- All-Purpose Flour: The
most common called for flour in recipes. A blend of hard and
soft wheat, it may be bleached or unbleached. Bleached is best
for pie crusts, cookies, quick breads, pancakes and waffles.
Unbleached is generally best because of it's higher protein content
for yeast breads, Danish pastry, puff pastry, strudel, Yorkshire
pudding, eclairs, cream puffs and popovers
- Cake Flour: This a "fine-textured, silky flour milled
from soft wheats with a low protein content." Since it has
a greater percentage of starch and less protein, it's best for
keeping delicate cakes tender. You can use cake flour instead
of all-purpose flour in recipes by increasing the cake flour
by 2 tablespoons per cup, but that in some recipes the substitution
may cause sinkage or collapse. Similarly, you can use all-purpose
flour instead of cake flour by decreasing the all-purpose flour
by 2 tablespoons, but it is not recommend to substitute when
making delicate cakes such as angel food or sponge.
Sometimes referred to as
phosphated flour, this is a low-protein flour with salt and leavening
already added. It's most often recommended for biscuits and some
quick breads but never for yeast breads. 1 cup of self-rising
flour contains 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of
salt. It can be used instead of all-purpose flour in a recipe
by reducing the salt and baking powder according to these proportions.
Is granular in texture and,
because it disperses instantly in cold liquids, is best for preparing
smooth gravies and sauces.
- Bread Flour:
This is white flour made
from hard, high-protein wheats. It has more gluten strength and
protein content than all-purpose flour and absorbs more water.
It is unbleached and sometimes conditioned with ascorbic acid.
Is made from the coarsely
ground endosperm of durum. It is used to make couscous and pasta.
- Pastry Flour: Milled from soft wheat, this falls somewhere between
all-purpose and cake flour in terms of protein content and baking
- Durum Flour: Grown in the U.S. almost exclusively in North Dakota,
durum is a hard spring wheat used to make noodles. It's finely
Flours Rediscovering the
natural flours of yesterday is one of today's delights.
- Whole Wheat
or graham) is made from the entire wheat berry after it has been
- Cracked Wheatis cleaned wheat cracked or cut into
- Rye Flour milled
from rye grain is usually mixed with wheat for bread baking.
Flour is made from the triangular seeds of the buckwheat
plant. Know by it's "speckles", it is a robust favorite
- Soy Flour is ground from whole raw soybeans and is slightly
sweet-tasting. It is extremely rich in high quality protein and
is an excellent source of iron, calcium and B-vitamins.
- Cornmeal is
made from ground corn and gives a crunchy sweetness to breads
and other foods.
- How to Store
Flour: All-purpose Flour
should be stored in an airtight canister in a cool, dry place
and used within 15 months. To keep longer, store in the refrigerator
or freezer in an air-tight container. Bring flour to room temperature
before using in recipes.
- How to Measure
Flour: All-purpose flour
is pre-sifted and requires no sifting. However, during packaging,
shipping and storage the product does settle. If a recipe calls
for flour that does not need to be sifted, it is a good idea
to lightly fluff the flour with a metal spatula or spoon before
measuring. To measure accurately, spoon flour into a standard
dry-ingredient measuring cup and then level with a metal spatula
or knife. The weight of one cup of flour straight from the bag
can be as much as 1 ounce heavier than it should be. For certain
recipes, it could make a big difference.
- How to Substitute
Flour: All-purpose flour
can be used in recipes calling for self-rising flour. For each
cup of all-purpose flour in the recipe, add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking
powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Number of
Cups Per Pound: There
are about 3 1/3 cups of flour per pound. There are about 34 cups
of flour in a 10-pound bag of flour.
In standard recipes, one of
the following may be substituted for 1 cup of wheat flour:
- 1 cup corn flour
- 3/4 cup coarse cornmeal
- 7/8 cup rice flour
- 1 scant cup fine cornmeal
- 5/8 cup potato flour
There are some problems in
the use of substitutes for wheat flour. The following suggestions
will improve the eating quality of the final product:
- Rice flour and cornmeal tend
to have a grainy texture. A smoother texture may be obtained
by mixing the rice
flour or cornmeal with the liquid called for in the recipe, bringing
this mixture to a boil, and cooling it before adding the other
- Soy flour must always be used
in combination with another flour, not as the only flour in a
recipe. It has no gluten, and by itself has an unappealing taste.
- When using a substitute for
wheat flour in baking, longer and slower baking time is required.
This is particularly true when the product is made without milk
- Because they have little or
no gluten, flours other than
wheat flour do not make satisfactory yeast breads.
- Muffins or biscuits, when made
with flours other than wheat flour, have better texture if baked
in small sizes.
- Dryness is a common characteristic
of cakes made with flours other than wheat flours. Moisture may
be preserved by frosting or storing cakes in closed containers.