What do breads, pastries, cakes, gravy, pasta and papier-mâché sculpture have in common? Flour! Flour is finely ground and sifted meal of various edible grains. Giant steel or stone rollers are used to break and grind the grain. Consult this glossary to find just the right flour for your recipe.
- All-Purpose Flour is made from a blend of high-gluten hard wheat and low-gluten soft wheat. This blend makes it suitable for many types of recipes. Flour is enriched to replace some of the nutrients lost in the milling process. Some flour is bleached to whiten. Unbleached and bleached flour can be used interchangeably.
- Whole Wheat Flour contains wheat germ, which means it has a higher fiber content, as well as higher fat content. Because of this, it must be stored in the refrigerator. Generally 50% whole wheat flour can be substituted for all-purpose flour in recipes.
- Cake Flour (a.k.a. pastry flour) is fine-textured soft wheat flour with a high starch content. This is generally used in delicate cakes such as angel food or sponge cake. For each cup of all-purpose flour, substitute 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour.
- Self-Rising Flour is all-purpose flour with baking powder and salt added. If used in a recipe that does not specify it, eliminate the salt and baking powder from the recipe.