The Truth About Flours for Bread Making

The Truth About Flours for Bread Making

Written by: irving weiss


Time to read 1 min

Types of Flour:

  •  All-Purpose Flour:  Versatile and suitable for a wide range of baked goods.

  •  Bread Flour:  Higher protein content for yeast-risen bread, providing structure and chewiness.

  •  Cake Flour:  Lower protein content for tender cakes and pastries.

  •  Whole Wheat Flour:  Contains the bran, germ, and endosperm, providing a nuttier flavor and more nutrients.

Protein Content:

  • High-protein flours (bread flour) create more gluten, ideal for bread.

  • Low-protein flours (cake flour) result in tender baked goods like cakes and pastries.

Gluten Formation:

  • Gluten, formed by proteins in flour, gives elasticity and structure to dough.

  • Kneading develops gluten, crucial for bread but undesirable in tender pastries.

Flour Storage:

  • Store flour in a cool, dry place to prevent moisture absorption.

  • Whole grain flours can turn rancid due to their higher fat content.

Measuring Flour:

  • Spoon flour into measuring cups and level off with a flat edge.

  • Do not scoop directly from the bag, as it can lead to inaccurate measurements.


  • Sifting aerates flour, ensuring a lighter texture in baked goods.

  • Some recipes may require sifted flour for even distribution of leavening agents.

Flour Substitutions:

  • Different flours have unique characteristics; substitutions can impact texture and flavor.

  • Experiment cautiously when substituting gluten-free or alternative flours.

Self-Rising Flour:

  • Contains added baking powder and salt.

  • Suitable for recipes calling for these ingredients, but not ideal for yeast-based recipes.

Enriched Flour:

  • Contains added nutrients like iron and B vitamins.

  • Common in all-purpose flours.

Bleached vs. Unbleached Flour:

  • Bleached flour undergoes a chemical process for whitening.

  • Unbleached flour ages naturally over time.

  • Bleaching can impact texture and performance but is generally safe.

Specialty Flours:

  • Almond, coconut, and other alternative flours have distinct flavors and properties.

  • Use specialty flours in gluten-free or specific dietary recipes.

Understanding Ratios:

  • Flour interacts with other ingredients; understand ratios for successful baking.

  • Adjust flour quantity based on altitude, humidity, and environmental factors.

Preventing Overmixing:

  • Overmixing can lead to tough baked goods by overdeveloping gluten.

  • Mix just until ingredients are combined to avoid overmixing.

Aging of Flour:

  • Some recipes benefit from aging flour to improve texture and flavor.

  • Aging allows flour to absorb moisture and develop better gluten structure.

Understanding these aspects of flour will empower you in the kitchen, enabling you to choose the right type for each recipe and make adjustments as needed. Experimenting and gaining hands-on experience will further enhance your baking skills.