Week 47: Sorghum

Sorghum is a genus of many types of grasses which are native to continents all over the world. The kind of sorghum featured here is used for food (both the grain and the syrup from the plant, which is called sorghum molasses), liquors, animal feed and even biofuel. It is one of the five top cereal crops in the world and, when fermented and distilled, produces one of China’s most famous liquors (maotai). It grows in tall stalks and at the top are lots of seeds like the ones you see below.

At first, I tried to pop them like popcorn, but apparently the varietal I had wasn’t meant to be popped. Hence, the mess below:

Instead, I placed the seeds in a (cleaned) coffee grinder and then pressed the grounds through a sieve to make homemade (gluten free!) flour. I made pancakes out of the flour, which were hearty, nutty, and a fun purple color inside:

Sorghum Flour

  • Sorghum seeds

In a clean coffee or spice grinder, finely grind seeds. Place a sieve over a large bowl. Pour ground seeds into sieve and push through to sift. Discard pieces left on top of sieve. Use sorghum flour in recipe below or find more recipes here.

Sorghum Pancakes

  • 2/4 +1/3 C sorghum flour
  • 2 T buttermilk powder
  • 1/2 T sugar
  • 3/4 t baking powder
  • 1/2 T cornstarch
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 1/2 T oil

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and wet ingredients in a small bowl bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until smooth. Heat a greased griddle over medium high heat. Ladle around 1/4 of batter at a time onto preheated griddle. Once the top is partially set, flip and cook until both sides are browned.

10 Comments on Week 47: Sorghum

  1. David
    November 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm (12 years ago)

    This looks really interesting. where can I buy Sorghum?

  2. Dani
    November 22, 2010 at 9:34 am (12 years ago)

    Laughing out loud at my desk because of that picture of the sorghum seeds all over the place! Those seeds are FREAKY-LOOKING. I have to try some!

  3. angi
    November 23, 2010 at 3:22 pm (12 years ago)

    I’ve heard of sorghum before (mostly I’ve seen it at stores on labels for gluten-free beers) but never seen what it actually looks like – how neat! Where did you get your sorghum from?

    • Stephanie
      November 26, 2010 at 9:54 am (12 years ago)

      I can’t believe I forgot to put where I got the sorghum! I got it from a friend who grows it in her garden. Bob’s Red Mill makes sorghum flour and you can buy sorghum seeds for popping online.

  4. Asım Usta
    November 26, 2010 at 9:22 am (12 years ago)

    Looks nice. Wish could get some here and taste but ofcourse no chance…

  5. JustPoppin Buck
    February 18, 2011 at 10:26 pm (11 years ago)

    As you already figured out, not all sorghum pops and not all white sorghum pops. Popping sorghum is a specialized variety of the white grain. When popping, realize that the popping ratio is inversely proportionate to the amount of sorghum you put in your popper. A higher percentage of the grains will pop if you put 1/8 cup in your popper than if you put 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup. Popping sorghum has a really light flavor too which makes it great for grinding into flour. Happy popping.

  6. Kristie
    January 31, 2013 at 6:14 pm (9 years ago)

    Is a seive just a strainer like I use to strain my chicken broth? I don’t know if it has small enough holes. 🙂

    • Stephanie Nuccitelli
      January 31, 2013 at 6:29 pm (9 years ago)

      Kristie, a sieve is a fine mesh strainer. A regular strainer might have holes that are too big.

  7. JustPoppin Buck
    February 1, 2013 at 7:40 am (9 years ago)

    @Kristie – Stephanie’s description is correct. It took me a lot of searching to find a “strainer” that had just the right sized holes to let the unpopped grains fall through but hold back most of the popped ones. So many of them looked like they would work but didn’t. Just do a google search for “sorghum sifter” and you’ll see a number of hits.


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