Q: My son has been told by his doctor to avoid enriched flour. What should I use to substitute for it?
-- E.M., Powell, Ohio
A: Wheat grains comprise three layers: The bran, the germ and the endosperm. When flour is milled, the bran and the germ are removed, along with all of their vitamins and minerals. That's why iron and B vitamins are added back to enrich the flour. Most flour on the market is enriched.
To avoid enriched flour, select whole-wheat flours for your baking and cooking, either traditional or white whole wheat. These flours are milled from the bran, germ and endosperm, so adding vitamins and minerals back is not necessary.
When cooking, you will need to include additional liquid to your recipes; otherwise the whole-wheat flour can produce very dense results. King Arthur Flour recommends 1 extra tablespoon of liquid for every cup of flour in a recipe.
If you aren't sure whether the flour is enriched, look at its ingredient list. If it reads simply "whole grain wheat" it is not enriched; otherwise, it will list the additives, including niacin and riboflavin.
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