4 Types Of Flour Used In Baking!
Baking is quite interesting if you really like cooking. It is also referred to as the most scientific form of cooking. You need to make sure all the essential ingredients are added in appropriate quantities or else you would not get the baked item as expected. For instance, if you add a little more baking powder that there will be no taste and if you are adding a little less, then your cake would be extremely flat. If you use too much flour, then it will come out as rock solid and if you are using less, then there will be no softness.
The most important thing that needs to be considered is the choice of the right baking flour. There are different baking flours available in the market, which are used for different purposes. It is essential to make use of the right baking flour for specific items. So let’s know what are the four main types of flour used in baking.
It is considered one of the most common flours used in baking. It can be used in almost all baking items, and thus it is called an all-purpose flour. All-purpose flour is milled from a mixture of soft and hard wheat along with moderate protein content in the 10 to 12 percent range. Generally, all-purpose flour is considered a staple. Why? Well, because it is the most versatile of flours, capable of producing flaky pie crusts, fluffy biscuits, and chewy bread. You can get two types of all-purpose flour in the market – bleached or unbleached. You can make use of these flours interchangeably. But it’s always best to match your flour to your recipe.
Bread flour is considered one of the strongest of all. The protein content in bread flour is about 12 to 14 percent. It is known for providing the most structural support to the baked items. Structural support is quite essential in a yeast bread, where a strong gluten network is required to absorb the CO2 gases produced during fermentation. The high amount of protein makes it a very good volume and gives a chewier texture to it. Moreover, it helps in browning in the crust. Bread flour is available in 4 different types – white or whole wheat, bleached or unbleached. You can make use of unbleached all-purpose flour as a substitute for bread flour with good results.
Whole wheat flour is considered highly nutritious as compared to other flours. It is due to the presence of germ and bran in the flour. This is what makes it high in protein. Moreover, the high amount of bran and germ compromises its gluten-forming ability due to which the whole-wheat flour tends to produce heavier, denser baked goods. If you want to substitute all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, then you must take half of the all-purpose flour. It should be done because the wheat germ is high in essential oils, which makes it prone to rancidity.
Gluten-free flours are increasing in demand, and in the market, you can get a wide range of gluten-free flours. These gluten-free flours are made up of all sorts of grains, nuts, and starches. Besides this, people also prefer to use gluten-free flours based on rice flour blended with tapioca and potato starch. To make the gluten-free flour chewier, a small amount of xanthan gum is sometimes added to it. It stimulates the chewiness associated with gluten.
Besides these main four types of flour, there are other flours such as cake flours, pastry flour, and self-rising flour, which are generally used in baking different types of cakes and pastries.
According to the facts, cake flour has the lowest quantity of protein content in it – which is about 5 to 7 percent. The lack of protein content in the flour is what makes the flour tender and perfect for baking cakes, muffins, and scones. As compared to cake flour, pastry flour has a higher amount of protein content – about 8 to 9 percent. Pastry flour is not very tender and not very flaky, it tends to maintain a balance between both. Due to this property, it is perfect for pies, tarts, and many cookies
You are aware of the fact that flour is considered the main ingredient in the preparation of too many recipes. It is especially important for baking delicious items. But to get the best end results, you need to make sure that you are using the right flour. The above mentioned four types of flours are the main flours that can be used in different recipes and have high nutritious values. You can go through the details of all the flours to decide which would be suitable for you and your family.