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Acorn Bread - a Forager's Delight from Homemade (and free) Acorn Flour!

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posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 09:42 AM
So, I have been doing experimentation with food outside of the grocery store isles. Lately I have been gathering anything wild, and learning its uses and how best to manage a kitchen if you didn't have access to the grocery store..(just in case you know!)

Its better to get good at this sort of thing in comfort, than to fail when this type of knowledge is a necessity..

Wheat flour is going to be a common problem for many people due to lack of money should the economy collapse, and many wont have much by way of bartering capabilities and what you DO have for bartering will most likely be used for more necessary things than the luxury of breads made from wheat flour (which includes both white and wheat breads and many pastas) - and what little wheat flour you do get will need to be stretched in any survival situation.

In comes alternatives to store bought flour.. the trusty Acorn.. which no yard is usually without here in America! Up through the 1950's this little nut was a staple in most kitchens, especially for the less fortunate, and we learned all about the acorn nut from the native Americans..

it is only since the 1960's that Americans have stopped making acorn flour in large part. So I thought to make a thread on the topic. First, we should know there are different kinds of acorns..

White oak acorns are lower in tannins and need less processing - tannins are that thing that gives acorns a bad name. Red oak acorns are high in tannins so they need more processing. But tannins are water soluble - just boil your acorns, changing the water and boiling again and again with new water until your water is no longer brown.. this will make them as sweet as any other nut.

The Eastern white oak, California Valley Oak, the Bellota Oaks of Europe and the Emory oak of the Southwest, are sweet enough to need minimal processing. (ie: less changes of boiling water)

Examine the acorns as you pick/gather them. Throw away any that are wormy/moldy/cracked/etc.

Shell the acorns..

Then boil them, changing the water periodically. (depending on the acorn's tannin content, you are looking at anywhere from 5 to 35 changes of water) After you boil them until the water is clear, then you should roast them.. oven at 250 degrees for about 2 hours or until dry.. then once cool you can store them and grind them into flour as you have need of the flour.. I do not recommend grinding more than necessary for that use, they store better and much much longer in nut form.. there are many different mills for grinding - kitchen aid stand mixer has a grinding attachment, there are several different hand grinders that don't take electricity as well as machines that do.. if interested look into buying something that will work for you...

If not interested in a new purchase, your blender, food processor, or coffee grinder can also do this job and you already own it - but you may want to purchase a hand mill if you are a prepper because those do not require any electricity.

Here are two good recipes, but I ask that if anyone else has a tried and true recipe for acorn meal that they add it to this thread! The more acorn flour recipes the better we will all be!

1 cup acorn meal
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 eggs, beaten or 1 egg substitute
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons oil

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Grease a loaf pan.
Sift together dry ingredients in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine egg, milk, and oil.
Combine dry and liquid ingredients.
Stir just enough to moisten dry ingredients.
Batter will be a bit lumpy.
Pour into a greased pan, bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

I got this recipe from here: Source for recipe

I also found a flatbread recipe:

2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose or bread flour
¾ cup acorn flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
A scant cup of water (7/8 cup to be exact)

Sift the flours and salt together in a large bowl and make a well in the center.
Add the olive oil and water in the center of the well and swirl to combine with a finger or two. When the dough gets shaggy, start bringing it together with your hands, then knead it on a floured surface for 5-8 minutes. Use a bit more flour if it is too loose.
Lightly coat with more olive oil, wrap in plastic and set aside for at least an hour. This dough can hold in the fridge for a day.
Take the dough out of the fridge if you’ve put it in there and let it warm to room temperature. Get a griddle or a well-oiled cast iron pan hot over medium heat.
Cut the dough into equal parts; I’d suggest between 6-8. Roll them out one at a time with a roller and then your hands – they need not be perfect, as this is a rustic bread. You want them thin, though, about 1/8 inch.
Lightly oil the griddle and cook the piadine one or two at a time for 2-3 minutes, or until it begins to get nice and brown. Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Keep them warm in towels while you make the rest. Serve with some cheese, fresh herbs – green onions are excellent with this – and some high-quality olive oil.

Source for recipe

I give everyone these two recipes, and also ask if anyone has any recipes that don't combine wheat flour with the acorn flour - or if that is even possible due to the lack of gluten in the acorn flour...
edit on 17-4-2015 by OpinionatedB because: (no reason given)

Edit to Add:

As I am new to making acorn flour myself, so I must make an addition to this OP due to something I read on the internet.

I read on the site "Eat the Weeds" that if you are leeching out the tannins using the boiling method, that you MUST use a two pot method in order to remove the tannins from your acorns.

In their article they said:

The boiling process requires two pots of boiling water. Put the acorns in one pot of already boiling water until the water darkens.

Pour off the water and put the hot acorns in the other pot of boiling water while you reheat the first pot with fresh water to boiling. You keep putting the acorns in new boiling water until the water runs clear.

Putting boiled acorns into cold water will bind the tannins to the acorn and they will stay bitter. So always move them from one boiling bath to another. Putting acorns in cold water and bringing the water to a boil will also bind the tannin.

So it is either use all cold water and a long soaking or all boiling water and just a few hours of cooking.

I actually did this when I processed my acorns, but I only did so because I was concerned about the economy of time, rather than based in knowledge. (I was probably simply lucky I came out with nice sweet acorns as a result.. lol)

I recommend reading that article prior to leeching your acorns, as it seems both knowledgeable and informative - I know I do plan on using some of their advices next time I do this, because I love the taste of acorn flour added in, and want to learn all the best ways of doing things toward that end!

(Thank you BFFT for adding this in!)

edit on 4/19/2015 by bigfatfurrytexan because: per member request

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 09:52 AM
Why were we always told acorns are poisonous to humans?
And boiling anything 35 times kind of negates the gathered for free aspect. Unless we gather wood for a fire at the time we gather acorns.
edit on 4172015 by AutumnWitch657 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 09:55 AM

I'm going to keep an eye out for a source of free acorns, now....

I'd love to make acorn flour pizza dough, and due to my excessive hobby collection, I already have a suitable grain mill...

edit on 17-4-2015 by lordcomac because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 10:06 AM
a reply to: AutumnWitch657

not all acorns have to be boiled, but I don't know which kinds don't need boiled at all, and which one's need boiled lots and lots (I'm still learning this one!) - so I gave a safe range.. but yes, out of doors on a fire would be best if its possible!

Indians actually used to put the acorns in a bag in a running stream for a year to leech the tannins out.. so boiling is optional..
edit on 17-4-2015 by OpinionatedB because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 10:14 AM
a reply to: OpinionatedB
Tannic acid can be used to make leather from hides in SHTF scenarios too.

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 10:18 AM
a reply to: OpinionatedB

They have to be boiled first?!

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 10:21 AM
a reply to: greencmp

^^^ as I said, not all have to be boiled but without knowing which is which, then I gave a safe range..

with the acorns however that have more tannins in them, those are the ones the squirrels bury.. by burying them in the ground, the ground and ground water leeches the tannins out of them giving squirrels a delicious nut later..
Scientists found that is why the squirrels bury the nuts!
edit on 17-4-2015 by OpinionatedB because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 10:22 AM
a reply to: OpinionatedB

Well written and appropriate information, especially in regards the tannin processing. Having made a number of acorn based food stuffs in the past, I must admit I was blissfully unaware of the level of tannin being species oriented in this case...thank you.

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 10:24 AM
a reply to: OpinionatedB

Smart little beasties!

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 10:27 AM
a reply to: AutumnWitch657

Well Im afraid you were told wrong. Acorns were wild harvested by most every if not all eastern American Indigenous peoples. The biggest reason it is not a common staple is the yield as well as time frame required to raise enough to satisfy a population.

Boiling is the most recognized method and practice for extraction but you can take tannins out much more energy efficiently by the extraordinarily easy process of percolation.

To be fair, if you were to eat a bunch of acorns without removing the tannin, it would NOT be friendly to your stomach, and so as a result all of the probable vomiting elicited would perhaps cause a wary parent to refer to them as poisonous.
edit on 17-4-2015 by BlueJacket because: because

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 10:36 AM
a reply to: AutumnWitch657

As an avid forager I've been researching wild edibles for many years. It's amazing how much we're told isn't edible or poisonous that used to be a common food source. The majority of plants are not poisonous... though many are unpalatable. Many wild leafy greens are actually much higher in vitamins and nutrients than their domestic cousins we buy in stores. Then there are medicinal properties too.

Acorns were often used as an extender for breads. White oak was the primary acorn used for this purpose. Another free substitute which should be popping up in a wetland near you soon is cat o' nine tail pollen. Most people only know about the fluffy stuff that shows up on them later in the year. I think the pollen would fit in the recipes provided nicely and all you have to do is strip it off the stalk. It can also be eaten straight like corn on the cob.

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 10:47 AM

originally posted by: OpinionatedB
I give everyone these two recipes, and also ask if anyone has any recipes that don't combine wheat flour with the acorn flour - or if that is even possible due to the lack of gluten in the acorn flour...

I've been making a flat bread with chickpea flour for a while. It's gluten free, but I've not worked with acorn flour. It may be worth a try.

Simple recipe for oven baking

1. Preheat over to 375-450 (depending on your oven it takes some experimenting)

2. Combine 1 cup of chickpea flour with 1 cup of water and a teaspoon of salt. Place in refrigerator while oven finishes preheating

3. I use a round metal cake pan (8 inches I think) with non-stick spray and pour about 1/4 inch of the batter into the pan

4. Cook for 20-30 minutes (again depending on your oven)

It can be made thinner or thicker and you can cook it either until it sets and has a creamy center or keep it going until brown and a bit crisp.

I think the key would be getting the acorn flour fine enough as chickpea flour is very fine. I'd love to hear if this works out!

S&F for the great post!

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 10:52 AM
a reply to: Ksihkehe

Wonderful recipe, I will try that with acorn flour and see how it turns out! It sounds great!

I agree with you though, making sure you grind finely and also sift your flour makes a huge difference in how breads made with alternative flours come out!

Thank you!

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 12:57 PM
Funny you are talking about poisonous plants.

I have a site that I am preparing for habitation, and the site is infested with Japanese Knotweed, it was migrated to the UK some years ago by the railways, in a bid to keep the steep embankments in place.

However, in Japan, the plant has natural enemies that keep it at bay, here, it grows unrestricted, and is treated as a bio hazard with strict control measures for removal and transportation, a portion of root the size of an acorn will grow into a new plant.

And this stuff grows through 12 inches of solid concrete, and weedkiller has to be applied monthly for 3 years to kill it, I kid you not!

Whilst researching the plant, I found it is edible, and oh boy, it's delicious, like a sweet rhubarb.

So now, I have found a much better method for the removal process.


posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 01:07 PM
a reply to: OpinionatedB

This is the kind of stuff that excites me!

Thank you for an interesting cooking topic!

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 01:32 PM
Kind of a lot of work. If the SHTF I'll just shoot a deer eating acorns under the tree in my front yard.

I did some research on Acorns, and the flour is supposed to taste pretty decent. S&F

You never said if the two recipes tasted good?

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 01:35 PM
a reply to: Watchfull

Yes it is, the shoots early in spring are best. I give them a light pan steaming or nibble them raw. Dr. Duke told me that the leaves of the mature plant can be used like grape leaves and are probably much higher in anti-oxidants. Anybody interested in wild edibles and medicinal plants should look into his research.

If you should decide to get rid of them the only real way is complete removal of the rhizomes which can be deep and extensive. They should be bagged on site where dug up to prevent spreading. I've heard of people keeping them cut to the ground over multiple seasons without successfully killing them. Of course for a forager this is a good thing.

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 01:41 PM
a reply to: rickymouse

Oh they taste wonderful, which is why I thought to share in the first place! The recipes are great...

Even in a SHTF scenario, you need more nutrition and more food than only meat... also, during some times of year the meat might be less, it is good to be able to do all the things you will need, not only hunting..

I am making homemade yeast now, learning how to make soap and many other things that I never tried in the past... but the acorn breads are just to die for.. so I shared!

But yes, it is some small amount of work.. but if you have ever processed a deer or made a loaf of homemade bread, then it is not going to be that big of a chore for you.. everything is some work.
edit on 17-4-2015 by OpinionatedB because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 04:53 PM
a reply to: OpinionatedB

acorn flour...good idea and testing these things before something happens is smart...having to soak 5 to 30 times in water..we are having a drought right now so that needs to be considered....

.but good idea to know what's growing in your are and knowing how to use it is a good thing

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 05:17 PM
a reply to: research100

I just looked it up on the internet because this may be an issue for some, as you said drought..

Now, there is one method that requires no water, all that is required is to bury them on a streambank or riverbank for a period of one year.. nothing else required but it does take forethought..

now, I ran across this website when I wanted to make certain on time, and it seems a knowledgeable site. One thing it tells you is that you HAVE to always put your acorns in water that is already boiling for leeching and to keep two pots going if you are going to leech with boiling water because otherwise you wont remove the tannins..

When I did this I just thought I was being thrifty with my time when I used two pots, I didn't know it was actually a requirement - so I think this article is a must read..
edit on 17-4-2015 by OpinionatedB because: (no reason given)

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