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what is white whole wheat flour?

October 1, 2013
Great question!

This is a commonly confused topic that faces a lot of people who dare enter the newly re-advertised bread isle. Ever since the insurgence of whole grains, bread makers have taken it upon themselves to use as many similarly worded confusing jargon to sell their products. So, let's break this down the fun way… with bullets.

- White flourThe refined portions of what is left of the grain once the germ and bran are removed AKA the endosperm. Some white flours have been bleached, which means a whitening agent is added.

- Wheat flour Wheat flour can mean several things in my experience. It has been used as a general term that could mean unbleached flour from wheat or whole wheat that may or may not include the bran and germ. The best is to check out the ingredients label on the back and make sure which is which. If the word “whole wheat” or “whole grain” is used, it is going to be the same as whole wheat/grain (listed below), otherwise, see “white flour” above. Names like these can be tricky, so watch out!

- White whole wheatWhite whole wheat flour is made from a naturally occurring albino variety of wheat, so it has a whitish outer bran to it where regular wheat has a darker brown or reddish bran. This bran usually contains components that result in a slightly bitter taste that is often associated it, but white whole wheat contains none. It is milder, sweeter and slightly nuttier flavor than whole wheat flour but resembles white flour the closest.

- MultigrainMultigrain, 7-grain, 12-grain, whatever the case may be - these are all ploys to make you think it is healthier than what it is. The items that utilize terminology describe flours, breads, or products that contain multiple types of grains, none of which are necessarily whole. So without the benefits of whole grains, what's the point?

- Whole wheat/grainFlour or bread made from all three components of the grain: endosperm, germ, and bran. This usually results in more fiber, protein, nutrients, flavor, and texture. Whole wheat is the whole grain of wheat ground into a flour, whereas “whole grain” allows for other types of grains to be described: oat, barley, rye, etc. (think “whole grain rye” or “whole grain oats”). Basically, in terms of wheat, these are the same thing.

Hope this helps. Happy Eating!

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