Types of Wheat Flour And Their Use
Flour is the main ingredient for almost all baked food items. There are many types of flour available in the market that you can use for baking. Each flour has a different set of properties that makes them useful for baking specific items. For instance, you cannot use cake flour for baking bread or vice versa. Therefore, expert bakers use a particular type of flour for baking specific items. Out of all the flour available in the market for baking, wheat flour is considered the most nutritious. But even wheat flour can be segregated into different types. Only when you are aware of the uses and properties of different types of wheat flour, you can bake the best food items.
So let’s understand the different types of wheat flour available in the market along with their uses.
#1 All-Purpose Flour
It is a type of wheat flour that is milled from wheat grains. But it has a softer texture as compared to wheat flour. It is because only the endosperm part of the wheat kernel is used for milling. Due to this, the protein content present in the all-purpose flour is low (6 to 7 percent). When the protein percentage is low, gluten formation does not take place after adding water to the flour. Besides baking, all-purpose flour is also used for the thickening of various types of sauces, fried food, and saute the veggies.
Best used for: Bread, Cookies, Waffles, Biscuits, Pizza dough, Pancakes, Pasta
#2 Bread Flour
Bread flour is also a type of wheat flour, but different from all-purpose flour. It is basically unbleached and has a higher protein percentage as compared to all-purpose flour. Due to this, gluten products are also high. When the gluten formation is high, the flour does not need excessive yeast for rising it and making it fluffy. You cannot use bread flour for baking any other thing apart from bread. It has a protein content of around 8 to 9 percent.
Best used for: Cookies, Muffins, Pound Cakes, Scones, Waffles, Biscuits, Pie Crusts
#3 Cake Flour
Cake flour is another type of main wheat flour that is milled from the endosperm part of the wheat grain by leaving behind bran and germ. Moreover, the wheat grain used for the milling cake flour is soft wheat grains. Based on the type of wheat grain used for milling the flour, the protein content is extremely low. Besides, it has a high percentage of starch and less gluten. People who are intolerant to gluten can use flour for baking different food items.
Best used for: Chiffon, Pound Cakes, Angel Food Cakes, Layer Cake
Contains: 6 to 8% protein
#4 Self-Rising Flour
There are many people who are not aware that self-rising flour is a type of wheat flour, and it is basically used for leavening. While using this type of flour for baking, salt is a must. It is because the sodium content present in the flour is quite high. You can use the flour for baking a lot of things and do not need to add yeast in any amount. The protein content of the self-rising flour ranges between 8 and 9 percent.
Best used for: Biscuits
#5 Whole Wheat Flour
You can easily guess from the name that it is a type of wheat flour. The texture of the flour is coarse compared to other flour, and it is quite dense. While milling the wheat grain, the entire wheat kernel is used, including the endosperm, germ, and bran. Due to this, the flour is extremely nutritious and is rich in fiber. As the entire wheat kernel is used, you can see that the protein content of the flour is extremely high. It ranges from 12 to 13 percent and therefore is very nutritious.
Best used for: Cookies, Bread, Waffles, Scones, Pizza dough, Pasta
All the types of wheat flour are available in most grocery stores. While you are buying the flour from the grocery stores or online portals, just check the description. You should opt for flour from a reputed manufacturer. Besides this, you should check for the freshness of the wheat flour. Just by looking at the texture and smell of the flour, you can easily guess whether it is fresh or not. If not, you can verify the packaging date and expiration date on the packets.