Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Whole wheat Wednesday

So the V is backwards. Now I'm trying to decide if I want to switch it around. I probably will but it will take some time to get that high on my list again. J

I've been doing a lot of baking lately and would you believe I didn't take any pictures to show you. We now have homemade biscuits, pita bread, and hamburger buns in the freezer. I can't believe how cheap it is to make this stuff. A note to any of you who would like to do your baking with whole wheat flour instead of white flour…it is very simple to make this switch you just need to buy yourself a little box of Vital Wheat Gluten. You may have tried using all whole wheat flour (wwf) in a previous recipe and it just didn't taste right nor did it have the correct texture. You may be using half white flour and half whole wheat flour to correct this. This is a fine set up but not my preferred way to work. Well my friends, the answer lies in this cute little box.

When you are baking your goods whether it is cookies, bread, biscuits, etc. and have used all wwf without adding gluten or using a high gluten flour, your goods will probably be bitter and very heavy. Almost like the texture and heaviness is too thick to eat. You will want to add in some gluten to give your product more chewiness and what gluten also does is holds together moisture so your baking will be more moist and fresh. The gluten won't add tons of extra carbs but it does add some. While most traditional recipes are created using All-Purpose Flour you can easily substitute wwf as you see fit when you understand how much gluten to add in. They do sell wwf with higher gluten content as well as ww pastry flour but if you are cheap like me you can do it this way.

From what I have been reading and trying to understand, gluten is the protein that works with yeast and helps it to stretch and rise. When you are making any kind of yeast bread adding some gluten to your wwf will make all the difference. In the hamburger bun recipe it uses 3 cups of flour and ¼ cup of gluten. The directions on the box say about 2-3 tsp of gluten to 1 cup of flour so the ¼ cup could probably be reduced a little bit. As you work with wwf and gluten you will see where you need to adjust. When I bake cookies using all wwf I will add just a little bit of gluten (maybe 1 tsp) because I don't want the cookies to be super airy but I also don't want them to be rock hard and a pain to eat. This seems to work well.

I have not yet tried wwf for things like gravy or cream sauces and I don't know if I will…I just always have some all-purpose flour on hand for those types of things. Maybe I will start with the half and half approach and just see what happens.

Do any of you use wwf? Do you use it only for baked goods or all sorts of stuff?

And because I kept using it...


  1. Good ideas ... I'm gonna send this to the wife who loves WWF.

    Too bad they say gluten is bad for RA ...

  2. You are too much, Annie.I aspire to bake my own bread, but alas, I've no time. Well, I don't make time.