Dear Nigella & Team, Nigella mentions wholemeal (not bread) flour in her Chai Muffins recipe. After much checking, I still don't seem to be able to find an answer that is "not bread" wholemeal flour. Is it something like buckwheat/rye/rice flour or ground almonds, please? Thank you.
Nigella's Chai Muffins (from SIMPLY NIGELLA) are best made with spelt flour. Spelt is an ancient grain that is part of the wheat family and it has a slightly nutty flavour. It also makes tender, soft muffins. If you can't get spelt flour then you can substitute it with a combination of wholemeal (whole wheat) and plain (all-purpose) flours.
In the UK wholemeal flour can be strong wholemeal type that is high in gluten and used for bread or a "plain" type that is used for other baking. For the muffins, you should use the plain type (i.e. not bread flour), as using a high gluten flour, such as the wholemeal bread flour, can make the muffins too tough. If you are not sure whether the flour you have is strong/bread type or the plain type then look at the nutritional information panel on the side of the package. Strong/bread wholemeal flours will have a protein content of 15-16g per 100g. Plain wholemeal flours will have a protein content of 12g per 100g or less. For the US there is slightly less differentiation on the packaging between whole wheat bread flour and all-purpose, so it is best to check the nutritional information panel and use the brand with the lowest protein content.