I answer a lot of baking questions that come in from our readers. One of the more frequent topics involves whether recipes can be adapted to use all or some whole grains. Often, the answer is yes, to a point, though you may need to do adjust the liquid or make other tweaks depending on the type of dish. But isn’t it nice when there are recipes written specifically with whole grains in mind?
I appreciate those options because whole-wheat flour can add flavor, textural interest and nutrition — though don’t think whole grains will somehow mean your cookies are now a health food. (Tempting, I get it.)
Here’s a group of recipes from our archives that make a compelling case for working more whole-wheat into your baking. I’ve divided the list in half, between recipes that use all whole-wheat and those that use some whole-wheat.
All whole-wheat recipes
Whole-Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies. You know there are a lot of variations on the classic cookie. This one’s twist is using only whole-wheat flour, ideally in conjunction with chocolate you chop yourself. The resulting cookie is crisp on the outside, soft on the inside and covered in enticing pools of chocolate.
Whole-Wheat Jam Thumbprints. Whole-wheat flour is one of the mere six ingredients you need to make these pretty little cookies. They’re also a great way to finish some jars of jam that have been hanging around your refrigerator.
White-Wheat Sandwich Bread. If you’re looking to upgrade the standard store-bought loaf with something homemade, try this simple recipe that uses white whole-wheat flour. Even less-experienced bread bakers will be able to master it.
Whole-Wheat Zucchini Bread. Be sure to hang onto my better-for-you zucchini bread for when the bumper crop of squash comes in this summer. Honey and a pureed clementine lend tenderness and gentle sweetness to this recipe, which also uses no refined sugar.
Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough. A 100-percent whole-wheat pizza dough that works well and tastes great? Yes, I churned out many a pie to get this one right. A stand mixer is best for kneading because of the high amount of water.
Apple Cheddar Muffins. Get your mornings off to a good start with these sweet, salty and satisfying muffins, which give you the option of using whole-wheat or spelt flours. For a sweeter option that’s still not laden with sugar, check out Whole-Wheat Spiced Carrot Muffins.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie. Ellie Krieger’s kid-friendly recipe gives you the choice of using all whole-wheat pastry flour or white whole-wheat flour, or a combination of all-purpose flour and regular whole-wheat flour. Rolled oats lend more whole-grain goodness.
Carrot Cake Muffins With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting. As with the skillet cookie, you can go with whole-wheat pastry flour or a blend of all-purpose and whole-wheat flours. A small dollop of whipped cream cheese mixed with maple syrup adds a special touch. Ellie’s Morning Glory Muffins also feature whole-wheat and carrots, as well as shredded apple and crushed pineapple.
No-Knead English Muffins. This recipe from cookbook author Stella Parks was a huge hit with readers, and no wonder why: It’s remarkably easy to make. Oh, and the muffins are delicious, too. Prepare to be wowed by all the nooks and crannies in these tender English muffins, which use one-third whole-wheat flour and two-thirds bread flour. Whole-Wheat English Muffins use a similar ratio but a slightly different method.
No-Knead Whole-Wheat Bread. Here’s a 25-percent whole-wheat variation on Jim Lahey’s famous no-knead bread. You can definitely experiment with increasing the amount of whole-wheat, though more will lead to slightly squatter, denser loaves.
Honey Molasses Wheat Bread. Here’s a quick bread that can be made entirely by hand and is just a touch sweet, meaning you can use it in conjunction with any number of toppings for toast or fillings for sandwiches. The flour is mostly whole-wheat (more than 75 percent), with just a little all-purpose mixed in.
Marion Cunningham’s Graham Crackers. You may never look at a store-bought box of graham crackers again after trying these. The recipe is about two-thirds whole-wheat flour.