Guide to Whole-Grain Baking

Use these 10 whole-grain baking techniques without fear of ruining your favorite recipes.

| November/December 2014

  • Replace white flour with whole grains for healthier baked goods.
    Photo by Tim Nauman
  • Grinding your own flour out of whole grains is incredibly simple with an old-fashioned home grinder.
    Photo by Tim Nauman
  • The wide range of whole-grain flours offers a variety of textures and flavors.
    Photo by Tim Nauman
  • Bread and muffin recipes that include baking soda or baking powder don’t rely on gluten for their rise, which means you can use almost any type of flour.
    Photo by Tim Nauman

For most of us, the holiday season is the biggest baking time of the year, so there’s no better time to learn how to adapt your favorite recipes to make them healthier and more flavorful. When I first started baking with whole grains, my endeavors were limited to replacing some portion of white flour with whole-wheat flour—the easiest introductory step into whole-grain baking. Now I bake almost exclusively with whole-grain flours and use a much wider variety of grains. I don’t expect these to be stand-ins for white flour. Instead, I tailor recipes to their individual personalities. I’ve learned how to get hearty, sour and assertive results when that’s what I want; and airy, creamy, fluffy, sweet and even spongy results when I want those instead. What follows are some of the time-tested tips I’ve discovered.

Whole-Wheat Flour Recipes

Perfect Pie Crust Recipe
Healthy Multigrain Waffles Recipe
Multigrain Sandwich Bread Recipe

Technique #1: Replace White Flour with Whole Wheat

When your aim is to make standard white-flour recipes healthier, the easiest place to start is by substituting whole-wheat flour. Begin experiments by swapping about a quarter of the white flour with whole-wheat flour, then gradually increase the ratio with each successful recipe.

Technique #2: Keep Bitterness at Bay

If someone in your family is finicky about whole wheat because they say they can detect bitterness in whole-wheat baked goods, keep these two tricks up your sleeve.

10/21/2014 12:01:09 AM

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