Grains that have been used for centuries throughout the world are becoming increasingly popular as food sources in the US too. Sorghum and flour made from it are an example of one of these grains. It provides special nutritional properties, as well as adding variety and structure and standard pastries
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Background and history
A grain common in Africa and India through the story, sorghum also grown in the United States and are becoming increasingly available for consumer purchase. According to the US Grains Council, is sorghum the third most important grain crop nationally and the fifth most important in the world. Sorghum has long been used in the United States as a grain feed for animals, but is now seen as an alternative grain for human consumption. The whole grain kernel is ground into a flour that can be used for cooking and baking. It is also known as Milo flour.
A significant reason why sorghum flour has entered the health food spotlight is because it is gluten-free. Gluten is a protein found in many grains such as wheat, barley, rye and oats. While some people choose to eat gluten-free food because of mild intolerance, this type of diet is important for those who have celiac disease. The disease is an autoimmune disorder caused by a reaction to gluten that can lead to malabsorption of nutrients as well as severe abdominal pain and related symptoms. People with celiac disease must eat a gluten-free diet, making sorghum flour ideal for cooking and baking. Sorghum has a similar nutritional makeup of grains even if it is higher in protein and fat and lower in vitamin A.
Applications for Sorghum Flour
Traditionally, this flour has been used as a cereal food to make pancakes and fermented and unfermented porridges and flatbreads through different cultures, such as jowar roti in India. In the US, it is becoming more common to use sorghum flour in pastries. It can be added or substituted in any recipe requiring flour cakes, cookies, bread and muffins.
Considerations for using Sorghum Flour
Sorghum flour has a bland taste that may be beneficial for baking because it will add an unknown or distinctive taste. However, because of their lack of gluten, it has an impact on the structure of the baked goods. Gluten acts as a binding agent in food, then consider adding an alternative binder cornstarch recipes when using sorghum flour. Besides producing sorghum often drier, crumbly final product. Adding extra oil or other fat source and egg can improve the texture and add a leavening agent such as baking powder or baking soda will help the dough rise.
Where to Find It
Sorghum flour can be found in many specialty health food stores in the same section as other grains and flour. You can also find it in gluten-free section if the store has one. It can also be found in ethnic food markets. It may be listed under another name. For example, in the Indian culture sorghum flour called jowar Atta.