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Calorie Count Blog

White Whole Wheat


By +Carolyn Richardson on Jan 19, 2011 10:00 AM in Healthy Eating

By Carolyn Richardson and Mary Hartley, RD

The title of this article is not a trick question.  Contrary to what we health conscious folks think whenever we hear white and wheat in the same sentence, white whole wheat does exist.  White whole wheat is a whole grain and is a cousin of the red whole wheat we are used to.  White whole wheat is derived from hard white spring wheat, a variety not as readily available as red whole wheat, but nutritionally equal.  So, if red and white whole wheat are both whole grains and carry the same vitamins, minerals and fiber, the question is, why switch?  The answer is taste.

The Taste of White Whole Wheat

If you’ve ever tried whole wheat pancakes or whole wheat French bread, chances are you chose them over the refined version for health benefits as opposed to taste.  The naturally occurring tannins in the bran of red whole wheat cause a bitter taste.  But tannins are absent in white whole wheat, which makes it the better tasting option.  With a mild, sweet taste and a golden hue, baked goods made from white whole wheat look and taste more like refined products but they are more nutritious.  For that reason, food manufacturers, including bakeries and cereal makers, are using more white whole wheat.

Baking with White Whole Wheat Flour

King Arthur, a popular white whole wheat flour brand, suggests replacing all-purpose flour with white whole wheat flour in most recipes for cookies, muffins, pancakes, and quick breads.  Others recommend replacing one-third to one-half of the all-purpose flour in a recipe with white whole wheat flour, and they advise to avoid interchanging these flours in cakes and pie crusts.  But whether you go all out, or only substitute a little, by using white whole wheat flour, the infusion of B-vitamins, minerals and fiber is sure to benefit your body.  Besides King Arthur brand white whole wheat flour, Eagle Mills brand 100% Ultragrain White Whole Wheat Flour is available at select grocery stores.  White whole wheat flour can be found in several commercial products as well, such as Sara Lee Soft & Smooth breads, buns, English muffins and bagels, certain Healthy Choice Entrees, and Papa John's Whole Wheat Pizza, just to name a few.

How to Tell if It’s 100% Whole Wheat?

Before you spend a premium on white whole wheat flour, do your research.  You want to be sure that you are getting what’s advertised.  Some products boast “made with whole grains,” but the ingredient list tells another story.  Be sure that whole wheat is listed first and each serving has at least two to three grams of fiber.  Grain products should be simple and pure containing whole wheat flour, water, salt, and a leavening agent only.  Avoid products with a hefty list of sweeteners and excessive amounts of additives, preservatives and refined flours. 

What’s your whole grain IQ?  Test it with this quiz from General Mills.


Your thoughts....

Have you used white whole wheat flour?



Comments


Great information. I am substituting whole wheat for white flour in my baking, and white whole wheat's substitution gives you a barely noticeable change. It is worth the switch.


Excellent article - I've been using King Arthur white whole wheat for years now and LOVE it!!! It seems like a no brainer to me - and I'm glad to see it getting more recognition. I do a lot of baking and making sweets - and people always laugh when I tell them my treats are a "healthier" alternative :-)



hmm, that may work for my husband...I'll have to try it.  For myself, having grown up in Germany and loving the bread there, the taste of whole wheat is actually better to me than plain old white...I've never liked white bread.



I have been using white whole wheat for years' I bake bread, pizza and baked goods with them.  King Arthur is an excellent flour.  Also home baked  goods are not processed and better for you.  White whole wheat does have a better taste especially for people use to white flour.



So for those of you that have been eating whole wheat bread all along-  can you make it easy for us white bread eaters.  What are your favorite brands? 



I thought white flour was bleached white?  and the process of bleaching it was what made it unhealthy?  How can you tell the difference between the genuine whole white flour and the processed 'bleached' flour?



Thanks for this info! Two weeks ago I bought white whole wheat flour at Trader Joe's. I didn't realize it - it said "All-Purpose Flour" on it and I didn't read it closely enough. I do have red (didn't know it was red until reading this) whole wheat flour at home and have given up on full substitution with that because it effects both taste and texture. I usually do half and half. Anyhow, I made a banana bread and carrot bread this past week with the white whole wheat flour, fully substituting it for white flour. Both came out fine. The only difference I noticed was slightly in texture, it almost seems to have a slight crunch to it...? The closest I can think of it as if there was somehow some raw sugar mixed in - not for taste but the texture.



I use white whole wheat flour a lot. My cookbook, being released this month, has a ton of great recipes with white whole wheat flour. I used to use whole wheat pastry flour, but it still contained those pesky tannins. So when I discovered white whole wheat I was thrilled. Thanks for this great article. I hope you don't mind if I post a link to it from my blog. www.pamelashealthypantry.blogspot.com.



I have been using King Arthurs White Wheat for a couple of years now and I love it.  Having used traditional wheat flour,  I prefer the less coarse texture.  Just yesterday I made some Whole Wheat Orange Muffins that were fabulous using King Arthurs WW. 



I think the best white wheat flour is the kind you grind yourself.  I have an electric wheat grinder and grind my own wheat.  I also grind popcorn to make cornmeal.  I've read that the nutritional value of ground wheat goes down about 80% in a few days after it's ground unless you store it in the freezer.  So if you buy wheat flour from the store it may not as nutritious as you think.  I actually grew up on red wheat and prefer it's taste to the white wheat flavor.



My kids and I like Sara Lee's Soft and Smooth bread and Wonder Smart White bread.  Both are made with white whole wheat.  If you look at the ingredient list, it says unbleached wheat flour.  They are made from the white wheat mentioned in the article, not regular wheat that has been bleached.



Original Post by: tncote

I thought white flour was bleached white?  and the process of bleaching it was what made it unhealthy?  How can you tell the difference between the genuine whole white flour and the processed 'bleached' flour?


Regular white flour is - the cheap stuff you buy (or used to buy) is the stuff bleached white.

This article is about white grain whole wheat flour that is made from white wheat so it doesn't need to be bleached.  "regular" flour is made from red wheat, which does need to be bleached to become white.



Triscuits crackers are made with Winter White Whole Wheat. and they are YUMMMY!



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I love the taste of whole wheat, I have never had a problem eating or using whole wheat before. I use Whole wheat flour for everything that calls for flour, and I only buy whole wheat breads and buns. I haven't bought white whole wheat flour before, but if the store is ever out of the regular whole wheat flour that will be my next option.



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Original Post by: tncote

I thought white flour was bleached white?  and the process of bleaching it was what made it unhealthy?  How can you tell the difference between the genuine whole white flour and the processed 'bleached' flour?


When you go to the store the package will say 'Bleached', or 'unbleached'. You want to buy the Unbleached.

All Purpose Flower is bleached, so you need to look for the 'unbleached'



Wow, I actually thought the white whole wheat thing was just an advertising strategy or something. Good to know that there is some nutritional heft behind it. I'm definitely going out today to pick some up and make some scones or something.



i love bread, rye, pumpernickle, whole wheat, 9grain, winter wheat, sour dough. white bread is my least favorite and almost never eat it... compared to all the other grains you can make bread with white bread is just plain and boring! Sealed



Original Post by: noonan79

Wow, I actually thought the white whole wheat thing was just an advertising strategy or something. Good to know that there is some nutritional heft behind it. I'm definitely going out today to pick some up and make some scones or something.


"When you go to the store the package will say 'Bleached', or 'unbleached'. You want to buy the Unbleached.

All Purpose Flower is bleached, so you need to look for the 'unbleached'"

But remember that "unbleached" flour is NOT WHOLE WHEAT- it is flour that has had the bran and 'good stuff' taken out of it, it just isn't given the last step of bleaching.

This article is specifically talking about WHITE WHEAT- the variety of wheat plant is called 'White Wheat'. The whole-wheat white-wheat flour is just the grain ground up, the bran and every part of the seed still there.

Several brands of white wheat flour say "all purpose flour"- all it means is that is used for all purposes- bread, cookies, pies, macaroni, etc. It does NOT mean that it is bleached.

In most parts of the country you can buy white wheat berries and grind your own flour- not as much trouble as you might think. I have several bags of wheat berries in my kitchen and grind it as I need it- takes less than 2 minutes to get enough flour for any of my recipes, all the vitamins are intact, and I know exactly what is in my flour.

 

 



I always look for white whole wheat.  What stores carry it?



Walmart



Regular unbleached flour is NOT whole wheat!  The difference between whole and not whole is that whole contains all parts of the wheat, whereas non-whole wheat flour, whether it be bleached or not, has had all the bran and the germ of the wheat berry removed.



Original Post by: melizabeth

i love bread, rye, pumpernickle, whole wheat, 9grain, winter wheat, sour dough. white bread is my least favorite and almost never eat it... compared to all the other grains you can make bread with white bread is just plain and boring! Sealed


I'm with you - but i think it's because i was raised on whole wheat and whole grain bread. When i went off to college and got to eat all the things my hippie parents didn't allow, i was like, Yippee! Wonder Bread and Miracle Whip! That phase didn't even last through college. I think white bread is pretty mushy and yucky, even white french bread tastes bland to me.

 

To the wheat berry grinders - do you need a special grinder? the coop i belong to sells wheat berries - i would love to grind them myself and get all the powerful nutrients!



I use KAF white whole wheat flour all the time and more and more all the way in baking.  I have found if you add an 1/8 or 1/4 cup of vital wheat gluten to the dry ingredients before mixing with the wet - I really can't tell I'm using whole wheat at all.



Wheat Berry grinders: you do need a wheat grinder. There are many options available- just do an internet search. Mine is a very old and bulky Mill-and-Mix from a company down in Utah, but I don't think they make them any more. There are several good ones that sit on the counter. There are also some that you can grind by hand, they just take longer to use... I like the speed of the electric grinders. They are not cheap, but I have used mine for more than 25 years now and the price I paid for it has long been worth it! You can also grind other grains and beans.



I'll have to get some white whole wheat and see how it compares in my recipes. For years I've substituted 1/2 (red) whole wheat flour in cookie recipes. It gives the cookies better texture, they raise more, and they taste like there are ground walnuts in them.



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