The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole Wheat Flour

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Whole Wheat Flour

Whole wheat bread flour: Not all whole wheat flours are the same. The bran in whole-wheat flour punctures the gluten web which traps gas, so it won’t rise quite as high as most white flours. As a result, you want to find a whole-wheat flour with as high a protein percentage as possible. The bran also contains protein, so look for a flour with at least 14% protein. You’ll also want to make sure that it’s fresh becausewhole wheat flour goes rancid after just a couple of months at room temperature because it retains the oily germ. King Arthur Flour and Giusto’s are both high-quality brands.

You’ll want to store whole-wheat flours in the freezer so that they’ll keep longer.

White whole wheat bread flour: Traditionally, whole wheat bread flour is made from hard red winter wheat or hard red spring wheat. However, in recent years, a variety of hard white wheat flour has come on the market that is strong enough to make bread. It lacks the tannins that give the red wheat its color and, for some people, a bitter flavor. Some folks really like it, finding that it mimics the taste of white flour and is less bitter than traditional whole wheat flour; others find it has a waxy texture that’s unappealing. But white whole wheat flour is certainly worth trying to see what you think.

Whole wheat pastry flour:
Perfect for all quick breads, this flour is made almost exclusively from soft white winter wheat, and has a low percentage of protein. So long as you increase the liquid in the recipe a bit, you can substitute it for white flour in nearly all quick breads, and hardly anyone will be able to tell the difference. Really!