Flour 101: Different Types of Flour and When to Use Them
This is a monster of a post, but it is packed with information. Different types of flour for baking and the fundamental differences between them. An approachable baking science guide and reference post on flour. All of the flour varieties described below are standard flours available in most grocery stores.
Wheat: The Basics
Gluten and protein levels in flours naturally rise as they age, and whole wheat flours are made by milling the entire wheat kernel (germ, bran, and endosperm). This information allows millers to create flour blends with specific baking characteristics.
Gluten is a term for the specific proteins found in wheat (glutenins and gliadins), which can stretch and expand while still providing structure and shape, allowing us to make airy breads and pastries that hold their shape.
Different Types of Baking Flour + Why/When to Use Them
Some wheat strains contain more protein (gluten) than others, and are used to make different types of flours. Protein percentages can vary significantly from brand to brand, but they allow for consistency and reliability across bags and bags of flour, which is critical in baking.
Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (12% – 13% Protein)
All-purpose flour is made from hard red winter wheat that has been refined, which means the bran and germ have been removed during milling, resulting in a light-colored flour with a moderate protein content.
Bleached All-Purpose Flour vs Unbleached All-Purpose Flour:
Bleached flours are whitened with bleaching agents (benzoyl peroxide or chlorine dioxide) and sometimes contain bromate to improve rise (most countries outside the US prohibit it) and elasticity.
Bread Flour (12.5% – 15% Protein)
Bread flour is made from high-protein hard red spring wheat, which allows for more gluten development when combined with water. Gluten allows doughs to expand, hold large amounts of air, and rise quickly.
100% Whole Wheat Flour (13.5% Protein)
Because whole wheat flour contains the bran and germ, it has a slightly darker color, a stronger, more nutty flavor, and a higher nutritional content. As a result, 100% whole wheat breads (and other baked goods) have a denser, less airy structure.
My go-to whole grain flour for baking is whole wheat pastry flour (8%u2013 11% protein). Soft white wheat contains significantly less protein than red wheat, and lower gluten produces more tender baked goods. The difference between all-purpose flour and whole wheat pastry flour is indiscernible.
100% White/Ivory Whole Wheat Flour (13% – 16% protein)
White whole wheat flour is made from high-protein white winter wheat kernels and is 100% whole grain, containing the bran, germ, and endosperm. It is significantly lighter in color than whole wheat flour because it is milled from naturally white wheat kernels.
Cake Flour (6.5% protein)
Cake flour is made from low-protein wheat strains that absorb liquids quickly, and generic cake flours are bleached and cut with cornstarch, further diluting the flour’s protein/gluten content. Bob’s Red Mill cake flour is unbleached, chemical-free, and contains no corn starch.
Understanding the basic properties of various wheat flour blends allows you to experiment and be creative in the kitchen, as well as tailor baked goods to your preferences (texture, chew, flavor, and so on). Find more kitchen essentials posts here.
Which flour is best for daily use?
Here are 5 of the healthiest flours, along with their nutrient profiles, for every purpose.
- Almond flour.
- Quinoa flour.
- Buckwheat flour.
- Whole wheat flour.
- Coconut flour is a grain- and gluten-free flour made by grinding dried coconut meat into a soft, fine powder.
What is Ivory flour?
Teff Flour IvoryTeff Flour Ivory Teff is an ancient seed (not a grain) that is traditionally grown in Africa and ground and fermented to make a traditional flat bread called injera. It can be used to replace all-purpose or plain flour in most recipes and is also a great substitute for nut-meal.
Can you use wheat flour for all-purpose?
In most cooking situations, whole wheat flour can be substituted for all-purpose flour without issue; try it the next time you make breading for chicken breasts or thicken a sauce; just keep in mind that the flavor may differ. When baking, play around with the ratio of whole wheat to all-purpose flour.
Is organic wheat flour the same as whole wheat flour?
Foods made with organic flours have a much richer flavor and texture than those made with processed white flour; what whole wheat lacks in smoothness and uniformity, it more than makes up for with its rich, deep flavor palette.
Which flour is best for weight loss?
Almond flour, unlike wheat flour, is low in carbohydrates, high in protein, contains healthy fats and vitamin E, is gluten-free, and is a powerhouse of magnesium, iron, and calcium.
Which flour is good for stomach?
Furthermore, jowar flour is high in fiber, which is beneficial to diabetics and aids digestion and relieves constipation; additionally, this flour is gluten-free, making it an excellent alternative for those who are gluten-intolerant.
What is difference between wheat flour and all-purpose flour?
To achieve the ideal protein content (figure, 10 to 12 percent, but it varies by brand), all-purpose flour, also known as white flour, is usually made from a mix of hard and soft wheat. Whole-wheat flour, on the other hand, is made up of the entire wheat kernelu2014endosperm, bran, and germ.
What do you use extra fine flour for?
The flour has a fine texture and can be used to make fine baked goods, cakes, tarts, cookies, sponge dough, short pastry, gingerbread, choux pastry, white bread, and sauce thickening.
Does the type of flour make a difference?
A. The main difference between flour types is the gluten content, which varies depending on whether the flour is made from hard wheat or soft wheat. Pastry flour is similar to cake flour but has a slightly higher gluten content.
What are the disadvantages of wheat?
Wheat is difficult to digest, and eating too much of it makes the intestines work harder, which can lead to blockages or sluggish digestion, which can cause digestive issues like water retention, bloating, and gas.
What can I substitute wheat flour with?
Substitute for Wheat Flour
- Amaranth Flour. Amaranth comes from the word amaranthine, which means ‘undying’ or ‘unfading.’
- Arrowroot Flour. Arrowroot is a starch that is low in protein and high in carbohydrates.
- Buckwheat Flour (gluten-free)
- Corn Flour.
- Coconut Flour.
- Millet Flour.
- Oat Flour.
Can I use wheat flour instead of bread flour?
The answer, thankfully, is a qualified yes. Qualified because there are a few basic facts about baking with whole wheat flour that you should know before you begin, but honestly, substituting whole wheat flour for some (or all) of the all-purpose or bread flour (a.k.a. white flour) in your recipes is surprisingly simple.
Is organic wheat flour bad for you?
The reason for this is the numerous health benefits that people get from organic whole wheat flour that they don’t get from refined or processed flour, according to research. Organic whole wheat flour is naturally rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Is stone ground whole wheat flour Healthy?
Because it retains a higher percentage of bran and germ, stone-ground wheat flour is considered less processed than regular whole wheat flour and may contain more fiber and nutrients, including fats. Stone-ground wheat flour generally contains more vitamins, minerals, fats, and fiber than milled whole wheat flour.
What is the difference between whole wheat flour and white whole wheat flour?
White whole-wheat flour is made the same way as whole-wheat flour, but with hard white wheat berries, which have a sweeter flavor. Whole-wheat flour is made from ground hard red wheat berries and uses every part; the wheat germ and bran give the flour a darker color and a higher nutritional value.