The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Flours to use for whole-grain bread?

MarionR's picture

Flours to use for whole-grain bread?

I am reading a book about eating healthier.  The author says that dense bread is fine but to stay away from bread that can be squished easily.  He says it's okay to eat whole-grain breads but (and here's where I am very confused) not to use whole-grain flour.  Does anyone have any idea if you you can make whole grain bread without whole grain flour?  He did, however, say it's okay to use rye fiber or konjac root fiber (I don't know what this is).  Does using rye flour make the bread whole-grain? Is rye fiber the same as rye flour? 

I hope I've explained myself.  I want to make whole-grain breads and also follow the book's advice.  I also want to stay away from wheat gluten. 

Which flours should I purchase in order to make a "real" whole-grain bread.  I have a Bosch Universal Mixer but am very much a novice at this.  Does anyone have any recipes to share? 

helend's picture

I must admit your book's advice sounds confusing but I guess you could use rye flour and add the whole grains you are comfortable with eg oats which are very good for you with soluble fibre etc.  This will certainly make a "dense" loaf.  Rye fibre isn't the same as rye flour but ...

Why do you want to steer clear of wheat gluten?  It isn't advisable unless you are intolerent because wheat is good source of vitamins, fibre etc and believe me, life is very hard avoiding it as I know to my cost.

Also if you take out a product from your diet you can make yourself sensitive to it.

If you're sure its wheat gluten (and not another part of the wheat berry, or modern additives etc) you may get on fine with wholemeal or white spelt - an ancient and unmodified form of wheat which has a different gluten structure - it makes great bread and is more easily digestible. 

I can't help with the mixer because I make all my bread by hand but if you use spelt be careful in your mixer because the gluten is more "fragile" and develops more quickly - less kneading :)) 

dulke's picture

I concur, the advice sounds a bit confusing. If you are not allergic to wheat, then I would not hesitate to use whole wheat flour in breads. Rye is also great, but 100% rye flour breads are a bit tricky. 

 I am wondering if the author is cautioning that not everything labeled whole wheat or whole grain is really that - there are loaves out there that sound good, but when you look at the ingredients list, you see that the main ingredient is bleached refined flour.

 As helend notes, adding oatmeal or rye flakes or multigrain cereal to your dough adds a great deal of nutitional value as well as flavor. Adding 1/4 c or 1/2 cup usually is not a problem, any more than that may require some adjustments. I find it helpful to soak oatmeal, etc. in hot water to soften the grains.