So You Want to Bake But Don't Have Much Flour

Madison Feller
Photo credit: Wendy Kou

From ELLE

If you were to take a quick scroll through your Instagram, it would seem that everyone has decided to pick up the same hobby over the past few months of quarantine: Baking. Banana bread and focaccia are dominating feeds. People are swapping cookies with friends, donating treats, or simply using the kitchen as a way to mark time and relieve stress.

But with this baking bonanza has come an unfortunate side effect: In some places, baking supplies have been hard to come by as people scramble to find flour and yeast to complete their projects. So what to do if your stash is dwindling? Below, ELLE.com asked six bakers what one recipe they would make if they only had a few cups of flour left in their pantry. Consider their answers your baking bucket list.

Photo credit: Andrew Bui

Scallion Pancakes

"Having only a few cups of flour left on hand isn’t hypothetical for me because I’ve just about depleted my flour supplies on bread recipe development. Lately, I’ve been relying on homemade oat flour for most of my personal baking projects: take some rolled oats (old-fashioned and instant both work great) and blitz it to a fine flour consistency in your blender or food processor. It’s amazing as a 1:1 substitute for all-purpose flour in quick breads and cakes that are meant to be moist and tender—banana bread, carrot cake, this re-vamped Depression era chocolate wacky cake.

But all-purpose and bread flour are essential in recipes where you want gluten development and a chewier bite. My last two cups of all-purpose flour will have to go towards making scallion pancakes—they’re crispy-golden on the outside with just the right amount of crunch, giving way to a softly-tender, gently-chewy interior. It’s a great savory treat to balance out all of my sugar intake. Plus they freeze well, meaning I can ration it out and eat one every time I miss my test kitchen team." —June Xie, test kitchen manager at Delish

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Photo credit: Chantell Quernemoen of Chantell Photography

Potato Challah

"I would make biscotti or mandel bread because they last forever. You can just have a happy cookie jar sitting on the counter for whenever you need a sweet bite, and you don’t need to stress about eating them before they go bad. Or I would make a loaf of challah, like the potato challah from my blog because potato added to the dough bulks it up. It's a perfect bread for sweet or savory applications, and it freezes really well. Whenever I make challah, I let it cool, slice it, and put it in the freezer. Reheat in the toaster!" —Molly Yeh, host of Girl Meets Farm and author of Molly on the Range

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Photo credit: Sally McKenney

Jalapeño Cheddar Bread

"If I only had a few cups of flour left, I would definitely make my easy No Knead Jalapeño Cheddar Bread. Even if you've never baked bread before, you'll succeed on the first try with this recipe. It's for bread beginners! You can switch out the add-ins for different flavors, too." —Sally McKenney, author of Sally's Baking Addiction

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Photo credit: Butter & Scotch

Butter Biscuits

"This is SUCH a hard question. I'm going to have to go with Butter & Scotch's All Butter Biscuits that we used to make for brunch. Biscuits are great for so many reasons: They are easy to make, they are the ultimate comfort food, and they are extremely versatile. If you are craving something sweet, you could crack open a biscuit and cover them in fresh fruit, sugar, and whipped cream. But if you want to go savory, you could pile them with bacon, eggs, and sausage gravy. And if you needed something in between, you could always sandwich fried chicken and maple syrup between two warm biscuits." —Keavy Landreth, co-owner of Butter & Scotch

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Photo credit: Wendy Kou

Colossal Chocolate Chip Cookie

"My all-time favorite way to treat myself is most definitely a colossal-sized chocolate chip cookie, so if I only had a few cups of flour left, you will find me making one stuffed with marshmallow and caramel. I love how this cookie has the perfect combination of a crispy exterior and soft interior. This recipe can easily be adapted to be stuffed with your favorite sweets craving, and one of the best parts is breaking it apart for that fun surprise on the inside. Also, if you're low on—or out of—flour, my cookie kits include everything you need to bake." —Wendy Kou, author of My Dessert Diet

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Panic Pancakes

"These fluffy, barely sweet pancakes are jokingly called 'Panicakes' because they are the kind of recipe you can whip up with basic pantry ingredients; easy substitutions will ease the panic of not having a fully-stocked fridge. Add a few fun additions and these pancakes can be eaten for dinner. You can toss in some frozen blueberries, or you can crumble cheddar cheese and sprinkle some sliced scallions for a savory pancake. My favorite adaptation is to add chopped kimchi, frozen corn kernels, and a drizzle of sesame oil for spicy dinner pancake." —Nicole Rucker, founder of Fat and Flour Bakery and author of Dappled: Baking Recipes for Fruit Lovers

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