White whole wheat flour almost sounds like a misnomer. Whole grain flours, and baked goods made with them, are supposed to be brown and noticeably darker than baked goods made with processed white flour, right? White whole wheat flour has been becoming steadily more popular over the past few years as interest in whole grains and whole grain baking continues to rise. It has gone from a specialty item to a pantry staple for many.
White whole wheat flour is made from a naturally occurring albino variety of wheat, so it has a whitish outer bran (hence the name, white whole wheat) to it where regular wheat has a darker brown or reddish bran. This bran usually contains tannins and phenolic acid, which are what give whole wheat flour the slightly bitter taste that is often associated it, but white whole wheat contains none. As a result, it has a mild, sweet and slightly nutty flavor without a trace of bitterness and is much more similar in flavor and color to all purpose flour than to traditional whole wheat flour.
White whole wheat still has all the same nutritional benefits of whole wheat flour because it is made in exactly the same way, and so it has more fiber, vitamins and minerals than most all purpose flours to. It can be used in any recipe that calls for whole wheat flour and, because it has a lighter flavor, will generally give you an even tastier result than whole wheat will. Like whole wheat flour, it can be used to replace part (25-50% is a good start) of the all purpose flour in a regular recipe if you want to infuse some whole grain into your cookies, yeast breads or cakes. Since it has that milder flavor, in cookies and muffins – baked goods where you’re not looking for that ultra-light texture you might want in a cake – you can substitute all of the all purpose flour in the recipe with white whole wheat for a slightly heartier variation.