We hear it incessantly: fibre is your friend, choose whole grains. And we want to. But baking with whole wheat is slightly different than regular flour, and you’ll need to be aware of a few things before you get going.
Generally speaking, substituting whole wheat can result in a drier, denser product. This likely isn’t a problem when you’re making muffins or quick breads, but using all whole wheat flour may be too heavy for cakes and cookies.
Avoid substituting whole wheat for cake flour or bread flour. Cake flour has a lower gluten content which, in general, gives a softer, less chewy product. Our all-purpose flour has a relatively high amount of gluten, which makes it good for most uses from cakes and cookies to bread. Bread flour has an even higher amount of gluten making it particularly good for baking bread.
Most recipes can’t tolerate a complete substitution, so start by substituting one-quarter of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. Increase to half the next time you bake if you would like to try more and note how it changes the final product.
You’ll also want to store your whole wheat flour in a tightly sealed container or in the refrigerator or freezer because the oils in the wheat germ will spoil more quickly.