Now that you’re starting your journey as a baker and ready to tackle your first recipe. But when you hit the baking section of your local grocery store, you come across a lot of different kinds and types of flour and start to panic.
All of them have their own purpose. That’s why its better for you to have the knowledge of the different types so you’d know which to pick and what to ask. Let’s start of which what makes each flour different from each other.
Source Material- For the purposes of simplicity there is Wheat and the Non-Wheat variety. Wheat flour is the most predominant and the most common kind milled from of course wheat.
Variety of wheat flour comes from the milling process as well as the protein content each kind of flour has. As people’s taste evolved people started trying producing flour from alternative sources beside wheat and mainly because it is also locally abundant.
Examples of these are rice, buckwheat, corn and potato flour. Now that’s out of the way, lets dig deeper into the different kinds of wheat flour.
All-purpose flour (12-13% Protein content)
The most common in the market and readily accessible. It consists purely the seed’s endosperm which gives it its fine and powdery consistency. Naturally light in color, some manufactures put additives to hasten the bleaching for mass production purposes (bleached, all-purpose flour). The drawback is the protein content of bleached all-purpose flour is lesser than its unbleached version. The most versatile of the different flour varieties and used commonly for pizza crusts, eclairs, thickening agent for sauces.
Bread Flour (12.5-15% Protein content)
Locally known as 1st class flour and as the name implies, this is perfect for making bread due to the high protein content made from hard wheat and some barley flour. Adding water to this kind produces gluten, a major component in making breads like pan de sals and French baguettes.
Pastry/Biscuit Flour (9% Protein content)
More commonly known as 3rd class flour. Produced from a different strain of wheat: soft white wheat and contains lesser protein content. This is perfect for recipes that call for low gluten development like pie doughs, pancakes and cupcakes.
Cake Flour (6.5% Protein)
Made from a strain of low protein wheat. It has a very fine and soft texture almost similar to that of the all-purpose flour except for its low gluten yield perfect for those airy sponge cakes, angel food cakes and light muffins.
Now that you are now aware of the different kinds of flour, their consistency, quality and its applications. You can be more confident on the choices you make and also experiment with those different kinds to produce your own baking creations and share the joy of baking with others!
We hope that this article clears up any questions you had about chocolate and what to use when baking. Leave us a comment or check out our blog if you want more articles like these or if you have any feedback to what we have just written.
The Bailiwick Team