Whole wheat pastry flour and I have been flirting for a while. I bought it in small quantities from the bulk bins and used it here and there when a recipe specifically called for it.
But I recently took our relationship to the next level. I bought a huge bag of it and have started sneaking it into practically everything. Whole wheat pastry flour and I have been getting along great. Let me tell you why.
We all know that whole grains are good for us. It seems like every product in the supermarket proudly exclaims that it has “whole grains!” among its (usually many) ingredients. We hear about whole grains on the news and on commercials and in advertisements constantly.
All these sources are right – whole grains are very good for us. Whole grains are a great source of fiber, something most Americans need more of in their diet. Whole grains also provide several B vitamins and minerals.
Baked goods, however are typically not a great source of whole grains, with the exception of whole grain bread. I’m thinking more like sweets! Sweets are typically baked with refined white flour, which is definitely not a whole grain.
I’ve tried baking before with regular wheat flour and it does okay in bread-y type stuff like rolls, pizza crust and well bread of course. But if you’ve ever tried to used regular whole wheat flour in cookies you’ll know that they are definitely….different.
Bring in my new BFF: Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, aka WWPF (because I don’t want to type that out again a bunch of times). WWPF is lighter in texture than regular whole wheat flour. Observe:
On the left we have WWPF. In the middle is all-purpose white flour. On the right is regular whole wheat flour. I know the picture isn’t great, but hopefully you can see how they are different at least a little bit. The all-purpose flour in the middle is obviously very white. The regular whole wheat flour on the right is a darker brown color and you can see flecks of the wheat bran and germ as well. The WWPF on the left is a smidge lighter than the regular whole wheat flour and you can’t see as many flecks of the bran and germ. Here are some closer pictures.
In the picture above, the all-purpose white flour is on the left and regular whole wheat is on the right. There’s clearly a difference between the two.
In the picture above, WWPF is on the left and all-purpose white flour is on the right. The differences are not as obvious, but you can kind of see that the WWPF is a bit darker in color.
Since WWPF is lighter in texture than regular whole wheat flour, it substitutes beautifully for all-purpose white flour in recipes. I’ve started using WWPF for half of the white flour called for by recipes. I used it in the dumplings for lentil vegetable soup and also in the double chocolate chip pancakes. I cannot tell a difference at all when I use part WWPF.
In looking at the Bob’s Red Mill brand of flours, WWPF has 4g of fiber in 1/4 cup while regular white flour only has 1g (scroll down for nutritional information on both of those links). Clearly the WWPF is the winner! That’s 12 extra grams of fiber that WWPF has over white flour per cup.
So I challenge you to give my new friend WWFP a try. WWPF wants to be your friend too. Ease into the relationship by getting a small amount from the bulk bins and using it for half of the regular white flour in one of your favorite baked goods. See how you like it. Test the waters. Over time you just might find that you’ve become better and better friends.
Thinking about trying WWPF? How are you going to use it first? Already BFFs? What’s your favorite recipe for using WWPF?