Welcome to Part 3 of my Just Eat It: Brain Food 101 Wheat Flour series.
There are so many kinds of flour available, it is hard to keep track sometimes. We’ve already looked at all-purpose v. self-rising v. pastry v. bread flours. But what about whole wheat versus white flour? And why is whole wheat flour not the same as wheat flour?
Whole Wheat Flour
As you may have guessed from the name, whole wheat flour is a whole grain. It includes all parts of the wheat grain: the bran, germ, and endosperm. Whole wheat flour is higher in fiber, iron, magnesium, zinc, and many other nutrients than white or wheat flour. Baked goods made with whole wheat flour tend to have a more hearty, earthy flavor, and may be slightly more bitter.
It should also be noted that whole wheat flour absorbs more moisture than white or wheat flour, so you may need to add more water, oil, butter, or milk to your recipe when substituting whole wheat flour for white flour.
Wheat flour is not the same as whole wheat flour. While whole wheat is a whole grain, wheat flour doesn’t have the endosperm. So wheat flour is missing a lot of the fiber, vitamins and minerals that whole grains have. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it refers to wheat in its name! Foods made with wheat flour are lighter in flavor.
See wheat flour above!
Whole White Wheat Flour
This one really confused me. On the one hand, it has the word ‘whole’ in its name. On the other, it is called a ‘white’ flour. So is it a whole grain or isn’t?
Apparently, despite having the word ‘white’ in its name, whole white wheat flour is actually a whole grain. It is made from white wheat, and has just as much fiber as regular whole wheat flour! Though I haven’t personally tried whole white wheat bread, I’ve read that it is slightly sweeter than whole wheat bread.
Durum flour is made from a special kind of wheat, durum wheat. It is high in protein and is more yellow than common wheat. It is often used in pasta and artisan breads.
I hope you’ve found this information to be helpful!
Still To Come in the Wheat Flour Series:
- Make your own cake flour?
- Flours to use for quick breads versus yeast breads