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Sifting Fresh Ground Whole Wheat Flour

A friend of mine shared this tip with me that eliminates the need for vital wheat gluten or dough enhancers in bread recipes. I know many of you have emailed and commented about the difficulty of finding gluten in the stores, so this solves your problem. It also saves money, since you won’t have to purchase gluten or dough enhancers.

The tip, sift your flour. Don’t use the old fashioned crank sifter, use a fine mesh metal strainer. You can find them in the grocery store for a couple of dollars.

Sifting Whole Wheat Flour

Measure the amount of flour needed for your recipe, then sift the flour into your other bread ingredients. (My recipe calls for oil, honey, and water first, then add the flour)

sifting whole wheat flour

The bran will separate from the flour and collect in the strainer.

After all the flour is sifted through, add the separated bran into the bowl with the sifted flour and other ingredients. Then knead the dough as directed by the recipe.

I was skeptical until I tried it myself, I have used gluten since I started baking bread and didn’t think my loaves would rise without it. I was wrong. There is something (and I am sure there is a scientific explanation for this) that happens when you separate the flour from the bran that gives you a better rising loaf, even though all the ingredients are still eventually mixed together in the recipe.

This technique also works with any other whole wheat recipe like pancakes, muffins, waffles, rolls, etc. It is a great way to convert a non-whole wheat eater into a whole grain fan.

Try it and let me know if it works for you.


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Comments

  1. Laviyah says:

    I do this when I run out of all purpose flour for a recipe. It works very well.

  2. Lynn says:

    What do I do with the bran if I let my bread machine knead my dough?

  3. Bee says:

    New here – saw your post title on a friends blog.

    This caught my eye because a friend and I were talking just today about flour, whole wheat, bread making, etc. Thanks so much for this info – I had not heard this and will try this!

  4. Sharon says:

    Interesting. I generally don’t add gluten or enhancers when I make bread. I am going to try this soon! Thanks!

  5. look at your face on the born free ad!! loving it.

  6. abba12 says:

    The chemistry involved in baking amazes me sometimes

  7. Tonya says:

    Yes, it works great. That’s how Gabriele taught me. :)

  8. Julianne says:

    I wonder how it works when you soak it?

  9. Meaghan says:

    Thank you so much for that tip! I am going to make bread today and I will use that! I have had trouble with my bread not being light enough and this makes sense. Love you blog, that you for sharing!

  10. Thanks for the great tip

  11. kriswithmany says:

    Interesting. I will have to try that. I’ve never heard of doing that before!

  12. What a great tip! I love using my Kamut Wheat when I bake and I will have to try this! Thanks :)

  13. Sarah says:

    I’m so glad that I stumbled upon this post. We grind whole wheat flour for bread and I’d love to eliminate the need for gluten. Thanks so much!

  14. Sonya says:

    Works wonderfully! My husband and I just began baking with our own milled whole grains and hadn’t been sifting them. Now that I am, I’m getting great results. Thanks

  15. Dede Bliss says:

    Emergency Essentials has it pretty cheap.

  16. Brilliant!
    One slight issue with this: there is some (inconclusive) evidence that separating the bran results (even after adding the bran back) in a product that causes more ‘bad’ cholesterol to be produced in the digestion process. This was first discovered back in the 1950s, has been supported by other research results since, but no one has found the mechanism or clearly explained why it should occur.

    If you have a problem with cholesterol or high triglycerides you may want to skip the sifting and continue to add gluten. Just to be safe.

  17. Martha says:

    One question: does sifting whole wheat flour converts it into all purpose flour? Just wondering. Thanks.

  18. Interesting. I continue to add gluten. I “sift” my flour with a wire whisk as I saw Martha Stewart do and suggest many years ago on one of her shows.

  19. Kate says:

    Thanks for this post! I just started grinding my own flour and I’ve read that removing some of the bran can improve the digestibility. I wasn’t sure what to use for a sifter, but I’ll try my fine mesh strainer.

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