September 05, 2015

When baking bread, cakes, pies, muffins, or cookies, substituting part of the all-purpose flour for whole-grain flour is an easy way to add protein, fiber, and robust wheat-y flavor to your favorite recipes. Two whole-grain flours that work great as a substitute for all-purpose flour are white whole-wheat and whole-wheat pastry flours. Both are easy to find in most chain grocery stores.

As a rule of thumb when substituting, it’s not a good idea to swap out equal amounts of whole-grain for all-purpose flour. Whole-grain flour is heartier than AP, and the other ingredients in the recipe may need to be adjusted to offset the denseness of the flour. Instead, try swapping out the following amounts the first time, then gradually go up until you achieve the flavor and texture that suits your palate.

White Whole-Wheat Flour: Substitute up to 50% of the all-purpose flour in the recipe. Extra liquid or leavening ingredient (such as baking powder or yeast) shouldn’t be necessary. White whole-wheat is milled from white, hard spring wheat so the color and the flavor are lighter, but all of the benefits from the whole grain are still there.

Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour: Substitute up to 25% of the all-purpose flour in the recipe. If you want to use more than 25%, the liquid ingredient (water or milk) may need to be increased. Whole-wheat pastry flour is very finely milled from low-protein soft wheat and has a very wheaty flavor that yields tasty cookies and pie crusts. Whole-wheat pastry flour is also know as graham flour.

So go ahead, try these two whole-grain flours the next time you are baking, and you will be surprised how delicious and easy it is to boost your fiber.

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