The Secret to Fluffy and Delicious Whole Wheat Baked Goods

Dear Gluten Free Friends: This post is very whole wheaty and not at all helpful to your gluten free life. I’ve got your back though because as you know, many of the recipes here on my site are naturally gluten free. After all, while I do love freshly ground whole wheat flour, I also love variety and breadless recipes. So just for you: 100+ Gluten Free Recipes. Click on over and have at it. Love ya much!

wheat_fields_2

See the difference in grains?
We took this picture while traveling through Kansas a few years ago. 

As a newly-wed I remember visiting someone’s house where they served homemade rolls made exclusively with whole wheat flour. I tried to like the rolls, but I was used to white rolls made with all-purpose flour, and these rolls just weren’t the same. I decided that I simply didn’t like whole wheat flour, and really, I didn’t like anything considered to be a “health food.” (I thought eating healthy meant I had to eat rice cakes and bean sprouts for every meal.) I continued on my merry way where I ate very few fruits and veggies, drank about a liter of Pepsi every day, and made oodles of delicious cookies and cakes with white flour.

Many years (and way too many gallons of Pepsi) later, one of my friends started selling her homemade bread at our local Farmer’s Market. She had some leftover one night, so she sent a loaf home with me. We ate it for breakfast the next day, and we loved it down to the last crumb. I complimented her up and down next time I saw her, asking what kind it was. “It’s just my regular whole wheat bread recipe.” What?! That bread was whole wheat? Like, whole wheat and white flour mixed, right?! “Nope. 100% whole grain. I grind it myself.”

That is the moment I learned about the different varieties of wheat and the deliciousness of grinding grain into flour. (I never actually knew people did that. Grind your own flour? Seriously?!) I was intrigued. I researched. I asked questions. I saved up for a Nutrimill, stocked up on hard white wheat, and the rest is history.

white_wheat_flour

Red Wheat, White Wheat, Hard Wheat, Soft Wheat

Oh how many wheat you meet. Look at me. I’m Dr. Seuss. 

There is a big difference between red wheat and white wheat. Both produce whole wheat flour -but they bake up differently, creating different textures and flavors. I’ve covered this in detail in several other posts, which I’ll point you to now:

hard wheat soft wheat

It’s hard to see the difference in the picture.
Hard is more pointy. Soft is more round. There. Does that help?

The Secret to Fluffy and Delicious Whole Grain Baked Goods

Let’s talk about how you can make the most amazing whole grain cookies, cakes, muffins, pancakes, waffles, and pastries.

When I first started grinding flour to make all of our baked goods healthier and tastier, I used hard white wheat for everything. It did this because:

  • Hard white wheat flour works for any recipe, whether it is a yeast bread or a non-yeast product. (Soft wheat only works for non-yeast products.)
  • Grinding just one kind of flour made life easier.

Finally, after the recommendation from many of you, I gave soft white wheat a try. This is the variety of wheat that, when ground, produces whole grain pastry flour. I used it first for pancakes, then I used it for muffins, then I decided that I had waited way too long to try this. Pastry flour makes a huge difference in the density of baked goods!

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (ground from soft white grain) is almost like using white all-purpose flour. It is light and fluffy and baked goods I make with it turn out really delicious.

muffins

Simple as that, freshly ground Soft White Wheat is the secret to turning out amazing baked goods.

Remember though, if you’re making a yeast bread, you still have to use Hard White (or red) Wheat. I now love both hard and soft white varieties and keep them both on hand at all times for all our baking needs.

no-knead bread 3

If you’re afraid of baking yeast bread, or simply want to make life much easier –
you have to try this easy Stir-and-Pour Bread. Because of this recipe, I will never knead bread again.
(This bread requires hard wheat, not soft, because it is a yeast bread.)

So let’s review:

  1. Use hard wheat for yeast breads.
  2. Use soft wheat for everything else.
  3. Or use hard wheat for everything – but I’m telling you, soft wheat (which produces whole wheat pastry flour) is wonderful to work with!

Some of our favorite recipes which use Whole Grain Pastry Flour:

Most don’t even realize they are eating whole grains when they eat any of these goodies! For that matter, the recipes that are low in sugar don’t seem to phase people either. Who knew eating healthier could taste so good?!

Let me hear from you!

  • Do you grind your own flour?
  • What is your flour preference?
  • Have you tried soft wheat (pastry flour) or do you stick with hard wheat for every recipe?

Whole Wheat Zucchini Carrot Bread & Natural Value Foods 25% off Plus 20% off at Amazon

The more nutrients you can stuff into one recipe, the better, right? My friend Emily tried this idea of adding shredded carrots into zucchini bread, then let me know that I should try it. Great idea. Mmmmm, so good!

Zucchini Carrot BreadYum

3 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup honey
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, sea salt, nutmeg and baking powder. Stir in honey, zucchini, carrots, eggs, and melted butter. Mix ingredients until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour into two well buttered loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

zucchini carrot bread

Slices of this Zucchini Carrot Bread would be perfect in your Make-Ahead Lunch Box! Simply allow the bread to cool, slice, wrap individually, then freeze. Pull a wrapped slice of bread out of the freezer, then toss it into your lunch box for a dessert or snack!

What other veggie combinations have you thrown together in quick breads?

While I’ve got you, I wanted you to know about these ROCKIN’ coupons at Amazon. Natural Value brand is already lower in price than many organic foods. Right now, they are offering 25% off coupons at Amazon on many of their great items! Plus, if you have Amazon Prime/Mom and order at least 5 subscribe and save items, you’ll get an additional 20% off too! I grabbed six cases of Natural Value items we use frequently for great deals. Here’s what I got:

Natural Value Coupons at Amazon

This post contains affiliate links.

My Favorite Whole Wheat Recipes – and A Nutrimill Giveway From Paula’s Bread

I’m often asked how I get my 100% whole wheat baked goods to actually taste yummy. It is true that sometimes store-bought whole wheat flour can turn out a dry and dense muffin or bread. We know whole grains have more nutrition, but really, who cares how healthy it is if it doesn’t even taste good?

No Knead Whole Wheat Bread

Ahhh, that’s why I love my Nutrimill. Freshly ground flour is so amazingly good. It makes a world of difference in the way my baked goods taste. Even better is the fact that all the nutrients are alive and intact when you grind your own flour. Tastes better and is much healthier? Yes, please!

What are my favorite Whole Wheat Recipes? Well, all of them, of course. But if I really had to choose my top ten, I guess they would be…

How has your whole wheat baking experience been so far?  Ever since I started grinding my own grain, it’s made a world of difference in how the product turns out. Who knew baking with whole wheat (or other freshly ground grains) could be so easy?

Buying a Nutrimill is a bit of an investment. It’s worth it, but it can take a while to save up the money for one. That’s why I thought you might like the chance to win a free one. :)

Paula’s Bread is the sweetest!! We’re hitting the restart button with a Nutrimill giveaway, thanks to Paula. :)

Who Wants to Win a Nutrimill

love my Nutrimill, which can be used to grind hard and soft wheat, kamut, spelt, hulled buckwheat, oat groats, hully barley, triticalae, rye, brown rice, wild rice, popcorn, sorghum, soybeans, split peas, and dried beans. It grinds these into a lovely, fine flour which can be used in all of your baked goods.

I use my Nutrimill alllllll the time. I mostly use my mill to grind hard and soft white wheat. Most people don’t even know they are eating whole grains at my house. They just know they are eating delicious bread, cookies, muffins, or pizza crust.

Paula’s Bread is the place to go when you’re ready to buy a Nutrimill. Her prices are always the best, and her customer support is fantastic. I have worked with Paula for years. She’s a lovely, godly woman.  (Like Paula’s Bread on Facebook!)

This week, she is giving one of you a FREE Nutrimill. Who wants to win?! Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post.
  2. Sign up for Paula’s Newsletter, then leave another comment on this post letting me know you did (optional).
  3. Follow Paula’s Bread on Twitter, then leave another comment on this post letting me know you did (optional).
  4. Tweet about this giveaway, linking to this post, then leave another comment on this post letting me know you did (optional).
  5. Share about this giveaway on Facebook, linking to this post, then leave another comment on this post letting me know you did (optional).
  6. Email your family and friends about this giveaway, linking to this post, then leave another comment on this post letting me know you did (optional).
  7. Share this post on Pinterest, then leave another comment on this post letting me know you did (optional).

Look at all the chances to win! I’ll draw a random winner on Wednesday, September 17. Be watching for a post stating the winner, as you will be responsible for contacting me if your name is chosen.