Whole grains are good for you — we all know that. Yet how many of us actually use whole wheat flour in our favorite recipes? Our 100% whole-grain white whole wheat flour offers a fresh new approach to baking with whole wheat. You'll love its mild flavor and light color — and you'll feel good sharing whole-grain baked treats with family and friends.
Even better, there's no need to seek out recipes calling for whole wheat flour. Substituting white whole wheat for all-purpose flour in many of your favorite "white flour" recipes can be a piece of cake — quite literally!
What exactly is white whole wheat flour, anyway?
White whole wheat is a type of wheat — just like Granny Smith is a type of apple. It's 100% whole wheat; not a mixture of white and wheat flours, and certainly not bleached. Packed with fiber, proteins, vitamins, and minerals, it's nutritionally equivalent to classic red wheat. White whole wheat flour is both light in color and mild-flavored, making it the perfect choice for bakers hesitant to add the distinctive color and taste of red whole wheat to their baking.
How do you bake with white whole wheat flour?
Simply substitute white whole wheat for the flour called for in your recipe: it's that simple. Follow these guidelines for best results:
- In recipes calling for whole wheat flour.
- In selected all-purpose flour recipes, especially those yielding a darker, heartier product.
- In any recipe calling for all-purpose flour.
- Light-colored baked goods will bake up a shade darker; but their flavor and texture will be unaffected.
- In light-colored baked goods, like cake and bread.
- If you like the initial result, increase the percentage gradually until you find your favorite balance.
Start with some of our favorite recipes —
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Multi-Grain Sourdough Boule
Classic 100% Whole Wheat Bread
100% Whole Wheat Banana Bread
Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
King Arthur's Carrot Cake
Yeast bread, rolls, and pizza
Yeast bread baker's tips:
- When white whole wheat flour is substituted for up to 50% of the all-purpose flour, there's no need to make a change in your favorite white-flour yeast recipe — the result should be quite similar to the original.
- When white whole wheat flour is substituted for 100% of the all-purpose flour, adjust the dough consistency by adding 2 teaspoons additional liquid per cup of whole wheat flour used; and allow the dough to rest for 20 to 30 minutes before kneading.
- Try substituting orange juice for a small part of the liquid called for in the recipe. While it doesn't lend any flavor of its own, orange juice seems to temper the potentially stronger flavor of whole wheat.
- Read more in our blog — Yeast bread, rolls, and pizza: from white to wheat, a baker's guide
Cookies, brownies, and bars
Cookie, brownie, and bar baker's tips:
- Most cookie/bar recipes calling for all-purpose flour can be made with 50% all-purpose, 50% white whole wheat without changing their flavor, texture, or look (beyond the slightest darkening).
- Some plain, moist bars (e.g., brownies, blondies) benefit by resting overnight once they're baked, to soften and "tame" the flour's bran.
- For drop cookies whose dough will be chilled before baking, add 2 teaspoons water, milk, or orange juice per cup of whole wheat flour.
- Read more in our blog — Cookies, brownies, and bars: from white to wheat, a baker's guide
Scones, pancakes, and biscuits
Scone, pancake, and biscuit baker's tips:
- Since most scones, pancakes, and biscuits are made with all-purpose flour and are light-colored, expect slightly darker color when substituting white whole wheat flour.
- Substituting white whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour in scones and biscuits won't affect their rise.
- Pancake batter made entirely from white whole wheat flour will be thinner, but the pancakes will rise just as high (and be just as tender) as those made with all-purpose flour.
- Read more in our blog — Breakfast: from white to wheat, a baker's guide
Muffins and quick breads
Muffin and quick bread baker's tips:
- To improve texture, muffins or quick breads made with white whole wheat flour benefit from an overnight rest before serving. This alleviates any graininess that some eaters might notice — particularly kids.
- While muffin batter made 100% with white whole wheat flour may seem thinner than usual, there's no need to make any liquid adjustment; they'll bake up just fine.
- The darker the muffin or bread, the more easily you can incorporate white whole wheat flour and have it "disappear." Ditto baked treats with multiple add-ins: fruit, nuts, oats, etc.
- Read more in our blog — A simple way to add fiber to breakfast
Cake baker's tips:
- Since the bran in cakes baked with white whole wheat flour promotes a bit of crumbliness, cupcakes are easier to deal with than full-size layer or sheet cakes.
- Cakes made entirely from white whole wheat flour will tend to rise flat across the top, rather than form the typical dome shape.
- Like muffins and quick breads, letting cake rest overnight before serving will soften any roughness or graininess in its texture due to the bran.
- We don't advise baking angel food or sponge cakes with whole wheat flour; the texture of these delicate cakes won't be the same.
- Read more in our blog — Cake: from white to wheat, a baker's guide
You might have some questions about baking with white whole wheat flour, especially if you're not familiar with whole-grain baking. Can I feed my sourdough starter with white whole wheat? Will my white whole wheat pie crust still be flaky? Contact us: we can help.
And while we're a wealth of knowledge around whole-grain baking, our area of expertise extends far beyond that. Our seasoned staff of bakers knows bread and pizza, cookies and cake, scones and biscuits and muffins. If you can't figure out why your cake crumbles or your sourdough isn't sour enough, we can help. We're available via phone, email, or live chat 7 days a week.
Let's stay in touch!
Sign up to receive seasonal recipes, baking tips, special offers, and more from King Arthur Flour.