Thursday, March 8, 2012

Substituting Whole Wheat for All-Purpose Flour

Once again, Crystal over at Everyday Food Storage has given us some very useful info on added whole wheat to recipes. Sign up for her free newsletter to get great types on using food storage in your everyday cooking.

 Here is the deal with the two types of wheat. Red wheat has a stronger, nuttier flavor. The white wheat has a more delicate flavor that is much easier to disguise. So I would suggest always using the white wheat-especially in baked goods. What is that you say? The red wheat is more nutritious so, why not use it? I thought you might ask that. Red wheat IS more nutritious. And by more nutritious, I mean that it has 2% more protein than the white. HOWEVER, in order to make most anything palatable with 100% red wheat you have to mix it half and half with the all-purpose flour. In that case, you’ve just cut the nutrition by half….or you could just use the 2% less protein white wheat flour and use it 100%. Now, do you think I mean that you ALWAYS have to use 100% wheat in your baking? NO! You use it how your family would like it and I’ll give you some good tips for how to use it successfully and how to know if your recipe is best for 100% whole wheat, half and half or less.


 There are a lot of recipes that are great for substitution 100% whole wheat. I’d say as a general rule of thumb, if your recipe has two or more of the following ingredients in it-you’re good to go with 100% whole wheat.

 At least equal amounts of brown sugar and white sugar. All brown sugar or more brown sugar than white sugar works even better!
  • Strong spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice, etc.
  • Mashed fruit (non-citrus) or vegetables like bananas, zucchini, pumpkin, etc.
  • Nuts-wheat is very complimentary to nuts.
  • Oats. Oats already have that hearty feeling and wheat goes great with it!
  • Chocolate-Let’s be honest, chocolate covers a myriad of flavors and tastes great!


 So what to do if you recipe doesn’t have two of the above? Think sugar cookies, white cake, etc. If you’re at all nervous you can always do 1/6 wheat with LITTLE to NO taste difference. If you’re feeling a little daring, you can do half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose. You may be able to taste the wheat a little but it doesn’t mean it’s a bad flavor. Remember, with cooking just because it tastes different doesn’t automatically mean it tastes bad. It just means it tastes different and you if have to decide if you like it better or worse that way.

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