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Dec 17, 2006 12:28 PM

whole wheat flour question re: bread making

For classic French bread, can I sub whole wheat flour for all purpose flour and get the same results in terms of yeast effect, finished texture, and anything else you deem relative?

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  1. No, the bread will be much more dense and heavy. If you want to get close to the classic texture, start with unbleached white bread flour and substitute whole wheat for part of the amount called for.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kittyfood

      exactly. if you really want classic french bread, but want some more nutrients or substance, then you may want to try adding 1/2 cup raw wheat germ. It won't harm the bread and will add some substance.

      Whole wheat is very different to normal flour in bread. It doesn't have the same gluten content, etc. If you are going to sub, as kittyfood suggests, I'd start out by only subbing 1/3 of the flour for whole wheat.

      1. re: adamclyde

        I might even go with less than 1/3-- maybe 3 tbs. for a recipe that makes 2 baguettes. You'll get a nice wheaty taste without a major change in texture. Though has anyone tried KA's White Whole Wheat flour? Does it respond differently than regular WW?

    2. This site answers many questions for me quickly and clearly:

      To me, "classic" French bread is crusty on the outside and very soft and white on the inside.
      (The site linked above is Bread 101, very helpful.)

      1. If you want to bake with whole-wheat flour, find a recipe that calls for it. Adapting a white-flour recipe means trial and error.