Even while we’re willing to put a lot of effort into our baking experiments, having a solid understanding of the different varieties of flour will help you get started. You might be questioning yourself; do I need to utilize cake flour for my cakes? What distinguishes white whole wheat flour from brown whole wheat flour? How many different kinds of flour do I need to stock in my pantry? Let’s get right to the point.
When “flour” is mentioned in a recipe, they typically mean all-purpose flour. Your kitchen should always have all-purpose flour on hand. It has a modest protein value of roughly 9 to 11 percent and is made from a blend of soft and hard wheat cultivars. As the most adaptable flour, it can make fluffy pancakes, chewy cookies, and flaky pie crusts.
Bread flour, made solely from hard wheat and has more protein content of 12 to 14 percent, is the strongest of all flours. This is beneficial for baking yeasted bread since the bread needs a high gluten content to rise appropriately. If you use bread flour, your baked goods will have more volume and a chewier texture.
Cake flour has the lowest protein concentration of any flour, ranging from 5 to 8%. It produces less gluten, making softer baked goods ideal for cake recipes like muffins and biscuits. Cake flour absorbs more sugar and liquid than all-purpose flour, creating incredibly moist cakes.
Pastry flour, which is between all-purpose flour and cake flour in terms of protein concentration, has 8 to 9 percent of it. Pie crusts, tarts, and cookies are preferred because they perfectly balance flakiness and tenderness. You can create your own by combining 2/3 cup cake flour with 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour. Pie crusts, cookies, muffins, pancakes, cakes, biscuits, and breadsticks are among the best things to make with pastry flour.
Rice, corn, potatoes, tapioca, buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, or nuts can all be used as ingredient bases to create gluten-free flour. You can add xanthan gum to flour made from gluten-free grains to mimic gluten’s chewiness. Be sure to examine your exact recipe if you’re considering switching from white flour to gluten-free flour because it’s not always possible.
Whole wheat flour
A wheat kernel’s three parts—the endosperm, the germ, and the bran—are separated during the milling process of whole wheat flour. Only the endosperm is processed to create white flour. The germ and bran are mixed back into the flour in various amounts to produce whole wheat flour. The protein level of entire wheat flour typically ranges from 13 to 14 percent, but the germ and bran content impacts how well the flour forms gluten. Whole wheat flour typically results in highly sticky dough and denser baked items.
There are many types of baking flour, and the key thing is to understand your recipe and use the recommended one for the best results.