Did you know that sifting fresh ground whole wheat flour 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.
Why Sift 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)
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. Since I started baking homemade bread I’ve used gluten. I didn’t think my loaves would rise without it. 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.
Baked goods flopping?
Pro Tip: Have you ever followed a recipe exactly, but it didn’t quite turn out? If it contained flour it could be because you used too much flour without even realizing it.
Don’t scoop the flour with your measuring cup.
Scooping the flour packs it into the measuring cup and can really throw off a recipe if you need a precise measurement.
Instead of scooping the flour, spoon the flour into your measuring cup.
Scoop the flour so it doesn’t get packed down into the measuring cup. This gives you a more accurate measurement.
Of course the best way to measure flour for a recipe is to use a kitchen scale. But if you don’t want to spend the $20-25 on a scale spooning the flour works pretty well too.
Don’t forget to read all of my whole wheat baking tips here.