As the name suggests, whole wheat is less processed and contains more of each kernel of the plant than white flour. A lot of us avoid baking projects that call for whole wheat flour simply because we're not as familiar with the product as we are with conventional white flour, but whole wheat has a unique, lovely flavor you should really get comfortable with.
Unlike white flour, which is made with just the endosperm of a kernel, whole wheat contains the endosperm, bran, and germ, and it has a much nuttier, heartier flavor than its more processed and stripped-down counterpart. It creates a denser texture when baked, so you won't want to go swapping it into recipes willy-nilly. Combining whole wheat and all-purpose white flour, as we do in many of these recipes, will lend flavor and moistness while helping to stretch your precious all-purpose flour stash.
If you—like so many others—are running short on all-purpose flour, don't worry. These whole wheat recipes will give you plenty of baking projects until you can restock.
Old-Fashioned, No-Knead English Muffins
There's no knead (I'm sorry) to turn on your oven to make these English muffins. The cooking happens on a hot griddle or in a cast iron pan, where the muffins become crisp and retain their slightly springy, doughy centers. Using whole wheat flour gives the muffins an unmistakable savory flavor that holds up well to both sweet and savory toppings.
100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
This whole wheat sandwich bread is just as fluffy as any loaf of white bread but with all the lovely flavor of whole wheat. The key to baking a whole wheat bread that retains plenty of moisture is an autolyse process—briefly hydrating a combination of whole wheat flour and water before making the dough. A little brown sugar added to the mix gives the bread just enough sweetness to keep you coming back for another slice. And another.
Brown Butter Carrot Cake From BraveTart
This carrot cake calls for a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour and will be unbelievably moist and fluffy when you bite into it. We brown our butter instead of leaving it as is, producing a nuttiness that complements the earthy carrots and flavorful flour. The batter has very high moisture content, but the whole wheat flour ensures the cake bakes up light and fluffy.
Dairy-Free Chocolate Cake
A combination of olive oil, brown sugar, black coffee, and whole wheat flour makes for a rich, peppery, warming cake. The olive oil provides needed moisture, and Dutch cocoa powder lends an intense chocolate flavor.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
Homemade Carr's-Style Whole Wheat Crackers
These thick crackers are tender, buttery, and just a touch sweet. Whole wheat flour makes for crackers that are at once tender and crisp, and the addition of toasted wheat germ amps up their nutty, grainy flavor.
Chocolate-Covered Digestive Biscuits (McVities)
Much like graham crackers, digestive biscuits get their signature flavor (and excellent, tender texture) from a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour. Buttermilk moistens the eggless dough and provides tanginess while providing enough acidity to activate the baking soda. We offset these cookies' grainy flavor and crunchy texture with a thick layer of dark or mild chocolate swiped over each one.
The Best Gingersnaps
Using both ground ginger and freshly grated ginger makes for quite an intense kick of spicy, sharp flavor in these gingersnap cookies. It might be too intense if it weren't for the mellowing, balancing flavors of whole wheat flour and molasses. The whole wheat helps the cookies bake up crisp and . . . snappy.
Homemade Wheat Thins
This homemade take on the Wheat Thins you'd buy at the store taste exactly like the original, only better. The crackers are thin and crisp, and using both whole wheat flour and toasted wheat germ gives them the same earthiness as the ones you'd shake out of a box.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
Flaky, Tender, and Nutty Whole Wheat Pie Crust
This pie crust is as flaky and buttery as any other, but whole wheat flour makes it especially tender. The flour's nutty aroma and flavor makes this pie crust a great base for savory applications like chicken pot pie or a rich quiche. But it'll do just as well filled with warm fruit. You can't go wrong, really.