The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Reconstituted Whole Wheat Flour

nomolosca's picture

Reconstituted Whole Wheat Flour

After having done some research, I've recently learned that a lot of the whole wheat flours that are sold in grocery stores are actually reconstituted from already-separated bran, germ, and endosperm. I have a couple questions, and I'm hoping that some of the wonderful people here might have answers.

1. Is there a specific benefit to baking with whole wheat flour that goes straight from the mill to the bag vs. baking with reconstituted whole wheat flour?

2. Do we know which commonly-available whole wheat flours are mill-to-bag vs. reconstituted (i.e. Gold Medal, King Arthur, Bob's Red Mill, Hodgson Mill)?

3. Is this also the case with other whole grain flours like rye or spelt?


Thanks, everyone.

dabrownman's picture

is that the flour made from it was totally different than any whole grain flour I had ever bought.  The stuff that was sold as 'whole grain was missing much of the good stuff that made my home milled flour fantastic in comparison.  i don't know which ones are supposed to contain everything but I never found one mass produced that did. 

suave's picture

What "good stuff" was it it missing?  According to Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 section 137.200 " Whole wheat flour ... is the food prepared by so grinding cleaned wheat.... The proportions of the natural constituents of such wheat, other than moisture, remain unaltered."  I mean if the Big Food is lying to us and violating the law we must take action.

suave's picture

You need to understand how the flour is made.  The process they use is called gradual reduction and it's just that - gradual reduction of grain into progressively smaller particles.  So you strip outer layers, separate them, separate the germ, crack the endospem, sift, crack again, sift, grind the middlings, sift and so on and so forth.  In the end you can be left with 20-30 streams that can be combined based on their characteristics to give any number of flours with desired properties.  When you put everything back together you get whole wheat.

I should note that this technology was invented and used centuries before the advent of modern roller milling.   Stone mills used the same approach, except for some very low tech peasant mills. 

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

That's what the kind of WW flours you're looking for is called. One Degree Organic's sprouted wheat flour is whole milled. I'm sure there are others. Bob's Red Mill perhaps?

Mill your own if you can.  Nothing like it. 


exbaker's picture

I think freshness is the ingredient thats missing.  I have wheat berries and flour from a local mill.  When I grind my own flour it is very different from the same purchased flour that is older.  Freshness of the germ oils results in an unbeatable flavour that changes  rapidly with age.