Wheat Free Baking from WWI
Gluten Free Recipes from the First World War
During World War One, the United States asked the "patriotic women of America" to cut back on the use of wheat flour. Wheat was urgently needed to ship overseas for the troops and for starving civilians in war-torn areas.
Recipes in magazines and in booklets like the one shown here offered alternatives to wheat flour for baking. Everything from cottonseed flour to dried pea flour was used by American housewives as part of their war effort. Wheat was the only grain that could withstand the long shipment time to Europe, according to the booklet.
(picture from a vintage booklet owned by Virginia Allain)
My Grandmother with Her Cow - Around 1918
Muffin Recipe Using Cornmeal and Mashed Potatoes
- 2 Tablespoons Fat
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 Egg
- well beaten
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1 Cup Mashed Potatoes
- 1 Cup Cornmeal
- 4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- Mix the ingredients in the order given. Put in a greased muffin tin. Bake forty minutes in a hot oven.
- Makes 12 muffins.
Keep in Mind...
that muffins in this era were more bread-like and not the cake muffins made today.
The WWI Housewife Probably Used a Cast Iron Muffin Pan
These are still available today.
Take Good Care of Your Cast Iron Cookware
- How to Refinish Old Cast Iron Cookware
Learn how to restore vintage cast iron pots and pans to their former non-stick glory. Follow along with step-by-step instructions and pictures.
- How To Take Care of Your Cast Iron and the History o...
This hub is about the care and cleaning of cast iron. Cast iron is the first non-stick cookware. How you care for it will affect how non-stick it is.
- Seasoning Cast Iron
Cast iron cookware is the old-fashioned way to achieve a meal that is lower in fat. If conditioned and properly cared for, cast iron cookware will obtain a slick, non-stick, consistency that is perfect for cooking without adding any oil or butter,...
Wheat Substitutes Used during the First World War
- Barley flour
- Corn flour, Corn-meal, Eatable corn-starch, Corn grits, Hominy,
- Dried pea flour, Chickpea flour, White bean flour, Soy-bean flour,
- Rolled oats, Oatmeal
- Rice, Rice flour
- Potato flour, Sweet potato flour
- Buckwheat flour
- Cottonseed flour
- Milo flour and meal, Kafir flour and meal
- ??? I don't know what these are: Shorts, Middlings, Kaoling, Carara flour, Dasheen, Cassava. I'll have to research them.
- Chestnut flour, Peanut flour
- Banana flour
- Feterita flour and meal was introduced in 1906 and 1908. It's listed in this booklet as a substitute for wheat flour. It is derived from grain sorghum which grows well on the great plains.
Food Will Win the War
Back cover of the Wartime Recipes booklet
What patriotic housewife could refuse the appeal to aid the war effort. Her mission was to substitute other flours for wheat flour. Along with this message, she was asked to minimize wasted foods.
Flours Made from Brown Rice, Coconut, Tapioca, Almonds or Millet
Your local grocery store might not stock a wide range of these. You can order them online from Amazon.
Wheat Free Flours
What Gluten Free Baking Do You Want?
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WWI Poster about Food for the War Effort - with a quote by General Pershing
Zazzle poster from WWI: Keep it Coming by Go_USA
My Grandfather, Clarence McGhee, in WWI
My Grandfather Was in France During World War I
- Clarence McGhee - My Grandfather's WWI Years
My grandfather served in France in the 1st world war. Here's his experience and the family memorabilia from this momentous time in his life. I'm sure it parallels that of other young men of the time.
My Great Uncle, Albert Vining, in WWI
My Grandmother's Brother Was Also in France in WWI
- Albert Vining in World War I
The earnest young soldier in this photo is my great-uncle, Albert Vining. He served in France during World War I and this page is to honor his service to his country. Albert and his wife, Vina Vining had no children so when they died, their...
More Alternative Flours - if you don't want wheat flour
Flours made from mesquite, arrowroot, peanut, chick pea and potato.
More recipes will be added.
It's late, so I'm off to bed. I'll put some more recipes on tomorrow.
Garbanzo (Chick Pea) Flour
Have You Tried Garbanzo Flour?
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- 0% Yes, it worked fine
- 0% Yes, but I didn't like it
- 0% I've never even heard of it before
This poll is now closed to voting.
Will You Try an Alternative Flour for Baking?
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A Glimpse of World War One - Vintage Documentary
© 2012 Virginia Allain