The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

wholemeal flour

Dorothy's picture

wholemeal flour

What is wholemeal flour???  I went to my local health/organic store in search of wholemeal flour.  They had no idea of what it was.  Could it be whole wheat?


browndog's picture

Dorothy, wholemeal is usually going to be whole wheat; it's another case of the difference between American English and UK English, I believe. Helend just posted her wholemeal spelt bread--it just means whole grain whatever flour. If your recipe doesn't specify some other grain, you can safely assume it means wheat.

Dorothy's picture

Just wanted to thank you all for answering my questions and  all the wonderful suggestions..

Bubbathebaker's picture

Hi Dorothy    

Browndog is mostly right.....but the meal part of the name comes from the grind size of the flour.  ie, corn meal.  I am recently grinding my own flours for artisan breads because I am unable to find the grinds I want. Kitchen aid has a wonderful little guy for about 150.00 usd. It can grind anyhard grains like Hard red wheat berries and Rye berries to the softer Farro Spelt. I use it to regrind my cornmeal into corn flour for Anadama Bread with a softer crumb. The wholemeal also makes for a good soaker or levain and the texture is truely hearty.



Maire's picture

If are looking to make true Irish Soda Bread or any of the breads made in Ireland, wholemeal flour is called for in the recipe. It is whole wheat, but the grind in the US whole wheat flour is considerably different, resulting in a different textured and tasting bread. Most of the sites/blogs I have seen referred to a "soft red wheat flour with a coarse grind". Some people have used Hodgkins Mill whole wheat flour and others have said it is too coarse. Almost everyone has said that King Arthur brand "Irish-style" wholemeal flour does the best.  However, it is not sold in stores. I called them and they only sell it online because it is a specialty flour.

So it is whole wheat flour, yet it is not the same as the standard US whole wheat flour.