Bake The Bag Challenge
I have discovered that I really enjoy King Arthur Flour recipes. Overall I would say most of them turn out very well. They have good instructions and sometimes even videos or step by steps pictures that help with the more advanced techniques. I’ve been participating in the monthly #bakealong challenges for a while now and really enjoy them. When I received an email about the Bake the Bag Challenge I knew right away that I wanted to give it a try. It’s a challenge to use a five pound bag of flour over a nine-week period.
On a recent trip to Montana, we stopped at a Wheat Montana bakery in Three Forks and had some yummy treats. We enjoyed them so much, we bought a 25 lb. bag of whole wheat flour to bring home with us. We’ve been experimenting with the flour in our recipes and have enjoyed the result. We do find that a mixture of whole wheat and all-purpose flour is best. There are different whole wheat flours and the one we have is fairly intense (Bronze Chief). It is possible the King Arthur Flour is better suited for the recipes. Since we had flour on hand, I didn’t go buy new flour for the challenge.
Week 1: Whole-Grain Banana Bread
This recipe is very good, I even made it twice to try different options. I did the version with butterscotch chips. We really enjoyed this banana bread and I would recommend the recipe. I did adapt my Banana Bread recipe to use partial whole wheat flour and my family still preferred our recipe over this one. The recipe can be found here.
RATING: 8 out of 10 👍
Week 2: Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
I really enjoyed this cookie recipe. My cookies came out nice and round, not at all flat. The taste was fantastic. I would definitely recommend this recipe. Again, my family does prefer our Chocolate Chip cookies, even when we’ve adapted the recipe to use whole wheat flour. You can find the recipe here.
RATING: 9 out of 10 👍
Week 3: Whole Grain Brownies
These brownies had a very good flavor but were a bit dry. I think having some all purpose flour would have helped that, or possibly increase the liquids. I wouldn’t make this exactly the same again, but the recipe had potential. You can find the recipe here.
RATING: 6 out of 10 👍
Week 4: Whole Grain Sticky Buns
This recipe was okay, but my family didn’t care for the flavor of the honey and pecans. I have made the King Arthur Cinnamon Rolls in the past and we loved them. I think I will try to adapt that recipe to use whole wheat flour the next time as the flavor was just better for my family. You can find this recipe here.
RATING: 5 out of 10 👎
Week 5: Whole Grain Flatbread
I was disappointed with this recipes and while some members of my family said it wasn’t that bad, they all agreed homemade tortillas have been a lot more successful for us. We won’t be making these again. I didn’t even remember to take a picture of the result, sorry about that. The link to the recipe here.
RATING: 1 out of 10 👎
Week 6: King Arthur’s Carrot Cake
I made this recipe during a week that I bought a huge bag of carrots. This turned out moist and delicious, an excellent recipe and use for the whole wheat flour. This definitely is a recipe worth repeating and our favorite to date. I found my husband having a piece more often than I know he planned, he even commented it was too good to resist. You can find the recipe here.
RATING: 10 out of 10 👍
Week 7: Cinnamon Whole Wheat Scones
We are a family that loves our scones. I’ve been making them for years. We have them at the holidays, for breakfast or when we enjoy breakfast for dinner. We definitely have our favorites. This unfortunately is not one of them. The smell was very good, my son thought we had Snickerdoodle scones. But the scone itself was so crumbly and dry, it was a bit like eating sawdust. We were very disappointed. It is possible a lighter whole wheat flour would be better or a mix of all purpose flour and whole wheat. For us, we are going to stick with our tried and true scones. Again, I forgot to take a picture, that seems to happen when I’m disappointed with the result. You can find the recipe here.
RATING: 0 out of 10 👎
Week 8: 100% Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
I must admit that I was a little worried this recipe would turn out dry. The batter was so thick (I used the yogurt instead of the buttermilk) and we had trouble getting all the dry ingredients incorporated by hand. When I scooped the batter into the muffin tins, it was almost like cookie dough. I was surprised that these muffins turned out good, not too dry and tasty. The description says you would never know they are 100% whole wheat, but you can… it almost has a texture like a bran muffin, but slightly better. I think with just some minor adjustments this could be really good. You can find the recipe here.
RATING: 7 out of 10 👍
Week 9: Homemade Whole Grain Pancake Mix
This recipe makes a big batch of pancake mix and I really like the idea of having a mix on hand. The pancakes turned out very moist and delicious, especially with the cinnamon apple compote I made to go with them. I would prefer if the mix lasted longer than a couple of weeks since it is such a large quantity. We’ve made two dinners so far (yes, breakfast for dinner) and I think we have 2 to 3 more meals left. Guess we will be eating a lot of pancakes in the coming weeks! Thank goodness they are yummy and simple. You can see the recipe here.
RATING: 9 out of 10 👍
Bake The Bag Challenge Wrap Up
I really enjoyed the Bake the Bag Challenge put together by King Arthur Flour. I learned a lot about using whole wheat flour in my recipes and that was my goal. I also enjoyed not having to think about what I was going to make for at least one recipe each week as it was sent to me. I admit I didn’t keep to the once a week schedule every week, but I did finish them all right on time. I encourage each of you to give these challenges a try. You can learn how to incorporate healthier ingredients into family staples that you make often. I hope that King Arthur Flour will do additional challenges and that I will be up to the task of taking each of them on!
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