If you'd like to experiment with new textures and flavors or simply wish to bring a bit more nourishment into your baking, then making use of whole grain products is a fantastic way to achieve this. Working with whole grains in your baking can be a good deal of fun.
Modern day baking is centered on convenience and hence you find most recipes containing all-purpose flour and so on. Like every all-rounder however, all-purpose flour is okay at a range of things, but isn't great at anything. For instance, a delicate pastry requires a flour which is lower in gluten than your typical all-purpose flour. It's flexible and convenience which make it popular, but it isn't going to produce the kind of cake to die for. That's the reason using whole grain flours is much more than just a healthy option, it can also transform the quality of your finished product.
The improved flavor and graininess of whole wheat flour is due to it being ground out of the entire wheat berry. When a softer berry is used to create the flour it can be used to make a great pastry. This much softer whole grain is ideal for hot cakes, pastry and even your basic muffin recipes.
If you want to take your first steps in baking with whole grain products then wholemeal flour is probably the place to begin. It has a kind of familiarity to it. It is like your usual white flour, just a little grainier. You can know that the results you get with a wholegrain flour are not going to be a thousand miles away from using your regular all-purpose flour. Depending on the recipe, sometimes you will find a 50/50 mixture is best suited, while in other cases a straight switch is fine. While you experiment you'll learn more.
Teff flour is a flour that's rich in calcium, iron and protein. Gluten free, you will notice it adds a kind of sweet and malty quality to your baking. You can use it in a variety of bread recipes or to make waffles and pancakes. For making a leavened bread you can simply add one part teff flour in for five parts of wheat flour.
Rye flour is a type of flour historically used in Germany and Eastern Europe. It has a strong flavor and heavy texture as anyone who's tasted rye bread or pumpernickel will be aware of. If you're experimenting with your home baking recipes try introducing rye in a small amount.
For a fantastic way to get more fiber into your diet you could substitute some oat flour into your various recipes. It will add a real depth and nuttiness to the flavor of your recipes. Your overall health is further benefited by the fact it retains a lot more moisture than your regular flour, allowing you to reduce the amount of fats and oil you have to put in. What about a really healthy banana bread recipe.
Spelt flour is a fantastic whole grain for baking. It's another flour that is good to start experimenting with. If you're looking to bake something that is light and crumbly then spelt flour can be the answer to your dreams. The greater gluten content of spelt flour makes it an ideal substitute for plain flour. I can't use any other flour for my banana bread recipe anymore.
Orla Hayman is an amateur baker who's always on the lookout for new ways to introduce people to the world of home baking, particularly teaching people how to make delicious cakes, breads, and various other treats with easy recipes for baking.