How to Substitute Whole-Wheat Flour for White

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A grain of wheat has three layers -- the bran, endosperm and germ. White, or all-purpose flour, is refined to remove the bran and germ, resulting in a finer product with a relatively long shelf life. The whole grain is milled to produce whole-wheat flour, which is coarse and gives baked goods a tan color. Whole-wheat flour has four times more fiber -- a nutrient essential for cardiovascular and digestive health -- than white flour and is a good source of nutrients including potassium and magnesium. Eating a diet rich in whole grains is associated with a lower risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even some types of cancer. Whole-wheat flour can easily be swapped for part or all of the white flour in many recipes including bread, muffins, pancakes and even sweet treats such as cake and cookies.

How to Substitute Whole-Wheat Flour for White
(Masha D Trujillo/Demand Media)
Step 1

Replace whole-wheat flour for 50 to 100 percent of the white flour in recipes for sturdy baked goods such as bread dough, quick bread, muffins and brownies.

Masha D Trujillo/Demand Media
Step 2

Use white whole-wheat flour to give baked goods a similar appearance to those made with regular whole-wheat flour. White whole-wheat flour is milled from an albino grain, but still contains the bran, germ and all the benefits of regular whole-wheat flour. Substitute a third of the flour with white whole wheat and gradually increase the percentage.

Masha D Trujillo/Demand Media
Step 3

Substitute up to 50 percent whole-wheat pastry flour for lighter baked goods such as cakes and cookies. Whole-wheat pastry flour has a lower protein content and yields a more tender product.

Masha D Trujillo/Demand Media
Step 4

Cut the fat in cookie recipes by 20 percent when using whole-wheat flour. For instance, if the recipe calls for 10 tablespoons of butter, use 8 tablespoons instead.

Masha D Trujillo/Demand Media
Step 5

Increase the liquids when making bread or pizza dough. Whole-wheat flour is more absorbent, so you'll need more water or milk to make a soft, pliable dough. Start with 1 to 2 tablespoons. You may need to add up to 1/4 cup for 100 percent whole-wheat dough.

Masha D Trujillo/Demand Media

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