The goal of the first part of this 31 days series is to help you stock your pantry! Cooking from scratch is a lot easier when you have the right goodies in your cupboards.
Today, we’re talking flours.
Pantry Must-Have Flours
1. Whole Wheat Flour
We all know the health benefits of consuming whole grains, like whole wheat flour. So, I recommend having one bag of whole wheat flour in your pantry. I have found the finest ground whole wheat flour is from King Arthur. The fine texture of this flour makes it easy to add into a recipe without changing the texture too much.
For breads, I love Gold Medal’s Whole Wheat Flour. The texture of this flour grind reminds me of a stone-ground or a sprouted wheat texture. So, I always have a bag of this flour in our pantry.
2. White Whole Wheat Flour
What is White Whole Wheat?
White whole wheat flour is nutritionally equivalent to whole wheat flour made from red wheat. White wheat grasses simply have a slight change in their DNA, resulting in a wheat grain that does not have the traditional red bran coloration. The removal of the bran gene results in a flour that is lighter in color & texture, and less bitterness in flavor.
The Bottom Line:
This is my most-used flour. In fact, it is my “all-purpose” flour. Even if your family is leery about whole wheat, give this flour a try. My favorite is King Arthur’s White Whole Wheat flour – the grind is so fine it can almost pass for traditional white flour!
There are other brands of white whole wheat out there, and I’ve recently tried Gold Medal’s variety. I like it, great for breads – but it has more of the stone-ground wheat texture similar to their regular whole wheat flour.
The other white whole wheat flour I’ve tried recently is from Eagle Mills. They are marketing a hybrid white whole wheat flour they call “Ultragrain”. Ultragrain is a combination of two white whole wheat plants, and the results is a lighter in color & taste flour that they claim substitutes cup for cup with all purpose flour. I found this one at Costco, and we’ve used this one too and are enjoying it greatly.
3. Bread Flour
Bread flour has a higher protein content than traditional flours. When the higher protein content comes into contact with water & heat, the result is a better strength and elasticity of your bread. I keep a bag on hand in our pantry. Although, adding vital wheat gluten to breads made without bread flour can help achieve similar results.
Okay – so these really aren’t a flour, but they fall into that same category for me. I have old-fashioned oats and quick cook oats in our pantry at all times. Get some.
Wheat flours have a higher protein content and also more bran (in the case of red, or traditional whole wheat flour), which can spoil more quickly than an all-purpose flour. Therefore, if you don’t use your flours frequently, place your leftover flour in the freezer.
Otherwise, we store all our flours in airtight containers in our baking pantry.
Using Whole Wheat Flour
Start small. Replace 1/4 C – 1/2 C of all purpose flour in a recipe with whole wheat flour, or white whole wheat flour.
Here’s a simple recipe for banana bread – a family favorite recipe. This recipe calls for 1 3/4 C all purpose flour. Give it a try with 1/2 C white whole wheat flour.
Or, if you’re feeling up for the challenge, try substituting 1 3/4 C white whole wheat flour for the all purpose flour.
What kinds of flour are in your pantry? Any favorite brands?