I've been scared to try making a whole grain pie crust for years, after my astronomy professor told me his horror stories with it. But, I'd really like to know how to do this, as whole grains are better for health. Does anyone have a recipe for this, or a recipe using a mixture of different flours? Thanks in advance.
By Dee from Los Angeles, CA
I've not tried pie crust (I never bake pies), but I've made adjustments in bread and cake recipes. I've found that whole wheat flour can be substituted for a PORTION of the regular flour without the texture suffering.
If you're really worried about the results, and you can't find a recipe, maybe try subsituting 25% whole grain flour. If you like the results, increase it a little the next time. That's what I've done with things like corn bread and some cakes. Not as healthy as using ALL whole-grain flour, but certainly better than none at all.
Best of luck -- hope your pies turn out great!
I agree with Mrs. Story. Experiment a little, what's the worst that can happen? You throw away your inedible pie crust. Start by substituting 1/4 of the flour with 100% whole wheat flour. If the crust behaves for you, try using half 100% whole wheat flour and see how you like it.
I don't recommend using ALL whole grain flour as it will be too dense.
I have not tried it, but King Arhur Flour has a whole wheat pastry flour. Go to www.kingarthurflour.com.
Yes, I have made many a pie with a good whole wheat pastry flour.
I used a standard pie crust recipe, and just changed the kind of flour I used. Try using 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour. It does change the flavor and texture some, but I love it.
Instead of a pie crust, possibly you could use a pie topping. Pour the filling into a greased pie plate, dot with 4 pea sized balls of butter and sprinkle on the topping. Use your hands to push the topping into place (compact it). Then bake. When the juices from the pie start to boil out, and the topping has browned, it's done (pretty much the time it would take to bake a standard pie crust)
The topping I use is 1 cup or more of quick oats (uncooked) mixed with brown sugar and cinnamon. Then add olive oil (you could use butter but I'm trying to minimize the cholesterol). Stir and use as topping. I don't cook with salt, but a little of that could be added to the topping mixture. This becomes a crumble, rather than a pie, as I've eliminated the bottom crust's calories and limited the butterfat. I keep it in the fridge, covered with foil. The topping is not as crunchy as when it first came out of the oven, but it's quite passable and no one in the family has complained.
I use whole wheat pastry flour, specifically Bob's Red Mill 100% Organic Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. It's made locally though, so I don't know how available it is in other places (I live in Oregon). I've used this flour for many, many things baking wise - in fact, it's mostly all I use. I've never made pie crust with it (I don't bake pies) however there's a pie crust recipe on the back of the package I could copy here if you'd like me to.
If you can find it, try whole wheat pastry flour. It's ground finer and much softer than regular whole wheat flour. Here it is the same price for a 5lb bag as it is for the 100% organic regular whole wheat flour, so I always buy the pastry type. Also, some stores sell it bulk in the "natural food" area or the bulk food area. Where I live, the brand I buy is sometimes even the brand the store uses in the bulk bin! (I asked the worker there where it came from and it's listed in tiny letters at the bottom of the bin! And for even cheaper!) I've used it to bake bread, quick breads, cakes, etc.
If you're apprehensive about it, start out by substituting half of your AP (all-purpose) flour for the whole-wheat pastry flour in your pie crust. See how that feels and adjust the ratios as you need. Just watch the gluten (i.e. - don't over-knead) and you should be fine! Hope this helps.
Wow, thanks for the help! What I was afraid of, if anyone is curious, is that my prof kept trying to make a pie crust and it was not supple enough to put in the pan without breaking.
I'm going to go with the whole wheat/grain pastry flour, and Cookwie's idea to make a topping. I was planning to make a cobbler anyway, it's a good way to test out my "mixture" vs. all pastry flour. Dee
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