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You Ask, I Answer: Oat and Spelt Flour

gfd_creamhillestates_oatfloAre oat and spelt flours whole grain?

I have celiac disease, so I am looking for ways to make whole grain baked goods without using whole wheat flour.

– Christine Adler
(City withheld), DE

As with wheat flour, these flours are only whole grain if the word “whole” or “whole grain” appears on their packaging (or the ingredient list of a food product).  Never assume!

I am slightly confused by your question, though, since spelt is a form of wheat and certainly NOT gluten-free!

As far as whole oat flour goes — you can make it at home by grinding unflavored and unsweetened quick-cooking rolled oats (which are, by virtue, 100% whole grain) in a food processor.

One word of caution: although oats are gluten-free, many of them are processed in facilities that also handle wheat.  Consequently, cross-contamination is very common.

Fortunately, companies like Gluten Free Oats provide oat products that are certified as gluten-free.

Keep in mind that oat flour by itself will not result in appealing baked goods.

Gluten-free baking is all about combinations of flours — especially quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, and almond meal — as well as the addition of thickeners like xantham gum and guar gum (both of which can be purchased at health food stores).

It is encouraging to see the rise in production and availability of gluten-free all-purpose flours, too.

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2 Comments

  1. Kristin said on October 29th, 2009

    I LOVE oat flour. It’s especially good in quick breads that contain fruit and warm spices (pumpkin muffins, apple cake, etc). And you CAN get oats that are certified gluten free, but you have to read labels to find them. Here is a guide from Karina’s Kitchen on substitutions for gluten free baking. http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2008/12/baking-cooking-substitutions-for-gluten.html

  2. Kristin said on October 29th, 2009

    Sorry Andy—I just realized you mentioned certified gluten free oats in your post. I must have skipped over that part. :)

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