Whole Grain Baking Tips

Photo by Joyce Oudkerk Pool for USA Today

Congratulations! You’re here, which means you just made a wonderful step toward elevating your baking game. We guarantee once you get the hang of whole grain baking, there will be no turning back.

A few simple tips that will make whole grain baking easy as pie. 

  1. Hydrate: A great rule of thumb when using whole grain flour, especially true whole grain flour, is to increase the recipe’s hydration quantities by 10 – 15%.
  2. Ease into it: If you want to convert one of your favorite AP flour recipes to whole grain wheat flour, start off in increments, say ¼ cup at a time. As you master the conversions, and as your palette becomes more accustomed to whole grain wheat flavor, you can go ahead and fully substitute. Totally ok to be a rebel and just go all in. See what happens.
  3. Know your wheat: Not all wheat is created equal, which is why different whole grain wheat flours are better suited for certain applications. Do a bit of research beforehand to figure out what might work best in your recipe. Want hearty whole grain wheat pizza dough? Try Hard Red Winter Wheat flour. Going the delicate route such as cookies and cakes? Soft White Winter Wheat flour is a stand out for pastry applications. Not only do different wheat flours perform differently, they also greatly vary in terms of flavor. Customize your baking. In no time you’ll be geeing out on milling techniques and wheat breeds just like a professional.
  4. Explore: Leave the perfectionism at the door, and practice some patience! Whole grain baking can yield some unexpected results. Many attempts might result in a bust, but happy accidents happen all the time, too.
  5. Take Notes: For serious. The more you take notes, the better your baking will be. Get detailed and think about the whole picture.  Was it humid out? Did you use oil instead of water? Was the wheat milled yesterday? Three weeks ago? Did your child knead the dough for you? Which oven rack did you use? Were you in a rush? All these minute details are what makes baking such a beautiful and mysterious craft. Embrace the variables – but definitely document them to avoid re-inventing the wheel 100 times over.

Ironically, these are all great life tips, too – just saying. If you’re especially interested in using our whole grain wheat flours – here’s the deal. Our flours are whole milled extra-fine offering great texture, performance and flavor. They are made from 100% California-grown wheat, showcasing flavors as nutty and complex as the land and people that produce it. Nothing is added; nothing is taken away. Not reconstituted. We rigorously maintain this standard to preserve all the nutrients and flavor of the whole grain. Taste the difference!