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Wholemeal Flour For Chai Muffins

Asked by eddy_. Answered on 24th April 2021

Full question

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.

SIMPLY NIGELLA UK book cover
Chai Muffins
By Nigella
  • 14
  • 2

Our answer

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.

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