Whole wheat flour is commonly used in bread baking.

Whole Wheat Flour

Whole wheat flour is a powder made from grinding the entire kernel. The bran and germ are removed during milling, while the endosperm is finely ground. The bran is milled separately and then added back to the endosperm. Whole wheat flour has the same proportion of bran, endosperm and germ as the original wheatberry.  The FDA Code of Federal Regulations Sec137.200 states that “The proportions of the natural contrituents of such wheat, other than moisture, remain unaltered.”


Wheat is produced globally. There is wheat production in the majority of the continental U.S. The region dictates the variety of wheat grown based on kernel hardness and color. For example, Kansas primarily produces Hard Red Winter Wheat. The wheat is harvested and delivered to flour mills to grind into flour.


Wheat flour is the main ingredient in most baked goods. In bread, wheat flour provides gluten. Gluten is the key protein in the development of the dough’s protein matrix that traps air and gas molecules. In cakes and other applications, wheat flour provides the starch which helps form the structure via starch gelatinization.


Whole wheat flour is composed of moisture (14%), protein (9-14%), fat (1-2%), carbohydrates (54-62%), fiber (1.7-2.6%) and ash (1.2-1.7%). Whole wheat flour retains the fiber that is lost when the bran and germ are removed to make white flour.


In breads, whole-grain flour can be used alone or blended with enriched white flour depending on the bread being developed. Whole-grain flour must be the sole source of wheat flour if the bread is called 100% Whole Wheat or Whole Wheat Bread (bagels, etc). Traditional whole-grain wheat flour is not regularly used in cake products due to its higher protein level and coarse texture. Whole white wheat flour is a better choice for cake products as it has a slightly lower protein level and finer texture.


This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, and a very good source of Manganese and Selenium.