Picture source: Flickr, by Grongar
I can’t remember exactly when I first saw King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour. A couple of years ago? My mother-in-law had bought it and started baking with it, and she asked me what I thought about its nutrition profile. Is it really whole wheat?
I have to admit I was a little skeptical at the beginning. I thought it was another product with a confusing name, label, or claim that intended to make people believe something that is not.
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After some research, I found out that in fact, this type of flour is whole wheat. While the term “white”–as in white bread or white flour–usually means processed and refined flour, the term “white” in this product refers to the type of wheat kernel. There’s red wheat and white wheat. Traditional whole wheat flour comes from red wheat, and that’s why it’s darker in color and heavier in texture. This type of whole wheat comes from white wheat that’s lighter in color and texture.
The result: baked goods that are high in fiber and nutrition, but resemble baked goods made from the processed flour in terms of texture and color.
Sounds like a good deal for many consumers who want the nutrition but can’t just yet get used to baking with whole wheat.
On their website, King Arthur says about this White Whole Wheat flour:
Milled from white whole wheat, rather than red, unbleached King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour has all the fiber and nutrition of traditional whole wheat, with milder flavor and lighter color. Thus, white whole wheat is a great way to add whole grains to your family’s diet…We find that in cookies, muffins, pancakes and quick breads, using white whole wheat flour in place of the entire amount of all-purpose flour yields a baked treat that’s just as tasty as the original, with the benefit of increased fiber, vitamins and minerals.
According to North Dakota State University Extension Services, white wheat is new to the US but not to the rest of the world. It’s the major type grown in China, South Asia, and Australia.
The Wheat Foods Council confirms what King Arthur’s website says about whole white wheat flour nutrition and texture and adds that it’s sweeter in taste. It’s supposed to be available as whole-kernels, flour, bran, and bulgur forms in supermarkets, health food stores, bulk bin commodity stores, mills, and on the internet. I have only seen it as flour but plan on looking for the rest of the variations when I’m back in Virginia.
Similar to traditional wheat, white wheat comes in soft and hard variations. Soft has a lighter protein content and is better for cakes and pastries. Hard wheat has more protein and is better for bread making.
Why I like it:
- Sweeter, so will need less sugar or other sweeteners when baking.
- While when using traditional, or red, whole wheat, I always have to mix whole wheat with processed wheat, I can make baked goods with 100% whole grain using whole wheat wheat flour.
I have used whole white wheat flour in making pizza dough and bread-like pastries. Sadly, I have not posted those recipes. Recipes I made and posted with whole white wheat flour:
Recipes I found online with white whole wheat flour:
Have you baked with white whole wheat flour before? Have you used other forms of white wheat (kernels, bulgur, or bran)? Please post a link to recipes you made or found!