October 22, 2008
I use white whole wheat flour in so many recipes I thought it might be time for a mini-post devoted to this excellent grain. I first heard the term at work when one of my co-workers was trying to add more whole grains to her diet. She asked me about the bag of white whole wheat flour she had just purchased and I assured her that whole wheat flour doesn't have the word "white" in it. Ahem. Then I went home and did a little research to find out that yes, white whole wheat is the real deal.
White whole wheat is a hard winter wheat with nutritional value equivalent to hard red wheat, but with baking and taste qualities more akin to unbleached white. It's a naturally occurring variety that lacks the genes for red bran color. It also lacks certain phenolic compounds that contribute to the stronger taste of red wheat. The taste of white whole wheat is milder and sweeter. It also seems to produce lighter and softer baked goods.
Ar first I was using it only in bread and pizza dough in the same proportions that I had used red whole wheat. I usually added up to half unbleached white to lighten the bread. Then I started using higher and higher percentages of white whole wheat until I was making the bread entirely with this product, with great results. I usually used organic 100% whole wheat pastry flour for cakes and cookies. I started experimenting with white whole wheat and was surprised to find that the white whole wheat worked great in those things, too. It's become an all-purpose flour for me, though I still often use whole wheat pastry flour (from soft white wheat) out of habit.
I've been purchasing Bob's Red Mill organic white whole wheat flour which I find at Whole Foods and at our local food co-op. Other companies offer it but not as an organic product. (Grains are subject to so much pesticide use that I prefer to buy organic products.)
You can read more about white whole wheat here.