Helpful tips for upping your whole-grain game when baking
January 23, 2015
1 of 5Photo: Brian Woodcock
When making smarter carb swaps in the kitchen, don't get ahead of yourself. Some swaps—like substituting whole-wheat for highly refined, all-purpose white flour—take a little more effort. While it's fine to sub in whole-wheat flour as a thickener in gravies, sauces, and soups or as a coating for oven-fried chicken, baking swaps are a different story.
Whole-grain flour contains germ and bran, which soak up liquid during baking and add weight to the dough (making it harder for it to rise on its own), creating a dense texture if you don't treat it properly.
2 of 5Photo: Randy Mayor
1. Use Less Flour
If a recipe calls for 1 cup of all-purpose flour, try using ¾ cup whole-grain.
3 of 5Photo: Dave King /Getty Images
2. Try More Liquid
For white whole-wheat flour, add 1 to 3 additional teaspoons liquid per cup of flour. For traditional whole-wheat, add up to 5 teaspoons of water per cup of flour.
4 of 5Photo: Randy Mayor
3. Try White Whole-Wheat Flour
It's made from a different strain of wheat and is lighter than traditional whole-wheat. Its flavor is also milder, making it taste more like the refined flour many of us are used to. But here's the kicker: It has basically the same nutritional value as whole-wheat flour.
Subbing white whole-wheat flour for an equal amount of all-purpose results in a denser biscuit. In our favorite CL recipe, Fluffy Buttermilk Drop Biscuits, which calls for 2 cups flour, we use 1¼ cups all-purpose and ¾ cup white whole-wheat.
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4. Swap Out Just a Portion of Your Refined Flour with Whole Wheat
You'll reduce the number of carbs and add nutrition, but you'll get a lighter baked good. Of course, sometimes going all in just works; try our 100% Spelt Flour Biscuits.