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Have you ever wondered what type of flour is right for the best type of baked good? This different types of flour guide will help with tips and tricks on how to pick the best flour option and why.
You may be surprised to find out that there are many different types of flour and that they all have different uses, and some work better on certain baked goods.
While some gluten-free flours are better for bread, other flours may be better to make tortillas. With gluten-free recipes becoming a lot more common, I have found that recipes like GF Fried Tomatoes, GF Dutch Pancakes, and GF Mocha Cake have been really popular.
This is the most common type of flour and the one you will find on most grocery store shelves. It is shelf stable, making it a staple to keep around for cooking and baking. It can be used for almost any type of baking recipe, like cookies, pancakes, brownies, etc. You can even use this flour to bread chicken.
Whole Wheat Flour:
Whole wheat flour is much denser than all-purpose flour because of its germ. Unlike all-purpose flour, you will need to rest this flour before baking. But, keep in mind this is different from proofing! Resting helps the raw dough combine the bran and the germ, making it soft enough to bake. If you skip this step, you may end up with course bread. It can be used in cookies, waffles, pizza dough, and pasta.
White Whole Wheat Flour:
This flour can accidentally get mistaken for bleached flour, but it is very different. This white whole wheat flour is made from whole wheat seed heads. It is a lighter variety of white hard winter wheat flour. The “white” aspect of this flour helps with the final color. Baked goods using this white whole wheat flour will be lighter and color and a little sweeter to taste compared to whole wheat. You can use this flour for muffins and bread. You can not use this ingredient if you’re making a lighter cake; it will make it too dense.
Almond flour is a great gluten-free flour that can also give different baked goods texture and flavor. It has a sweet flavor but can also be used to bake savory goods. It is very easy to find and can be found at most grocery stores. You can use it to make breakfast foods like pancakes, muffins, and waffles. Almond flour is also great for many dessert items like cookies and brownies.
This flour has recently become very popular because of its fiber content. Cassava is both grain and gluten-free and is similar to both wheat and all-purpose flour. Cassava flour is excellent for making crackers and tortillas.
Pastry flour is a bleached flour that can be both white and whole wheat. It has a fine texture, which makes it perfect for yummy airy pastries. You can use this for pie crusts, scones, and biscuits.
Cake flour is made for… well, cake! This specific flour helps create the most delicious and moist cakes every time. It is milled incredibly fine and is sometimes bleached. The bleach in this flour helps the flour’s starches into fat and liquid.
Bread flour is high in protein, which makes it perfect for creating loaves of bread that are a little more dense and chewy, like bagels.
You can actually make self-rising flour yourself by combining 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and adding it to 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Baking powder is a leavening agent, which means that it helps the dough expand by releasing gas when it is mixed with liquid or heat. This flour is best used for making biscuits.
Pro Tip: Leavening or rising agents help bread, cookies, and other baked goods hit their optimal volume and texture. The five main leavening agents are air, steam, yeast, baking powder, and baking soda.
GF flour is very popular for people with a gluten allergy or dietary restrictions. These flours are usually made from a source that is similar to gluten – like rice, potato, corn, buckwheat, or even certain types of beans. This flour is best used for cookies, bread, pasta, and muffins.
This is one of the more complicated flours to use. It is made from different kinds of wheat or sprouted grains, like red and white wheat, corn, and rye. Sprouted flour is best used for cakes, cookies, and crackers.
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- First published: 4/16/2023