Lentil flour, which is nothing more than ground uncooked lentils, is a healthful substitute for wheat flour. It's also a handy ingredient in its own right, imparting its mildly nutty flavor into baked goods and many Southeast Asian recipes. Although lentil flour is available in some health food stores and specialty grocery stores, it can be difficult to find and considerably more expensive than whole lentils. Fortunately, it's easy to grind your own flour using a food processor or a mill designed for grinding spices or coffee.
Pour the lentils into a sieve and rinse them thoroughly under cold water. Pick over the lentils to remove any debris or discolored ones.
Lay paper towels or clean tea towels over a cookie sheet and spread the rinsed lentils over them in a single layer. Press additional paper towels or tea towels over the top to squeeze out as much water as you can.
Leave the lentils in a sunny or warm spot until they are completely dry.
Transfer the lentils to a dry skillet and toast them over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Take the skillet off the heat after about five minutes of toasting and let the lentils cool.
Transfer the toasted lentils to a food processor or coffee and spice grinder and pulse until they become a fine powder. Process the lentils in batches, if necessary.
Sift the flour through a sieve into a container. Discard any pieces of lentils that are too large to pass through the sieve. Seal the container before storing the flour.
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How to Soften Lentils
- A high-powered food processor will easily handle the job of grinding lentils into flour, but if you're using a regular food processor, turn it off for a few minutes at regular intervals to prevent the engine from overheating.
- One cup of dried lentils makes approximately 3/4 cup of lentil flour.
- Use any type of lentils to make lentil flour, but make sure they have been skinned.
Joanne Thomas has worked as a writer and editor for print and online publications since 2004. Her writing specialties include relationships, entertainment and food, and she has penned pieces about subjects from social media tools for Adobe to artists’ biographies for StubHub. Thomas has also written for such names as Disney, Hyundai, Michelob and USA Today, among others. She resides in California and holds a bachelor’s degree in politics from the University of Bristol, U.K.