Baking Basics 101: 7 Different Types Of Flour To Know
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Many people find that baking relieves stress, and the calming act of measuring and combining glossy mixtures is quite soothing. Although baking involves creativity, it is also a precise science. In contrast to creating savoury food, you cannot haphazardly change out ingredients and hope for the best. That's why this article will assist you in understanding what kinds of flour to use while baking.

Essentially, baked foods are made with flour. Taste, texture, and structure all greatly depend on it. One major way that various varieties of flour are distinguished from one another is by their varying protein contents. The protein level of flour influences the crumb grain, texture, and structure of a baked item. The following are the different varieties of flour used in baking:

All-Purpose Flour

This is the most prevalent variety of flour that is frequently used in recipes for desserts. Maida, another name for AP flour, is a refined flour. Despite being made from whole wheat, the core portion of the grain is retained after the bran—the outer layer of the grain—is removed.

The flour is softer as a result. Even though AP flours are devoid of natural nutrition, they typically include added vitamins and minerals. The hue of this particular flour is white rather than the typical colour of wheat flour since it has additionally been bleached. It works well for almost everything, including cookies, pie crusts, pancakes, muffins, brownies, and quick breads.

Whole Wheat Flour

Next up is whole wheat flour, commonly known as atta, which is the most adored and often used flour in Indian households. Now, wholewheat flour is unrefined, extremely high in fibre, and includes all three parts of the wheat kernel—endosperm, bran, and germ—in contrast to refined all-purpose flour. It is highly dense because the protein content—13 grams of protein per 100 grams of flour—is higher than that of AP flour. It won't work to just swap out whole wheat flour in your dessert recipes. Because denser flours are more absorbent, they require more moisture. Therefore, a recipe using AP flour may call for a different amount of wet components than one using whole wheat flour.

Cake Flour

The least protein-rich flour (five to eight percent). Cake flour is perfect for delicate baked products like cakes, of course, but also biscuits, muffins, and scones due to its relative absence of gluten-forming proteins. Cake flour is often bleached using chlorination, which further weakens the gluten proteins and, more importantly, changes the starch content of the wheat to enhance its ability to absorb more moisture and sugar and guarantee a moist cake.

Bread Flour/ Baker's Flour

Bread flour is the strongest of all flours, offering the most structural support, with a protein concentration of 12 to 14 percent. This is particularly crucial for yeasted bread as the CO2 gases generated during fermentation need to be contained by a robust gluten network. In addition to improving volume and creating a chewier crumb, the additional protein causes the crust to brown more deeply. Bread flour may usually be successfully replaced with unbleached all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour.

Pastry Flour

A soft wheat flour that has not been bleached and has 8 to 9 percent protein, which falls between cake flour and all-purpose flour. Pastry flour is wonderful for pies, tarts, and numerous cookies because it has the proper flakiness and softness balance. Combine 1 1/3 cups A-P flour and 2/3 cup cake flour to produce your own pastry flour.

Self-Rising Flour

Are you ready for a secret? Simply put, self-rising flour is flour that has been finely ground and has salt and baking powder added as a leavener. Roughly nine percent of its protein comes from milled soft wheat. Although self-rising flour produces airy, light-baked items, its extra components can alter other recipe quantities, making it less versatile than conventional flour. It can be used for scones, pancakes, and biscuits.

White Whole Wheat Flour

Hard white wheat, a paler kind of hard wheat, is the starting point for white whole wheat flour, which is ground similarly to ordinary whole wheat flour. It tastes softer, but it has a similar protein level of roughly 14%. Although it won't significantly alter the flavour of your baked goods, it offers the same nutritional advantages as whole wheat flour. Use it for cookies, bread, and muffins.