A User’s Guide to ʻUlu Flour

‘Ulu flour is made from breadfruit, a starchy tropical fruit that grows on trees brought to Hawai‘i by Polynesian voyagers more than 1,000 years ago. Today, ‘ulu is a largely underutilized crop that produces an abundance of nutritious fruits with extremely low shelf life. At the same time, Hawai’i now imports nearly 100% of its staple foods, including virtually all of its flours.

 

Given the need to increase food security and decrease food waste, drying and milling breadfruit into flours offers a promising way to extend the fruit’s shelf life while creating a local, sustainable, and high-quality staple for local consumption, with significant export market potential.

 

Ulu Carrot Cake

 

With the recent increase in commercial ‘ulu production throughout Hawai‘i, ‘ulu flour production is also increasing. This guide is intended to support new ‘ulu flour users to incorporate this wonderful product into home and commercial cooking and baking.

 

Usage Tips

Water absorption

Ulu flour absorbs more liquid than all-purpose (AP) or bread flours, so depending on the recipe used, one may need to add more liquid to compensate.

Flavor

Ulu flour can impart a unique breadfruit-like flavor, with “whole fruit” flour more so than peeled. This should be factored into deciding how much ‘ulu flour to substitute for other flours in recipes as well as which type of ‘ulu flour to use.

Suggested supplemental ratios

A recommended supplemental ratio of ‘ulu flour to AP flour is 50:50 in recipes that include a substantial amount of liquid and ingredients with combative flavorings (e.g. banana bread). A ratio of 30:70 ‘ulu flour to AP flour is recommended for recipes that call for less liquid and/or little to no additional flavorings (e.g. pizza dough, shortbread), unless stronger ‘ulu aroma and flavor are desired.

 

Defining ʻulu flour specs

Peeled Breadfruit Flour

Good for sweeter baking applications desiring a clean complexion as well as for viscous foods like thickening of soups, sauces, etc. (Examples: best for shortbread cookies, cakes, béchamel sauce, or pastry cream.)

30 grams per ¼ cup
Nearly pure white color or light yellow with little to no specks
Similar in appearance to all purpose flour

     

    Whole Breadfruit Flour

    Good for general baking that doesn’t require a “smooth” monotone color. Most versatile in terms of baking applications. Adds additional sweetness and some nutty notes. (Examples: best for “whole wheat” appearance and flavor in pizza dough, banana bread, or fried chicken batter.)

    34 grams per ¼ cup
    Beige to light brown in color with small dark specks
    Similar in appearance to “whole wheat” flour 

     

    Usage examples:

    Shortbread cookies

    Banana bread

     

     

    Nutrition facts for ʻulu flour

    Total dietary fiber of breadfruit flour is three times higher than typical commercial bleached all-purpose flour.*

     

     

    *CITATION: Chen HA. 2016. “Characterizations of Functional Properties of Breadfruit Flour”. Master of Science in Food Science. University of Hawaii Manoa.

     

    Thanks to support from the Atherton Family Foundation, we have been able to scale our flour operation this season and have learned A TON in the process! As a result, ‘ulu flour is now more accessible than it was before: you can find small packs at several natural food stores throughout the islands and bulk bags are available on our website, with 10% off until the end of November!

     

    Buy Now & Get 10% Off until the end of November