Confused by the sheer range and diversity of flours available? You can read our quick guide here.
What is Flour and what does it do?
We know the amount of choice you have when it comes to flour can be a little daunting. To help we have summarised some of the main types for you. Flour was traditionally ground wheat, but countless alternatives exist today to suit dietary needs. All flour works by absorbing liquid to produce elastic strands that can be kneaded and prompted to rise during cooking. This is why flour is always a key ingredient of cakes and pastries.
What are the benefits of Flour?
Traditional flour is an excellent source of vitamins, fibre and complex carbohydrates. It is also low in fat and cholesterol. There are, however, lots of options available. We have shared some of our favourites below.
What is Plain Flour?
Plain flour, sometimes called white flour, is the most basic ingredient. Traditionally made from the endosperm (the starchy white part) of wheat grain, it is key to basic pastries such as pie crusts, quick breads and pancakes.
What is Self-raising Flour?
Self-raising flour is a pre-mixed combination of flour, baking powder and salt. As the name suggests, the additional ingredients act as raising agents. The additions are a fantastic time-saver for busy cooks and bakers.
What is Wholemeal Flour?
Key to brown breads and other nutritious staples, wholemeal flour is ground from the whole of the wheat kernel (or equivalent) during its manufacture. It makes for a heavier and denser end product but adds flavour and all-important fibre, vitamins and minerals.
What is Bread Flour?
Bread flours vary but they typically use harder, spring wheats to deliver more stringy glutenous doughs ideal, as the name would suggest, for bread making.
What is Spelt Flour?
Spelt is a grain that is closely related to wheat and makes similar flour. It can be used in most recipes that ask for regular or whole grain flours. Spelt has a nutty, slightly sweet flavour ideal for savouries.
What is Gluten-free Flour?
Gluten the protein found in wheat and other grains that, when water or liquid is added to it, becomes elastic. Gluten-free refers to flours that use alternative proteins to become elastic. Examples include nut flours, rice flour, teff flour, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, garbanzo flour or buckwheat flour.
What is Quinoa Flour?
Quinoa flour is made from ground quinoa seeds. It generally looks and behaves like an all-purpose wheat flour and can generally be easily adapted to a broad range of baking recipes from desserts to muffins to some breads.