Millet bread includes any bread products or rolls made from millet flour. While the majority of bread products are made from wheat flour, millet and other grains serve as an alternative to wheat. Millet flour comes from a tall annual grass, and is believed to have been a diet staple for people in Asian and African countries dating back before written history. The availability of millet bread gives consumers greater options in terms of nutrition, taste, and food allergies.
One of the greatest benefits associated with millet is that it contains no gluten. Gluten is found in wheat and many others grains, and may pose digestive problems for certain people. Those with celiac disease or even basic wheat allergies can replace wheat bread with millet bread to maintain proper health. Unfortunately, millet is not appropriate for people with thyroid conditions due to certain ingredients that can interact with thyroid function and medications.
In many ways, millet flour is nutritionally identical to wheat flour. It contains slightly more protein, but shares roughly the same amount of calories and other nutrients. Like wheat bread, millet breads are rich in B vitamins, as well as minerals like iron and calcium.
Millet bread can be used to make sandwiches much in the same way as traditional sliced bread. It also serves as a popular flat bread for spreads, cheese, and other toppings. Bread and rolls made from millet can also be served on their own, or as a side dish for soup and other meals. Bread pudding made from millet also serves as a traditional dish in some parts of the world.
One difficulty associated with baking millet bread is that this flour does not rise in the same way as wheat flour. This results in a very hard, dense bread unless special recipes are used to decrease density. Many bakers combine millet with other gluten-free flours, such as those made from rice, oats or tapioca. For people who do not suffer from celiac disease but simply want to enjoy the taste of millet bread, a combination of wheat and millet flour can allow the bread to rise properly.
Compared to traditional bread made from wheat, millet bread will almost always feel more dry and hard. Good bakers using good recipes can improve rising to make the bread lighter and flakier, however. Millet has a distinctive sweet flavor with nutty tones that some buyers prefer to standard wheat.