Elana of Elana's Pantry has some incredible recipes in her Almond Flour Cookbook. If you haven't tried them, make a batch of Elana's Chocolate Chip Cookies. Out of this world! I think Elana put Honeyville Food Products on the map when recommending their almond flour in her cookbook. It is a superb flour, nice and light. Because it's a mail-order product, I stock up and buy 5 pounds at a time ($30 plus shipping). The only problem is that if I run out halfway through a recipe I can't just run to the store and pick up another bag (and Bob's Red Mill almond flour/meal is NOT a good substitute). And that's what happened the other day. So, I called mom.
My mother, recipe tester, and biggest fan suggested I make some almond flour in my coffee grinder. Hmmmmm. So I gave it a try and the result was wonderful! See for yourself below. Had I used blanched almonds, my homemade flour would have looked exactly like Honeyville's.
So, I went on to make Elana's yummy, gluten-free Snickerdoodles (below). One batch was made with the homemade flour and one with Honeyville's. Again, no difference in taste or texture—just a slight difference in color because the raw almonds I used were not blanched. The trade-off for leaving the skins on? More nutrition in the form of flavonoids.
Now, if you do a lot of baking with almond flour, it's probably convenient to keep a bag of Honeyville's on hand. However, if you only use it occasionally and in small amounts (1-2 cups at a time), then give making your own a try.
Fill your coffee grinder with raw almonds just as you would coffee beans (if you want pretty white almond flour, use blanched almonds). Grind until you have a nice, fluffy flour. Repeat until you have the amount your recipe calls for.
There were some chunks that did not get ground. I just picked them out. Then today, I found a gently used turn-handle flour sifter at Goodwill much like this one. It worked like a charm to sift out the larger bits of almond. I'd caution you to avoid the multiple screen style sifter like this one. I tried one and it was a big headache. Store any unused almond flour in an air-tight container in the fridge to keep it fresh.
So there you have it, the know-how to make almond flour. I think I'll head back to the kitchen now and try another of Elana's recipes!
1) I might suggest purchasing a separate coffee grinder for this task. I have not repeated it hundreds of times and don't think it would damage a grinder, but at the same time I don't want to be responsible for damage done to anyone's precious coffee grinder. :) Grind flour at your own risk.
2) If the grinder sounds like it is slowing down. Check to see if a nut is lodged under the blade or caught on a blade. Dislodge and off you go.
3) Grind JUST until you have a nice, light-colored flour (approx 10 seconds). If you grind too long, the flour will start to become oily, dense and slightly dark. At the nice, light-colored flour stage, I still have some un-ground nuts in the mix which I just pick or sift out.