There have been many questions related to whole wheat flower on this site before, but nearly all of them focus on baking. I'd like to know what is the effect of frying with whole wheat flour in terms of flavor, texture, and the complexity of executing the frying properly. I have heard anecdotally that whole wheat flour leads to a crispier batter, but can't find any reliable sources that back this statement up.

  • 1
    I was actually wondering about this very question while breading some chicken yesterday!
    – Erica
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 0:49
  • As whole wheat contains more various chemical components, chances are that some will cook faster than others resulting in a narrower range of adequate temperature for frying. Just a guess though.
    – P. O.
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 0:23

1 Answer 1


Just as with kneading, stirring develops the gluten in the flour. over-mixing batter is a culinary no-no (fr. non-non). Batters are frequently rested in the refrigerator so the gluten can relax. Foods fried in batter that has been overworked and deprived of adequate rest is like a chef exposed to the same conditions–tough and tired.

Whole wheat flour has considerable difficulty developing its gluten potential because when the outer coat (bran) is ground up and combined with the starchy endosperm, sharp particles of bran chop up the strands of gluten as they attempt to form. So the very quality that makes whole wheat flour such a 'pain' in the ass for bread making makes it highly useful for batters.

Whole wheat has practically become my default flour. It's fine for dusting food articles on their way to the sauté pan, and for making roux. But bear in mind that you may need to use a little more roux than before to achieve a given degree of thickening. That's because the bran coat displaces a small portion of the starchy endosperm.


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