Flour Types

Golden grain fields extend hope with the challenges of flour preservation, and meal preparation.

Flour Types

In the United States, most people use all-purpose wheat flour for cooking and arts and crafts. In most other countries, the fine powder used in cooking comes in small packages and varieties. Each type of flour is used for different purposes. In America, these are called specialty flours. For this reason, flour is a basic ingredient but is also included in the most difficult category due to different rules and purchase locations. Special recipes are briefly discussed for each type of flour.

All-Purpose Flour (APF):

APF is a blend of hard and soft wheat flour. It is sold as both bleached and unbleached. Unbleached flour is bleached naturally and mostly used to make yeast bread and pastries. Bleached flour is chemically treated and has less protein. It is used for cookies, pancakes, waffles, pies and for arts and crafts.

Cake Flour:

A fine-textured soft wheat flour has a lower protein and gluten content used for baking. Cake flour is chlorinated leaving the flour slightly acidic that helps the cake to set faster and distributes fats evenly. It is best to use for making cakes, bread, cookies, and muffins.

Self-Rising Flour:

SRF is an all-purpose flour containing baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sometimes called a phosphates flour. The low protein content permits biscuits and quick bread but is not suitable for yeast bread. There is no need to add salt or leavening agents to recipes using this flour.

Bread Flour:

BF contains more gluten and protein than all-purpose flour making it ideal for bread of all types. It is made from hard high protein wheat. It is unbleached and sometimes contains ascorbic acid, which increases volume, and helps create a good texture.

Instant Flour :

IF is granulated flour and created to
dissolve quickly in hot or cold liquids. It is primarily used for thickening
gravies and sauces.

Whole Wheat Flour :

Has been called graham flour and is coarsely ground from the entire wheat kernel. Hence, it contains more nutrients. It is good for cookies and stovetop foods. However, mostly it is not used in baking unless mixed with other wheat flours. 


Specialty Flours

Almond Flour:

This flour enriches pastry crusts and
bread when used in small amounts. The flour adds moisture, enhances binding and
provides a light almond flavor.

Amaranth Flour:

Amaranth is an ancient grain. The word means
everlasting in Greek. It is used in small amounts with other flours. Often seen
in Greek recipes.

Barley Flour:

Barley is a good alternative to wheat flour. The flour provides a mild and nutty flavor. There are fewer calories and more fiber content and is suitable for bread and pancakes.

Buckwheat Flour:

A frequent pancake ingredient with a
nutty flavor and many nutrients.

Chickpea Flour :

This is commonly called as besan or gram flour and made from dried chickpeas an unusual legume commonly used in many countries. Commonly used as a high nutrient value substitute in quick bread, thickeners, and stovetop dishes.

Coconut Flour:

It is made from dried coconut meat and high in fiber and has fewer carbohydrates. It has a light coconut flavor and can be used in small amounts for various baked goodies.

Corn Flour:

It is used as thickener, filler or binder in various preparations. Finely ground cornmeal that is milled from the whole kernel. Tortillas, quick bread, and stuffing are popular uses.

Millet Flour:

Used for baking desserts and sweetbreads.

Oat Flour:

It is made from ground whole oats and tends
to make baked goods moist.

Quinoa Flour:

QF is a specialty flour with gluten-free characteristics. It is used in most stove-top dishes, quick bread, bread crumbs, and thickeners.

Rice Flour:

This flour is made from both white and brown rice. Used for special diets and swallowing problems because it is easy to digest and can be used to thicken sauces and water-based foods.

Soy Flour:

SF makes a fine, nutritious bread due to
its high protein content. It is a good vegan substitute for many recipes.

Spelt Flour:

Spelt is another vegan substitute flour. It is used in pastas all sorts of bread, scones, waffles, pizzas and with other strong-flavored foods like pumpkin and chocolate.

There are many other types of specialty flours such as Pumpernickel, rye, semolina, sorghum, Tapioca, and Teff. Learning to use just the right flour for a recipe takes years of meal preparation and experimentation.


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