Types of Flour:
Flour that is used in
baking comes mainly from wheat, although it can be
milled from corn, rice, nuts, legumes, and some fruits
and vegetables. The type of flour of flour used is vital
at getting the product right. Different types of flour
are suited to different items and all flours are
different you cannot switch from one type to another
without consequences that could ruin the recipe. To
achieve success in baking, it is important to know what
the right flour is for the job!
Food Nutritional Value Chart - Check out
the Food Nutritional Value Chart that shows Fat Grams, Carbohydrates Grams,
and Calories for the flours (listed below) used in baking.
All-Purpose Flour is a blend of hard and soft wheat; it may be bleached or unbleached. It is usually
translated as "plain flour." All-Purpose Flour has 8% to 11% protein (gluten). All-purpose flour
is one of the most commonly used and readily accessible flour in the United States. Flour that is bleached naturally as it ages is labeled
"unbleached," while chemically treated flour is labeled "bleached." Bleached flour has less protein
than unbleached. Bleached is best for pie crusts, cookies, quick breads, pancakes and waffles. Use
unbleached flour for yeast breads, Danish pastry, puff pastry, strudel, Yorkshire pudding, éclairs,
cream puffs and popovers.
Almond Flour (Gluten
Free) - Just a touch of this flour (about 1/4 of
the flour mixture) is all you need to add moistness, a
little binding, light almond flavor, and density to baked goods. It is especially good in pastry crusts, cookies, and quick breads.
(Gluten Free) - Amaranth is an ancient grain and the word amaranth means "everlasting" in Greek. Amaranth
contains more protein than any other gluten-free grain and more protein than wheat flour. You can substitute up to 20
to 25% of the flour used in your recipe with this flour.
Barley Flour (Low
Gluten) - A non-wheat flour made from grinding whole barley. It is a popular alternative to wheat flour
because, unlike many non-wheat flours, it contains some
gluten. This flour has a mild, but very slightly nutty
taste. This flour also has slightly fewer calories and
more than 4 times the fiber of all-purpose. By using barley flour instead of all-purpose flour, you triple
your fiber intake. When making yeast bread recipes, there is not enough gluten in barley flour
to properly develop the bread, and it is recommended swapping only one
quarter of all-purpose flour for barley flour in yeast bread recipes. Great in quick breads and pancakes.
Bread Flour is white flour made from hard, high-protein wheat. It
has more gluten strength and protein content than
all-purpose flour. It is unbleached and sometimes
conditioned with ascorbic acid, which increases
volume and creates better texture. Bread flour has
12% to 14% protein (gluten). This is the best choice for yeast products.
Buckwheat Flour (Gluten
Free) - It is
packed with nutrients, readily available, easy to work with and has a nice nutty flavor. Check out the article
Buckwheat Flour - Adds Nutrients and Flavor to Baked Goods.
is a fine-textured,
soft-wheat flour with a high starch content. It has the
lowest protein content of any wheat flour, 8% to 10%
protein (gluten). It is chlorinated (a bleaching process
which leaves the flour slightly acidic, sets a cake
faster and distributes fat more evenly through the
batter to improve texture. When you're making baked
goods with a high ratio of sugar to flour, this flour
will be better able to hold its rise and will be less
liable to collapse. This flour is excellent for baking
fine-textured cakes with greater volume and is used in
some quick breads, muffins and cookies. If you cannot
find cake flour, substitute bleached all-purpose flour,
but subtract 2 tablespoons of flour for each cup used in
the recipe (if using volume measuring).
Chickpea Flour (Gluten Free) - Also know as garbanzo flour, gram flour,
and besan. Made from dried chickpeas ground into a flour. Used in many countries, it is a staple ingredient in Indian, Pakistan, and Nepal
cuisines. You can use this flour as an egg substitute in vegan cookery. You can substitute up to half the amount
of all-purpose flour called for in a recipe with chickpea flour. It is also very
easy to make your own Chickpea Flour by processing dried chickpeas in your blender or food processor.
Coconut flour (Gluten Free) - It is ground from dried, defatted coconut
meat. It is high in fiber, and low in digestible carbohydrates. It has a very light coconut flavor. Coconut flour can replace up to 20% of the flour in a recipe, but you
will need to add an equal amount of liquid (oil) to compensate as this flour
soaks up the liquid. You will also need more eggs - usually double the eggs (or more).
Corn Flour (Gluten Free) - It is a powdery flour made of finely-ground cornmeal and is milled from the whole kernel. Corn flour comes in yellow and white and is
used for breading and in combination with other flours in baked goods. White corn flour is used as a filler, binder and thickener in cookie, pastry and meat
(Wondra from Gold Medal) is granular and formulated to
dissolve quickly in hot or cold liquids. It will not
work as a substitute for all-purpose flour, although
there are recipes on the container for popovers and
other baked goods. It is used primarily in sauces
Millet Flour (Gluten Free) - Millet is one of the oldest foods known and possibly the first cereal
grain to be used for domestic purposes. Millet flour is most commonly used in desserts and sweet breads largely because of the grain’s naturally sweet
flavor. When substituting for wheat flour, it is usually best to start with about a 3-to-1 ratio of wheat to millet.
Oat Flour (Gluten Free)
-This flour tends to make a baked good more moist than
wheat flour. It is made from ground whole oats -
yes the old-fashion oats used for cereal. It is very easy to make your own oat flour. Just
place the dried oats in your blender and grind. 1 1/4 cups rolled oats makes 1 cup oat flour.
is used in the same way as regular flour. It must follow U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations to
be labeled "organic." Using this flour is a matter of personal preference.
Pastry Flour also is made with soft wheat and falls somewhere between all-purpose and cake flour in terms of protein
content and baking properties. Pastry flour (also known as cookie flour) has a protein (gluten) of 9% to 10%. Use pastry flour for making
biscuits, pie crusts, brownies, cookies and quick breads. Pastry flour makes a tender but crumbly pastry. Do not use it for yeast breads. Pastry flour
(both whole-wheat and regular) is not readily available at supermarkets, but you can find it at
specialty stores and online. You can try to mimic it by using a 2-to-1 ratio of all-purpose flour to cake flour.
Pumpernickel Flour (Low Gluten) - This flour is made from coarsely-ground whole rye berries. It is the rye equivalent of whole wheat flour. Pumpernickel breads tends to be dense, dark, and strongly flavored.
Quinoa Flour (Gluten Free) is one of the most nutritious grain flour available. Quinoa is considered a grass/seed
and not a grain. This powerful little grain is a great addition to any diet, but is an ideal solution for those following a gluten free, vegan or
vegetarian diet. You can substitute this flour for 1/2 of the all-purpose flour in many recipes or completely replace wheat flour in cakes and cookie
recipes. This is a very expensive flour to purchase.
Rice Flour (Gluten Free) - Rice flour is a form of flour made from finely
milled rice. This flour can be made from either white or brown rice and can be used interchangeably. White Rice Flour
(also called Mochik) is lighter, milder, and easier to digest than wheat flour. Some people find white rice flour to be slightly gritty, but many find it preferable to bean flours. It
is great as a thickening in sauces. You can also make your own rice flour - just place rice of your choice
(white or brown) in your blender and process until it forms a powder.
Rye Flours (Low Gluten) - There are light, medium, and dark colored varieties of rye flour.
The color of the flour depends on how much of the bran has been removed through the milling process. It is also a low gluten flour.
Rye bread may be a better choice than wheat bread for persons with diabetes. Because rye flour is low in gluten, a general rule suggests substituting
1/3 of the amount of rye with wheat flour to ensure the bread will rise properly.
sometimes referred to as phosphated flour, is a low-protein flour with salt and leavening (baking
powder) already added. It's most often recommended for biscuits and
some quick breads, but never for yeast breads. Exact
formulas, including the type of baking powder used,
vary by manufacturer. Recipes that call for
self-rising flour do not call for the addition of
salt or leavening agents.
is used in making pasta and Italian puddings. It is
made from durum wheat, the hardest type of wheat
grown. The flour is highest in gluten. When other
grains, such as rice or corn, are similarly ground,
they are referred to as "semolina" with the grain's
name added, i.e., "corn semolina" or "rice
semolina." There are difference grades.
(Gluten Free) -
A very good substitute for wheat flour in many
recipes, especially if combined with other, more denser, flours.
Soy Flour (Gluten
Free) - Made from ground soy beans. Full-fat and low-fat soy flours work best in sweet, rich, baked goods like
cookies, soft yeast breads, and quick breads. Soy flour can be substituted approximately 10% to 30% of the wheat or rye flour in your recipes.
(Low Gluten) - One of the most popular and widely available of
alternative baking flours. The full name of spelt is Triticum aestivum var. spelta. Triticum denotes that it is of the wheat family, but the fats are more soluble
and the nutritional content higher than traditional wheat flour. People who have issues with wheat digestion, but who are not gluten,
will tolerant often do well with Spelt.
Spelt flour has a nutty and slightly sweet flavor similar to that of whole wheat flour. It does contain gluten and is a popular substitute for wheat in baked goods. Check out the article on
Spelt Flour - Add Spelt Flour to your Diet for Variety and Nutrition.
(Gluten Free) - It is also known as tapioca starch. It is a starchy white flour
with a slight sweet flavor. This flour is make from the starch extracted from
the South American cassava plant. This flour helps bind gluten-free recipes
plus improves the texture of baked goods. This flour is also an ideal thickening agent. Use tapioca for
thickening a wide variety of baked goods, sauces, and desserts. This flour can also be used to replace corn starch (use 2 tablespoons tapioca flour for each 1 tablespoon corn starch).
(Gluten Free) - Teff is an ancient and intriguing grain, tiny in size
yet packed with nutrition. It is simple to prepare and similar to millet or
quinoa in cooking. Teff is a great addition to your diet for nutrition, taste, and variety. It is higher in protein
than wheat and has a high concentration of a wide variety of nutrients, including calcium, thiamin,
and iron. Since the grains are so small, the bulk of the grain is germ and brand. It is very high in fiber and is thought to benefit people with
diabetes as it helps control blood sugar levels. Teff is excellent in making dark breads and rye breads. Check out the article
Teff - A Nutritious and Versatile Grain.
- Also called graham flour. It is made from the whole kernel of wheat and is higher
in dietary fiber and overall nutrient content than white flours. It does not have as high a gluten
level, so often it's mixed with all-purpose or bread flour when making yeast breads. Whole wheat flour
is equivalent to British whole meal flour.
How To Buy Flour:
Look for tightly sealed bags or boxes. Flours in torn
packages or in open bins are exposed to air and to
How To Store Flour:
be kept cool and dry. All flours, even white flour, have
a limited shelf life. Millers recommend that flours be
stored for no more than 6
months. The main change that occurs is the
oxidation of oils when flour is exposed to air. The
result of this is rancid off flavors. During hot
weather, store flour in the refrigerator.
should be stored, covered, in a cool and dry area. This
prevents the flour from absorbing moisture and odors and
from attracting insects and rodents.
Freezing flour for 48 hours before it is stored will
kill any weevil or insect eggs already in the flour.
It is better not to mix new flour with old if you are
not using the flour regularly.
store flour near soap powder, onions or other foods and
products with strong odors.
If freezer space is
available, flour can be repackaged in airtight,
moisture-proof containers, labeled and placed in the
freezer at 0 degrees F. If flour is stored like
this, it will keep well for several years.
Keep whole wheat
flour in the refrigerator the year around. Natural
oils cause this flour to turn rancid quickly at room
Throw away flour if
it smells bad, changes color, or is infested with
Flour is always
readily available so it should only be brought in
quantities that will last a maximum of two to three
Put a bay leaf in
the flour canister to help protect against insect
infections. Bay leaves are natural insect