The Power of Flour

There are just so many wonderful, nutritious flours readily available each imparting its own unique flavor and texture. Grain allergies in dogs seem to becoming more rampant in recent years which is why many try to avoid its use so I've separated the grain flours from the grain free flours.  However it should be noted that most holistic veterinarians find that many dogs have protein allergies more often than grain allergies.

When I create my recipes I don’t always follow exact measurement guidelines and the recipes I post are the ones Kirby has approved.  Often times I just play around with different ingredients until I hit the combination he likes but I have included the measurement replacements of alternative flours to use in place of each 1 cup of wheat flour called for in a recipe.  Remember your dog is probably not going to turn up his nose just because you didn’t use the correct measurement.  Texture isn't as important for dogs either.  Kirby doesn't much care if it melts in his mouth or has a delicate crunch.  Flavor is what he craves.

flours

My favorite flours seem to be the oat, coconut and brown rice flours. I never use any corn or soy products due to the detrimental effects they have on dogs so you won't find them on this list.   

1. Whole Wheat Flour

This flour adds a strong nutty flavor, firmer texture and rich brown color with a heavier and denser texture. Keeps 1 to 2 months in the refrigerator and up to 6 months in the freezer.

2. Whole White Wheat Flour

This flour has a milder taste and lighter texture than whole wheat flour requiring less added sweetener than when using wheat flour. Keeps 1 to 2 months in the refrigerator and up to 6 months in the freezer.

3. Oat flour

(1-1/3 cup).  This gluten free flour has a slightly sweet nutty flavor and provides a wonderful lightness and moisture to your baked goods. Keeps for 3 months in a dark cabinet or 6 months in the freezer.

4. Barley Flour 

(1-1/3 cup). A moist, sweet, nut-like flavor with a low gluten content that can actually help to tenderize baked goods. It has a short shelf life but will keep up to 4 months in the freezer.

5. Millet Flour 

(1 cup)  A sweet tasting gluten free flour which imparts a lighter texture with a crunchy crust but can be too dry and crumbly. Keeps up to 2 months in the refrigerator and up to 6 months in the freezer.

6. Brown Rice flour 

(7/8 cup) This gluten free flour lends a strong, nutty flavor and is used as a wheat flour substitute in many dishes.  Because it can go rancid quickly, Keep it stored 4 to 5 months in the refrigerator  or up to 1 year in the freezer. 

7. Rye flour 

(1-1/4 cup) This low gluten flour has a strong earthy taste but when added to baked goods, the results are moist and dense. This flour produces a sticky dough so you may want to wet your hands with water or lightly oil them.  Keeps for 2 months in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.

8. Spelt Flour   

(1 cup) This low gluten flour is from a cereal grain in the wheat family. It has a nutty and slightly sweet flavor similar to wheat flour.  Be careful not to over mix it or risk having a crumbly texture. Keeps for 2 months in a dark cabinet or 6 months in the freezer.

GRAIN FREE

1. Chickpea Flour (also called garbanzo flour)

(3/4 cup)  This gluten free flour absorbs liquids without clumping and adds a mellow, buttery taste.  Keeps 2 to 3 months in the refrigerator and up to 6 months in the freezer.

2. Coconut Flour 

(1/4 cup to 1/3 cup coconut flour + 1 egg)   This gluten free, grain free flour imparts a sweetness because of the natural sugars in the coconut.  This flour is very dry and doesn’t stick together well so be sure to add eggs which allows it to bond and form batter. Keeps up to 1 year in a dark cabinet.

3. Potato Flour 

(5/8 cup)  This grain free flour gives a soft, moist texture and makes dough easier to shape and handle. Because the starch attracts and holds water, you need to add potato flour to the other dry ingredients first and whisk together before adding to liquids to avoid clumping. Potato flour is the entire potato dried and ground whereas Potato starch is solely the starch.  Keeps  up to 6 months in the freezer.

4. Quinoa Flour 

 (1 cup)  The flavor of this gluten free, grain free flour is very mild with a hint of nuttiness. This flour really should be mixed with other flours to avoid a gluey texture. It can go rancid easily so store in the fridge or freezer. 

5. Tapioca Flour 

 (1 cup)  This grain free flour is a starchy, slightly sweet, white flour that improves the texture of baked goods and helps add crispness to crusts and chew to baked goods. It's an extremely smooth flour which makes for a great thickener in sauces and soups since it never discolors and contains no discernible taste or smell. It can also be used to replace corn starch. Keeps up to 3 years in a dark cabinet.

6. Buckwheat Flour 

(7/8 cup)  This gluten free, grain free flour is actually a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel and has a strong nutty taste that can overpower the other flavors in a recipe so it's usually mixed with other types of flour, such as rice or oat, to produce better results. 

Now that you know a little more about these amazing flours it's time to start baking.  Just like we enjoy different breads and crackers, dogs also enjoy the different flavors and textures. Keep a note of what treats your dog liked best and what those ingredients were.  You might just be surprised.