A lot of us are trying to eat more whole grains. And why shouldn’t we? They’re good for you—generally containing better nutritional content than the enriched white grain alternatives (since not all of the nutrition lost by removing the bran and the germ is added back in during the enrichment process). And there’s a wide variety of store-bought options to choose from: pastas, baked goods, more grains than you can shake a stick at, even the sweetest of breakfast cereals proclaims itself to be a whole grain product.
Problem is, if you try to bake with whole wheat flour, very often you wind up with a product that is much denser than you really want. I definitely recommend giving whole wheat pastry flour a shot. It’s ground much more finely than regular whole wheat flour, and the result is that in most baked goods, it’s very tough to tell a difference in texture between something baked with whole wheat pastry flour vs. one baked with all purpose flour.
And, once the taste and texture deficiencies of a whole wheat product have been eliminated, the nutritional differences are that much easier to appreciate. Here’s a great table that spells out the differences between nutrients. With very few exceptions, you’ll note that whole wheat flour is the clear nutritional winner across the board.
Whole wheat pastry flour is easy to find, too—it is produced by many flour manufacturers and is in most grocery stores. Give it a try next time you make muffins, pancakes, waffles, coffee cake, pie crust, or whatever else you would use all-purpose flour in. You’ll be glad you did.