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Jan 25, 2005 08:46 AM

king arthur's white whole wheat flour

  • t

so i just bought my first 5 lb bag of this new variety. it's white whole wheat flour from king arthur. supposedly it is milled from hard white winter wheat and is lacking the bitter compounds of red wheat. sounds like greek to me!

has anyone been baking with this new flour? if so, are you modifying your favorite recipes or using new ones? i'm curious as to the best way to incorporate this flour into my baking. i'm thinking specifically of bread baking but would be interested if anyone is using it in their cookie recipes, etc.

thank you.

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  1. I've had a bag for a few years now that I originally bought at Trader Joe's. I've made pizza dough with it which turned out fine, and a muffin recipe with half AP half white wheat which was also good. I haven't tried replacing it one for one in AP recipes though.

    1. It's no gimmick. White winter wheat is a traditional wheat crop, but it wasn't widely distributed for retail use until the past decade or so. Yes, its chief attribute is that you get the whole grain without the tannic bitterness of red wheat bran.

      King Arthur's has a protein content (13%) that is about halfway between that of red whole wheat (14.2%) and unbleached AP flour (11.7%), and should have gluten formation somewhat between those types of flour.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Karl S.
        Eldon Kreider

        White wheat goes way back and comes in both hard and soft varieties. Soft white wheat is used in whole wheat pastry flour. The two main advantages of white whole wheat are the lower tannin flavor in the bran and appearance in some baked goods.

        Historically the major domestic users of white wheat have been breakfast cereal manufacturers. Appearance and less intense bran flavor were the reasons for using white wheat. Washington and Oregon produce substantial amount of white wheat for the cereal industry and export to Asia.

      2. I really don't like the taste of traditional whole wheat flour (Peter Reinhart has said he felt the same until he tasted fresh wheat freshly ground!). Last week I used KA's white whole wheat in Jeffrey Hammelman's oatmeal bread recipe, and it turned out great. I haven't made anything 100% whole wheat from this flour, but I often sub out half of the AP in a recipe with it, with good results.
        Good luck!

        1 Reply
        1. re: pastrytroll

          I'm with you about whole wheat, and so I was very happy to find King Arthur white whole wheat flour, which I do like. I haven't made anything using 100% while whole wheat, though.

          For my rustic country bread, I substitute about 1/3 of the flour with white whole wheat. I also add a bit more yeast and a touch more of ascorbic acid to get a better rise.

        2. I have been using KA white wheat for a few years now and have had no problems with it at all. It cooks up the same as regular wheat although I may adjust my liquids a bit, the white wheat might not soak up as much. If you are substituting for white flour make sure you add more liquid.

          My bread book says you can substitute 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of white wheat for each cup of regular whole wheat. And it sounds like it would be a one to one substitution for all-purpose.

          I have made muffins and other goodies, but for cookies, I use Whole Wheat Pasty Flour - makes an incredible cookie.

          Make sure you keep it in the fridge or freezer - I made horribly bitter muffins one time because the KA goes rancid just like regular whole wheat.

          Happy Baking!

          1. I haven't tried the King Arthur flour, but I often baked with the Prairie Gold white whole wheat flour from Wheat Montana. More recently I mill my own from their wheat. It is a great favorite in our community. I have yet to try freshly milled red winter wheat with a bit of orange juice in the dough--a suggestion from the wonderful King Arthur book "Baking with Whole Grains." Winter wheat seems to outperform marginally higher protein spring wheat in breads that require a long, slow rising time. So I love it in sourdough. But one of our favorite breads is a whole wheat-honey-oatmeal yeasted bread. I don't have a standard recipe as I reinvent it each time I bake it. But it usually involves 25 ounces of white winter wheat flour, 5 ounces of oatmeal reduced to fine "flour" in a food processor, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup honey, and about 21 ounces of water, 1 tablespoon fine sea salt, and 2 teaspoons of yeast. Mix all the ingredients except the salt and yeast. (Hold back some of the water and adjust as needed--you may even need to add a tablespoon or two more.) Let the shaggy mass autolyse (rest) for 20 minutes to an hour. Then mix in the salt and then the yeast. Knead well--important with whole wheat. Let rise, but not quite doubled. Deflate by folding like an envelope. Let rise again. Divide and shape into any kind of loaves you like. Bake at 375.
            A lot of whole wheat recipes add egg or milk for a lighter loaf, but we prefer it without those additions. The flavor of the grain comes through better.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Father Kitchen

              For your whole wheat-honey-oatmeal bread, is that active dry yeast, or rapid-rise?

              My husband wants to eat only 100% whole wheat bread for health reasons, but I haven't found a recipe I like for that yet. I did read your comments on using 100% whole wheat in the famous no-knead bread recipe, and I'd been planning to try that with white whole wheat.

              1. re: Father Kitchen

                Correction:I don't work from a recipe, but from baker's percentage and memory of how flours behave. So I did the recipe there off the top of my head. The liquids (oil plus honey plus water) should equal about 21 ounces for a 70% hydration dough, which is a few points moister than if you made a loaf with AP flour, because the bran absorbs more water.