How flour is made
This page will explain how flour is made and why it is important for us to eat what we put on our plates. Flour is a natural product made by milling grains, usually wheat, to release the flour that sits inside.
The wheat grain
Grains, like most natural plants and fruits, have three main components: the protective outer layer – the skin – in an avocado is called bran, and the protective outer layer – the germ – in a wheat seed is called wheat germ. The endosperm is essentially just white flour sitting inside a grain waiting to be removed.
History of flour milling
Grains have been ground to make flour since 6000BC, when they were toasted to remove the chaff from the wheat and then smashed between two stones. Evidence of sifting has been found, indicating that people were making fine, soft flour even then.
Modern flour milling
Flour is not bleached in the United Kingdom or the European Union, so the whiteness you see is completely natural; however, flour is bleached in other parts of the world, so you may see recipes that call for “unbleached” flour. Modern millers do not simply grind grain the way the Romans did.
Composition of flour
A baker can choose from a variety of flours, each with its own set of properties and characteristics. Some flours are best for making light, airy breads, while others are better for cakes or biscuits, and still others are good for making pizza.
Delivery and storage of grain
It is tested for variety, moisture content, specific weight, impurities, and enzyme activity associated with sprouting, as well as being cleaned and dried before being stored in silos based on quality.
Assessing the wheat quality
The Hagberg Falling Number test determines the alpha-amylase activity in the grain by measuring the time it takes a plunger to descend through a heated mixture of ground grain and water. High enzyme activity degrades bread quality, resulting in a weak and sticky crumb mixture.
Cleaning and conditioning
Wheat is thoroughly cleaned when it is drawn from silos prior to milling, and any remaining ferrous metal objects are removed with powerful magnets. Wheat is then conditioned to a suitable moisture content by tempering it with water and leaving it in conditioning bins for up to 24 hours.
Milling different types of wheat to create a mix that meets the needs of the flour millers’ customers, such as bread and butter, is the process.
The grist is passed through a series of ‘break’ rolls that rotate at different speeds, splitting the wheat open and separating the white, inner portion from the outer skins. A complex arrangement of sieves separates the various fragments of wheat grain.
Brown or wholemeal flour is made by combining bran and wheatgerm, with wholemeal flour containing all three parts of the grain (endosperm, germ, and bran). Brown flour may or may not contain wheat germ.
To help reduce the number of birth defects, flour is fortified with folic acid, as well as calcium, iron, and B vitamins (niacin and thiamin). Wholemeal flour already contains these nutrients, though it is lower in calcium.
Bread making flour
In the United Kingdom, how much flour is milled before it is used to make bread?
According to the UK’s Food Standards Agency, plain flour is best for biscuits, scones, and sauces.
White flour produced in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe is not bleached; the whitest flours come from the early reduction rolls, with the flour becoming less white as it progresses through the mill. A typical mill may have up to four break rolls and 12 reduction rolls.
The nutritional value of flour is determined by whether it is white, wholemeal, or brown, and both stoneground and roller milled flour are equally nutritious. Stoneground flour accounts for less than 1% of total flour production today.
When wheat is milled to produce white flour only the what remains?
3. endosperm – starchy part of the kernel that remains with the bran after the germs are removed. This portion of the wheat is milled into white flour and is high in dietary fiber and contains vitamin B, fat protein, and minerals.
What happens to flour after it is milled?
The endosperm is ground into flour while the ground stock is sifted, and the flour is then automatically packed into bags and sent to stores for sale.
What is removed when white flour is milled?
Milling is the process of separating the bran and germ from the endosperm and reducing the endosperm to a uniform particle size (flour). Brown flour contains all parts of the kernel, but with some germ and bran removed, while white flour contains only the endosperm.
Why does my wheat flour look white?
White flour is made solely from the endosperm, and even most whole wheat flour has lost a lot of nutrients as a result of this type of processing. They start by peeling off the husk and bran and crushing the grain, the most nutritious parts being the husk and bran.
What is the least processed flour?
Quinoa flour is a gluten-free pseudocereal that is widely considered a whole grain, meaning it has not been processed or refined and thus retains all of its natural nutrients.
Why is bleached flour banned in Europe?
Bright White Flour In the United States, flour is bleached with food additives such as chlorine, bromates, and peroxides, which have been banned in Europe and many other countries since the early 1990s due to the risk of cancer and the fact that these chemicals were never intended to be eaten in the first place.
Can I mill my own bread flour?
You can mill your own flour at home using whole wheat grain kernels (also known as wheat berries) and a home grain milling machine or other home kitchen methods. The benefit of using freshly milled flour is the higher nutritional content and better flavor.
Is milling your own flour worth it?
The most important reason to own a mill, however, is flavor. Whole grain flours are highly perishable because they contain the germ and its rancidity-prone oils. Having your own mill allows you to make a dough as soon as the flour is milled, preserving as much of the grain’s flavor as possible.
What happens when wheat is milled?
The modern milling process allows the miller to separate the bran particles from the endosperm, grind the endosperm into flour, sift the ground stock, and remove the flour produced at each stage, resulting in wholemeal flour, which is made by blending all the streams, bran, germ, and flours back together with nothing removed.
Why is white flour bad for you?
In today’s world, a lot of food is made with white flour, which turns to glue in the intestines; it contains no fiber, congests the system, slows digestion, resulting in a sluggish metabolism, and can cause weight gain, stress, headaches and migraines, as well as constipation.
Is patent flour the same as bread flour?
This “short patent” is a classic spring wheat bread flour milled from the center of the wheat kernel, resulting in high protein and low ash. This “short patent” is a classic spring wheat bread flour milled from the center of the wheat kernel, resulting in high protein and low ash.
What grains make all-purpose flour?
All-purpose flour is made from a blend of “hard” and “soft” wheat grains and is used to make muffins, cakes, pastries, and waffles, among other baked goods.
What is a good substitute for white whole wheat flour?
Whole-wheat flour can be substituted for half the amount of all-purpose flour in a recipe, or it can be used interchangeably for white whole-wheat flour.
Can I replace all-purpose flour with white whole wheat flour?
If you want to substitute white whole wheat for regular all-purpose flour, start by substituting half of the flour and see how you like it before adjusting the ratio further.
Is white wheat healthy?
Because it contains the nutrient-rich germ and the fiber-rich bran, white whole wheat flour is more nutritious than whole wheat flour. It also bakes better and tastes more like all-purpose flour.