Healthy Living on March 7, 2013 by

National Flour Month: Wheat Flour Primer {Giveaway}

March is National Flour Month and flour is something we get pretty excited about at Bob’s Red Mill. After all, we make a lot of different products, but flour is special. Not only do we use our millstones to grind it, but we take a whole grain and mill it into a whole grain flour. Nothing added, nothing removed. One pound of grain in, one pound of flour out. It’s pretty simple, but pretty amazing, too. In honor of National Flour Month, we’re doing a little series on the different types of flour that we offer. Each week, we’ll giveaway a set of flours to a lucky winner. This week, we’re starting with the different varieties of wheat flour that we produce. If wheat flour isn’t your thing, don’t worry, we’ll cover our other flours all in good time.


Wheat flour is probably the single most ubiquitous flour in the world. It is in nearly every packaged food and baked good you look at, even those things that you never think about being baked at all. It’s in those pretty breads at the bakery, the flour tortillas at your local Mexican restaurant, the boxes of pasta you just bought, it’s the backbone of couscous, the thickener in sauces, the breading on your fish, really and truly, as anyone with gluten intolerance can tell you, wheat flour is everywhere. In a perfect world, everything made with wheat would be made with whole wheat flour, but we all know that the world isn’t perfect and that beautiful, fluffy pastries are best achieved with white flour. So we make the best choices we can and practice a bit of moderation.

Whole Wheat Flour: Standard whole wheat flour is milled from high protein, hard red spring wheat. This flour has a minimum protein level of 13.5% and is excellent for bread baking and anywhere yeast is used as the leavening agent (think pizza, pretzels, etc). Because it is whole grain, baked goods using solely whole wheat flour will be a bit more dense. Use a combination of 50% whole wheat and 50% white flour to create a balanced texture and crumb in your baked good. Adding vital wheat gluten to your baked good will improve the elasticity and rise of your dough (use 1 Tbsp per cup of flour).

whole wheat flour unbleached white flour

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour: Whole Wheat Pastry Flour is milled from soft white wheat and has a maximum protein content of 13%. This is an excellent choice for baked goods that use baking soda or baking powder as a leavening agent. The lower gluten content does not trap air bubbles as effectively as conventional whole wheat flour, which will not give yeast-risen baked goods the proper rise they need. Use this flour for pastries, cookies, cakes and quick breads.

Hard White Whole Wheat Flour: This special flour is one of our favorite products at Bob’s Red Mill. Milled from high protein, hard white wheat, this flour is the best of both worlds. Light in color, yet full of whole grain goodness, hard white whole wheat flour has a sweeter flavor than conventional whole wheat flour, appealing to those that find whole wheat baked goods to be slightly bitter. It is ideal for bread baking, but can be used for other baked goods. Like regular whole wheat flour, it will make baked goods more dense, so it can be used in combination with white flour to achieve a lighter texture.

Unbleached White Flour: This is not to be confused with All Purpose Flour. Standard unbleached white flour is milled from the same hard red spring wheat as whole wheat flour, but has the germ and bran stripped away to produce a white flour. It has a minimum protein level of 13% and is often referred to as bread flour. This flour is ideal for breads and yeast-risen baked goods, but can be used in place of all purpose flour for most recipes. Read more about white flour here where we go into bleaching, bromating, enriching and more.

Unbleached White Pastry Flour: The refined counterpart of whole wheat pastry flour, this flour is milled from soft white wheat with the bran and germ removed. This flour has a maximum protein content of 9%, making it both the lowest protein wheat flour we carry and the most ideal for fine cake and pastry baking.

Semolina Flour: Semolina flour is the quintessential flour for pasta making and is milled from durum wheat. It has a sandy texture and contains about 12% protein, making it great for bread baking and pizza crust.

Graham Flour: Graham flour is quite simply a coarsely ground whole wheat flour. Milled from hard red spring wheat, graham flour can be used in place of whole wheat flour, however it should only be used for about 20% of the flour in your recipe or you will end up with a very dense baked good. Graham flour can be substituted for Whole Meal Flour with little difference in the texture of the baked good. Graham flour is not made from ground up graham crackers as some people believe, but it can be used to make graham crackers.

Unbleached White Flour



We’d like to give one lucky reader a set of our whole wheat flours- organic whole wheat flour, organic hard white whole wheat flour and organic whole wheat pastry flour. To enter, simply follow the directions in the app below. We’ll pick a winner at random from all who enter by 12:01 am on 03/13/13.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Jennifer O'Brien says:

I’d love whole wheat pastry flour!

Emily P says:

I always thought graham flour was from crushed graham crackers.. thanks for clarifying! 🙂

Karen D says:

I like using hard white wheat flour for bread

Stephanie says:

I like anything organic… but unbleached white sounds amazing!

manda says:

I would love to try the whole wheat pastry flour.

Deb Blasko says:

I always make sure to make a special trip to buy your product. The only flour I use.

Marc says:

Great product.

Rita says:

I love whole wheat pastry flour. It’s great in biscuits and scones!

Kristen says:

We love ALL of your products and they are dominating our freezer! The organic whole wheat flour….yum!!! We love Bob’s Red Mill!

Christopher Sorel says:

whole wheat pastry flour

Brenda says:

I would love to win your flours. I have just discovered your flour and would like to know what they all are like for baking!

Amber says:

I am a fan of all the Wheat flours!

Jutta Lenihan says:

I would love to try the Graham Flour

Tammy H says:

I would love to win this! We LOVE Bob’s Red Mill products!!

Alex says:

Awesome products!

Jennifer Eastman says:

Organic and whole wheat–what’s not to love about it?

Dena says:

I am new to the whole wheat flour scene and have just started experimenting with them. I have started making the bread for my family instead of buying it. Thank you so much for the description explaining which flours are best depending on what you’re baking…I have been so confused!

Nina says:

whole wheat flour is a standard for me, but i’d like to try the graham flour too.

Leia says:

So much to learn about flour!

Julia Janzen says:

Thank you for doing this post! It is so incredibly helpful.

Julia Janzen says:

I should of added that my favorite type of wheat to use is Organic Whole Wheat White. 🙂

Rebecca says:

I use whole wheat pastry flour and unbleached white. I have tried Graham flour in the past.

Jana says:

I have only used regular store bought whole wheat flour. Would love to try yours!

Kate says:

I prefer white whole wheat when I can find it in my local store.

Paulette Green says:

because I bake all my own bread, I’d love to win this package!

Denise Eckert Beeman says:

I love lots of types of whole wheat flour, but I think Hard White Whole Wheat Flour is my favorite.

Jean Hsu says:

white pastry flour is the one I like

April says:

Whole wheat pastry flour is my favorite.

Miriam Cheney says:

I love Bob’s Red Mill products. Thanks for this opportunity!

Penny Brennan says:

I use hard white wheat in everything that I used to use regular flour (except for baking; then I use the pastry flour). You can’t tell the difference. It makes the most delicious Irish Soda Bread ever!

Lynn says:

We use the whole wheat pastry flour all the time for everything! (except yeast breads of course) We have replaced almost all white flour in our kitchen thanks to that stuff!

I like using the whole wheat pastry flour!

Vicki S says:

I like 100 percent whole wheat flour, Preferably organic

Vunda V says:

i love the pastry flour

jeanette says:

I’d love whole wheat pastry flour!

Anna says:

I like the whole wheat pastry flour, its light and makes me feel just a tiny bit better about cakes 😀

Colette tapp says:

I love the whole wheat flour. I think winning the flour give away would be great for my baking !

Vera K says:

I use whole wheat pastry flour.

Pam Ray says:

I love the organic whole wheat pastry flour. It is lighter and makes great cookies, cakes etc…
So many great choices fro Bob’s. I love the hazelnut and amaranthe. And the cocunut or flax for dog treats. They can’t digest the wheat and it gives them allergies.
Thanks Bob, couldn’t enjoy baking without you. ♥

I love white whole wheat, but I usually use of a mix both regular whole wheat and white whole wheat. I’ve never tried whole wheat pastry flour – intrigued!

Julie says:

Whole wheat pastry flour is amazing

Pasha says:

I’m intrigued by the whole wheat pastry flour!

Tania Currier says:

I love using the steel cut oats and would love the chance to try the different kinds of flour. My picky family would eat a white whole wheat!

Jennifer M says:

Whole Wheat pastry flour is totally the way to go!

Noreen says:

I prefer white whole wheat.

G.Parker says:

Whole wheat pastry flour is great for baking!

Michelle Myers says:

Great giveaway, thanks for the opportunity!

Katie says:

I love to use Whole Wheat Pastry Flour.

Anne Magee says:

I love to bake! I just used some of your whole wheat pastry flour in the banana bread I have in the oven right now!

Grace Hagen says:

I love the wwpastry flour!

View Comments

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts

Keep up to date on the latest from
Bob's Red Mill
Subscribe Now