April showers bring what? May flour of course! There are TONS of different types of flour besides the All-Purpose Flour you’re used to. Each flour can add a different spin on a recipe. Also, if you have or know friends that have Celiac’s disease, there are a bunch of gluten-free flours that would be perfect substitutes.
First off, why flour? It is a staple in almost every baked good. The basic purpose of flour is that it kinda acts as a “glue” in your dishes. It is able to hold wet ingredients together because of the proteins in it. So without flour, all your cakes would be soupy sludge. It can also be used as an anti-sticking agent on pans and other baking dishes.
The most common flour is All-Purpose Flour, also known as “plain flour.” When in doubt, all-purpose flour should be your flour of choice. It is made from hard and soft wheat. There are different varieties of all-purpose flour like self-rising, which is just infused with baking-powder and salt.
Some other wheat-based flours are cake flour, bread flour and pastry flour. Cake flour is a soft-wheat flour with a high starch. It is better able to hold a rise when using lots of sugars and fats. Bread flour, on the other hand is made from hard, high-protein wheat which is able to have an increased volume and texture desired in bread making. Pastry flour sits in between cake flour and all-purpose flour. It is perfect for pie crusts, brownies, and crisp, flakey pastries. Yum!
Now, onto some flours you probably aren’t as familiar with. There is corn flour, which is used for yummy corn tortillas! It is also used as a thickener and filler in many large food industries.
Almond flour is great for cookies and quick breads. It adds moistness, density and a slight almond flavor to your recipes. It is also gluten-free!
Coconut flour is created from dried coconut meat. It is gluten-free, low in carbs and high in fiber. If you’re not a coconut fan, don’t worry, it only has a hint of coconut flavor. But be sure to adjust your recipe if you use coconut flour as it tends to suck up liquid more than other flours.
The last flour I’m going to mention is Rice flour. This is made from finely ground rice. It is great as a sauce thickener, so think of it next time you’re making Schezwan sauce! It is also used to make Mochi, a yummy Japanese treat.
Next time you’re at the store shopping for flour, think about getting some other flours besides all-purpose! It can really add some pizzaz to your baked goods!
Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2017
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