You might wonder which is the right bread flour for your recipe, especially if you are new to baking. Bread flour is made using hard wheat, as it contains a high protein content compared to other types of wheat. Remember, this high protein content makes the bread rich in gluten, which explains its chewy texture.
It is also possible to mill bread flour into a fine powder, which makes its texture silky. It will help to note that bread flour produces less fluffy and denser bread when buying flour for your recipe.
Bakers who want airy and light bread should buy all-purpose flour for the best results. Homeowners can also know the most suitable flour by looking at their ingredients. Flour is an essential component in our diet, and there are no health-related risks in taking it.
How to Choose the Best Flour
There are different types of flour today, all with distinct gluten protein concentrations and qualities. These two features greatly impact how the flour will perform during the baking session. Also, there is a huge difference between plain all-purpose and strong white baking flour. This difference is mainly in the amount of protein they contain.
Baking flours with various protein levels are ideal for different baking forms, meaning a high protein content means a crustier bread. Your preferred flour also significantly impacts your bread’s style and texture.
Types of Baking Flour
Baking flour is available in different types, and below we discuss the most common;
- All-Purpose Flour
This type of flour features a gluten content of around 11% and is among the most common type. The all-purpose flour is made using a mixture of soft and hard wheat and is available in two forms; unbleached and bleached.
Unbleached flour is aged naturally to bleach the yellow pigment in the flour and oxidize proteins. Both flours are equally essential in the bread-making procedure.
- Bread Flour
As the name suggests, this flour is mainly used when making bread. The bread flour has a high gluten percentage, mainly around 14%, which makes the dough easy to work with and elastic when baking light bread.
Bakers can substitute bread flour with all-purpose flour, but it requires more water due to its high gluten content.
- White Wheat Flour
This flour is made using a different type of spring wheat which has a lighter color and is sweeter. This flour has a 13% gluten percentage and is an excellent substitute for bread flour. White whole wheat flour has a mild taste and is nutritious as whole wheat flour.
- Wheat Flour
Wheat flour has the highest gluten percentage, mainly at around 16%. This wheat is made using whole wheat berries and is among the most nutritious flours.
Most people are enrolling in online baking classes, a move that has led to the introduction of new flour on the shelves. Baking can be done for fun or as a means of living, and the above article has discussed how to choose bread flour.