Pre-modern Europe depended on what we today call "specialty flours,", for its daily bread. Before wheat became the foundation of breads and sweet goods worldwide, bakers learned - whether out of choice or necessity - to use flours milled from a variety of other foodstuffs, including barley , potatoes, buckwheat, rice and oats. Each has its unique characteristics, and all offer bakers new tastes, textures, and colors with which to enhance their breads, cakes, cookies and pastries.
Want to learn more about flours made from rye and other grains? Take a look at INSIDE THE JEWISH BAKERY'S bonus chapter on Non-Wheat Flours.