Whole Wheat Baking Treats

Recently, a dear friend gave me 25 pounds of whole wheat flour. She’d stocked up and suddenly found herself relocating to the Wild West. It didn’t seem prudent to pack up 25 pound of flour and move it 2,000 miles. I made room in my freezer and started figuring out delicious ways to use my whole-wheat fortune.

Light, flaky biscuits from whole wheat flour? Who woulda thunk it? The trick is all in the technique. I’ve always used a pastry cutter to cut fat in, but the food processor makes short work of that job. Keeping the mixing to a bare minimum and allowing the whole wheat flour a few extra minutes to hydrate all play a part in successful biscuits. Finally, patting the dough into a rectangle and making square biscuits instead of cutting rounds takes those tough little “scrap” biscuits out of the picture.

Honey Wheat Biscuits

Yield: 12-15 biscuits

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Who says biscuits have to be round? Cut rolled out dough into squares and skip the cutter for a more tender biscuit.

1½ cups whole wheat flour

1½ cups AP flour

4 teaspoons of baking powder

¾ teaspoon of cream of tartar

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup cold butter, cut into pieces

2 teaspoons of honey

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup of milk

2 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Add the flours, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade; pulse 2 or 3 times to combine. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with a few larger pea-sized piece of butter remaining. Transfer the mixture to a medium sized mixing bowl.

If you don’t use a food processor, add the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, but the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal with a few larger pieces of butter remaining.

Combine the honey, egg, milk and yogurt in a glass measuring cup and whisk to combine; add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon just until the mixture starts to come together. You will still see pockets of flour remaining. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and gently knead 10-15 times until the dough holds together. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

Pat or roll the dough out until it’s about a 1 to 1¼ inches thick. Using a knife to make squares or a biscuit cutter for rounds, cut out the biscuits and transfer to the prepared baking sheet spacing them about ½ to 1 inch apart. If making round biscuits, gather the scraps and re-roll and continue cutting until all the dough is used.

Bake in the hot oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

 

This Gingerbread Loaf is a quick bread full of delicious gingerbread flavors, sweetened with molasses and maple syrup and moist with applesauce rather than oil. It was incredibly healthy, until I drizzled a Citrus Glaze over the top. One bite and you’ll forgive me.

Gingerbread Loaf

Yield: one 9-inch loaf

2 eggs, lightly beaten

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All the indulgence of warm Gingerbread spices. It’s even good for you, if you skip the glaze. But who wants to do that?

1¼ cups of unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup grade B maple syrup

1/3 cup molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2¾ cups of whole-wheat flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ cup crystalized ginger pieces

Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray; set aside.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, applesauce, maple syrup, molasses and vanilla extract. In a larger mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cloves, ground ginger and crystalized ginger pieces.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes and then turn the batter into the prepared pan and bake 40-50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Glaze and serve

Citris Glaze

Yield: about 2 cups

2 cups powered sugar

2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

2 or 3 dribbles of milk, if necessary

Whisk together all the ingredients in a glass measuring cup; drizzle on the cooled Gingerbread Loaf and serve. Serve any leftover glaze at the table for dipping.

 

King Arthur Flour’s Whole-Wheat Bread for the Bread Machine

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Hearty and warm from the oven, delicious. If whole wheat is too bitter and dense or you, try using white whole wheat made from white instead of red wheat berries.

Yield: 1 loaf

1¼ cups lukewarm water

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup honey or maple syrup

3½ cups whole wheat flour

14 cup sunflower, sesame or flax seeds (optional)

1 Tablespoon of vital wheat gluten, for higher rise

1½ teaspoons salt

1½ teaspoons instant yeast

Put all of the ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed. Program the machine for whole wheat bread. Press Start. Walk away. Return when the bread is baked and the house smells delicious.

Remove the bread from the machine and turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the dough by hand: mix all the ingredients in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer. Knead the dough until it’s smooth and just slightly tacky, about 8-10 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Punch down the dough and shape to fit it in an 8½ x 4½ -inch greased loaf pan. Let it rise, covered, until doubled about 1 to 1½ hours. Bake the bread in a preheated 375°F oven for 35 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven; remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

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