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Jun 22, 2009 07:06 PM

whole wheat pastry flour - offensively grainy or just pleasantly toothsome?

I accidentally bought a bag of whole wheat pastry flour to make a cake. Will my whole grain hating husband instantly feel the telltale "grit" or will it be ok? What do most people use it for? Is it perfectly interchangeable with the regular stuff? Does it alter flavor, or do people choose it for the health benefits?

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  1. It's heavy and lifeless, compared to white flour. I was horribly disappointed in it. My peach pie was awful made with it. Other things, too. A cake will suffer greatly. I ended up dumping mine because I couldn't even use it for bread (not enough protein). When you make a cake or pastry, you want white flour.

    1. If you do not enjoy the flavor of whole grains, and are making something you want to have a light and fine crumb, you should not use it.

      I like it a great deal, and use it in cookies, muffins, and quick breads. It is finer and lighter than traditional whole wheat flour, but it is 100% whole wheat and has no magic white flour-like properties. It's not the thing for a traditional cake, and yes, if your husband hates whole grains, he will not like it one bit. If you would like to try it out for something, sub it for half the AP flour in a quick bread and see how you feel.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

        I think muffins might be an excellent use of it. I just didn't think of that at the time. A muffin can handle the "heartiness" and weight of the flour.

      2. I find substituting half the amount of flour with whole wheat pastry flour in a cream biscuit recipe made it taste much lighter and flavorful than just all purpose white flour.

        I've not used it for cake, so can't comment on that. If you're worried about the grit you can always use a fine strainer to separate out the rougher bits.

        In general, Arrow Mill's WW pastry flour has a nice taste. Maybe it's usually fresher.

        1. oh dear. Thank you both for confirming my worst fears. I can't even return it because I dove into it to make waffles with the kids. They didn't like the waffles, but I figured it was because they were made with rice milk (for the allergy-addled son). sigh. So muffins are ok? How about dredging with it?

          2 Replies
          1. re: aforkcalledspoon

            Did you make waffles with 100% whole wheat or did you use 50/50 white-whole wheat blend? You could certainly use it for dredging, and might try to use blended in quick breads.

            1. re: Kelli2006

              I used 100%. I didn't realise until afterwards that the bag said whole grain. The disconcerted looks on the kids' faces tipped me off. Yes, I think that blending is key.

          2. I use a local (northern California) brand, Giusto's, all the time, for our weekly pancakes, muffins and quick breads, pie crusts (half-and-half with white). It's a very fine grind, very sweet and flavorful, and it gives a terrific rise. But once when my store was out, I picked up a bag of King Arthur, and it was awful, heavy, bitter-tasting. My kids didn't like those pancakes.

            2 Replies
            1. re: heidipie

              KAF whole wheat/white whole wheat, or actual WW pastry flour? I didn't know KAF WW pastry flour is even available retail in NorCal, if that was what you bought.

              I use WWPF from Rainbow grocery's bulk bin and it's awesome stuff. I've used it half-half with cake flour in genoise and it was light and not at all gritty or tannic.

              1. re: stilton

                I really don't remember which KAF it was, sorry. I think the bulk WWPF at Rainbow is Giusto's.