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Spelt flour as a substitute for whole wheat pasty flour

My recipe calls for WW pastry flour. Can I substitute Spelt flour 1 for 1? I was concerned about the fact that it specifically calls for pastry flour which tends to produce a more tender result.

asked by pianogirl over 1 year ago

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames

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added over 1 year ago

What is it that you're making? I don't have much experience with spelt, other than as a secondary ingredient in yeast breads, but I noticed this article by Alice Medrich, who has a ton of experience using alternative flours: https://food52.com/blog... Based on this, one could easily conclude that it's worth a try.
Also, it stands to reason that spelt would work just fine, given that pastry flour is generally a low gluten flour, while spelt, from what I have read, has gluten that is weaker than wheat flour, i.e., it does not create strong, stretchy strands, meaning spelt is likely to produce a more tender baked good. The WW flour will have a different flavor, but it's certainly worth trying the spelt!
I'll be interested to see others' answers to this. ;o)

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Sipa
added over 1 year ago

I just baked a blueberry galette with a spelt crust. I can't tell you how it works as compared to WW pastry flour but I can tell you that the dough was very tender and cracked easily when rolling out and the finished dough was crumbly. It tasted good but leaked a lot in the oven where cracks appeared.

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames

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added over 1 year ago

Sipa, thanks for letting us know. Your experience is consistent with the fact that spelt's gluten is weak. I tend to agree with the wise, savvy Stella Parks, who has this to say about pie crusts and gluten:

[W]e have to realize that gluten isn't the enemy of our dough. (If it were, we'd have all switched to a gluten-free recipe by now.) To paraphrase an old friend, my ally is gluten, and a powerful ally it is. It's the force that gives pastry its power, that binds a crust together. It strengthens dough so that we can wield it with confidence, knowing it won't fall apart in our hands." http://www.seriouseats...

Lesson here: If you want to use spelt in a pie or galette crust, for flavor or whatever other reason, use some AP flour, too, to strengthen it. ;o)

Maedl
Maedl

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added over 1 year ago

Spelt flour is not necessarily made from the whole grain--you may end up with a different texture or need to use less liquid.

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames

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added over 1 year ago

More on substituting spelt flour for whole wheat (regular, not pastry) here: http://www.thekitchn.com... and on baking with regular pastry flour and WW pastry flour, from Bob's Red Mill: http://www.bobsredmill...
Still, would love to know what the recipe is for, as one must consider these questions in context. ;o)

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pianogirl
added over 1 year ago

Sorry for omitting what I was preparing to use the spelt flour with. I have a zucchini quick bread recipe from Bob's Red Mill.

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames

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added over 1 year ago

pianogirl, based on what I've read - especially Medrich's piece on cakes linked above -- the substitution should not be a problem at all. If you do try it, please let us know how it turns out! ;o)

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