Expert Baker’s Ideas To Choose The Right Kind Of Flour
Baking is not just cooking something in the oven or microwave. It is a perfect blend of art with science. When baking, ensure that all the essential ingredients are in the correct ratio and proportion. Besides the correct flour ratio and proposition, you need to put in your creativity to ensure that the end product or the baked item is delicious.
Flour is one of the most crucial aspects of baking. Without flour, you cannot bake anything. Every expert baker knows and understands that you need the right flour for baking specific food items. Therefore, there are multiple flours in the market.
Some popular flour variants are bread flour, all-purpose flour, cake flour, pastry flour, coconut flour, and wheat flour.
Each type of flour has a unique set of properties and is the main ingredient to bake different items. You cannot use cake flour for baking bread or cookies. Similarly, you will not get desired results if you use bread flour for baking cake. The properties of cake flour are different from that of bread flour. The main difference is the percentage of protein present in the flour.
Based on the percentage of protein present in the flour, the texture, liquid absorbing capability, and gluten formation will vary.
The point is how to choose the right kind of flour for baking. Here are a few essential factors that you must consider while choosing the right flour for baking.
#1 Understanding The Percentage Of Protein Present In The Flour
The protein percentage plays a vital role in deciding which flour is right for baking. Protein content in the flour depends on the way it is milled. If the kernel, bran, and germ are milled together, then the flour will have a higher protein content.
Moreover, such baking flour is highly nutritious. Most of the nutrition present in the wheat grain is all in the kernel of the grain. If you want to bake anything healthy, choose flour that has high-protein content. Wheat flour has the highest percentage of protein present in it.
Moreover, the percentage of protein present in the flour will determine the look and feel of the end product. Therefore, it is considered highly nutritious. Due to the presence of protein in the flour, the texture becomes coarse and yellowish. The flour also produces a high amount of gluten when water gets combined with it.
Expert bakers recommend that you must focus on the percentage of protein while choosing the right flour. Besides wheat flour, bread flour also has the optimal amount of protein present in it. Cake and party flour have the lowest amount of protein content. You can use flour with high-protein content to bake scones, cookies, pasta, etc.
The flour with lower protein content is less nutritious. But the texture and softness of such flour types are better than the other flour. This is the reason that for baking cakes and pastries, flour with lower protein levels is preferred.
#2 The Water Absorbing Capacity Of The Flour
Flour with a high-protein content requires more water. More liquid is needed to create a fluffier and softer texture of the baked item.
Flours like wheat flour, bread flour will need more liquid as compared to other flours. It is because these flours have higher protein content and lead to gluten formation. If you are not using adequate water in these flours, the end product will be brittle and hard. The flours like cake flour, pastry flour, or all-purpose flour will need less water. The protein content in these flour types is negligible. There will be no formation of gluten in such flour. Therefore, even if there is less water (or any other liquid), the softness will be perfect.
#3 Understanding The Freshness Of The Flour You Use for Baking
Whatever type of flour you choose, it should be fresh and of high quality. While buying the flour from the grocery stores, you can check the expiry date on the packets. The expiry date will help you in knowing the quality and freshness of the flour. If you are buying flour from the bulk bins, you can verify the texture and odor of the flour. If the flour is soft and has a fresh smell, it is of high quality. If you feel the flour is oozing out natural oil and has a slightly different odor, it means the flour is rancid. You must avoid buying such flour as it is not of good quality.
Expert bakers always follow these three rules to ensure that all their baked goodies turn out the way they want them to be. You can also master baking and turn out delicious baked goodies by following these ideas.