The Fresh Loaf

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Suggestions for high protein, flavorful 100% whole wheat flour

Lmw4's picture

Suggestions for high protein, flavorful 100% whole wheat flour

I am looking for suggestions for whole wheat flour for a yeasted sandwich loaf.  I've used KAF WW and Maine Grains WW.  I was surprised when I used the Maine Grains flour instead of KAF that the difference in flavor was noticeable - Maine Grains had a much better flavor.  So much so that for whole wheat bread, I don't think KAF would be my go to anymore.   

The protein content for Maine Grains is 12%.  Can anyone suggest a substitute for Maine Grains that would have a higher protein content that also has a good flavor?

I've googled and scouted around and found a few that might work.

Bob's Red Mill?  Central Milling?  I can get Bob's Red Mill at Whole Foods, but I would have to buy the Central Milling on line and the shipping costs are more than the bag of flour!

Any other suggestions??


DiDiBoCo's picture

I really like High Altitude Hungarian WW flour. It is widely available in supermarkets around here (Colorado USA), and it is very reasonably priced (less than comparable KA flour). I calculate it at 13.3% protein. Prices I see online, though, are not cheap. I don't know if it is a regional product or not. (And it has nothing to do with high-altitude baking, as far as I can tell...I think that high-altitude just refers to where the wheat was grown?)


Abe's picture

That the wheat is grown at high altitude and therefore performs well at high altitude.

Lmw4's picture

I’ve not heard of this brand.   I’ll take a look!

alcophile's picture

I found that Wheat Montana Bronze Chief (protein 14%) was more flavorful than KAB's WW flour. I have not tried the Prairie Gold (white wheat) flour.

I also liked Yecora Rojo flour from Breadtopia. Lots of users here swear by the Red Fife strain of wheat. I had trouble using it and doesn't have as high of protein. Because I live in the Midwest, the shipping from Breadtopia is reasonable. Your profile does not list where you live, which will have a bearing on shipping costs.

I've heard favorable reviews of Castle Valley Mill in Pennsylvania.

Lmw4's picture

I live in Massachusetts so will check out the PA mill.  I’ve tried red fife from Anson Mills in South Carolina and didn’t have much luck either.  


Sabina's picture
Sabina I have a bag of their whole wheat flour right now, and it's labelled 4g protein per 30g .

I actually don't know if they ship stuff to the US, but if you're in Massachusetts, you're not that far away. You might find some in local stores or you could try emailing them, although it doesn't look like they are set up to sell to individuals.

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Not sure if this fits your price range, but it's organic and shipping on 25-pound bags is free:

Organic Whole Wheat Flour From War Eagle Mill

Their flours are really nice. I think the whole wheat is better tasting than King Arthur's (although it's not as consistent) and plenty strong for beautiful, yeasted sandwich breads:

100% whole wheat sandwich bread

For comparison, this is a hard red spring wheat with about 16% protein or higher if I remember correctly. KA's traditional is a hard red winter wheat, so a little softer at 14%.

Happy Baking :)

Lmw4's picture

Price isn't out of line.  I find KA's WW to be pretty flavorless so am up for experimenting and free shipping puts it in line.

That loaf is gorgeous!  I actually am trying my hand at your recipe which I have been following and am thrilled your posting popped up here!  The process for your loaf is pretty different from what I am used to but to my surprise, my attempts aren't total losses.  I love Maine Grains WW flour but it's only about 12% protein.  I tried one version with added VWG but wasn't crazy about the taste so am moving on to try a higher protein flour. 

Thanks for this!

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Hey, I'm happy to hear you're trying my formula :)  I don't know whose version you're following, but here are the 3 keys to getting the best results, I think.

1)  develop the gluten before adding oil or butter

2)  give the dough two full rises in bulk instead of just the one that is typical for straight dough pan loaves

3)  keep the dough cool to cold for the majority of fermentation (no higher than 74F, and preferably lower).

Including some egg and treating the dough more like brioche, increases the bread’s loftiness. The longer, cooler fermentation reduces both sweetness from the honey and bitterness of the grain and transforms them into “breadier” flavors. (And, yes, fermentation temperature makes a big difference in the flavor of whole wheat breads.) The extra rise improves keeping qualities as well. These breads usually make it 10 days at room temp for me before starting to mold. I had one go a full 14! That's better than my lean sourdoughs!

I've been trading half the honey for sorghum molasses for a while now and I really like what it adds. Yesterday I increased the roasted walnut oil slightly in this iteration for a 9x4" pullman + 6 hamburger buns, and I really liked how it all turned out (it tastes like it wants to be made into a cinnamon bread):

500g  WEM ww flour
200g 1% milk (low-fat or fat-free milk allows for easier gluten development)
175g  egg + water (1 egg + enough water to total 175g)
  30g  honey
  30g  sorghum molasses
  11g  salt
 5.5g  dry yeast
  35g  roasted walnut oil

Let me know if you need any more tips or ideas. Maybe it's time to blog this formula in its original form.

My best,

Lmw4's picture

Hi there,

I'm using a formula posted by Gavin I think it was in June 2022.  He was kind enough to post a link to a spreadsheet he developed that outlines the formula and process including your 3 key points. His formula is only slightly different than this one. Same ingredients except for the molasses but with slightly different amounts.

I kneaded the dough by hand for my last attempt but I don't think it was sufficiently developed.  My next try will be using my mixer with the hope I don't overshoot the DDT!   

I'm going back in!!


Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Don't worry about overshooting the DDT in the mixing, because you'll be moving it to the fridge right after, and it will cool down quickly enough unless you're making a big batch. Over the years, I have most often used the bread machine to do the mixing (and only the mixing) for this dough, because it’s so gosh darn convenient and does a really superb job of mixing gently without beating in lots of air. But with the Zo, you can’t turn off the heating element even during mixing. It targets a dough temperature of 82F, and sometimes overshoots the mark by a degree or two. But FDT in the low 80's hasn’t been a problem for me, because it’s a small dough mass (in a metal bread machine pan) going right into the fridge.

I'm going back in!!

That's the spirit! :)

Lmw4's picture

Good to know!  I’ll let you know how it goes.

I truly appreciate your help!