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Baking dork question here....I'm pretty green at this whole baking gig. I have a recipe I want to make, in this case for biscuits, that calls for mostly AP flour, and a marginal amount of whole-wheat four, which I don't have, I want to sub out the WW with AP. Do I just use it at a 1 to 1 ratio (i.e, recipe says 1/4C WW, do I replace with 1/4C AP....or?

And how about in breads? I have a few bread recipes that also call for whole wheat flour, which, due to limited storage space and VERY infrequent use, I'd prefer not to stock. Is the replacement in breads also 1 to 1, or.....

TIA !!!!!

asked by RobertaJ over 6 years ago
8 answers 1006 views
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Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added over 6 years ago

Thanks for your great question -- for a small amount like 1/4 cup, I'd do 1 to 1. For larger amounts, I'l let someone else answer!

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added over 6 years ago

It sounds like you're considering several recipes that require WW flour. If that's the case, it really would be worth your while to go ahead and buy some (If you seal WW flour in a ziploc bag and store it in the freezer, it keeps for 6 months to 1 year. Not bad). My fear would be that the textures of your finished products would suffer if you sub too much. Whole wheat flour is heavier than all-purpose, and recipes using WW flour have often accommodated other ingredients to suit the WW flour - different kinds of liquids/fats, more leavening, that kind of thing.

I'd say your best bet for success would be to either 1) go ahead and buy some WW flour, or 2) use recipes that use all-purpose, if that's what you prefer to keep on hand. Having said that, though - if you sub AP for WW and get great results, report back! Always good to know.

(Another quick note - if you're planning to bake yeast breads, you'll get better results if you use bread flour instead of AP. See? The flour-choosing craziness never ends!) :)

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hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added over 6 years ago

Whole wheat flour has a higher protein content (15-16%) than AP flour (10-12%). You should be able to do a one to one substitution. Your end product maybe slightly less chewy as you will get less gluten development. I would think for biscuits less chew would be just fine.

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added over 6 years ago

for the biscuits, using all al-purpose wouldn't make a difference substituting 1 to 1. if you are making bread, i echo the recommendation to use a recipe that uses 100% all-purpose.

whole wheat flour is fairly easy to find in bulk so you can buy just what you need if you are hesitant to buy a larger bag of it.

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added over 6 years ago

I'm not much of yeast bread baker -- I generally stick to simple white yeast breads -- but I've made biscuits on a regular basis for the last 50 years (yes, I started young), and never used whole wheat flour. So don't sweat it in the biscuits. If you want a top-notch white yeast bread recipe that's easy -- albeit it does bake up a quite soft bread, or rolls -- let me know and I'll send it to you. I'll be making it myself, for Thanksgiving dinner rolls, in a couple of weeks!

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Meg is a trusted home cook.

added over 6 years ago

I think 1:1 for family batch. Encourage u to try the ww because it's delicious and healthy when used wisely. Still like pancakes with white flour and can't yet abide whole wheat pasta, tho.

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added over 6 years ago

I agree with the 1:1 answer. WW flour absorbs more water than AP flour because it is coarser and has the bran in it, but for the most part, AP sub should work with just about anything.

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added over 6 years ago

I think you'll be safe with the biscuits if you use all AP flour.

For other recipes though, be careful with the liquid measurements, because as other people have mentioned, the whole wheat flour absorbs more liquid than the regular AP. So if you use all AP in a recipe that calls for whole wheat, you may end up with a wetter batter/dough.

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