Dear Heloise: Thank you so much for your column in the San Antonio Express-News. I never miss a day reading it. My question is: Can I substitute whole-wheat flour for all-purpose flour or self-rising flour in baking recipes? Janie Guin, Pleasanton, Texas
Janie, thanks for the kind words. We contacted a couple of flour manufacturers, and they informed us that the flours have different properties.
Wheat flour has a weaker baking strength and a stronger taste. They don't recommend substituting equal parts to equal parts. Instead, they suggest using half whole-wheat flour and half all-purpose flour for the amount the recipe calls for.
However, self-rising flour has baking powder and salt added. Whole-wheat flour doesn't have these ingredients added, so you should not substitute one for the other.
Since we're on the subject of substituting, I have a great recipe for No-Salt Substitute. It is tasty and adds a punch to any dish. To make it, you will need:
5 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (can also use black)
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
Mix all the ingredients and store in a tightly covered, labeled container in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing spices above the stove, because the heat makes them lose their flavor. If you want some more ideas for adding flavor to your dishes, send $3 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (60 cents) envelope for my four-page Seasoning, Sauces and Substitutes pamphlet to: Heloise/SSS, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. The idea of substituting has its advantages. Lowering salt intake and baking with whole-wheat flour can both be a part of a healthier lifestyle. Exercise your choices when it comes to healthy eating, and don't forget to exercise that body, too. Heloise
Dear Heloise: You recently wrote about baking soda as one of your favorite multi-use cleaners and deodorizers. Here is another simple cleaner for surfaces that you would like to keep smooth and shiny -- toothpaste!
Try this on your refrigerator, using a small, soft, damp rag. It will remove all of the black marks left by aluminum cans and will leave a nice smell. I travel in a motor home, and this is one of the easiest ways to keep my refrigerator and other kitchen equipment clean, shiny and odorless. Hope this will help some people who are in a hurry or don't have baking soda on hand. Arthur Patterson, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Dear Heloise: We find those packaged instant, sugared oatmeal cereals to be a little too sweet. So, I first put the cereal in a large strainer and sift more of the sugar out (add a little more cinnamon if you like). At times, I make two packages at once -- I leave one as is and sift the second. That way, it's not too sweet. Joan from San Diego
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.
King Features Syndicate