Nothing makes me more excited than being introduced to a new ingredient. Whether it’s a spice brought home from travel to exotic foreign climes, or a new condiment sourced at a local market, or some brand-new invention to just hit the market, it gets the creative juices flowing. For some folks, new ingredients like this are a closely guarded secret. When I find something new, I shout it from the rooftops. If I’m traveling, I often bring back duplicates for my cooking pals. And cooking pals, know this: Wine flour is my new favorite find.
Wine flour is essentially a powder made from the skins and seeds leftover from the winemaking process, which are dehydrated and blitzed into a powder as fine as flour but, unlike flour, is gluten-free. This powder can then be used in all sorts of cooking applications to bring some of that wine flavor into what you are making, without any liquid or alcohol.
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You can’t, as you can with some other “flours,” swap it out for flour in recipes completely. It won’t function the same way grain-based flours will. But any recipe that contains flour can have some of this added for flavor, which is where things get exciting. Think about making homemade pasta that is destined to get a ragu made with red wine. Add some wine flour into your pasta dough for a beautiful color and a backnote of that flavor in your noodles themselves! Making homemade bread to serve with cheese and charcuterie? Some wine flour in the dough will again give you a really cool color and flavor.
Watch: How To Measure Flour
What about sweets, you ask? It is here for that as well. Think red velvet cake amped up with a bit of red wine flavor, or shortbread cookies with a little wine flavor in them. What about a red wine crust under your next cheesecake, or a red wine buttercream on a chocolate cupcake for a grown-up take on a children’s classic. Even your next pie crust or crumble topping can get a terrific boost, just think about the fruit flavors you often hear associated with red wine… cherries, blackberries, plums, a pie with any of these fruits would absolutely be pals with a wine flour crust or crumble topping.
Savory recipes can also get a great boost, whether you are adding it into your next spice rub for a steak you are grilling or stirring a spoonful into a beautiful sauce or gravy. And you can mix it one teaspoon into one tablespoon of salt or sugar to make wine salt or wine sugar to sprinkle on things for garnish.
You can source wine flour on Amazon, and it is fairly easy to use. For every cup of flour in your recipe, you can add one to two tablespoons of wine flour. For loaves of bread, think one-fourth to one-half cup per batch, depending on the size of your loaf and how deep a flavor you want. For boosting flavors in soups, stews, gravies or sauces, add wine flour about 1 teaspoon at a time until you get the flavor you like. I have been using the one I got which is made with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, but they do have other flavors like Merlot and Chardonnay. If you want the deep color as well as the flavor, I’d stick with one of the reds.
Just be careful to buy the product that is just skins and seeds pulverized and not wine powder flavorings, which have things like cornstarch and other additives and preservatives, and which are used to artificially flavor things to taste like wine. Once you start experimenting with this stuff, you’ll be amazed at what a versatile product it actually is! Hopefully, you’ll be the kind of cook who also wants to tell all your friends.
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