Some time ago, when gluten was made something of a villain, everyone assumed that baked goods necessarily have to be gluten-free to be healthy. For a number of people who suffer from celiac disease and some other conditions related to gluten and wheat this is certainly true. For the rest of us, however, baked products made with gluten-containing ingredients can be just as healthy! Although all our mixes are gluten-free, we still sometimes use non-GF flours in our home baking and want to share some tips with you.
We’ve mentioned in our previous blogpost why you should be using whole wheat flour as a substitute for regular all-purpose flour. However, we often come across great recipes that call for all-purpose flour and we wonder how to make them healthier by using whole wheat flour.
Here are some tips if you want to successfully incorporate whole wheat flour into your daily baking:
- Choose white whole wheat flour made from white wheat. It is lighter in colour and has milder flavour;
- Pick stone-ground flours: they have the highest nutritional value;
- Check the label: get the freshest flour possible because whole wheat flour gradually oxidises;
- If you are baking bread or pizza dough, then you can substitute up to 100% of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour;
- If you are baking cakes or cookies, then make sure you are using whole wheat pastry flour and use it in place of up to 50% of the all-purpose flour in the recipe;
- If you are new to substituting, start by replacing 30% of flour called for in the original recipe and then if you like the outcome, gradually increase the percentage in the recipe;
- Substituting whole wheat flour 1:1 for the all-purpose one calls for a bit of intuition: you can easily do so when baking oatmeal cookies, muffins, scones, banana bread, fruit loaves etc. However, you shouldn’t use it in white and yellow cakes, biscuits, cream scones, i.e. in products with more delicate textures;
- Sift the whole wheat flour 2-3 times to introduce more air;
- Add two additional teaspoons of liquid (water/milk/etc.) per 1 cup of whole wheat flour because it absorbs liquid more slowly than white flour;
- If you don’t like the flavour of whole wheat, replace two tablespoons of liquid in the recipe with two tablespoons of orange juice;
- Let the batter rest for 10-25 minutes before baking: the final product will be more tender and moist;
- Bake your things for slightly longer to make sure they are fully cooked through and reduce the temperature a little bit to avoid burning the outside of your product;
- Let the finished product sit overnight before serving: it will taste better!