Millet flour is often an overlooked flour, but I think it deserves some attention.
With its mild flavor and a myriad of health benefits, this ancient grain can be used in a variety of baked goods, from bread to cookies and everything in between.
But before we get into that…what is millet? Is it wheat? A grain? A seed?
What is millet flour?
Millet flour is a type of flour made from millet, a small-seeded grain that belongs to the Poaceae family. Millet is an ancient crop that has been cultivated for thousands of years and is widely used in various parts of the world.
Commercially, millet flour is made by grinding millet grains into a fine powder. The millet grains are first cleaned to remove any impurities, and then they are ground in a mill until they reach the desired consistency. Although millet flour doesn’t contain corn, it has a light yellow color that looks and tastes similar to cornmeal.
Millet flour can also be made at home by grinding millet grains in a high-speed blender or a grain mill, which I’ll show you how to do later.
What’s the difference between millet flour and regular flour?
Millet flour is made from grinding millet grains, which are naturally gluten-free, while regular flour is typically made from wheat, which contains gluten.
They have very different textures and bake differently in recipes. For more info, see when to use millet or regular flour, and find out which one is the ultimate choice.
Benefits of millet flour
Millet flour is a popular gluten-free alternative for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Whole-grain millet flour is a good source of fiber, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, and B vitamins.
It has a light, mild flavor – something you don’t often find with other gluten-free flours. So, it’s versatile for both sweet and savory recipes – everything from bread and muffins to pancakes and pizza crust.
Millet flour nutrition facts
|Flour (¼ cup)||Calories||Carbs||Fiber||Sugar||Fat||Protein||Glycemic Index|
|Millet flour||150||31 g||1 g||0 g||2 g||4 g||~53|
|All-purpose flour||120||24 g||1 g||0 g||0.5 g||4 g||85|
How to bake and cook with millet flour
Millet flour has a mild but subtly sweet and nutty flavor, so it pairs well with other nutty flavors like almond or peanut butter. It also produces a “delicate crumb” texture which is great for gluten-free cakes.
While millet flour can be used on its own, it’s often combined with other gluten-free flours to create a more balanced texture in baked goods. Try combining it with rice flour, tapioca flour, or almond flour.
You can use millet flour as a 1:1 substitute for all-purpose flour, but it’s best to use 50% millet and 50% all-purpose or gluten-free all-purpose. Keep in mind that millet flour has a tendency to absorb more moisture than regular wheat flour, so you may need to add extra liquid. Try increasing the amount of eggs, oil, or water in your recipe.
For cooking, millet flour can be used to make a delicious and nutritious porridge or vegetable stir-fry!
Popular millet flour baked goods and dishes
- Gluten-free bread
- Gluten-free cakes
- Pizza crust
- Pancakes and waffles
- Pilaf and stir-fry
- Thickener in soups, stews, and sauces
How to make millet flour at home
Making millet flour at home is actually pretty simple. There’s both hulled and pearled millet available. I recommend using hulled millet that has had the hard, indigestible husk removed.
Here are the basic steps:
- Place millet in a high-speed blender or grain mill.
- Blend or grind millet 30 seconds at a time, scraping down the sides as you go, until it turns into a fine powder.
- Sift the millet flour through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any larger pieces of millet that didn’t get fully ground.
- Blend the larger pieces that didn’t get finely ground, sift, and add to the rest of the millet flour.
How to store millet flour
Millet flour has a very short shelf life, as it’s prone to going rancid. It doesn’t last very long at room temperature – about 2 months. Millet flour should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark location for optimal freshness.
It’s best to store millet flour in the freezer, where it can stay fresh for up to 6 months or longer.
What are the best substitutes for millet flour?
Sorghum flour and white rice flour are similar to millet flour in that they are both gluten-free flours with a similar mild flavor, although white rice flour is slightly more neutral. You can also use wheat flour (all-purpose) for an easy replacement.
Note millet flour is not suitable for a keto or paleo diet. If that’s important to you, almond flour is a great low-carb, whole-food option.
Millet flour is made from millet, which is a type of small-seeded grass that is ground into a fine powder to create the flour.
Yes, but it’s best to use 50% millet flour and 50% all-purpose flour or a gluten-free all-purpose flour due to its crumbly texture.
No, millet flour is not wheat and is gluten-free. Millet is a type of small-seeded grass, while wheat is a type of cereal grain.