Cooking With Whole Wheat

Cooking With Whole Wheat
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What's so good about cooking and baking with whole wheat? Well, for one thing whole grain foods are high in fiber. In comparison to refined grains, whole grains also have more nutrients, such as vitamin E, vitamin B6, the B vitamin pantothenic acid, magnesium, manganese, zinc, potassium, chromium, copper and protein.
What's the difference between whole and refined grains? Whole grain maintains bran, germ and the starchy endosperm while refined grain only maintains the endosperm. Because the majority of the nutrients found in grains is located in the bran and germ, refined grains lose these natural nutrients during refinement. Although some nutrients are commercially re-added, there are many who feel that maintaining the natural nutrients from the start with whole grains is the better of the two.

Whole Wheat Pita Bread

3 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
1 teaspoon honey (necessary)
1 1/8 cups warm water (112 degrees F)
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (fine ground)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (rough ground)
1 teaspoon salt

Add yeast and honey to warm water in a medium-size bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Combine the flours and salt in a large mixing bowl. Pour yeast mixture into center and stir until dough can be gathered into a ball. Knead dough on a floured board until smooth. Place dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a damp towel and place in a dry, draft-free place for 1-2 hours or until dough has doubled in size. Punch down dough; place on lightly floured board. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Shape into circles and place on nonstick cookie sheets. Allow to rest, covered with damp towel for 30 minutes. On lightly floured board, roll out each piece of dough to a circle, about 5 inches in diameter. Place on cookie sheets and let stand about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F, and bake on middle rack for 5 minutes. Remove pitas from cookie sheets and let cool on rack. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Whole Wheat Corncakes

Makes 16- 3" pancakes. Serve these with fresh fruit, fruit preserves, or maple syrup.

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
1 small ripe banana, mashed
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. vinegar
1-1 1/4 cups soymilk or rice milk

Stir the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine mashed banana, brown sugar, vinegar, and 1 cup of soymilk or rice milk. Add to the flour mixture and stir just enough to remove lumps & make a pourable batter. Add a bit more soymilk if the mixture seems too thick. Preheat a nonstick skillet or griddle. Spray lightly with vegetable oil spray. Pour small amounts of batter onto the heated surface and cook until the tops bubble. Turn with a spatula and cook the other side until golden brown, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.

Per pancake: 44 calories, 0g fat, 0 mg cholesterol.

Oatmeal Wheat Bread

2 cups boiling water
1 cup dry rolled oats
1 pkg yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 to 5 cups white flour

In a large bowl pour the boiling water over top of the oats and let sit for 30 minutes. While this sets, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. To the oat mixture add the salt, honey, egg, molasses, vinegar and the yeast mixture. Stir in the whole wheat flour, then gradually add enough of the white flour so the dough can be kneaded, (it will be slightly sticky). Turn out on to a floured board and knead 5 to 10 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl and turn to grease other side, cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour. Punch down, divide into 2 loaves and place in greased loaf pans, cover and let rise again for about 45 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes. Makes 2 loaves.

Whole Wheat Mincemeat Squares

1 1/2 cups Pillsbury's Best Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup dairy sour cream

1 cup prepared mincemeat
3/4 cup chopped peeled apple (1 small)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice (2 to 3 tsp)

Heat oven to 375F. Grease large cookie sheet. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and salt. Using pastry blender, cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in sour cream, mixing lightly with fork. (Dough may be crumbly.) Divide dough in half; shape each into a ball. Flatten balls; smooth edges. Roll each ball lightly on well-floured surface to 16x8-inch rectangle; cut each into four 8x4-inch rectangles, forming 8 rectangles.

In small bowl, combine all filling ingredients. Place about 1/4 cup filling on 1 end of each small rectangle. Fold pastry in half over filling; press edges with fork to seal. Cut slits in several places on top of each pastry square. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake at 375F for 15 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over each pastry square. Serve warm or cool. 8 pastries.

High Altitude: About 3500 Feet: For easier handling, add additional sour cream to pastry mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is just moist enough to hold together.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 1 Pastry, 370 Calories, 4 g Protein, 53 g Carb, 16 g fat, 215 mg Sodium, 170 mg Potassium

Bread Pretzel

2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 egg yolk beaten
Coarse salt

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Stir in the flour and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk.

Punch down and form into 12 small balls. Roll each out into a sausage shape, then form into pretzel shape. If desired, brush with beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with coarse salt. Allow to rise until not quite doubled. Bake at 475 degrees F for about 10 minutes.

Makes 12 pretzels.

Nebraska Bran Muffins
from the 1975 edition of The Diet For a Small Planet cookbook

Makes 30 Muffins

In a large bowl mix and let stand:
3 cups bran flakes (can substitute part All-Bran cereal)
1 cup boiling water

Beat in medium bowl and add to bran:
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar or 1 cup honey
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup corn or other oil

Sift together and fold into bran:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup soy flour
2 1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Bake at 375F for 15 minutes in a greased muffin tin. A variation of these muffins was developed for the Nebraska centennial. The addition of soy is quite fitting and increases the protein content. The batter may be refrigerated in covered jars several weeks. These are delicious with ricotta cheese and honey.

Orange-Sesame Muffins

Mix together:
1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup Soy Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Sesame Seeds, ground
2 teaspoon Baking Powder

In another bowl beat with an electric mixer:
1-2* Eggs
1/2 cup Yogurt or Buttermilk
1/4 cup Oil
1/2 cup Honey
1 tablespoon Orange Peel, grated
Juice from 2 Oranges

Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just enough to moisten them. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full and bake at 350(F) about 20 min. or until muffins are golden. This fairly sweet muffin goes well with a light meal. *2 Eggs make a much lighter muffin.

Copyright 2002-2003 Cindy Sanchez


About The Author

Cindy Sanchez is the mother of four children who love to bake as much as she does! She is also the owner and editor of

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