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substitute for whole wheat pastry flour

Help! I've gotten caught up in the bran muffin search and found a recipe I'd like to try but it calls for whole wheat pastry flour. What will happen if I just use whole wheat flour? I know pastry flour produces a lighter, fluffier product but that's not what I'm looking for in a bran muffin so can I safely exchange it knowing that it will produce a different texture?

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  1. whole wheat flour is much denser. What about using 1/2 white and 1/2 whole wheat?

    1. Tweetie, you can use a whole wheat flour in place of the whole wheat pastry flour, but you are going to have more gluten development with the non-pastry flour. You can minimize this effect,if you wish, with technique changes, but it seems that you want a denser chewier product.

      I wouldn't make any changes in other ingredients or but you might have to add more liquid as the higher protein content of the flour will require more. I would not add more than 1 tablespoon more liquid per batch, and then check the results and make changes in following batches.

      JCooks has a very valid reply and you might want to make the first batch with 50/50 and the same liquid amounts.

      I would know more if you posted the recipe.

      1. Thank you Kelli and Jcooks

        I will take your advice and start experimenting. Here are the ingredients. The recipe is from the Bob's line of dry goods.

        3/4 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
        3/4 cup Oat Bran Cereal
        1/2 cup Brown Sugar
        1 tsp Baking Powder
        1 tsp Cinnamon, Saigon (Premium)
        1/2 tsp Baking Soda
        1/3 cup Bananas, 1 medium, mashed
        1/2 cup Yogurt, plain
        2 Egg Whites, or 1 Whole Egg
        2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
        1/2 tsp Vanilla
        1/2 cup Carrot, shredded
        1/2 cup Dates, chopped
        1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped

        4 Replies
        1. re: tweetie

          HI tweetie...This recipe sounds soooo good, could you tell me where to go to it.

          1. re: tweetie

            Sorry tweetie...I guess I did not make my self clear. How stupid! I just wanted the instructions on how I would mix the ingredients. I'm new here and I do not know where Bob's line of dry goods is at.
            Thanks Again

            1. re: Marlene1

              The recipe probably uses the standard 'muffin method' - mix the dry ingredients, mix the wet ones, combine wet and dry.

              The recipe might be found on Bobs Red Mill web site

              1. re: paulj

                Many thanks!..... I am having out of town guest and thought I would make these, along with some other homemade goodies!

          2. I have a related question. I can't find anything labelled "whole wheat pastry flour" around here, but the bulk store does sell "soft" and "hard" whole wheat flour. Is the soft the same thing or similar to the pastry flour? And are there any recipes where I would NOT want to use soft whole wheat flour - where hard would be more appropriate - in place of AP?

            1 Reply
            1. re: julesrules

              I'd think the soft whole wheat flour would be comparable to whole wheat pastry flour. "Soft" means a type of wheat with lower gluten content. In general, you want a soft/lower gluten flour in quick breads (leavened with baking powder) and a harder/higher gluten flour in recipes leavened with yeast.

            2. In my experience muffins and quick breads are pretty tolerant of variations in the flour. Sure the resulting texture will change, some givng a lighter cake-like product, others a dense and moist one. Which is right depends on your preference.

              As an example, I've been making a sweet potato bread, working from a pumpkin bread recipe. The original calls for all purpose flour. I am using half flour, and half a mix of oat and wheat brans and ground nuts. Most of the time I use a 'white whole wheat flour' - which is a hard wheat, with a finer texture and lighter color than the 'traditional' whole wheat. But the recipe has also done fine with the traditional ww.


              1. You should be able to find it at any place that sells things out of bulk bins. Whole foods, chain "farmer's markets", health food stores, etc. You can probably also find suggestions for adding cornstarch, or cake flour to reduce the gluten.

                With so much other stuff (nuts, oat flour, spices etc.), I'm actually surprised that it calls for pastry flour, as I would expect you to need the gluten to give it any structure. I would go with the plain whole wheat flour, maybe give it a spin in the food processor, and go with the suggestion by Kelli, just being extra careful to not overmix.

                Another idea I've had, but never tried, is mixing some or all of the oil with the flour beforehand. The effect of this is that it will limit the glutens ability to develop long strands. Maybe this would even result in good chew, without toughness. good luck and please report on your experiments, I've been spending too much on bran muffins lately, I'd love a good recipe!

                1. If it helps, I would just do a straight substitution. I'm like that though. I like heartier textures in my baked goods. I'm going to make this recipe - thanks for posting it.

                  1. Where are you? Arrowhead Mills' products are pretty widely distributed at this point and they have WW pastry flour (sort of annoyingly to me, it's the only type of pastry flour they produce at all in fact.)

                    1. You might also want to try whole spelt flour, which I've been using in everything I bake lately. It has a sweeter, nuttier taste that whole wheat flour, and it's very, very healthy.

                      1. its true that pastry flours in general are made form soft wheat that has less protein and producesless gluten. HOWEVER, and i say this being a total proponent of consuming only whole grains, you shoul realize that anything made with whole grain flours, be they labeled pastry or not, will never be as light as what we all grew up with, i.e. white refined flours. the presence of the bran and the germ will inevitibly make the dough a bit 'heavier.' i personally dont mind this at all. i use ww pastry flour if i have it on hand but if i dont, ill just use regular ww flour knowing what i said above.

                        1. Boy, itn't the internet swell! The cookie recipe I want to make calls for ww pastry flour and I have only ww flour. Searching the internet I stumbled into this site and thread! What could be better? After reading all the profound entries, I think I'll just go with the flour I have. The recipe is called "Apple oatmeal cookies". How far wrong could it be? We shall see............

                          1. I have found that a great substitute for whole wheat pastry flour is a half and half mixture of whole wheat flour and cake flour. I made no changes other than this mixture to the recipe and the product came out just fine with a less dense texture but with all the flavor.

                            1. I agree - the internet is swell. Here it is Christmas morning and not only do I not have whole wheat pastry flour for the "heart-healthy" maple walnut cake I am determined to make, but I absentmindedly used up almost all the dates I bought for the recipe by stuffing them and giving them away all week! Halved the recipe and used Myrna's sub for the flour - just out of the oven and looks nice and light, thanks!