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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Breads & Baking / Flour and Sugar Substitutions
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    Flour and Sugar Substitutions

    Chef #1800090672
    Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:35 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Hi There,

    I'm looking to substitute coconut or spelt flour for regular all-purpose/white flour. Also, I'd like to substitute sugar for honey/maple syrup/agave nectar.

    Does anyone have handy tips or a website that I can use to ensure my recipe still turns out good with these substitutes?

    Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:45 pm
    Forum Host
    It isn't a simple substitution for either item, chef. Wheat flour contains gluten, and coconut flour does not. So depending on the recipe, you could end up with a real disaster. Not all recipes require gluten, but in many recipes you need to add xantham or guar gum to substitute for gluten. Also, I understand from the GF crowd that you are more likely to have success if you mix the type of non-gluten flours you use.

    In terms of the sugar, if you are using a liquid sweetener instead of the dry sugar, you also need to reduce the liquid a recipe calls for. It does not matter so much when there is only a little sugar - a few tablespoons, but in a cake recipe, using honey or agave instead of sugar is tricky. Sugar also provides structure, so that the substitution may not work at all in some recipes.

    You might have more success in starting out with recipes that use the coconut flour and a non-sugar sweetener - use the filter by ingredient in the recipe sifter to find the recipes. Then you could start experimenting with other recipes.
    Chef #1800090672
    Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:30 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Thank you so much. That is very useful. I'm just starting out this "baking" thing so I should start with the basics. Maybe get the recipe right using the ingredients called for, then start experimenting once I am more comfortable.

    Thanks again for the useful insight.
    Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:50 pm
    Forum Host
    We are here to help you with your baking adventure. Once you are working with a recipe, come on back and we will be glad to work through it with you.
    PaulO in MA
    Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:15 am Groupie
    If you substitute sugars, also do a search to see if you should adjust the baking temperature. I sometimes substitute maple syrup for sugar in cornbread.* Maple syrup has different sugars, so you reduce the baking temperature by 25F.


    * I'm in New England. We put sugar in cornbread. Shoot me, 'ya all. icon_biggrin.gif
    Red Apple Guy
    Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:38 am
    Forum Host
    Spelt is a wheat and has gluten, just less gluten than modern wheats. The gluten in spelt can be tolerated better for some people than in most wheat flours. See:

    I have baked with spelt some and wouldn't hesitate to substitute spelt flour for 1/3 and perhaps 1/2 of the white flour in a wheat flour bread recipe. It might not rise quite as high as all white wheat flour, but has some advantages.

    PaulO in MA
    Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:45 am Groupie
    I thought you'd comment on the sugar in cornbread. icon_smile.gif

    Did you make the pigs-in-a-blanket yet?

    I was thinking about you and dough springing back while we were on the Outer Banks last week.

    Sunday night is always pizza night. I make pizza dough to take on vacation and freeze it. It's an ice pack for the cooler during the drive down on Saturday.

    I just put it in the refrigerator when we arrive Saturday night, and let it rise late Sunday afternoon. Since it was made days before and is well rested, it has absolutely no spring-back like freshly made pizza dough. Very, very easy to work with.

    Side note: looks like we are buying a home on the Outer Banks. icon_smile.gif
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