Variety of Flours

There are so many different types of flour, all with specific names.  What is the difference?  The most common type is all purpose flour (unbleached and bleached) you can use universally.  Great for baking, thickening sauces or soups, breakfast foods, making pastas and homemade bread, etc.  I set out to find out all the differences on flour – specifically wheat flour – no gluten free and nut flours (I’ll save that for a different post)!

The easiest way was to make a list – of course making lists is one of my favorite things to do, it is so much easier to read (for me at least).

Here you are!

All Purpose Flour (unbleached and bleached)

Wheat flour with simply the endosperm

Most of the nutritive properties have been removed

Basic pantry flour used for multiple purposes

Medium protein content 

Bleached flour means chemically altered to whiten the flour1

Whole Wheat Flour

100% whole wheat with bran, germ, and endosperm

Less processed

Higher in fiber, vitamins, and minerals

Nutty hearty flavor

Made from hard red spring wheat (or winter wheat)2

White Whole Wheat Flour

100% whole wheat with bran, germ, and endosperm

Less processed

Higher in fiber, vitamins, and minerals

Lighter colored grain

Mellower (mild) in flavor

Made from hard white spring (or winter wheat)2 

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

100% whole wheat with bran, germ, and endosperm

Less processed

Higher in fiber, vitamins, and minerals

Made from the finest soft white wheat

Lower protein content than whole wheat flour

Can use 1:1 ratio for whole wheat flour

Bread Flour

Best for yeasted breads

Higher protein content for higher rise

Thus produces more gluten by kneading

Creates stringy strands for stretch and elasticity

Contributes to the “chewy” texture1

Self Raising Flour

Wheat flour with baking powder and salt

Lighter than air texture

Great for bakers

Great for biscuits, scones, pancakes, etc

Replace 1 cup self raising flour with 1 ½ tsp baking powder + ¼ tsp salt3

Cake Flour

Low protein content

Used for making cakes

Replace 1 cup cake flour with 1 cup all purpose flour + 2 Tbsp cornstarch1,3

Pastry Flour

Lower protein content than cake flour

Used for pie crust, biscuits, scones

For a tender, flaky, crumbly texture1

References:

  1. Saffitz, C. (2017, August 02). What’s the difference between bread Flour, All-purpose FLOUR, Cake flour, and pastry Flour? (Phew!). Retrieved April 08, 2021, from https://www.bonappetit.com/story/difference-bread-all-purpose-cake-pastry-flour
  2. Prakash, S. (2019, May 01). What’s the difference between whole-wheat and white whole-wheat flour? Retrieved April 08, 2021, from https://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-between-whole-wheat-and-white-whole-wheat-flour-236647
  3. Morford, K. (n.d.). The ultimate guide to Flour: How to Swap, substitute and supplement your Favorite Flours. Retrieved April 08, 2021, from https://www.simplyrecipes.com/the_ultimate_guide_to_flour_how_to_swap_substitute_and_supplement_your_favorite_flours/

Photo Credit:

Kristiana Pinne on Unsplash 

Olga Kudriavtseva on Unsplash 

Photo by Klaus Nielsen from Pexels

One thought on “Variety of Flours

  1. Pingback: Morning Pastries Don’t Have to be Unhealthy | Nutrition Thyme RD

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s