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Aug 20, 2008 01:34 AM

Whole wheat pastry flour?

What is the difference between whole wheat pastry flour and whole wheat flour?

I picked up some whole wheat pastry flour with no particular purpose in mind. Ended out using it for blueberry pancakes (with a 1:1 substitution for all purpose flour). They turned out delicious and fluffy.

Anyone use it regularly?

I've tried substituting whole wheat flour for regular flour, and the results usually taste like "health food"...

But the whole wheat pastry flour was at least a winner with Blueberry Pancakes.

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  1. Whole wheat pastry flour is flour milled from soft (lower protein) wheat, with the bran and germ still included. "Whole wheat flour," without any other qualifiers like "bread flour," is a blend of milled soft and hard wheats, again with the bran and germ left in. The mix of wheats provides a medium level of protein, as in plain old all-purpose flour. Pastry flour is suitable for cakes and pastries where tenderness is desired.

    For a less health food-tasting all-purpose whole wheat, try King Arthur Flour's White Whole Wheat, which is milled from a light-colored variety of wheat. I've used it to replace half the white flour in various recipes and it doesn't have the strong wheaty taste of regular reddish whole wheat.

    1. Like Stilton, I've subbed whole wheat pastry flour for up to half the all-purpose in a recipe, with no one able to tell the diff. In fact, in some recipes, I think this switch improves the finished product, esp for cookies with a chewy texture. This works only for pastries and baked goods, such as cookies and cakes. There wouldn't be enough gluten for something that requires more structure, such as yeast bread or a pizza crust. For that, you'd need to sub regular whole wheat flour, but beware that that soaks up moisture differently than all-purpose flour and can produce leaden baked goods.

      1. pastry flour can be used in cakes, cookies and other sweets, except where you seek a chewy texture or firm structure.

        I can see how you would like it in blueberry pancakes, especially if you have the habit of over-mixing. The lower gluten content of the pastry flour would make this condition less likely but they might also be too delicate to flip. Feel free to it straight or even blend it 50/50 with AP for pie and tart doughs.

        The only application I would not use it for is breads puff pastry and pat-a-choux(cream puff/├ęclairs)

        1 Reply
        1. re: Kelli2006

          Whole wheat pastry flour isn't as low in gluten or protein as white pastry flour, so pancakes made with it will not be too delicate to flip, I can say from experience.

          I find it to be an admirable substitute for AP flour for general use in things like pancakes, quickbreads, etc. I use all WW pastry flour for most such baking.

        2. Thanks Stilton, ErikaL, and Kelli2006!

          I have since made Fine Cooking's recipe for: "Blueberry Muffins with Cinnamon Crumble" subtituting:

          - Whole Wheat Pastry flour for all the all-purpose flour in both the crumble / streusel part and the part
          - Cake flour exactly as called for
          - Brown sugar with Splenda for the brown sugar
          - Splenda for sugar

          and they came out very good, signifiantly better than the first one I tried.

          4 Replies
          1. re: sweet100s

            Sweet, mind posting the recipe for the blueberry muffins with cinnamon crumble?

            1. re: rexsreine

              Rexsreine, I believe I'm not supposed to post it directly, but here is the link:


              I made them using 2 muffin top pans (Chicago Metallic Gourmetware Original Muffin Top Pan from Amazon), instead of full muffins.

              I cooked the Muffin Tops at 18 minutes at 350 instead of the 20-25 minutes the recipe called for. They could probably be pulled at 15 minutes.

              1. re: sweet100s

                Sorry for the delayed response, sweet100s. This looks delicious. I'm always looking for recipes that don't use a lot of sugar, do use whole grains, and have been tried and recommended by good cooks. It's not too hard to make marvelous baked goods with refined or unhealthy ingredients, but good ones made from nutritious foods is another matter. Thanks for your generous sharing.

                1. re: rexsreine

                  >> "It's not too hard to make marvelous baked goods with refined or unhealthy ingredients, but good ones made from nutritious foods is another matter. "

                  Agree !!

                  This recipe modified with the whole wheat pastry flour freezes and re-heats well too! I just take 1 muffin top out of the freezer and pop it in the toaster for 1 cycle. Delicious!

                  Based on one of the comments, I added more milk to the recipe and cooked them less time to make them more moist.