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whole wheat pie crust

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ben61820 Nov 28, 2006 03:53 PM

anyone out there have any luck with making a 100% whole wheat pie crust. im interesting in giving it a go. i have lots of luck with whole wheat breads (yeast-risen and quick-type), cookies, etc., and now would like to give the almighty pie a shot. specially in time for xmas, yknow? anyhow, thanks.

ps, i usually go with an all-butter crust, by the way.

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    FlavoursGal Nov 28, 2006 04:39 PM

    I recently made a pie crust using whole spelt flour, and coconut oil as the sole fat. It was a double-crust deep dish apple pie, and it came out great! I particularly liked the slight nuttiness that the spelt provided, and the coconut oil (trans fat free, by the way) imparted a slight coconut flavour.

    1 Reply
    1. re: FlavoursGal
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      steffielou Jan 6, 2007 12:53 PM

      what's the recipe for that coconut oil/spelt flour crust please? How's the texture?

    2. p
      Procrastibaker Nov 28, 2006 04:45 PM

      I'd try using whole wheat pastry flour-- I've had good luck using this for pie crusts and it's much less heavy than wwf.

      1. Alice Patis Nov 28, 2006 04:54 PM

        I also recommend whole wheat pastry flour instead of regular whole wheat, though I've had ok results with regular. Last year I started using this recipe for pumpkin-type pies (not apple pie), for someone who was avoiding butter & shortening. It came out ok, for a whole wheat crust:

        Yields one 9 inch crust

        1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
        1/4 tsp. salt
        1/4 c. oil
        2-3 tbsp. water, cold
        Stir salt into pastry flour with fork. Mix water and oil together with fork and pour into flour. Form dough into ball. Let rest in fridge for 1 hour. Roll out, place in pie plate and blind bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

        1. krissywats Nov 28, 2006 11:54 PM

          Another whole wheat pasty flour fan for baking!

          1. b
            ben61820 Nov 29, 2006 12:14 AM

            see, i want to get that nice flake that everyone loves from my whole wheat crust. i mean, i work with doughs a lot and realize that i can just sub whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour in for the AP flour for a decent crust. But, i want that flake. and what im getting is a sandy, fall-aparty product. thats fine but not the goal. i mean, this outcome is tasty and looks cool and all, but its not flake. see, heres my theory: that to get the flakiness i need to actually work the whole wheat dough in order to form a little bit of gluten and create that structure that will hold just enough to create flakiness. with AP flour tho, gluten is SO quick to develop that we're usually warned against overmixing or over kneading. with whole wheat, since the bran and the germ are preventing a lot of gluten production anyhow, i THINK that i can go ahead and work the dough a bit more.

            7 Replies
            1. re: ben61820
              krissywats Nov 29, 2006 01:50 PM

              I'm fairly sure you can't sub whole wheat pastry flour one for one and I know you can't sub whole wheat flour one for one. I believe WWP is 3/4C to 1C of AP and I know WW is less than that. It sucks up more moisture. I don't think the gluten is the issue 'cause in a pie crust you don't want it to develop, right? (I am by no means a pie expert but that's why I understood that people use regular pastry flour for pie crust - less gluten)

              I would think what you want is more fat (chilled) to get the flake.

              1. re: krissywats
                Alice Patis Nov 29, 2006 04:06 PM

                I think krissywats is right in that you probably want more chilled fat to get the flake. I know someone (here? or elsewhere?) has made puff pastry with 1/2 WW and 1/2 AP, and a puff pastry recipe has a ton of butter. So I would experiment by upping the butter, and almost freeze your butter after you cut it up (before you work it into the dough).

                But remember the bran & germ will still be mini solids in the crust. Whole wheat crust will always be more crumbly because of that.

                1. re: Alice Patis
                  krissywats Nov 29, 2006 09:44 PM

                  good points - although the WW pastry flour is very smooth and almost (ALMOST) indecipherable from AP flour.

                  1. re: krissywats
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                    ben61820 Dec 3, 2006 04:29 PM

                    yknow, i actually had great luck making classic puff pastry with half WW and half AP when i was in culinary school. teacher let me. anyway, i am going to take your advise and just up the butter or use a little less of the WW flour. i mean, either way, its the same idea - WW takes up MORE moisture so you either use less wwflour or more moisture. got my days off coming up so ill let you know how it turns out.

                    1. re: ben61820
                      toodie jane Dec 3, 2006 04:50 PM

                      If you want flake, alter your fat. WW Pastry Flour is made from soft winter wheat which is very low in gluten. Try lard or at least part lard to change the texture.

                      1. re: toodie jane
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                        ben61820 Dec 4, 2006 04:31 PM

                        yeah, it seems after reading a bunch, listening to you all, and talking with my mother, that i will have to alter the fat a bit. all butter will produce great flavor (as it did) but not much in the way of texture. i guess i will try the somewhat standard 50-50 ratio of butter and some nonhydrogenated oil. we'll see.

                        1. re: ben61820
                          Caitlin McGrath Dec 5, 2006 03:56 PM

                          My mother has been making all-butter pie crusts with WW pastry flour for years. They're quite tender and have terrific flavor, but they're not flaky (and that's okay with her; flakiness isn't an important quality to her). So yes, I would say you will have to experiment with fats and flour if want a flaky WW crust. You might try using the Spectrum non-hydrogenated shortening along with butter. http://www.spectrumorganics.com/?id=87

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              annimal Dec 5, 2006 04:56 PM

              I've made a few crusts with whole wheat, but I don't have the recipe with me so I don't know the proportions. (It was from Mani Niall's sugar-free cookbook.) But there are a few things that I figured might help someone...

              First off, there were recently a mess of articles about pie crusts. One NY Times article explored some animal fat alternatives to the all-butter crust, if you decide to go this route. They loved a part butter, part rendered duck fat crust, though also recommended trying suet. Substitute 3-4 tablespoons of the alternative fat for 3-4 tbs. of butter in your recipe.

              Also, I recently saw that brands like King Arthur offer whole wheat flours from different types of wheat berries. Does anyone have experience using these different types of wwf? I used some white whole wheat yesterday to make a banana bread, and I didn't really notice anything different. I used all wwf because i was out of AP to combine it with. The bread tastes pretty good, but Banana Bread is pretty forgiving (except for my failed experiment in adding sour cream to the batter... I don't know what went wrong).

              1. b
                Babette Dec 5, 2006 07:09 PM

                I always make whole wheat pie crusts using ww pastry flour and butter. But I have an idea for some experimenting you might want to try. I make a mushroom turnover which has a crust made of 9 oz. cream cheese (I usually use neufchatel), 1/2 c. butter, & 1.5 c. ww pastry flour.
                It is delicious; I don't know why I've never tried it for a whole pie, but I am going to.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Babette
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                  Babette Dec 6, 2006 03:28 AM

                  In fact, just used that recipe to make the crusts for turkey pot pies in ramekins. Rave reviews from the family, will post pix soon.

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