Whole Wheat Flour vs White Flour

Image copyright liladobbs.

There are so many kinds of flour to use when baking. In my experience, white flour and whole wheat flour are the two most called for in recipes. Today I’d like to discuss the differences and benefits of the two. Each has their own place for desired results and nutritional value.

 White Flour

  1. White flour can be bleached (with chemicals) and unbleached (with oxygen) to produce the fluffy white color.
  2. White flour is typically used as White All Purpose Flour and is often called for in cookies and cake recipes.
  3. White flour is “made up of just the ground internal wheat kernel, detached from the wheat’s germ and bran, and enriched with iron and B vitamins” source. Read more about the process of bleaching, bromating, and enriching at Bob’s Red Mill or watch this fascinating video from How It’s Made.
  4. Because of the process detailed above, white flour does not include as many nutrients (unless they are added back in for enriched flour) or as much fiber.

Whole Wheat Flour

  1. Better Homes and Gardens suggests 3/4 cup whole wheat flour substituted for every 1 cup white flour called for in the recipe. You may have to experiment a little but generally a 1:1 ratio will give you a denser product.
  2. There is no standard when it comes to “whole grains” when purchasing bread. The only way to ensure that you are getting the most accurate product is to look for “Whole Wheat” on the package. Terms like “Whole Grains” and “Multi-grain” can be deceiving by making the customer think they’re purchasing a healthier product than they are. Read more here.
  3. White Whole Wheat is the same as standard wheat flour. The difference between the two is that the white whole wheat flour uses a lighter color of wheat bran thus producing a lighter color. Don’t confuse it with refined white flour, white wheat still provides the nutritional value. Read more here.
  4. “Whole wheat flour is known for its high levels of low-fat protein, fiber, iron, vitamin B complexes, thiamin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. The combination of these nutrients can lower cholesterol, improve digestion and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke” source.

Do you use more whole wheat flour or white flour when baking? Do you try to incorporate different flours for more nutrition in your daily diet or do you go for flavor and consistency?

Sources:

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/02/07/a-guide-to-decoding-ingredients-on-grain-products/
http://www.bhg.com/advice/food/baking/can-i-substitute-whole-wheat-flour-for-all-purpose-flour-when-baking/
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/whole-wheat-bread/AN01512
http://www.livestrong.com/article/262259-nutrition-of-spelt-flour-vs-wheat-flour/#ixzz1sotNALDH
http://www.wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/whole-white-wheat-faq
http://www.food.com/library/flour-64
http://www.livestrong.com/article/233429-white-flour-nutrition-information/#ixzz1sowNzy2e
http://www.bobsredmill.com/blog/2011/10/19/the-scoop-on-white-flour-wow-chocolate-chip-cookies/
How It’s Made: http://youtu.be/0gITBy-N6X0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *