Unlike coffee beans, coffee flour has a taste reminiscent of dark, rich, roasted fruits. Due to its fibrous composition, coffee flour requires extra moisture for hydration. Applications include bread, cookies, muffins, brownies and more. Coffee flour comes in fine and coarse grinds. The fine grind is best suited for baking and can be paired with any flour, with the best results occurring at a 10% to 25% substitution.
“We recommend using it at 10% to 15% initially in recipes and then increasing addition as you become familiar with its unique properties and behavior with other ingredients,” said Jason Wilson, executive chef at Coffee Flour. “We also recommend sifting the flours together, because adding them separately may result in uneven hydration absorption.”
In yeasted baked foods, Mr. Wilson also recommended using pans or tins that have walls. This provides a tactile surface to optimize rise during baking. Coffee flour items rise less than typical yeasted items.
An added perk is coffee flour’s high concentration of antioxidants, which naturally extends its shelf life as well as that of the finished product.
“Bakers need to be aware that coffee flour is dark by nature; therefore, baked goods will appear darker while baking,” Mr. Wilson said. “Avoid the temptation to remove from the oven early. Trust the recipe’s cooking time.”
A range of nut flours are finding their way into baked snack foods and cookies. Nut flours tend to be high in fat, fiber and protein. Almond and hazelnut are the most common, but others are available. Nut flours are gluten-free, so other ingredients are required to bind moisture to yield strong and elastic dough. In addition to being nutrient dense, nut flours contribute flavor and texture to baked foods. Because of their high oil content, they do tend to go rancid quickly.
Blue Diamond Almonds Global Ingredients Division markets a line of gluten-free almond flours designed to replace traditional flours in many baked foods. Because almonds have a sweet flavor, sugar may be reduced by about 25%, and fat can often be reduced by approximately 25%.
There are three almond flour granulations. Extra-fine natural is as versatile as blanched flour with a natural light tan color. Extra-fine blanched has a powder-like consistency for delicate cookies, breads and cakes. Fine blanched gives nutritious texture to everyday baking. It toasts to a rich golden color.
Going forward, variety flours will likely have a greater presence in the formulation of baked foods. Inclusion may satisfy consumers’ cravings for adventure or for health and wellness benefits.