Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Almond Flour/Almond Meal?


ALTAF
 Share

Recommended Posts

Almond flour are finely ground raw or blanched almonds. It is ground to a meal, not as fine as regular flour.

I make my own for the holiday of Passover, when we are not allowed to use flour in our dishes. I use it to make cakes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've tried both making my own almond meal (in a food processor) and purchasing some.....the purchased version was a much finer, more consistent texture. One of the problems I ran into, making it at home, was ending up with a bit of almond paste, or butter, before the rest of the almonds were sufficiently ground. Both made excellent macaroons, however :biggrin:.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Almond flour are finely ground raw or blanched almonds. It is ground to a meal, not as fine as regular flour.

I make my own for the holiday of Passover, when we are not allowed to use flour in our dishes. I use it to make cakes.

Any practical differences between using blanched or raw almonds? My wife and I often find ourselves standing in front of the display, flipping a coin.

bushey -- If you have one, a blender gives a finer grind than a food processor, in addition to making superior frozen margritas.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can purchase nut flours - most commonly almond and hazelnut - from professional sources and from the King Arthur Catalog. I noticed the other day that Central Market, a 'gourmet' foodstore chain in Texas has it in the bulk section. It is used in cake making in France, and more commonly in the sections of Eastern Europe which carry on the Austro-Hungarian pastry making traditions. It is used in whole or partial replacement of flour or starch in sponge cakes. In many French sponge recipes you will see a certain quantity of 'tant pour tant' listed as an ingredient. That is an equal part by weight of flour-finely ground almonds and/or hazelnuts and superfine sugar.

You can grind your own nut flours, but you must be quite careful as the heat resuting from the friction of the motor and rotating blade of the food processor or grinder can cause the release of the nut oils, and you will wind up with nut butter... not a bad thing in itself, but not good for cakemaking.

One way to get around that is to chill the nuts and sugar before processing, process equal parts in two or three batches, then sift though a fine sifter, regrinding the coarse remains. I always wind up making more than I need to get the proper measure, and it is not as finely ground as the almond or hazelnut flours I buy.

There is an Indian made food/spice processor available on line, called the Sumeet. It will grind both wet and dry spice pastes. Although I have not used it for grinding nuts into flour, I am told that one can do so quite readily.

I do a variety of pastries and tortes using nut flours, especially at Passover. They are basically separated eggs: the yolks are beaten to the intense ribbon stage with a bit of sugar and vanilla or other flavor, and the whites whipped into a mid=peak meringue with a bit of sugar. Fold the two together, and fold in the nut flour, or nut flour mixed with cocoa powder for chocolate layers. Pan and bake. The result is an excellent sponge. As a rule, these are not syruped like a Genoise, but I do not see why you couldn't.

Almond meal is a slightly coarser grind than almond flour, enough so that the difference shows up in the texture of the final product. I use almond FLOUR to make French style macarons, for example.

Theabroma

Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, I've mentioned this company elsewhere on eG before. It's called Mandelin, is based in Bakersfield, California and is a great source for all things almond. I love their almond paste. And, they are really nice on the phone, even if you're not a big customer (I'm just a home baker). I liked their stuff so much I convinced my local restaurant supply/gourmet store to carry their stuff so I can buy in quantities that work for me.

So long and thanks for all the fish.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, that makes some sense because even with specially constructed equipment for grinding nuts finely, the friction factor will come into play and up the risk of having superbly smooth nut butters as a result. So defatting the nuts a bit might just be the ticket.

I have always differentiated between almond meal - like a very fine cornmeal, and almond flour, which feels sorta like Wondra. But maybe that's just a personal kink??!!

Theabroma

Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can grind your own nut flours

This might be a little misleading, Sharon. No matter what care or method you employ at home or in a pro setting--even with a Sumeet--you can't produce a nut flour at all comparable to the commercial product. You can grind it up and get varying degrees of fineness--but there's no way to press the oil out to get nut "flour." What you get still has all the oil in it--what you get is some form of "meal" not flour. Flour has 80-90% of the oil pressed out of it--and hence its value in certain applications, a la macaroons and other things you'll find recipes for in the best pastry books. If you try to substitute some home-made, home ground alternative into a dessert or application which calls for a nut flour, you'll usually end up with something leaden or sunken, rather than light. It's the oil which tends to screw with texture, not necessarily the grind or fineness.

The take home message is this--use flour when your application requires it; use ground almonds, even something you grind at home, when your application doesn't require it. ATLAF--if you're not sure--do a side by side test of small batches--and see for yourself whether it makes a difference. If you have flour, and want something even finer--you can pulse true nut flour in a Cuisinart with the metal blade (just like you can pulse granulated sugar to make it even finer.)

(Some of this meal/flour confusion may stem from labelling issues between countries and manufacturers and dumbing things down, but most "almond meals" I have used are simply ground nuts and tend to be much oilier than "almond flour" and I never substitute or swap the two. I tend to stay away from things labelled "almond meal flour." Hope that helps.)

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...

Does anyone know a really good way to make your own almond flour? In a pinch, I grind blanched almonds with a little bit of the recipe's sugar (to absorb the oils) in a food processor. The result is OK, but not nearly as fine as what can be purchased as almond flour. You can definitely tell the difference in a very fine-textured cake. Any suggestions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, the only commercial almond flour I use (Bob's Red Mill) doesn't seem all that fine, and I can definitely make finer almond flour at home using the food processor, just grinding, scraping down, grinding, scraping down. . . repeatedly.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, the only commercial almond flour I use (Bob's Red Mill) doesn't seem all that fine, and I can definitely make finer almond flour at home using the food processor, just grinding, scraping down, grinding, scraping down. . . repeatedly.

I use the same (Bob's Red Mill) at home, but used much finer at school, and I can tell the difference in the product. So now, I buy the Bob's but still grind it with my sugar to make it finer.

Cheryl, The Sweet Side
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, the only commercial almond flour I use (Bob's Red Mill) doesn't seem all that fine, and I can definitely make finer almond flour at home using the food processor, just grinding, scraping down, grinding, scraping down. . . repeatedly.

I use the same (Bob's Red Mill) at home, but used much finer at school, and I can tell the difference in the product. So now, I buy the Bob's but still grind it with my sugar to make it finer.

What do you think works best: food processor, coffee grinder? Is there a food mill that would do a better job of fine grinding?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found that when I use dry roasted almonds I get a "drier" flour, coffe grinder works as well as my cuisinart.

I know the flour you're talking about. Trader Joes sells it. It is very dry and powder-y. I use it quite a bit for coatings.

"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before I used to make almond flour with the coffee grinder, it did work very well. I am really convinced that the thickness of the flour can be different dipending from the coffee grinder you use... now I am using the grating disk in my bosch and I like it, I don't need to add sugar and the nuts don't transude oil. I noticed that with this method if I use toasted almonds it comes coarser flour than regular almonds (dry but not toasted).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One baking book I own suggests using a processor, then putting the chopped almonds through a sieve, then rechopping the the pieces that did not go through. You repeat until the remaining pieces are too smal a batch to be effectively chopped. This method is obviously really good at getting a consistent particle size.

My recollection from some old posts here is that real almond flour is processed by an entirely different method in which the almonds are crushed and the oils eliminated, so no home method is going to be able to precisely reproduce this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One baking book I own suggests using a processor, then putting the chopped almonds through a sieve, then rechopping the the pieces that did not go through. You repeat until the remaining pieces are too smal a batch to be effectively chopped. This method is obviously really good at getting a consistent particle size.

My recollection from some old posts here is that real almond flour is processed by an entirely different method in which the almonds are crushed and the oils eliminated, so no home method is going to be able to precisely reproduce this.

This I learned is school -- true almond flour is the crush of what is left after the almond oil extraction. Almond meal is just the pulverized whole almond. I've never seen true almond flour in a grocery store. Bob's Red Mill is labeled as Almond Meal/Flour.

Cheryl, The Sweet Side
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ALWAYS make almond flour but i have a small swedish nut grinder I bought at Williams Sonoma in 1979 when I became a pastry chef.

it does just that grinds them into flour with no heat... no oil.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...