Friday, August 12, 2011
How to understand Flour names!
Wheat Mysteries Solved...Part II
Many simply scratch their head with so many different types of flours on the market wondering which one to choose. This is a run down of the kinds of flours and what to use them for.
Kinds of Flours
Commercial bakers require several types of flours to be milled to specification for used the products they produce while home bakers are most likely to use all-purpose, cake, bread, and whole-wheat flour. Serious bakers will even use pastry and semolina in their baking.
This is finely ground wheat and is often a blend of soft and hard wheat that produces a flour suitable for many types of products. All-purpose flour is usually bleached.* Note that bleached flour is one more step to making the flour more unhealthy for consumption. See the note below.
This flour comes from hard red or white wheat, because of its strong gluten strength that will make great bread. Bread flour is usually unbleached.
Cake flour is simply finely ground mix of soft wheat and red wheat. It is usually bleached and is used for cakes, cookies, crackers, quick breads, and some pastries. It has a lower gluten content, which makes the products more tender.
The finely ground durum wheat. Durum flour is usually found in specialty sections of supermarkets or health food stores. It is used primarily for making noodles/pasta.
Gluten flour is a part of the wheat grain milled from hard wheat and makes a high-protein (gluten) flour. It contains about 45 percent protein, whereas bread flour is usually about 12-14 percent protein. Gluten flour is added in small amounts approximately one tablespoon per one pound loaf. If you use this with your Bosch Mixer, your bread will be even lighter and fluffier than it already is!
This type of flour is not as commonly found unless you have your own mill and can grind your soft wheat. It makes a fluffy pastry, flaky pie crusts, etc.
Self-rising flour started in southern States and is the oldest "mix" found in America. It is an all-purpose flour with leavening and salt added to make quick breads. One cup contains 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp of salt.
Semolina is a coarsely ground flour from high quality durum wheat and is used for making pasta. It can be used for breads due to its high gluten quality.
Whole-wheat flour is also called graham flour and stone-ground flour. Whole-wheat flour is ground from the entire kernel containing 100% of the wheat kernel!
Remember, when you use your Nutri Grain Mill you can make any grain 100% whole grain...whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, whole semolina flour, whole durum flour! Nutri Grain Mill
Just a note about bleached flours....
Enriched flours are often bleached for two reasons:
1. to lighten the flour color
2. improve baking qualities
Bleaching oxidizes the gluten slightly and therefore makes cakes and pastries more tender. When flour is bleached, it is exposed to chlorine gas and benzyl peroxide. Humm...is it really worth the tender pastry to compromise your health? I don't think so!
Enrich means that 4 B-vitamins have been chemically put back into the flour. We lost 34 vitamins and minerals in the deal! So sad.
So why mill your own? Would you crack an egg, cut an orange or peel an banana and use it six weeks later, or six months later? How about powdered eggs? There is a real difference; powdered eggs have protein but there's no comparison in the taste or nutrient value. All whole grain seeds are tiny whole capsules of life, just like an egg. Wheat berries will keep longer than eggs as mentioned before. But once the seal is broken and the grain turned into powder/flour, the process of oxidation quickly begins to break down wheat and other grains into its basic elements, just like your car can oxidize or rust away.
I guess I can't encourage you enough that a Nutri Grain Mill will give you not only fresh 100% flour but you get ALL the nutrients in the grains. You will also have better tasting baked goods because the flour will have all the nutrition from the grain.
The beauty of today's kitchen is refrigeration. You can refrigerate fresh flour to preserve the nutrition for up to 2 weeks. You can freeze the freshly ground flour for up to 4 months and still get the benefit of all the nutrients. The Nutri mill bagger attachment comes in handy for this storage. You can mill straight into the bag and then keep the fresh flour labeled in the freezer for when you need any variety of grain flours! Click here to learn more!