If you love making bread, cakes, and cupcakes, it is essential to store all sorts of flour in your pantry. There are types of flours that are necessary for you to make the perfect pastry. Sometimes, just choosing the perfect flour for your pastries will make it hard for you to start with baking. Some people depend on recipes on-hand; some try and experimenting with flour.
Not all baked goods demand the same flour though. There are different types of flour and they are all distinguished by the amount of gluten they contain. Gluten aids with the structure of the baked product, making it rise and take form in whatever shape you like. These are the different kinds of flour and and the gluten content of each type. It’s all about gluten, apparently, if you want to know the difference of each.
1. All-purpose Flour
- This flour contains about 12% of gluten
- All-purpose flour can be used to a whole range of baking: from crusty breads to fine cakes and pastries. This type of flour is almost good for just about any recipe
- However, most professional bakers do not use all-purpose flour. Instead, they would use either bread flour, cake flour, or pastry flour.
2. Bread Flour
- This type of flour contains 13% gluten. Its gluten level helps great to hold together the structured dough, thereby making it firmer and elastic.
- Bread flour is a blend of hard, high-protein wheat. It is commonly used in commercial bakeries.
- Mostly used in making pizza doughs, breads, and rolls.
3. Cake Flour
- This flour has a low gluten content of about 8%.
- Cake flour is fine-textured to make light and tender cakes. They are finer that bread flour and is considerably whiter in color.
- Perfect for making cakes, cookies, and breads.
4. Pastry Flour
- This flour contains about 9%-10% gluten.
- It is slightly stronger than cake flour.
- Most commonly used in making pastry puffs, biscuits, muffins, or any other baking applications where a tender finished product is desired.
5. Self-rising Flour
- Self-rising flour has the same gluten content as all-purpose flour
- It’s basically all-purpose flour with baking powder and salt. This product is intended merely as convenience for bakers. The problem here is that you cannot control the salt and baking powder it contains. Also, the baking powder will lose its effectiveness when stored for a long time in your pantry.
Familiarizing yourself with these types of flours will help you bake the best finished product. What do you think would be the best flour to use for your next adventure in the oven? Enjoy your baking!