The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole Wheat Bread Flour

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MarionR's picture
MarionR

Whole Wheat Bread Flour

Is there such a thing as whole wheat bread flour?  If yes, what brand do you recommend?  TIA

MarionR's picture
MarionR

I purchased whole wheat flour at the Good Foods store.  Must I use it in a recipe that calls for "white" bread flour and whole wheat flour.  If not, must I add gluten or anything else? 

Does anyone have a recipe that doesn't call for white flour?

sphealey's picture
sphealey

For all questions related to whole grain baking I would recommend obtaining The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book (ISBN 0394724348). That book has many good recipies specifically designed for whole grain flours.

 

Generally, you can just use the whole grain flour instead of the refined flour in your favorite recipies. You might have to add a bit more water and knead a bit longer. Most people start by substituting 25% whole flour, then gradually increasing the amount until they either reach 100% or the limit of their taste for whole grain flour.

 

Whole wheat flour generally has a higher gluten content than refined flour, so there is no need to add more gluten. I used whole wheat flour to strengthen my rye breads in fact.

 

sPh

sphealey's picture
sphealey

"Bread flour" is just refined whole wheat flour. So any standard whole wheat flour [1] can be used in any recipe that calls for bread flour.

 

sPh

 

[1] It is possible to find whole wheat pastry and cake flours, although it takes a little effort! Those two variations would not work well for bread. 95% of the whole wheat flour on store shelves is just straight flour.

qahtan's picture
qahtan

 

 Now I have always understood that whole wheat flour is lower in gluten this why most times it has white bread flour or gluten added to the recipe.

 I believe bread can be made with just whole wheat but it does not rise as much and is overall much heavier.

 Whole wheat flour is best when freshly milled and used, do not mill more than you require at one baking.

 qahtan

PJ3's picture
PJ3

I grind my own whole wheat flour and have had some wheat that is low in "Protein" and makes very bad bread... I believe that you need the "Protein" to be 13-15% --- lower than this gives bad results... What is hard to do with whole wheat flour is develope the gluten which takes quite a bit of work to do if you don't have a good mixer... that is why some people like to use a dough enhancer (gluten) to their bread for quicker results. When using whole wheat flour I have found that the gluten has developed enough when you can take the dough and stretch it with your fingers into a small window 2"x2" without the dough breaking... it makes a nice, very thin, translucent window. I personally don't like dough enhancers because of the texture and the artifical taste... I just knead the dough a little longer to make sure the gluten has developed...