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Baking Flours 101
April 9, 2014 • Posted by Brea Buffaloe

Next time you walk down your supermarket’s baking aisle, know exactly what type of flour you need for your next baking adventure. There’s certainly many to choose from, but what are the differences? Which is better for your recipe? Here’s the run-down on flour types:

All-Purpose Flour: Many people refer to this type as “plain flour.” It’s a mix of hard and soft wheat. It’s medium protein, so it’s about 10-12%. All-purpose flour can be bleached or unbleached. Bleached flour has less protein. As the name suggests, you can bake many things with this type of flour such as cookies, cakes, pie crusts and muffins.

Self-Rising Flour: This is a low protein flour. Salt and baking powder have already been added. This type is often used in biscuits, quick breads and pancakes.

Cake Flour: This is a fine, low protein flour. In fact, the level of protein is about 6-8%. Cake flour is chlorinated, which means it’s bleached. This makes it more acidic so that cakes will rise instead of collapsing. It’s the best choice for a fluffy cake recipe.

Bread Flour: Made from hard wheat, this flour contains about 12-14% protein which makes it great for baking bread. This is because it had more gluten strength than the other flours. It’s especially great for yeast products.

Whole Wheat Flour: This flour is high in fiber and nutrients because it’s less processed than the other flours. Also known as graham flour, this is used for items such as bread and cookies but not delicate baked goods unless mixed with all-purpose flour.

What type of flour are you using for your next recipe?

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