Going Whole Wheat

I don’t want to admit this, because if you know me you’ll watch what I eat all the time, but I’m giving up white flour. Not for Lent, but because I feel so bad when I eat it. My hands and feet retain fluids and I have stomach cramps like nobody’s business. Then there are the cravings. Once I eat anything with white flour, I crave junk food in a major way. I’ve gone three weeks now without it and I feel so much better.

This is not something I do lightly. After all, I’m a southern girl, home of Martha White, Bisquick, and Krispy Kreme. No more.  Chicken and dumplins–a recipe passed down in our family, the ultimate comfort food, fit for both new baby, church potluck and post-funeral family dinner–gone. Tall and fluffy white biscuits, with butter, honey and jelly–they’re outta here. That cheesy bread they used to bring you with your salads at Houston’s–well, they’ve closed so I can’t give that up.

Now don’t get me wrong–none of these are or have ever been staples in our home, but sometimes, well, Oreos are a necessary part of cookies and cream ice cream. And Ghiradelli brownie mixes are awesome. This puts an end to canned chicken noodle soup, saltine crackers, graham crackers, store bought or mixes for cookies, cakes or any treats. I am quite happy to feel good, but not so happy to be deprived.

It’s not that I don’t like whole wheat. I have a mill and grind my own wheat to make bread and it is SO good. I’d eat a homemade whole wheat cinnamon roll any day, compared to those pop-n-fresh hockey pucks they call cinnamon rolls. But there’s something about a cake that cries out for white flour, and substituting fresh whole wheat flour can be tricky. Now I’m on a quest to find recipes that are either easily adaptable or made for freshly ground wheat.  If I find a tasty recipe I’ll let you know. If I make a nasty one, I guess I’ll let you know too, so you don’t go to the trouble of trying it.

So here’s to better health and yummy recipes!

Here’s a lovely recipe for sugar cookies I found. I of course changed it. Instead of the entire batch, I halved the recipe, but used 2 3/4 cups freshly milled flour instead of 2 1/2. I added 1 teaspoon of milk and left out the almond extract, and changed the granulated sugar to 1/2 Sucanat and 1/2 Demerara sugar. The dough was very stiff after chilling, but it rolled out perfectly. I left my dough about 1/4 inch thick and left my kids use all our heart shaped cookie cutters. The cookies baked for 5 to 6 minutes and then they were ready. After they cooled we used thick white powdered sugar icing and (of course) lots of Valentine colored sprinkles. I was impressed. The cookies were soft and tender. Not a bit hard or crunchy or tough. Yay! Now I have a go-to sugar cookie recipe. Just so you’ll know, the brown color of the cookies came from the sugar, not the flour. If I’d used white sugar they would have been a much paler brown.

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4 Comments

Filed under Recipes, Whole Wheat Baking

4 responses to “Going Whole Wheat

  1. Beth Johnson

    Save one for me!!!!!

  2. Christa Sperrazza Nash

    I really like my King Arthur whole grain baking cookbook. Substituting whole wheat for white flour is a tricky science. There are few recipes that can use all whole wheat, the finished products are just too dense. Good luck with your quest!

    • You’re right Christa, it’s very tricky. And when you mill the flour it’s even different than buying it ready to use at the store! I’ll let you know how it works out…

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