In line with the trend for more experimental bread, interest in flours made from vegetables is growing. “Beetroot and spinach are popular flour alternatives at the moment, especially for wraps, pittas and breads,” says Alonzo at EHL. “Using vegetable flours to bake with, such as pea, spinach, beetroot and even lentil, is on the increase too.”
Other alternatives to wheat flour for savoury baking include chickpea, lentil, yellow pea and fava bean flour – used in breads, but also increasingly in snacks such as vegan crisps and crackers, Alonzo adds.
Vegetable flours have the added advantage of being gluten-free. Eurostar Commodities has developed a gluten-free pizza flour that is said to offer a consistent performance for all styles of pizza bases, as well as speciality breads like focaccia and ciabatta.
“Our gluten-free flour is mostly made with vegetable fibres and these will act to lengthen the dough,” says Davide D’Auria, technical development manager at Eurostar Commodities. “However, vegetable fibres absorb lots of water so my advice for pizza chefs is to increase the amount of water in the dough mix. Also, instead of stretching the dough, you need to press and stamp it.”