Whole Wheat Baking Conversion

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For simplicity of pantry-keeping and an increase in nutritional value, I’ve spent the past few weeks converting all of my core baking recipes over from 50/50 white/whole wheat to 100% whole wheat. Surprisingly, it’s gone quite smoothly – and I’m incredibly pleased with the results!

Here are the recipes I’ve converted all in one user-friendly page. Wheat flours vary by brand, but I can verify these work with Dakota Maid and Gold Medal.

Whole Wheat No-Knead Bread

Note: this is a slightly chewy, denser loaf than my other No-Knead Bread. It has a nutty, tangy flavor that may be too much for some, but my kids seem no more ambivalent about eating sandwiches from this bread than my former recipe. (The curse of any DIY parent is that “store” stuff becomes a treat. I still remember thinking box macaroni and cheese was a delicacy….)

Yield: 2 loaves

  • 866g whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
  • 760g water
  1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Form well in the center, pour water in and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon until no dry flour remains. Dough will be stiff and shaggy.
  3. Cover with a damp towel and let proof overnight.
  4. In the morning, turn the oven to the “warm” setting. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and as gently as possible, divide into two halves. Do NOT knead or punch the dough down.
  5. Stretch into a rectangle roughly 8×12 inches and fold like a letter.
  6. Place the folded loaves, seam side down, in two greased 8 inch loaf pans.
  7. Turn oven off. Allow the loaves to rise in the warmed oven for 1 hour.
  8. Remove. Preheat the oven to 450F. Once preheated, bake for 30 minutes.

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Yield: 2 pancakes (scale the recipe as desired)

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  1. Preheat griddle over medium heat.
  2. Beat egg, milk, and sugar together until combined.
  3. Add flour, oats, and baking powder. Stir until just combined.
  4. Measure pancake batter out as desired (I use a 1/2 cup measure) and cook.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Note: about 20 iterations ago this came from Robbie’s Recipes and the method is still pretty similar, so I’ll give some credit for pointing me in the right direction. After all, it was the first recipe I tried that had me believing in homemade pizza.

Yield: 2 14″ crusts, easily made into a double batch if you’re entertaining or cooking with leftovers in mind. (Pizza has become our traditional Friday and Saturday dinner, since I get home too late on Saturday to cook much.)

  • 4 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1.5 cup warm (110F) water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Mix the yeast, sugar, and oil into the water measuring cup. Let stand for 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the salt and flour together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. When yeast mixture finishes proofing, preheat oven to 500F. Don’t preheat earlier because you want to the dough to rest in the pan for about 10 minutes before parbaking.
  4. Add the water mixture into the bowl and stir until dough is thoroughly combined. It will be stiff and shaggy.
  5. Remove the dough and knead on a floured surface for 1-2 minutes, adding flour as necessary if the dough is still sticky or difficult to handle.
  6. Cut the dough in half.
  7. Shape each half into a round and roll out to a 14″ round. Carefully fold the round in half and add to a greased pizza pan.
  8. Thoroughly prick each crust with a fork to avoid large air pockets bubbling up.
  9. Bake each crust for 4 minutes before topping as desired.
  10. Once topped, it will take between 7-9 minutes depending on your toppings and how brown you like your cheese.

Whole Wheat Tortillas

Adapted from Lard: Cooking with your Grandmother’s Secret Ingredient.

Yield: 12 tortillas roughly 10″ in diameter (“soft taco” size in grocery store parlance)

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening or lard
  • 1 1/4 cup warm (not hot) water
  1. Pulse flour, baking powder, salt, and shortening together in a food processor until coarse crumbs form.
  2. Running processor on low, slowly pour in water until dough forms a ball.
  3. Knead for 2 minutes on a floured surface until the dough becomes soft and pliable.
  4. Divide into 12 equal sized balls, cover with a damp cloth and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  5. Roll each ball as thin as possible or use a tortilla press.
  6. Cook on a preheated griddle on medium high heat.
Works well for tacos when cooked on both sides. Cooks well for quesadillas with two raw, formed tortillas. Extra tortillas can be used as an impromptu dessert, served warm and buttered with honey and cinnamon. Tortillas thoroughly cooled on a rack store and reheat well in a Ziploc bag at room temperature, so if you have extra filling, save the rest of the tortillas!

Whole Wheat Tuna Turnovers

As far as I know, the concept of tuna turnovers is something my Mom came up with on her own. I keep forgetting to ask. The dough is halfway in between a pie crust and a biscuit. It’s like eating a homemade Hot Pocket, only it’s packed with flavor, not artificial ingredients. This is my own further adaptation of her recipe.

For onion-averse children, consider forming the first few pastries without onion, then mixing the onion into the filling. I do this for my goblins to avoid complaining at the table. It tastes far better with the onion, but there’s not much nutritional value in an onion.

Yield: 8-10 pastries
Filling
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 can (5 oz) of tuna
  • Shredded sharp cheddar to taste (I shred about 2 cups)
  • Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise to taste (I use a heaping tablespoon
  1. Mix ingredients together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Dough

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  1. Cut shortening into flour, powder, and salt with a pastry cutter until coarse crumbs form.
  2. Pour milk into flour, stir until thoroughly combined.
  3. Turn dough onto floured surface, knead lightly, then divide into 8-10 equal size balls.
  4. Preheat oven to 400F and grease a cookie sheet before preparing the final pastries.
  5. Roll each ball out into an 8″ round.
  6. Place a heaping tablespoon or slightly more filling on one half of the round, fold the other half of the pastry over to make a half moon shape. Pinch it closed with your fingers or a fork.
  7. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

 

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5 Comments on “Whole Wheat Baking Conversion”

  1. Great post. I’ve learned the hard way that different flours can be pretty persnickety in older recipes. It’s always informative to see how other cooks handle these conversions and substitutions!

  2. Interesting–I let my pizza dough rise all morning (I make it for lunch for a treat for my toddlers) but it’s nice to know that it’s optional.

    Have you tried white whole wheat flour? It’s delicious in some things, especially the pizza crust. Heartier and more flavorful than white flour, but not quite as… brown as regular whole wheat.

    • David says:

      I actually prefer the earthier, nuttier flavor of regular whole wheat. I also buy Dakota Maid specifically, because in my area it’s $0.75/bag cheaper than everything else. It’s cheaper than even some of the white flour brands. The “white” whole wheat by the bag is more expensive than I want to pay, considering I use about 60 pounds a month on average.

      I will probably start buying 50 pound bulk bags soonish, but the only source I’ve found that saves money requires minimum orders of $400 (they sell a lot more than flour, though). There’s a co-op/buying group which already orders from there, but the delivery point is an hour away, which really defeats the money savings.

      There’s so many different ways to make pizza crust, but this is what works for me! Even a 4 pizza batch is ~60-90 minutes tops, start to finish. If the summer heat is too much, my BIL makes the white version of this dough into grilled pizza that is amazeballs.

  3. Gero1369 says:

    Thx for sticking all of these into one post! I’ll have to give some of them a shot!

  4. […] hence the critical importance of whole grains. Despite their reputation, whole grains are quite easy to cook with. An excellent primer resource for today’s palate is this […]


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