flour is a powdery substance derived by grinding
or mashing the whole wheat berry. It is used in baking
but typically mixed with other "white" flours
to add nutrition, texture, fiber, and body to the finished
product. Usually, whole wheat flour is not the main
ingredients of baked goods due to its quality to add
texture and a certain "heaviness" to baked
goods which prevents them from rising as well as white
flours. This adds to the cost per volume of the baked
item as it requires more flour to obtain the same volume
due to the fewer and smaller air pockets trapped in
the raised goods.
The word "whole" refers to the fact that
all of the berry is used and nothing is lost in the
process of making the flour, rather than referring to
the complete berry in its natural grown state. Because
the flour contains the remains of all of the berry it
has a textured, brownish appearance.
"Brown" bread made from whole wheat flour
is more nutritious than "white" bread made
from white, refined, flour even though nutrients are
added back to the white flour. This is because whole
wheat bread is less refined and retains more of the
naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. This is important
to nutrition because while we have identified many of
the vitamins and minerals occurring naturally in foods,
there remain doubts that we have identified them all.
Much less confidence attends our understanding of minimum
daily requirements of these vitamins and minerals and
any such published numbers can only be used as guidelines.