There’s a difference between baked goods made with good whole-wheat flour and just any old whole-wheat flour.
Good Whole-Wheat Flour Makes all the Difference in Baked Goods
“What is that?” I asked one of my fellow camp staff members as we prepared the props and costumes for the full-length play the staff would put on that Saturday afternoon.
“This?” She held up what looked like a brick, but the color and texture seemed off. “Guess,” she said as she tossed it to me.
“Oof!” I caught it and examined it closely. “A loaf of bread? It’s heavy enough to pound nails.”
“Right?” She caught the bread as I tossed it back at her. “It’s perfect for that scene where Shem makes fun of his sister’s baking skills.”
“You’re right,” I exclaimed. “Where did you get it?”
She shrugged. “I tried making whole-wheat bread on my day off, and it turned out like bricks!”
“Bummer,” I said, “but at least you have an excellent prop for the play. What kind of flour did you use?”
“Whatever I could find at the grocery store,” she said.
“That could be the problem,” I told her. “You have to use good whole-wheat flour if you want baked goods to turn out right. And if you use vital wheat gluten, too, it really helps.”
“Huh,” she said. “I didn’t know there were different kinds of whole-wheat flour.”
Years later, when we started transitioning from white flour to whole-wheat flour, I had to remember my own advice about using good whole-wheat flour.
Whole-Wheat Flour vs. All-Purpose White Flour
You probably already know that any whole-wheat flour packs a bigger nutritional punch than white flour (which goes through a process to remove the wheat bran (and, thus, some of the nutrition). Good whole-wheat flour has fewer calories, more protein, more fiber, and fewer carbohydrates than general-purpose white flour. Which means it stays in your system longer and makes you feel full sooner.
But did you realize different types of wheat produce different types of whole-wheat flour? Hard red wheat might have more protein, but it also produces baked goods with a tougher texture. For example, if you don’t add vital wheat gluten, you may end up with bricks for bread.
Hard white wheat berries have slightly less protein, but the milled flour feels softer and makes excellent baked goods. So if you plan on baking something like brownies, cookies, or dinner rolls, look for a good whole-wheat flour milled out of hard white wheat berries.
Our favorite comes from Wheat Montana, a family-owned company dedicated to raising non-GMO wheat. I buy 200 lbs of Prairie Gold wheat berries every two years when I drive through Montana on my way home from Alaska. We have an antique Magic Mill grinder and mill all of our own grains. But you can also find Prairie Gold at the grocery store (where it costs much less than it does on Amazon). It works just as well as freshly ground whole-wheat flour.
Make These Brownies with Good Whole-Wheat Flour, and You Won’t Even Notice the Difference
Ok, you might notice you can only eat two instead of four because whole-wheat flour fills you up faster. I challenge you to try making your favorite brownies and cookies with good whole-wheat flour instead of white flour. Let me know what you think!
Celebrate a special occasion with a mug of hot cocoa and a chocolate mint whole-wheat brownie!
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 cups brown sugar
2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons flaxseeds, ground
1 10-oz package Nestle Toll House Winter Dark Chocolate and Mint Morsels
Preheat the oven to 350˚ and spray a 9X13″ casserole dish with cooking spray.
Melt 1/2 cup of butter (one stick) in a microwave-safe bowl (ensure the bowl is covered). Depending on your microwave, this could take 30-90 seconds. Add the brown sugar and mix with a spoon (to cool the butter down a bit), and then add the applesauce, cocoa powder, and eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low for a minute.
Add the salt, whole-wheat flour, and flax seeds and beat on medium (start on low) for two minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl at least once.
Stir in the dark chocolate and mint morsels and stir again.
Pour into the casserole dish and back for 45-55 minutes (a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean, and the edges of the brownies should pull away from the side of the pan).
Cool on a wire rack (or dig right in and eat one). Cut into 24 squares.
If you’d like to make these even healthier, omit the mint and chocolate chips and add 1 teaspoon of mint extract.
Don’t forget to use the good whole-wheat flour made from hard white wheat for the softest texture.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
Keywords: Whole-wheat baked goods, Brownies, Deserts, Chocolate, Mint
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