Wednesday, March 26, 2014


You know what I feel right now?
Because it’s officially spring, and this super-long, ridiculously challenging cold spell, a.k.a. WINTER, has finally ended?
Well that, for sure. After months of ice-cold temperatures, icy roads, and ice falling from the sky (do you sense a theme here?), we’re SO ready for what comes next: Mud Season.
But beyond that, I’m relieved that the hypothesis I challenged myself with months ago – that it shouldn’t be difficult to change the flour in favorite recipes from all-purpose (white) flour to whole wheat – has proven true.
Let’s backtrack a bit.
Whole-grain is on everyone’s lips these days, the mantra of the nutritionally conscientious. Eat more whole grains. Add healthy fiber to your diet.
And, from the FDA: “Consume at least half of all grains as whole grains.”
And yet… who wants to take a well-loved, cherished family recipe, one you’ve proudly baked and shared for years, and risk transitioning it from all-purpose (white) flour to whole wheat?
Well, many of you do, judging by the questions we hear every day on our baker’s hotline.
And honestly? So do I. The older I get, the healthier I want to stay. And the same can be said for all of us, from babies to Boomers: a strong, healthy body is one of the keys to a happy life.
Since I bake SO much of what my extended family eats – bread, rolls, pizza, and other treats – I decided to step up and actually take those chocolate chip cookies, that beloved white sandwich bread, those signature cinnamon muffins, and bake them with whole wheat.
Thus my hypothesis: the process HAS to be easy. I know I won’t do it if it’s difficult.
Whew! That’s the sigh of relief I breathed a few paragraphs ago. I’ve now substituted whole wheat flour for white in sandwich bread and dinner rolls, pizza and cinnamon buns, cookies and bars of all flavors and persuasions and, as of today, all my favorite breakfast treats: muffins, batter breads, scones, biscuits, and pancakes.
The result? Hypothesis proven.
It’s NOT difficult to change your favorite white-flour recipes into fiber- and nutrient-rich whole-grain treats.
C’mon, I’ll show you.
First step: the best whole wheat flour.
Here’s my favorite: our 100% whole-grain organic white whole wheat flour.
Yes, 100% whole grain. Just because there’s “white” in its name doesn’t mean it’s “white” flour. Wonderfully mild-flavored and light-colored, white whole wheat is ground from white wheat berries. While darker, more assertive traditional whole wheat flour is ground from red wheat berries.
You can see the difference in color in these cinnamon Doughnut Muffins; that’s a muffin made from 100% white whole wheat at top left, and one made from 100% red whole wheat at bottom left.
Red berries vs. white berries? Same as a yellow tulip and a pink tulip. Different colors, same flower.
And how about that organic label – what difference does that make?
Well, eating organic is another lifestyle choice I make – both to limit ingestion of chemicals, and to support the small farmers who choose to raise their crops and livestock using this method.
But when I can’t find our organic white wheat flour, I’m very happy using our regular white wheat.
OK, enough chatter – let’s enjoy some whole wheat breakfast treats, shall we?
Let’s start with scones. Aside from their pink topping (more on that later), these are just plain, everyday scones, unadorned by fruit, chips, or any flavor beyond vanilla.
I’ll test these plain vanilla scones three ways: using 100% all-purpose flour, as the recipe directs; using a 50/50 blend of all-purpose and white whole wheat; and with 100% white whole wheat flour.

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