Spelt flour is made of grain called Spelt that origins are in Europe. In the Middle Ages, it was grown in many countries as the main wheat especially in Germany and Switzerland. Centuries later, it widely spread all over the world.
There are two types of this flour including whole and white Spelt flour. When the grain is milled without bran and germ the white Spelt flour is produced.
The best substitutes for Spelt Flour are Einkorn flour, Emmer flour, Kamut flour, Barley flour, Amaranth flour, Rice flour, Oat flour, Quinoa flour, buckwheat flour and Whole-wheat flour.
Spelt Flour Substitutes
Spelt flour as a byproduct of Spelt wheat is used in the production of bread, cakes, muffins, biscuits, pasta, cookies, and many other baked products. It has a light texture, nutty, and a bit of sweet flavor.
If you over-knead it you can get a crumbly texture. Spelt flour can be found as a whole grain Spelt flour, and white Spelt flour. It has a unique flavor and is one of the healthiest flours.
You can substitute it with some other flour but be ready for different flavors and textures. Some of these flours are gluten-free for the peoples allergic to gluten.
1. Einkorn flour
Einkorn flour is made from one of the three hulled wheat types with one common name farro. They can be added to soups, salads, or cooked and eaten plain.
Einkorn flour is used in bread, muffins, cakes, cookies, waffles, and other baked goods. It has a nutty and sweet flavor and high content of nutrients. However, it is not gluten-free so it’s not recommended for people allergic to gluten.
2. Emmer flour
Emmer is hulled wheat mostly cultivated in Italy. It is used for making bread, cakes, cookies, but it’s also used for the production of beer. Whole emmer grains are also used in soups and cooked like rice. Emmer flour has a similar flavor and content to einkorn and Spelt flour. It is not gluten-free so don’t use it if you are allergic to gluten.
3. Kamut flour
Kamut also known as Khorasan wheat is another ancient wheat. It has a nutty flavor and grains bigger than ordinary wheat. The grains can be used whole or milled into flour.
This flour is used in cookies, cakes, bread, waffles, pasta, cereals, and beer. It has a lightly sweet nutty flavor and high content of magnesium, zinc, fiber, selenium, iron, fibers, gluten, and other vitamins and minerals.
4. Barley flour
Made from ground barley this flour is used in the production of bread, cookies, muffins, biscuits, and pancakes. Barley flour can be found as fine and coarse.
It has a sweet and stronger nutty flavor with a beautiful tender texture. This flour contains many vitamins and minerals essential for good health. It has lower gluten content so it’s best to mix it with a small amount of wheat flour for a more flexible texture.
5. Amaranth flour
Amaranth flour is another good substitute for Spelt flour. It’s made from ground seeds from amaranth grain which should not be eaten raw. To reduce the toxic effects which block the absorption of nutrients it should be boiled and then rinsed.
This flour has a nutty slightly spicy and lightly sweet flavor with a crispy texture. It is gluten-free so it’s better to mix it with wheat or almond flour for better texture and easier kneading in a 1:3 ratio (1 part amaranth, 3 parts other flour).
Amaranth flour is used for making bread, pancakes, cookies, and muffins or for thickening gravies, soups, and sauces. It gets color quickly forming a beautiful crust.
Whole amaranth seeds can be popped like popcorn or toasted and added to baked goods. Amaranth flour contains more iron, proteins, and fiber than other grains. The best part? It is also the best gluten-free substitute for Spelt flour.
6. Rice flour
Rice flour is made from ground brown or white rice. Brown rice flour has more fibers and nutritional value than white rice flour which has a milder flavor and lighter texture.
They both have a light nutty flavor which is more expressed in the brown rice flour. Rice flour is used for making cakes, biscuits, pancakes, cookies.
However, it’s also used for thickening stews and soups. If you want to make bread with rice flour you will have to mix it with some other flour because it is gluten-free.
7. Oat flour
Oat flour is rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. It’s made from ground whole oats and contains an important type of fiber called beta-glucan that is good for lowering cholesterol and heart health.
This flour has a sweet, mild, and nutty flavor. It is suitable for preparing waffles, pancakes, cookies, cakes, and muffins. It is also good for making muesli and granola bars. Oat flour is gluten-free, so it’s suitable for people allergic to it.
8. Quinoa flour
Quinoa seeds are used in the production of quinoa flour. They contain a higher amount of vitamins, minerals, protein, and dietary fiber than other grains.
Quinoa flour has a grassy and slightly nutty bitter flavor that can be minimized if toasted before use. It is used in pies, muffins, bread, pancakes, waffles, and cookies as a gluten-free flour.
9. Buckwheat flour
Buckwheat is gluten-free flour made of ground buckwheat seeds. They are not wheat but pseudo-cereals. It contains vitamins, protein, fiber, and a high amount of minerals.
Buckwheat flour has a unique earthy-nutty and slightly bitter flavor with a soft texture. It is used in the production of noodles and for making bread, muffins, cookies, and pancakes.
10. Whole-wheat flour
Whole wheat flour is made when whole grains of wheat is ground. So, it has more vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber than wheat flour. This flour is used for cookies, waffles, cakes, bread, and many other baked goods.
Products made with whole wheat flour have a lovely brown color and nutty flavor with a harder texture. Mix it with other white flours so they could have better texture and nutrients content.
Can I use plain flour instead of Spelt flour?
Yes, plain flour can be used instead of Spelt flour. Plain flour contains more gluten and fewer nutrients, so you will have better texture but fewer nutrients in your recipe.
Can I substitute white flour for Spelt?
Yes, you can substitute white flour for Spelt. Spelt flour is more nutritious than white flour.
How is Spelt flour different from regular flour?
Spelt flour is produced from the grain Spelt while regular flour is produced from wheat kernels. It also contains more nutrients and protein than regular flour.
Is Spelt flour the same as whole wheat flour?
Spelt flour is not the same as whole wheat flour. Spelt flour is produced from the grain Spelt, and whole wheat flour is produced from whole wheat kernels.
Those are a few of the substitutes for Spelt flour. Some of these substitutes are gluten-free so make sure to add baking powder for beautifully risen products and soft texture. Share your own substitutes for spelt flour in the comments.
Thank you for all the good information. I am new to cooking with other flours and this will help me so much.
Thank you — I didn’t know flours were so “complicated” — I appreciate finding your clear explanations of which flour is for what and how to interchange them.