What is White Whole Wheat Flour?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

White whole wheat flour is all grain wheat flour that has been milled using "white" or albino wheat rather than the traditional red wheat. It retains many more nutrients than the traditionally bleached white flour. This type of flour produces products that taste more like they were made with bleached flour, so it is often considered the ideal compromise between taste and proper nutrition. Many supermarkets carry packaged loaves of bread that are made using this flour.

Wheat ears along with a small pile of wheat kernels (also known as wheat berries).
Wheat ears along with a small pile of wheat kernels (also known as wheat berries).

The flour may be used in any recipe that calls for the use of bleached flour. This means that it is possible to make loaves of bread, cakes, puddings, pie shells, and gravies using white whole wheat flour. There is little difference in the taste when compared to bleached flour, so the substitution will not impact the flavor of the recipe. At the same time, its use helps to ensure that the daily diet contains some of the essential vitamins and nutrients that people need to consume each day.

Wheat and white whole wheat flour.
Wheat and white whole wheat flour.

The basis for creating white whole wheat flour involves the choice of wheat used to produce the product. Standard whole wheat flour is made using what is known as red wheat. This wheat is darker in color and tends to naturally retain more of that darker hue during preparation. By contrast, white whole wheat flour is made with the use of what is commonly referred to as albino wheat. This type of wheat grain has a lighter hue and requires much less treatment to produce a shade of flour that is identical to that of bleached flour. While some people believe that the flour has a sweeter flavor than bleached flour, most people cannot taste the difference between the two.

Albino wheat is used to make white whole wheat flour.
Albino wheat is used to make white whole wheat flour.

Purchasing white whole wheat flour products has become much more convenient. Many supermarkets now carry 1 and 5 pound (0.45 and 2.26 kg) bags along with the traditional bleached flour. In some cases, it is now possible to purchase both plain and self-rising versions. While it tends to cost a little more than bleached flour, the difference in nutritional value makes the product well worth the higher price tag.

Whole grain white breads typically have higher levels of fiber and nutrients than those made from bleached white flour.
Whole grain white breads typically have higher levels of fiber and nutrients than those made from bleached white flour.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


I personally do not like the Trader Joe's White Whole Wheat flour.

I think it is drier, absorbs more water than bread recipes call for, and does not have the deep nutty taste of regular whole wheat. I am sorry Trader Joe's does not carry a regular 100 percent whole wheat flour. Trader Joe's. Are you listening? I would not recommend for bread.


What about bread flour? I have a new bread machine, and lots of recipes call for bread flour. Can I subsitute whole white wheat flour instead, and get the same results?


White whole wheat is milled from hard white wheat. Regular whole wheat flour is milled from hard red wheat. There is no extra processing or genetic engineering. I tried to post a reputable source, but the website will not allow links. p.s. I switched from KAF to Trader's Joe's brand and have not noticed any differences. Just my humble opinion.


I am trying to find out if the white whole wheat is an engineered wheat or is it naturally occurring wheat.


According to the King Arthur Flour company, their white whole wheat is a different variety with all the nutrients of the dark wheat. If nothing else, they discuss all the various grains -- an excellent resource.

With the cold weather back, I'm baking again, and always use white whole wheat in my breads. I used KAF flour exclusively, then bought a few bags of Trader Joe's. I couldn't tell the difference in muffins and waffles, but boy, is it obvious in bread. I am so disappointed.

First, the KAF white whole wheat is by far lighter in color and taste, so there's something "off" there. Second, Trader Joe's white whole wheat is "gritty". The loaves of bread and the pizza dough I've made in the past week using Trader Joe's flour white whole wheat are far inferior to baking I did using KAF. My dough was too soggy, the bread is dense and heavy, and the crust erupted like a volcano, and the pizza dough won't crisp up.

King Arthur Flour says (and I have agreed for the past three years) that putting white whole wheat into a recipe to make it healthy is easy. Kids can't notice a color difference or taste. This is definitely not the case with Trader Joe's White Whole Wheat flour.

I will go back to KAF, who, by the way, at my Safeway store, each December, offers $1.50 off each 5 pound bag.


I researched at length the difference between hard white wheat and the traditional red whole wheat. I found the vitamin, minerals, fiber, fat content to be almost identical. The main difference is that the red wheat has tannin in the bran giving it the stronger, more traditional whole wheat flavor.


Hodgson Mill also mills it.


I would like to know of sources other than King Arthur for white whole wheat flour. Trader Joe's sells this kind of flour under their own brand. Who mills it?


The questions and comments about "white" wheat flour are off-target. First white wheat is not an albino but a natural wheat just as are "red" wheat.

Hard red winter and/or spring wheat flours are the premium bread flours and the standards by which all flours are judged. The hard white winter and spring wheats with the gluten strength were developed to help capture more of the export market to the Oriental countries where white rice dominates grain consumption.

The milling of hard white spring and/or winter wheat for flour has the advantage of color and flavor with all other components intact. The tannin in the bran coat of red wheat dominates the color and taste imparted to bread.

There are soft white wheat varieties and the major producing area is the Palouse area of Washington and similar climate regions in Montana, Idaho and other states.

Hard red winter wheat dominates the "wheat belt" from Texas North to Canada. Spring wheat is limited to the states along the Canada border and high mountain areas.


I would like to see some qualified comments on the nutritional value of whole grain wheat flour compared to white whole wheat flour. My nutritionist says use whole grain wheat flour. LUCF


I'd like to see more articles which contain whole grains other than wheat. There are all sorts of "healthy" recipes using whole whet, wheat germ, etc., but this isn't useful if you don't digest wheat well.


I'm wondering the same things, anon42644. Have you gotten any answers? Is it treated? Is it 'albino' or just a naturally lighter-colored strain of wheat?


In the first paragraph of this aticle you say that whole white wheat flour is "all grain wheat flour that has been treated to remove the natural hue of the ground substance"...

In the third paragraph you go on to say that creating whole white wheat flour depends on the choice of wheat used to make the product - albino wheat.

So which is it? Is whole white wheat flour bleached or is it a different variety of wheat than the traditional red wheat?

It also states that "much less treatment" is needed to produce the lighter hue?

Is this a naturally occurring "albino" grain or was it genetically modified, and is the grain processed at all to remove the color?

I am not interested in purchasing a genetically modified grain that is processed in any way to remove color and/or add nutrients stripped by any processes used to remove color. Please clarify.


What are you saying mdt? Buckwheat is entirely different than wheat. Buckwheat isn't even a grain! No, substituting wheat for buckwheat will not give you the same results.


It is flour that is grown with a different strain of wheat, white, rather than red, it has all the fiber and nutrition of traditional whole wheat flour, with milder flavor and lighter color.


It should - just make sure that if the recipe calls for plain buckwheat flour that you use plain white whole wheat flour. Also, note that the taste and texture will be a little different. But the loaf should still be tasty.


i am making scrapple and the receipe calls for "buckwheat" flour. If i use whole grain wheat flour will it work the same as the buckwheat flour??

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