Questions & Answers - How To Substitute Whole Wheat Flour

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How do I substitute whole wheat flour for white flour? Does the baking time vary? Do I need to increase the baking soda or powder? - Jill (4/10/00)


General Baking:

whole wheat flour - Whole-wheat flour usually can be substituted for part or all of the all-purpose flour in most recipes. For example, if the recipe calls for two cups flour, try one cup of all-purpose and one cup of whole-wheat flour. When completely substituting whole-wheat for white, use 7/8 cup whole-wheat for one cup of white flour.

Bread Baking:

whole wheat flour - replace up to half of the white flour in the recipe with this.

In order to ensure that your whole wheat loaves are as light as possible, be sure and measure out the flour with the spoon. In other words, don't scoop it out of the bag or container with your measuring cup. Spoon the flour into the cup. This introduces air into the mixture from the start.

(1) Use a baking method called a sponge. Proof the yeast. Gradually stir in about half the flour. Allow this mixture to sit, covered, for at least an hour. You can even leave it out overnight! This strengthens the gluten in the flour. The stronger the gluten, the better it can trap the carbon dioxide put off by the yeast. In other words, your bread will rise better. Then add the rest of the flour and proceed as usual.

(2) Add some gluten flour when making breads to help the rising.

Keep an eye on the liquid to flour ratio. Whole wheat flours (especially freshly ground whole wheat) will absorb liquids at a different rate than conventional white flours. Add additional flour and liquids in small portions (a tablespoon at a time). Don't use too much flour. Whole wheat doughs will be slightly tacky. Allow the dough to rise twice before shaping it.

gluten flour = instant gluten flour = pure gluten flour = Vital Wheat Gluten
This is flour with the starch and bran removed. Pure gluten flour is usually added to regular flour to turn it into bread flour.

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