spicy meal.

JMonkey's picture


You're thinking of Anadama bread, which is a New England traditional bread made with wheat flour, corn mash and molasses.

The story is that some man's wife, named Anna, left the man with nothing but a bit of flour, some corn mash on the stove and molasses. He was hungry, so he whipped it all up into a loaf while muttering, "Anna, damn her!"

Anyway, it's not a bad bread. But no Ameranth in it! :-)

Floydm's picture

I keep meaning to post an anadama recipe. It is great stuff.

JMonkey's picture

Floyd, when you make Anadama bread, does the corn come out crunchy or does it blend into the bread? I made the BBA's anadama a while back using Bob's Red Mill coarse cornmeal, and the cornmeal was soooo crunchy, I ditched the loaf. I didn't like the texture. The birds did, though. :-)

I've been meaning to make the Laurel's Kitchen version, which makes a corn mash instead of a corn soaker (and whole wheat flour, of course) but haven't gotten around to it.

Floydm's picture

I think I've gone both ways: used fine corn meal as well as coarse meal (typically labeled polenta).

I agree that too much hard, coarse meal isn't good. I don't think I've ever used a mash, but I have soaked a coarser meal overnight so that it softened up some. I don't have a preferred way of doing it though, it just depends on what kind of mood I am in and what ingredients I want to get rid of.

helend's picture

hi kenaparsons - yup you are right - my mistake! I think I meant teff but am a bit befuddled at present as is wikipedia for millet says called teff too and one ethiopian site seems to say you can use either. Also I notice I can't spell injera either - oh dear. Time for another hot cross bun :)

thesmilees's picture

So you have had the Millet drink in the Himalayas?? I've been trying to find a recipe for that. I know it as Tongba and I'd love to brew some. Any advice?

As far as Millet and Buckwheat go -- If you put Buckwheat it in, it will taste like Buckwheat... just remember that. Buckwheat porridge is pretty good with salt and cheeze and then there are the Soba noodles and such. We have used Millet in our bread making for years. It is really good. I am actually cooking up some porridge right now too! Here's a good link I found for making the porridge: You can substitute Millett for so many things and it is good too. I recommend it. Look at some Gluten-free sites for more info.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I soaked about 1 1/2 cups of millet -- stirred it on occation and rinsed a few times during the soaking. Soaking reduces bitterness (thanks Jolly) and gets the grain to germinate, this adds food value. Now what???

I was going to add the drained millet to bread but while it was standing there, I was mixing a dish a lot like a quiche with tofu, eggs, green onion, celery parsely, garlic, peppers. Being fresh out of banana leaves, I needed a crust so I mixed a little salt and oil into the millet and lined a buttered cake pan with the mixture going one inch up the sides. Then I poured my concoction gently into it and baked 200°c for 20 minutes (or until set and knife comes out clean in middle.)

It came out very good! A Keeper! I thought I would google Millet Quiche and see if there were any recipes! Yes there are! They seem to boil the grain, but this is even better! Go for it!

 Easy to remove from pan!

Millet crust  (first round)

Mini O

Jolly's picture

"Wow! Mini O:

The quiche looks absolutely delicious. How about posting the recipe. I would love to bake one up.


Mini O---I'm so pleased with my seed bread its my second loaf. I had to feed the first loaf to the birds.


It's a bread recipe taken from Rose Levy "The Bread Bible. I decided to sit down and read through Susan Purdy's book "Pie In The Sky. Its always hit and miss when I bake due to my elevation at 5,000 feet.


We just moved into this area before that I was baking at sea level. I really haven't had time to read through the book but after throwing out my last loaf of bread I can't afford that mistake again, especially with the price of flour and grains.


"Wow! Susan Purdy know what shes talking about. I followed her instructions to the max and produced a beautiful high rising boule that rose about 4 1/2 inches at the higest peak. The crumb was moist and laced with light airy hole, and I got a really good gringe. The flavor awesome.


I used Sourdough Lady's Wild Yeast in making a firm starter for the bread.


Used Richard Bertinets slap and fold method


Susan Purdy's advise on baking at high altitudes it worked. I just needed to cut back my flour, and use less oil, add a little more sugar and salt to slow down fermentation, and not letting the dough double in volume at all. I got the highest oven spring ever. It took 15 minutes for the boule to reach it highest peak during the oven spring.


Didn't use any yeast or vital wheat gluten due to the high altitude of 5,000 feet.


And the bread came out beautiful. The recipe Golden Honey Oat bread. It has the flavor of oatmeal cookies but its bread. It took me a couple of days to adapt the recipe and it was well worth the time. 


So I developed a wonderful (sourdough seed bread recipe) for baking at high altitudes. Best of all it works. And finally I'll get to eat some seed bread after looking at all the posted pictures on this site for the last few months. I've been chomping at the bit to make a good loaf of this bread. Now I can bake up a loaf any time.

I'm so glad you're enjoying you're millet.