Quarantine kitchen swaps: What to substitute for flour

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Flour’s got the power when baking from scratch, and the pantry staple has become a hot commodity as home cooks bake away their worries during the coronavirus pandemic.

Remarkably, King Arthur Flour revealed that online sales of its all-purpose and bread flours surged more than 2,000 percent in March, year over year, Adweek reports. And while America continued to self-quarantine through the second month of the outbreak, flour continued to be coveted. According to Nielsen data, flour sales rose by nearly 162 percent for the four-week period ending April 11, as compared to the year prior.

The pantry staple has become a hot commodity as home cooks bake away their worries during the coronavirus pandemic.

The pantry staple has become a hot commodity as home cooks bake away their worries during the coronavirus pandemic. (iStock)

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Eager to get busy in the kitchen, but can’t find flour at the grocery store? There's no need to fret, according to Rebekah Ziesmer, Development Chef at Conagra Brands.

Ziesmer is a development chef on the innovative culinary team at Conagra, and previously served as a sous-chef for one of Chicago’s top chefs. In her current role, she also works on recipe and product development, while managing the test kitchen.

For an easy substitute for flour, Ziesmer suggests we first dust off that food processor.

“You can make your own oat flour by buzzing oats in a food processor until finely ground. This is my favorite substitution” Stand explained. “Drained and rinsed beans or chickpeas can work for brownies and cookies!”

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Whether you’re in a pinch or feeling adventurous, another fun twist is to throw in some cake mix when preparing pancakes, the chef said.

“Something I’ve been doing since I first learned to make pancakes is adding some boxed cake mix into the batter,” Stand suggested. “It’s a fun twist on a classic that makes the morning feel extra special. I like Duncan Hines’s Triple Chocolate or Rainbow Confetti!”

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For a pro “chef’s tip,” Ziesmer also recommended making some extra cake-mix pancakes and freezing them, because “they toast up beautifully!”