Is there a difference between white whole wheat and whole wheat pastry flour?
White whole wheat flour is flour made from a strain of wheat that has fewer tannins, thus appearing light tan rather than reddish brown. The only white wheat I have bought is hard spring wheat. The flour from this wheat is pretty much the opposite of pastry flour. Pastry flour is made from soft wheat.
Whole wheat pastry flour is made from soft white wheat, and retains some of the bran and germ, the quanity varies between producers. Pastry flour is also made from the same soft white wheat, but is milled to remove all of the bran and germ, and may be bleached to lower the protein content even more.
Now there is also a strain of wheat that is called Hard White Wheat, which is a newer strain developed in the past 15 years or so. It is becoming more popular (or at least being pushed by the industry) because it has a higher yield and has a lighter flavor than whole red wheat (plus it's the preferred wheat for noodles in Asian countries. Kansas growers, for example, have dedicated more acres to it due to yield quality and because they compete with Australia for that market) Nutritionally they are the same, just the flavor and color are different.
Yep. The lady at the store said "Our pastry flour is made from white wheat." I suspected something was not the same, but I'd not learned there was a hard and a soft white wheat. Got to educate her, too, after your comments. Too bad I can't get whole white wheat flour here, but I'm glad I can get whole wheat pastry flour. Thanks for clarifying. Once again, I love this forum!