Seeking help with substituting wheat flour with flax and/or lupin/coconut

Discussion in 'Cookies' started by Jonathan Shaz, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. Jonathan Shaz

    Jonathan Shaz New Member

    Dec 30, 2017
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    Hi everyone,

    I am a newcomer to the world of baking, and am attempting to adjust this recipe:

    I would like to replace the wheat flour with a healthier, low carb, high protein alternative. I have decided on golden flax flour, and/or lupin, and last preference is coconut.

    Unfortunately, most resources state that you can only replace a max of 20% of wheat flour with flax flour. Same goes for coconut or lupin.
    I presume this is because each of these substitutes has a high fiber content, which means they absorb a lot of liquid, which can dry out the baked product.

    One online solution stated this can be resolved by adding ~6 eggs and 1 cup of liquid for each cup of coconut flour ( I presume the same for lupin and or flax). But given flax flour, when combined with fluid, is often used to substitute eggs themselves, doesn't that mean I would be adding an egg substitute and eggs?

    My question:

    1. How can I bake the above recipe using flax flour, without using wheat flour, while overcoming the issues regarding dryness etc?

    Many thanks,

    Jonathan Shaz, Dec 30, 2017
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  2. Jonathan Shaz

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2017
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    Northern California
    It’s better to simply use a recipe that was developed with the specific flours you want to use.

    The properties and performance of flours vary so much, you end up making adjustments after adjustments to counter the adverse effects caused by a flour substitution.

    So to convert a recipe you end up running multiple tests. In the end, it’s a lot of work and waste of ingredients.

    I bake gluten-free several times a week. And I rarely convert an existing recipe. It’s simple not a time and cost effective approach.

    Coconut flour is a common baking ingredient. If you Google coconut flour chocolate chip cookies you’ll find an abundance of recipes online.

    Lupin flour is not common. So check out the manufacturer’s website for recipes.

    The reason you cannot substitute flax for wheat flour 1:1 is ground flax seed is the difference in viscosity. It is frequently used in very small quantities as a binder because a small amount (1 tablespoon) will glue an entire batch of cookie dough together. Flax also imparts a distinct taste. If you use 100% flax, the cookie will be dry, dense, and oddly flavored.

    Coconut flour is highly hygroscopic. It will suck up all the moisture in your dough or batter. The results are often dry and heavy. So whenever you substitute with coconut flour you have to address all the ingredients that provide hydration. That means even the less obvious ingredients like eggs and butter.

    And since sugar plays a major in development of moisture, you have to make adjustments to the sugar as well.

    Eggs are a potent binder. A standard batch of cookies normally contains 1 egg. So six is an extraordinary amount of egg. A combination of 6 eggs and coconut flour would produce a very dense cookie.

    To be frank, there’s really no such thing as a “healthy” cookie. The recipe that you linked has 500 g of sugars. That sugar is far more detrimental to human health than the wheat flour.

    And sugar is sugar regardless the source. The human body does not make a distinction between beet, coconut, cane, honey, palm or any other type of sugar.

    So simply substituting the flours wont made the cookie healthy.
    Norcalbaker59, Dec 30, 2017
    -Daniel- likes this.
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