Life on Regal-Hill: April 22, 2009
Plans are being made here at Regal-Hill to grow more wheat this year. It was grown last year as an experiment and since it was somewhat of a success, there are plans to grow more wheat this year. Presently the wheat grown will be ready to use as soon as it is ground. It has already been thrashed, washed and dried.
We are all familiar with whole wheat flour, white flour, bleached flour, unbleached flour, cake flour and bread flour.
White flour cannot match the full-bodied, nutty flavor of whole wheat. The whole grain has more nutrition. But white flour has the same amount of niacin as whole wheat, and it contains as much or more thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (B2), folate and iron because most food processors enrich flour with those elements after they have milled them out. However, when flour is milled into white flour, a kernel of wheat still loses a goodly percentage of other nutrients that are not added back. They are Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, Calcium, Copper, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Chromium and Fiber.
Because of the oily germ of the wheat, whole wheat flour can become rancid. So it is best to store it in the freezer. Also whole wheat flour is heavier than white flour, making it less suitable for some baked goods where you want a light, airy texture as in a cake. It contains more fat and is coarser than white flour so it absorbs liquid differently. Its bits of bran make it more fragile and difficult to roll out, so use it with white flour if you want to, as it still would make it more nutritious.
I prefer to use unbleached all-purpose flour for most of my baking since my family prefers white flour and once in awhile I use whole wheat flour for bread. If a recipe calls for cake flour, I remove two tablespoons of flour from each cup of all-purpose flour.
I hope you found this interesting and will try to use flour in your baking that is more nutritious for your family.
Most of us, if we do much baking at all, use considerable amounts of wheat flour. These recipes use different wheat flours so try them and see if you don’t like the uniqueness of each.
New England Blueberry Pancakes with Maple Syrup
Try to use small, very ripe blueberries in this recipe. Rinse them well and drain thoroughly on paper towels. In the winter, you can use dried blueberries, which do not need to be rinsed.
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup egg substitute, or 2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon unsalted butter or margarine, melted and cooled
1-1/2 cups skim milk
1 cup fresh blueberries, or 1/2 cup dried blueberries
1 tablespoon canola oil
In a bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the egg substitute, butter and milk and stir until smooth. Mix in the blueberries. Let the batter stand 20 minutes at room temperature. (This allows the flour to “relax” and absorb liquid, making the pancakes more tender.) Stir before using.
Heat the oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Pour the pancake batter, about 3 tablespoons at a time, into the frying pan, being careful not to crowd the pancakes. Cook until bubbles form on the top and the edges are firm. Flip the pancakes and cook until the other side is golden.
Serve hot with maple syrup or blueberry syrup.
Makes 24 pancakes
All American Waves of Grain by Grunes and Van Vynckt
Whole Wheat Molasses-Raisin Bread
This bread uses all whole wheat flour, making it denser and more flavorful than breads made with a combination of whole wheat and white flours. Also, it will take longer to rise. The addition of the raisins makes this bread almost like a cake.
1 package (2-1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (100 to 115 degrees)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup warm skim milk
1/3 cup molasses
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
3-1/2 to 4 cups stone-ground whole wheat flour
1 cup dark raisins
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon water
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
In a medium size bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water mixed with the sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
While the yeast is proofing, mix together the warm milk, molasses, oil and salt. Add the yeast mixture. Mix in just enough whole wheat flour to make a soft, somewhat sticky dough. The dough will feel damp, tacky and slightly rough.
Using a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, knead the dough until smooth and springy. Or knead the dough by hand for a few minutes on a lightly floured pastry cloth or tea towel. Knead this soft dough by lifting the sides of the cloth and folding the dough and rolling it around on the cloth. Put the dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap or damp kitchen towel, and let rise in a draft-free area until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours.
Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Punch down the dough, mix in the raisins, and shape into a loaf. Set the dough in the prepared pan. Lightly cover the dough and let rise until it reaches at least to the top of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Brush the top of the loaf with the egg white mixed with the water and sprinkle with the sesame seeds, if desired. Bake for 45 minutes or until the bread makes a hollow sound when tapped. Turn the bread out onto a wire rack to cool.
Makes 1 loaf; about 14 servings
All American Waves of Grain by Grunes and Van Vynckt