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Nov 7, 2006 03:34 PM

White Wheat Flour vs Wheat Pastry Flour

I'd like to get more whole grains in. I know I can search for specific recipes that use these types of whole flours but I wonder whether either or both types of flour can be substituted in a recipe that calls for regular all purpose white flour. What sort of luck have people had?

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  1. You should never use pastry flour unless it's called for or unless it's pastry that you are making.

    Generally a 1:1 sub of whole wheat flour to white flour is not recommended unless you are ok with a much heavier-textured product. You might want to start with a 2:1 (white:wheat) ratio instead.

    1. I've used whole wheat PASTRY (low gluten) flour in baked goods for years. It subs nicely for regular white flour in things like cookies, casual cakes like banana, carrot, etc. and quick breads like cornbread, pancakes, waffles, crepes, scones, biscuits and nut loaves like orange-walnut or cranberry nut breads. They are not 'much heavier textured' at all, and the flavor is much improved. The only thing I use white flour in is a typical butter or sponge cake.

      I sub equal amounts and bump up the baking powder by about

      If you feel leery, sub 1/2 of the all-purpose flour with WW Pastry flour to start, then add more next time you make the recipe. You might also want to make a batch with and without AP (white) flour and compare the difference.

      The flavor it adds is a slight nuttiness. Because it is WHOLE wheat, that is the oil-containing germ the is left in and ground along with the bran and starchy part of the grain, it is perishable. That oil can turn rancid if handled or stored improperly. Buy whole wheat flours at high-volume stores whose product turns over rapidly, or at smaller stores that refrigerate it, and always store it in a large jar in your home refrigerator. Plastics allow fridge odors to migrate to the flour.

      Good luck and experiment to see what you like.

      1 Reply
      1. re: toodie jane

        WW Pastry does give some baked goods a bit more body and crunch, but I don't mind the texture change in exchange for flavor and healthiness.

      2. Thanks for your replies. I should add that when I say "white wheat" I dont mean white flour, I mean a type of whole grain wheat flour called "white wheat." Anyone use that? how does it compare to whole grain pastry?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Produce Addict

          "White whole-wheat flour" is whole-wheat flour made from a "white wheat" variety. The flavor and color are slightly different but their baking characteristics are similar.

          Adjusting recipes that call for all-purpose flour to use whole-wheat (white or regular) is an art and you never know until you test how successful the results will be. If you don't want to eat a lot of heavy, doughy, and/or dry experiments, you'd be better off using whole-grain recipes somebody else has tested.

          1. re: Produce Addict

            It's like whole wheat only white in color. I use white whole wheat as well as regular whole wheat for whole wheat bread, & ww pastry flour for pastry. I think the ww pastry flour comes from a softer wheatberry with less gluten than the whole wheat (white or regular) if I am not mistaken.

            I never use all purpose white flour for anything; we like the flavor of whole wheat in my family, plus we enjoy the health benefits. I keep it in the freezer. Also have been buying wheatberries, soft & hard, & grinding my own--but I have commercially ground ww flours on hand, as well.

            There are ways to lighten the texture of whole wheat breads. A poster to this board had a recipe for yeast risen whole wheat cottage cheese rolls which include cottage cheese, eggs, and a bit of baking soda. I adapted this to loaves of bread which are very light in texture.

            Another thing I have found is that it seems to be a good idea to have the dough be stickier than you may expect with white flour--avoids the door stop result.

            Working with whole wheat is challenging, but can be very rewarding.