We were out of flour. A commonplace occurance in the average, Western World household. However, being out of flour meant the battle of Indecision vs. Impatience vs. Budget vs. Gourmet Snob would wage once more. I, the Chef of the Family, demand excellence and superior products. I've been happy with unbleached all-purpose flour and I wanted to stick with it. My mother, the Treasurer of the Family, however, wanted to go bold and be "healthy" and she purchased Trader Joe's "White" Whole Wheat Flour.
My issue with whole wheat flour (in general) lies in that every time I used it in baking/cooking, it turned into the massive, glutenous blob that absorbed cheese, milk, sauces and flavor. It was dense like a brick and my palate never warmed to its peculiar flavor. Not exactly the experiences that would endear me to try out another whole wheat flour.
Still, it was the only flour in the house...
I avoided it until it could no longer be avoided.
The first baked good I made using the flour was Irish Soda Bread - using a real Irish cookbook purchased in Ireland. Not only was the texture and color (a washed stone color) spot on, but the flavor was exactly like the loaf I purchased from the English Market in Cork, City and ate every day. Exactly.
Well, if this turned out all right, surely I could try something else?
Eyeballing three bananas that had seen better days, I decided to make banana bread with some chocolate chips for good measure. I used the Trader Joe's "White" Whole Wheat and holy cat-tails, it was outstanding! I forced myself to share the loaf with my brother so I wouldn't eat the entire thing. I nearly did, though.
Finally, another recipe - German Apple Pancakes. Again, perfection and again, I forced myself to be a decent, charitable human being by taking one serving for myself and giving the rest to my brother and sister-in-law.
Health: The jury is out on how good for you whole wheat is - and while I would go for "whole grain" over "whole wheat" in most pre-made food circumstances, I do like that there are 4g of fiber per serving.
Sight: It's a bit of a stretch to advertise this flour as "100% White" as it is not, which I am glad for because I don't like anything but a load of white socks to be bleached.
Taste: While not as dense and heavy as regular whole wheat flour, there is a depth to it that cannot be described in any other word than rich. Rich, but not sweet. That would be weird.
While I did eventually purchase unbleached all-purpose flour (Trader Joe brand), I will be keeping my pantry plenty stocked with Trader Joe's "100% White" Whole Wheat Flour.
BONUS: Here is my recipe for the banana chocolate chip bread. It may come out more like "bread pudding" than a standard slice-of bread. Very dessert-like.
Ingredients: 1/2 c. brown sugar 1/2 c. butter, softened (alt: 1/2 c. shortening) 1 c. unsweetened applesauce 2 tsp. vanilla 3 bananas, mashed 2 c. Trader Joe's "white" whole wheat flour 1/4th c. flaxseed meal a handful (or more) of semi-sweet chocolate chips
preheat oven to 350 F Cream sugar and butter (or shortening). Beat in eggs, vanilla and bananas until thoroughly blended. Combine flour, flaxseed meal & baking soda then add to creamed mixture and stir just until combined. Don't over mix! Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon into a greased 9-in.x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before serving.
Enjoy by yourself curled up under a blanket watching your favorite guilty pleasure TV show/movie or don't be a hermit like me and share with loved ones.
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About the reviewer
I am a freelance travel/food writer with my own hobby blog, Glass of Win. I am a regularly featured writer for Visit the Place Los Angeles magazine and online community.
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