I think we can all agree flour is an essential baking ingredient. But with the increasing number of dietary preferences and restrictions, choosing the right type of flour can be a daunting task.
While all-purpose flour is a versatile option that can be used for a wide range of recipes, millet flour has gained popularity in recent years due to its gluten-free and nutrient-dense properties. Let’s take a closer look at these two flours side by side…
Comparing millet flour vs all-purpose flour
|Millet flour||All-purpose flour|
|Substitution ratio (vs all-purpose flour)||1:2*||N/A|
|Common Allergens||Millet, possibly wheat (rare)*||Wheat, gluten|
|Pantry shelf life||2 months||6-8 months|
|Best for||Gluten free cakes, pancakes, waffles, muffins, or anything that needs a delicate crumb||Non-yeast recipes, cookies, biscuits, and some breads|
*Millet contains some proteins that share a chemical structure with the proteins in wheat, which can potentially cause allergic reactions in people who are allergic to wheat.
*100% of all-purpose flour can be subbed for millet flour, but it is better to use 50% millet flour and 50% all-purpose, or a gluten-free all-purpose flour (the best for cakes!).
Differences between millet flour and all-purpose flour
All-purpose flour is made from wheat and contains gluten, which is a protein that gives dough its elasticity and allows it to rise. Millet flour, on the other hand, is a whole-grain, gluten-free alternative for people who have a sensitivity to gluten. Those with a gluten allergy should be cautious as millet flour has similar proteins to gluten which could cause an allergic reaction, but this is pretty rare.
Millet flour is made by grinding millet grains into a fine powder (millet is a group of small-seeded grasses that are grown as a cereal crop). It has a light texture and a mild, slightly nutter flavor, which can add a pleasant taste to baked goods. All-purpose flour can create a variety of textures depending on how it is used in a recipe and it has a neutral flavor that doesn’t add much to the taste of baked goods.
This is what makes all-purpose flour such a versatile ingredient that can be used in a wide range of recipes, including bread, cakes, and pastries. Millet flour is more limited in its use and is best suited for recipes that require a more delicate crumb, such as gluten-free cakes and muffins.
Baking with millet flour vs all-purpose flour
The gluten in all-purpose flour gives baked goods their elasticity and helps them rise. Millet flour is gluten-free and doesn’t have this property, which can affect the texture of baked goods.
All-purpose flour produces a denser, chewier texture in baked goods. Millet flour has a lighter texture than all-purpose flour, which can make baked goods more tender and crumbly. However, it can also make them less cohesive and more prone to falling apart.
Millet flour also has a high absorption rate for moisture, which means that it can dry out baked goods more quickly than all-purpose flour. To avoid this, add less millet flour when using it in place of all-purpose flour, or stick to a 50/50 mix of millet flour and all-purpose flour for moist, tender baked goods.
Ingredients in millet flour vs all-purpose flour
The ingredients list for millet flour is typically quite simple with one ingredient: whole grain hulled millet (organic is best!). However, some brands of millet flour may add small amounts of other ingredients, such as rice flour or tapioca flour, to improve the texture or baking properties. It is always best to check the ingredients list on the packaging to ensure that the millet flour is pure and does not contain any additives.
All-purpose flour, on the other hand, contains wheat flour and may contain additives such as bleaching agents and preservatives. Some brands of all-purpose flour may also add small amounts of malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, or folic acid, to enrich the flour and improve its nutritional value.
Millet flour and all-purpose flour nutritional facts
|Per ¼ cup serving||Millet flour||All-purpose flour|
|Glycemic index score||~53||85|
Millet flour is a good source of nutrients such as magnesium, phosphorus, and fiber. Millet flour is more nutrient dense than all-purpose flour, but it’s also much higher in calories, carbs, and fat, so it should be consumed in moderation.
Millet flour has a lower glycemic index than all-purpose flour because the quality of carbohydrates are higher, but it’s not low by any means, especially when compared to almond flour. If carbs are a concern, check out the full list of lowest-carb flours.
Otherwise, millet flour and all-purpose flour have equal amounts of fiber and protein.
Millet flour vs all-purpose flour storage
All-purpose flour has a longer shelf life than millet flour due to its gluten content, which acts as a natural preservative. Both flours should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, but millet flour is more prone to spoilage due to its high oil content.
In my experience, it’s best to store millet flour in the refrigerator or freezer to extend its shelf life to up to 6 months (vs 2 months at room temperature). All-purpose flour can generally stay fresh at room temperature for around 6-8 months.
Millet flour vs all-purpose flour: The ultimate choice
The ultimate choice between millet flour and all-purpose flour depends on the recipe you’re making, as well as your dietary needs. All-purpose flour is a good option for recipes that require elasticity or rise, while millet flour can produce tender baked goods with a more delicate crumb.
Ultimately, millet flour is the better choice for those looking for a good gluten-free or nutrient-dense alternative to all-purpose flour. However, all-purpose flour is a better choice for certain recipes, such as bread or pasta, because it contains gluten, which is necessary to get the right texture and structure.
Millet flour can be a good option for baking, especially for those who have gluten sensitivity or are looking for a nutrient-dense alternative. However, it has a lighter texture and high moisture absorption rate, which can affect the outcome of baked goods.
No – millet flour is made from millet grain, while plain flour is made from wheat. Millet flour is gluten-free and has a lighter texture, while plain flour contains gluten and has a denser texture.
Millet flour is best used for recipes that require a light and fluffy texture, such as pancakes, waffles, and muffins. It can also be used as a thickener for soups and stews, and as a coating for fried foods.