Different Types Of Flour — And How To Use Them
Flour is a staple food item that is consumed by almost 70 to 80 percent of the world population. But the way flour is consumed is different based on individual cultures, traditional cooking strategies, and various other aspects. People in different parts of the world use different types of flour. All the types of flour are highly nutritious and helpful in keeping the body healthy and energetic. Usually, you will find that that flour is used for baking a wide range of delicious items such as cakes, bread, muffins, pastries, cookies, biscuits. To ensure that your baked goodies turn out well, you need to be very particular about the ratio and proportion of the flour you are using, along with other ingredients.
So now, let us understand which are the different types of flour you commonly find at your local millers or supermarkets and how you can include them in your family’s diet.
#1 All-Purpose Flour:
This is one of the most common types of flour that you can use in all types of baking. Due to its versatility, it is a staple in all kitchens. This is irrespective of the region of the country you belong to. All-purpose flour is usually milled from the different types of soft as well as hard wheat grains that are readily available. The protein content of the all-purpose flour is almost 10 to 12 percent and not more than that. Due to the balanced amount of protein content in all-purpose flour, the baked items are very crispy, crusty as well as fluffy. This flour is usually used for baking several items, including pies, pancakes, pizzas, pasta, muffins, bread, etc.
#2 Cake Flour:
As the name suggests, you can easily guess that this type of flour is used in baking different types of cakes. The flour does not have a high amount of protein in it (about 4 to 7 percent) and thus does not have a lot of gluten content in it. People who are allergic to gluten can easily use the cake flour for baking most of the items such as sponge cake, soft bread, layered cakes, and even biscuits. Usually, the cake flour has a good liquid-absorbing capacity, which makes it high in demand when it comes to baking soft and fluffy items.
#3 Bread Flour:
Similar to all-purpose flour, bread flour can also be used in most baked items. The bread flour is milled from hard wheat and is also considered the strongest flour as compared to other flour types. This is due to the fact that bread flour contains the highest amount of protein (almost 13 to 15 percent). Such flour does not require yeast for raising the dough of the bread flour because the gluten present in the flour will do the work. Due to the presence of gluten, the bread also becomes very chewy and soft.
You can use the bread flour in baking artisan bread, bagels, and even pretzels.
#4 Whole Wheat Flour:
This flour is becoming quite popular these days because of its nutritional value. The whole wheat flour is extremely dense compared with other flours. This is due to the fact that it is milled from the endosperm, bran, and germ part of the wheat grains. These parts of the wheat grains are rich in minerals, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. If you are using whole wheat flour for baking any items, you will have to rest it for almost 20 to 30 minutes. With this, you will allow the liquid to be absorbed by the flour and then soften it. When you are allowing the liquid to set in, the final baked item would be less coarse and more fluffy. If you are a beginner baker, then always add all-purpose flour in the whole wheat flour in the proper proportion so that the final product is tasty as well as soft. The whole wheat flour could be used in the preparation of cookies, pasta, pizza dough, and waffles.
Flours are of several types, and they have different properties. Due to these different properties that are used in making different items. So you need to ensure that you choose the right type of flour to ensure that the baked items are not just fluffy and soft but also very tasty.