Holiday Baking with Whole Wheat Flour

By Estelle Hayes

I’ve been hearing the praises of Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain for ages and I finally ordered my copy. It does not disappoint. I’m taking baby steps with alternative flours as I’ve been burned with some dreadful whole wheat pie crusts in the past.

The chocolate chip and the gingersnap recipes will be a staple in our house. I’m already planning some holiday gift boxes full of these for special friends and family. Honestly, the gingersnap is near perfection. I’ll probably make them a bit smaller next time just to increase the volume. I’ll add toasted almonds and dried cherries to the chocolate chip just to mix things up. I love a complex cookie flavor.

Overall, I’m really encouraged by the transition to alternative flours. Do you have any experience in this area? Success stories? Epic failures? Baking with anything other than white flour can be a little intimidating. I’d love to hear about what works in your kitchen. Buckwheat may be my next experiment. Wish me luck.

Photo credit: Estelle Hayes

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  • melissa

    e ~ these look amazing. i want to jump right into the photo and leave only crumbs behind. yum! i use buckwheat quite often. it is a very dense flour, and the there is definitely a different taste, but we tend to like it. mostly i use it in coffee cakes or scones. did not like it with pancakes. for the most part, spelt has replaced all my white flours. and i am a huge fan of almond flour.
    now, when can i have a cookie?

  • Torrie @ a place to share…

    oh, so glad you posted this… gives me a chance to tell you how amazing those gingersnap cookies are. both of these (along with the other recipe i’ve tried from this book- maple/pecan/blueberry granola) will definitely be staples moving forward. as for alternative flour, i’ve yet to buy buckwheat, but we’ve been using the ‘arrow buckwheat mix’ for pancakes & waffles (our latest purchase… a waffle-maker :))… and i want to purchase the flour and experiment more. i’ve baked a great deal with almond flour as well as barley flour (thanks to smitten kitchen’s strawberry cake recipe)- which is more dense than white flour, and worked perfectly for this cake- to hold up the berries (which white alone did not). i’ve yet to try spelt, but melissa’s comment below inspires me to do so.

  • Torrie @ a place to share…

    p.s. once i’ve finished up my whole wheat, i’m going to purchase white whole wheat flour… i’ve read that this is superior in texture & taste, without sacrificing the nutrients… not sure if the book discusses this- or if ‘white whole wheat’ was an option at the time it was being written… still researching… :)