Are you a culinary artist or someone who loves cooking? Then you must know about these different types of flour. We often limit ourselves to just using a limited set of flour ingredients in baking and cooking. But did you know that there are many types of flour one can use to cook different dishes?
As much as it is crucial to use the right amount of flour in your recipes, working with the right variety of flour is also important. These help in taste variations and specific culinary feels. Whether it is bread, cakes, pastries, or other cooking purposes, it is thrilling to learn flour varieties available around us today. Can you guess how many types of flour are there? If you can’t, keep reading and to find out about their amazing uses, varieties, and benefits.
Classifications Of Flour:
First of all, what exactly is flour? Flour is any type of grounded powder variety of grains/seeds/roots and so on. They are milled and grounded well enough into powder form for smooth usage. Before we get into looking and learning about different flour varieties, let us know their classification first. One can classify the flours into bleached and unbleached flour; or wheat and non-wheat types of flours. The unbleached flours go through a natural bleaching process as it ages over time. As a result, they are dense in texture. Bleached flour, on the other hand, is those with artificial bleach such as benzoyl peroxide. As a result, they are lighter and fluffier.
You can even differentiate and classify flour based on protein content, flours with high proteins made with hard wheat, and soft wheat with low protein. Then, depending on your choice, type of dish and recipe, or healthy feel, you can choose suitable types of flour.
Different Types Of Flour And Their Uses
Now, let us begin with learning about different types of flour popular around us used for several cooking and baking requirements. Here we go!
1. All-Purpose Flour:
This is by far the most popular type of flour that is known to us. This is a staple, in fact, in our kitchens. But, did you ever think about why it is commonly found? Well, the reason is obvious – the all-purpose flour is quite versatile in nature, allowing us to use it for baking and cooking several recipes. However, the all-purpose flour combines both hard and soft wheat with very low protein content. The most common dishes prepared with this flour are cakes, pastries, brownies, muffins, cookies, and other similar delights, along with bread! It is common type of white cooking flour for baking and bread.
2. Whole Wheat Flour:
Well, we already saw above that most flours have some content of wheat kernels in them. However, in the case of whole-wheat flour, there is a heavy presence of wheat bran that gives it a dense and nutty flavor. In addition, the whole-wheat flavor has good fiber, minerals, and vitamins, besides the protein content of over 14 per cent. Therefore, the types of wheat flour is perfect to use for pasta, pancakes, and certain types of bread.
3. Bread Flour:
Ever witnessed the tasty sourdough bread or chef bread on YouTube channels? Well, they are prepared with bread flour. They are perfect in the mix of proteins, yeast, and bleach to get the soft and chewy feel in the result. The bread flour has a protein content of around 14 per cent. The popular dishes to prepare with bread flour are bagels, pizza dough, yeast bread, and buns.
4. White Whole-Wheat Flour:
This may be a lesser-known variety to most of us. In the case of white whole-wheat flour, the milling of flour is similar to the wheat variant. However, it has hard white wheat. This one is perfect for making cookies, certain types of bread, and muffins. If you are looking for harder wheat with a milder taste, this variant is the ideal choice for you.
5. Cake Flour:
As the name suggests, types of cake flour is a perfect ingredient for cake recipes and similar culinary delights. This is a common protein form of flour, with about 6 to 8 per cent protein content. As a result, the flour always helps to keep itself moist, light and absorb more liquids. This flour is ideal to prepare any type of cake, from layer cakes to regular baking cakes to sponges and more.
6. Self-Rising Flour:
Did you ever think about the right secret behind certain dishes with a fluffier look and rising appearance during baking? Well, here it is – the self-rising flour is the perfect ingredient for those culinary delights. Here, the finely milled flour is used well with salt and baking powders to form lighter and fluffier recipes. The protein content of this flour is approximately 10 per cent. The perfect dishes for this flour are scones and biscuits.
7. Pastry Flour:
Most confuse pastry flour with cake flour or all-purpose flour. Well, there is a mild difference. The pastry flour feels and looks tender and very soft, with a flaky texture. However, it has a protein content of about 9 per cent and feels just right to prepare any pastry items, including pastry cakes, pies, and muffins.
8. Almond Flour:
One can guess this type of flour just by its name. The modern-day millennials love the types of almond flour for their healthy kinds of flour varieties. The preparation of almond flour is through blanching almonds in boiling water, removing the skin, and grinding well to make it a fine type. The almond flour is entirely healthy with gluten-free properties and healthy fats, fiber content, and low carbs. You can even use a 1:1 proportion of almond flour and wheat flour for a perfect healthy recipe to begin with. This is ideal and suitable to make most baking items such as pancakes, bread, biscuits, cookies, and muffins.
9. 00 Flour:
We bet you did not hear about this kind of flour. The 00 flour is the new Italian type of flour, whose preparation is through processing the hard variety of wheat. This flour has a high protein content that crosses about 12 per cent. Yet, it appears super smooth and in fine texture, with a thin and soft look. The ideal dishes to use this type of flour are pasta, thin-crust pizza dough, flatbread, etc.
10. Gluten-Free Flour:
This kind of flour is again gaining importance and significance in the new contemporary youth for its nutritional properties. One can prepare gluten-free flour with any base or gran, such as corn, quinoa, nuts, rice, and so on. This flour is high in fiber content and properties, with a chewy texture and feel. The perfect dishes for using this variety of flour are cookies, bread, muffins, and cakes.
11. Sprouted Flour:
Just by the name, you may already guess what kind of flour this is! The sprouted flour is the one from sprouted grains! This may mean the regular wheat kind and other ones like rye, corn, sorghum, etc. This is perfect for those who prefer high protein levels in the flour varieties. But, of course, the protein content and level may vary depending on the grain type. Perfect recipes with this flour are cakes, cookies, bread, and crackers.
12. Spelt Flour:
The spelt flour is a lesser-known variety for many. It is made with a type of whole wheat grains, along with spelt grains. The spelt flour, however, has a lower protein content and is very similar to the all-purpose flour. The flavor erupting from this flour is incredible. The flour adds a bit of tangy taste so that it can canter only certain types of taste buds. The common recipes of this flour are muffins, crisps, and crumbles.
13. Oat Flour:
Well, this may be a familiar type of flour. The oat flour is prepared by quick-cooking and roasting oats, making them into fine powder. It is a very healthy type of flour variety and extremely tasty with a crispy taste. Oat flour is significantly high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals and has huge protein content, about 17 per cent. One can make many recipes with oat flour such as bread, cake, waffles, pancakes, and more!
14. Gram Flour:
Gram flour is a variety of flour that requires grounded chickpea. The gram flour has high protein content and properties, ideal for those who love healthier options to keep themselves fuller for a long time. In addition, the gram flour also has a very low level of the glycemic index. This makes many prefer gram flour over others. Hence, it is among the popular types of Indian flour.
15. Millet Flour:
One can prepare millet flour with several kinds of millets, such as Kodo, pearl, foxtail millet, etc. It is a newly emerging type of flour preferred for its low-gluten yet heavy anti-oxidant properties and protein content. The flour is also versatile to make several recipes like porridge, burgers, dosa, bread, cake, and soups.
Read: Types of Farming Methods
Did you know there exist several such different types of flours around you in the market? Well, now is the time to begin experimenting and try out several new varieties in flours. What do you think of these? Which is your most used type of flour, and why? Tell us your thoughts; we love to hear from you!
Frequently Asked Questions & Answers:
1. What is the healthiest type of flour?
Ans: Well, one cannot say a particular type of flour is healthy. However, depending on personal health requirements, nutritional properties, and benefits, you can choose the right type according to your benefits. The most common healthy types of flour used are almond flour, millet flour, oats flour, and wheat flour.
2. Which kind of flour is ideal for weight loss?
Ans: If you are looking for weight loss, you can use almond flour, millet, or oats flour. However, you can use the right kind depending on your target, muscle requirements, and health properties.
3. Which type of flour has the lowest carb content?
Ans: In general, almond flour is supposed to have very little carb content.
4. What are the most popular types of flour used?
Ans: All-purpose flour, bread flour, and wheat flour are the common and most popular types of flour in the world.
5. Is self-rising flour and all-purpose flour the same?
Ans: Although most of its properties are similar, self-rising flour also has salt and baking soda ingredients, distributed equally. As a result, it acts as a perfect leavening agent.
This is exclusively a guide about types of flour for informative purposes only. The opinions and overview in this article are provided from various sources across the web. The author does not guarantee or promise any accuracy of facts provided in this article.