PSA: White Whole Wheat flour substituting / anatomy of a pancake

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Once I stop having to spend a lot of my cash, I’ll have to get another domain for the personal blogs. Having a blog is freaking addicting, but yeah, I should start keeping it game-related.

Anyways, another PSA posting for the good of everyone. My father recently was diagnosed with diabetes. This sent me a clear message that I should eat better. I rather start making gradual adjustments now than have to do it all at once when I’m older.

I found this stuff called White Wheat flour, and there’s a popular line of bread from Nature’s Own that is called White Wheat. Sara Lee also makes White Wheat bread. It’s fantastic because it has more fiber than white bread, but tastes close enough to white bread that you don’t feel like you are missing much. In fact, I like the texture of White Wheat bread better.

I managed to get a hold of that very flour. It’s hard to locate, and it keeps changing which local grocery store has it in stock. To me, it’s worth it because it’s a great way to cut down on carbs. However, white wheat flour is closer to bread flour than all-purpose flour. So, the food you make with it will be heavier. A lot of people say mixing 50/50 with white wheat flour and all-purpose flour makes it a lot easier to adjust. I found a better flour to mix in: cake flour.

Cake flour is almost the exact opposite of white wheat: it’s incredibly light. What make me figure out cake + white wheat was the wikipedia post on flour. Flour is rated by protein level. The lower the protein level, the fluffier the thing you are making. The higher the protein level, the more structure it has.

All-purpose flour’s level is at around 11%. White wheat flour’s level is around 13%. Cake flour’s protein level is around 7%. (13 + 7) / 2 = 10. So, I calculated that substituting 50% white wheat + 50% cake flour instead of all-purpose works really well. Also, a 50/50 mix is easy to measure. Flour also varies between batches to a degree, so 10% is a good target. Remember that carb management doesn’t mean you completely cut out sugar, it means that you reduce it as much as possible.

There’s also wheat pastry flour that works really well. I don’t use it simply because it’s hard to get and I have to special order it. It’s a very nice flour that works with fluffy stuff.

Sources: http://www.joyofbaking.com/flour.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flour

Post #2: Anatomy of a pancake. Now why am I posting this? Because if you know what makes a pancake, you would get a better idea on how to make adjustments to quick breads. These are breads that use baking soda and baking powder.

Flour: determines how firm or fluffy the pancake is. Lower protein/gluten makes it fluffier (cake/pastry flour) higher protein makes is heavier, but also makes it not fall apart

Sugar/oil (butter counts): these are actually important. They determine how squishy and moist the pancakes are. Butter might actually help with rising since it’s dairy. This is why Splenda recommends going 50/50 Splenda and sugar.

Baking powder: what makes the dough rise

Milk: basically the liquid part of the pancake. Also, the dairy stuff is part of the rising process. Quite a few recipes also use powdered milk.

Eggs: I forget, but if you beat the egg whites into a foam before combining the dry/wet ingredients, you may get a fluffier pancake.

salt: mostly flavoring and preservative.

When you make pancakes, they usually suggest you mix together wet and dry ingredients separately, and then combine them later. This is because you can overmix pancakes. I forgot the reason, but basically you mess up the gluten molecules too much by doing so. Pancakes with lumps will tend to be fluffier.

Okay, this is a game development blog but I feel PSA posts would help people out in general because my blog posts show up on search engines. At the minimum, I hope this helps someone out there cut down on carbs. I’m also not sure if anyone else out there has tried mixing white whole wheat flour with cake flour.

King Arthur and Hodgson Mill are two companies that sell white whole wheat flour commercially. Cake flour is pretty easy to find, especially the Swan’s Down and Softasilk brands. Whole wheat pastry flour is even harder to find compared to white whole wheat flour.

Posted on May 5th 2010 in Guides, Uncategorized

One Response to “PSA: White Whole Wheat flour substituting / anatomy of a pancake”

  1. Joe Says:

    and I just thought I put it as “I hope this helps someone out there cut down on crabs” and had to edit that.

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