The first time I baked with whole wheat flour, I made a few foolhardy mistakes and ended up with a bone-dry brick of dark, lumpy “bread.” So to help you avoid the same traps that I fell into, here are a few bits of advice about using whole wheat flour in your baking.
- Watch for spoilage.
Before you purchase and begin using whole wheat flour, you should know that it has the capacity to go rancid after a while because it contains much more oil than regular flour. Keep an eye on the use-by date!
- Sift, sift, sift!
You may be able to get away with using presifted white flour (or not sifting at all), but it’s imperative that you sift whole wheat flour. Sifting will allow you to remove some of the larger bits (especially if you’re making cakes or desserts). Sifting also incorporates more air, which will make your flour (and subsequently, your finished product) lighter.
- In recipes, only substitute half of the white flour for whole wheat flour.
When you first begin using whole wheat flour, only substitute half of the white flour for the whole wheat. This will give you more of a feel for how whole wheat flour is affected by kneading, stirring, whisking, heat, etc. You may need to add a little bit of extra liquid, but it will keep you from tweaking the recipe too much. Once you’re used to whole wheat flour, changing your recipes to suit it will be much easier.
Your final product is going to be a good bit more dense than its white flour counterpart, but whole wheat flour really doesn’t affect taste (at least, not in my opinion). I’m an avid baker of whole wheat delicious cupcakes, and they are absolutely scrumptious! Happy baking!
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