If you’re looking to try baking with whole grain flour, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve included a few of our favorite tips for baking with whole grains. Make sure to purchase fresh, high-quality flour. Let the batter rest before baking, and avoid over-kneading. We’ve also included tips for baking with whole grain flour in your recipes. Keep reading to learn more!
Ensure that you have fresh, high-quality flour
Choosing a quality flour is essential when baking with whole grains. Whole grains add texture and flavor to baked goods, but they must be fresh in order to retain their flavor and nutritional value. While refined white flour never goes bad, whole grain flour can spoil over time. To prevent this, it is best to refrigerate it for at least two months and freeze it if you plan on using it for a long time.
Whole grains can be used in all sorts of recipes, from biscuits to pancakes. In baking, use light-colored whole grains for light-colored treats like pancakes and waffles to darker-colored dishes such as brownies. If you want to bake a dark-colored treat, choose rye or buckwheat flour. Whole grains aren’t just for baking, though.
In the past, when buying grain products, buyers may refer to the list of ingredients, such as wheat flour, oats, and sugar. The list of ingredients is not exhaustive and other items may also fall under the Rule of Three. This rule applies to flours that are less than two percent of the product’s weight and listed after “contains 2% or less.”
Flour made of other grains is an excellent alternative to refined flour. Besides wheat and rye, many other types of flour can be found in health food aisles. Novel products are available in the market. Often labeled as flour, they are actually made of non-food ingredients such as insects. The nutritional content of these products varies significantly from what is labeled as flour, so make sure you buy fresh, high-quality flour.
Let the batter rest and hydrate before baking
Choosing the right flour for your baking recipe is important, especially when using whole grains in baked goods. The most common mistake that people make when baking with whole wheat flour is not using enough water. The key to a moist, soft bread is hydrating the flour. White flour requires just 60 percent water, called “baker’s percentage,” while whole grain flour requires much more water, generally up to 90 percent. The recommended amount of water per pound of whole wheat flour is 14.4 ounces.
Whole wheat flour contains the germ and endosperm, and as such, absorbs liquid much slower than all purpose flour. Resting the batter and dough before baking allows liquid to permeate the bran and germ, making it soft and moist. This step is essential for baking with whole wheat flour because it prevents the gluten from forming a tough dough. You should allow the batter to rest for at least ten minutes before baking. A 20 to 30-minute rest will make your baked goods moister and more flavorful.
Using whole wheat flour in yeast recipes is easy. Simply replace white flour with whole wheat flour, adding about two teaspoons of liquid to each cup. After kneading the dough, allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes before proceeding with baking. The dough will rise as high as white flour, but the texture and flavor will be different. Other options include substituting a smaller percentage of whole wheat or baking with whole wheat-specific recipes.
When you bake with whole grain flour, be sure to purchase fresh flour. While whole wheat flour can be substituted for about 40 percent of all-purpose flour, it will change the overall flavor and texture of baked goods. Because it contains oil from the germ, whole grains will go rancid more easily than white flour. Therefore, you must make sure to purchase whole grain flour from a store with a high turnover rate to ensure freshness.
One of the most common mistakes that bakers make when using whole grains is over-kneading dough. Over-kneaded dough is difficult to work with and often results in a chewy, flat loaf. The dough stretches, tear, and breaks easily. It’s best to leave the dough to rise before shaping it into a loaf. The dough will be more elastic and less prone to gluten problems if it’s not over-kneaded enough.
When it comes to dough, if you over-knead it, you risk producing a crust that’s rock-hard and a crumbly interior. While over-kneaded dough may still work, it will not rise very much in the oven. It will be dense. It also crumbles when cut into slices. It’s okay to over-knead dough if you plan to make breadcrumbs.
When substituting whole grains for white flour, you can increase the amount of whole wheat by blending the flour with white flour. This will yield a more tender, easier-to-work-with loaf with decent volume. It’s also a great way to start working with whole wheat flour, and it allows you to increase the amount of whole wheat in the dough gradually. In addition, you can even use half white flour and half whole wheat flour in the same recipe.
When baking with whole grains, you have to remember that you’re absorbing the germ and bran, as well as the omega-3 fatty acids and minerals. This flour will absorb the water and make the bread crumbly. Whole wheat will make your bread more moist and tender, but be sure to check the recipes carefully and read them to make sure you’re using the right amount.
Recipes made specifically for whole grain flours
Whole grain flours are great for baking because they add a richer flavor and have a heartier texture. They contain bran and germ, which make baked goods tastier. Choose whole grain flours that are stone-ground to retain their full nutritional value. Whole grain flours should be refrigerated for at least two months after purchase. For longer shelf lives, freeze them in a tightly closed container.
Some recipes lend themselves to whole grain flour, such as banana bread. If you prefer a cake that doesn’t turn out as stark white as a traditional cake, whole grain flour works better in that case. Spice cakes, banana bread, and chocolate cake all work well with whole grain flour. A few recipes you may want to try include banana bread, spice cake, and chocolate chip cookies. There are even recipes specifically for whole grain flour.
Whole grain flours can be substituted in baking for up to 50% of the usual amount of white flour. For bread, you can replace half of the flour with whole wheat. For baking items that call for baking soda or powder, you can substitute half white flour for the whole wheat version. A cup of whole grain flour equals one serving of whole grains. The same holds true for cereal. In fact, one cup of whole grain flour can replace up to two cups of regular flour.
Whole grain flours are widely available in grocery stores, but can be difficult to find. Whole wheat is easier to find than other whole grain flours, but not all stores carry them. Try using one type instead of the other. If you’re not sure which one to use, here are some tips to help you choose the best option for your baking needs. You’ll enjoy the taste, texture, and nutritional value of whole grain flour.
Adding aeration to baked goods
A critical function of baked goods is aeration. Aeration refers to the introduction of gas to a liquid or viscous solution. Egg whites and whole eggs are two common sources of aeration, and the air they provide to a batter or mixture creates foam, which adds volume and lightness to baked goods. A whipped egg white adds approximately six to eight times more volume than the original liquid.
Aerating flour is an essential step in baking. A wooden spoon or a sifter should be used when mixing flour and whole grains. This helps to distribute air throughout the flour, creating a light, fluffier texture in baked goods. For best results, aerating flour should take no longer than a minute. After all, it is better to use whole grains when you can, because they tend to be healthier.
Aerating flour helps to prevent dense baked goods from forming. To test this, simply weigh out a cup of unaerated flour and compare it to one containing aerated flour. The two cups should weigh differently, indicating aeration is required. If they are the same weight, the flour should be sifted. If you want to be extra sure, try a cup of flour that is aerated first and then add another tablespoon of yeast, which will leave your finished baked goods with a much higher baking capacity.
Before measuring flour, sifting it is an excellent way to aerate it. Aerating flour is also helpful for measuring. When measuring flour by hand, aerating it before spooning into a cup is necessary to remove excess air. It also improves the texture of baked goods because it has pockets of air. You can also use a kitchen scale to sift the flour.