Trying to figure out what the difference between spelt flour and wheat flour is? We'll explain that and more, including flavor, texture and recipe tips.
Let's dive in...
What Does Spelt Taste Like?
Spelt goes by many names. Whether you call it hulled wheat, dinkel wheat or spelt berry, it tastes very much like wheat, only sweeter and nuttier.
Often compared to farro, spelt berries contain a higher concentration of these flavors than the flour. Especially when mixed with other ingredients and baked into breads, spelt flour can come across like a sweet wheat flour, but also maintain a hint of earthiness.
Spelt flour looks just like wheat flour, but while wheat flour is dense and fairly heavy, spelt flour makes airy, soft baked good. In this way, it's similar to pastry flour.
The berries are a different story. Like farro, they're chewy when cooked, perhaps even a bit chewier. It's a pleasing texture in salads or in place of rice.
What Is the Difference Between Spelt and Wheat?
That's a good question. Spelt is a type of wheat that's been grown and harvested for thousands of years. Standard wheat and spelt have slightly different nutritional profiles, but they're not far apart.
There are some who believe in the health benefits of spelt, but we'll let you be the judge. Generally, spelt is the preferred flour for a bread that won't break into crumbly chunks when you slice into it thanks to its softness.
Is Spelt Flour Better Than All-Purpose Flour?
Spelt flour is just different from all-purpose flour. You can think of spelt as a product in the wheat flour camp when comparing with white flour.
You may favor all-purpose flour in dessert recipes, but it's totally feasible to use spelt flour instead. It's less earthy than wheat flour, so it's a good in-between if you want a heartier cake.
Spelt Flour Substitute
As you've probably guessed, wheat flour is the best substitute for spelt flour. They're both rich, full-bodied glutinous flours that can be used in a wide array of baked goods.
Some people reach for rye flour as a substitute, which will make a grassier-tasting product. Just know that if you this or other flours with lower gluten contents, you may need to add vital wheat gluten to get a spongy, springy texture.
Cooking and baking with spelt is simple. To get you started, here are some short videos with vegan recipes to add to your list.
This is a quick bread that takes thirty or so minutes to make from start to finish. Add any dried fruits, nuts and seeds you like to snack on.
For this recipe, round up these ingredients:
- Spelt flour
- Instant yeast
- Sea salt
- Sunflower seeds
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Warm water
So this is a recipe for a wheat berry salad, but you can replace the wheat berries with spelt berries.
Here's what's in it:
- Fennel bulb
- Garbanzo beans
- Cooked wheat or spelt berries
- Green onions
- Balsamic vinegar
- Agave nectar
This video will teach you how to make blueberry muffins with spelt flour. They make excellent grab-and-go breakfasts, and they'll be more tender and flavorful than if you were to use wheat flour.
- Spelt flour
- Coconut sugar
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Coconut oil
- Ground chia seeds
Spelt is a nice substitute for wheat flour, sweeter and nuttier with a lighter texture in baked goods. Go for quick or long-baked breads, cakes and muffins with spelt flour, and dress up your cold and warm salads with the berries. They'll add the perfect touch of chewy goodness.