The Bur Oak tree doesn’t only have beautiful leaves that change this time of year; it also produces acorns, which, unbeknownst to most, can make bread.
Taylor Read, a student at BYU majoring in wildlife and wildlands conservation, discovered that the acorns from the Bur Oak tree on BYU campus can make flour.
“I grew up fishing, camping, hunting and being in the outdoors,” Read said. “I’ve switched majors quite a bit, but I knew I wanted to do something outside. I took forest ecology management, and my teacher mentioned one day that you could make flour out of acorns. I wanted to do it because it sounded sweet so I got the acorns and decided to try it.”
This is the second year Read has attempted to make the bread from acorn flour. He described the process involved with producing the unique creation.
First, the acorns need to be shelled and then put in a blender with water. According to Read, acorns on their own have some tannic acid, which can be harmful to the human body. It is important to remove the acid before making the acorn flour. After the water and acorns are blended, the water will turn white — the acorn particles are strained and the process is repeated until the water is clear and the mixture is toxic free. Eventually, flour is created from the procedure and ready for making bread.
“It was more filling than regular bread, but it didn’t really have a distinct taste, so we ate it with honey. I liked it,” said Sandy Berg, student at BYU and friend of Read who helped him make the bread. “I would probably buy it depending on how expensive it was. It is actually kind of addicting; it isn’t necessarily good for sandwiches, but it was good with honey and jam.”
Even though Read made bread from the acorns of Bur Oak tree, that is not the only thing that can be made.
“I made bread, but you can make cookies, pancakes or anything that you make flour out of,” Read said. “I don’t cook very much, but I mostly wanted to make it just because I could.”
Another unique part about the Bur Oak tree is that it is not indigenous to Utah. Even though these trees are not native to Utah, a few can be found on BYU campus.
“The Bur Oak tree has very unique bark with texture that will stand out in every photo. It does well in colder climates and is a slow-growing tree,” wrote Jennifer Peterson, a BYU student majoring in landscape management, who works on grounds as a part of the plant installation crew.
Peterson evaluated these trees in her arboriculture class last semester. She evaluated the tress located at the top of the hill near the bike rack across from the Widtsoe, and the class determined that each tree was priced at nearly $10,000.
According to Peterson, the tree evaluations were done “to determine if trees should be moved prior to construction, in an effort to save and replant the tree, or to collect appropriate damage fees if someone destroys the tree.”