Thursday, December 1, 2011

Kitchen Chew ~ Flour 101


All Purpose Flour:
Most national brands typically have an 11% to 12% protein content which make them perfect for baking quick breads, cookies, biscuits, and cakes.  Flour can vary in protein content by brand and also regionally. All purpose flour that bleaches naturally as it ages is labeled “unbleached”, flour treated with chemical whiteners is labeled “bleached” and contains less protein. 

Self Rising Flour:
For all brands, this is a uniform blend of all purpose flour and leavening agents. A lot of bakers find self rising flour an ideal blend for biscuits.

Cake Flour:
Cake flour has a lower protein content than all purpose, from 6% to 8%.  It is chlorinated to break down the strength of the gluten and is very finely ground, yielding tender cakes with a fine, delicate texture. It measures differently than all purpose flour, 1 cup of all purpose flour is the equivalent of 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour. 


Pastry Flour:
Although similar to cake flour, it has a slightly higher gluten content.  This helps form the elastic bonds to hold up flaky layers of piecrusts, croissants, and puff pastry.

Bread Flour:
Bread flour is an unbleached, high protein blend of mostly wheat flours. The elasticity of the gluten gives the bread its ability to retain gas as the dough rises and bakes, making it chewy. 

Amaranth Flour:
Amaranth is slightly sticky grain high in fiber and nutrient.

Barley Flakes:
This is made from lightly toasted pearle barley rolled into flakes.

Buckwheat is a distant cousin to rhubarb and actually isn’t related to wheat or other grains at all. But don't kick it to the curb just yet. Look for toasted and untoasted varieties and use it as you would other grains, to make pilafs, casseroles and stuffings.

Bulgur Wheat:
Bulgur is partially cooked cracked wheat.

This mild, very digestible grain is a favorite for people on a wheat free diet.

This high protein, low gluten grain is more slowly digested than other grains.

We know this high protein, chewy grain needs no introduction, but I couldn’t leave it off the list.

Gluten Flour:
Gluten flour is white flour mixed with concentrated wheat protein.

Soy Flour:
Like rye flour, this is a high protein flour. Usually combined with whole wheat flour to increase its rising ability.

Whole Wheat Flour:
Ground from the entire wheat berry, has a coarse texture.

Yellow Cornmeal:
Yellow cornmeal, which is gluten free, to make polenta, corn bread and muffins.

Source: Google


  1. Thanks for this useful sharing and sure I gain much about the different types of flour.

  2. Good write up! What are your thoughts on Antico Molino 00 flour? I use that frequently when making pizza dough.

  3. Hi RJ.

    Flour with elastic and resistent gluten. Slow grinding technique of wheat in order not to damage starches and proteins. No preservatives but only pure wheat.Protein content 11.5% - 12.5%. Pizza flour is used by some of the best pizza makers around the world.

  4. I never know what flour to use, now I can use this post as a resource, thanks

  5. Thanks for this information. There are so many flour varieties that it is hard for me to keep them straight.

  6. Very informative post. There seems to be a vast amount of flours out there and it is constantly growing, so this does help decipher which is best to use and why it is different from the other. Thanks for posting this info.

  7. So many choices, thanks cor the rundown.

  8. I'm not a baker and I actually wasn't 100% what self rising flour means... until now! I know.... Thank you for educating me. :-)


Why not leave a comment or a suggestion? Be the first to leave a comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...