How to choose the right flour for the right baking recipe
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Whether you are a cake, cookies, pie, or bread baker, choosing the right type of flour can be difficult, especially if you are a first-time baker.
The type of flour you use greatly influences the success of your baking attempt. There are so many different types on the market, which makes it a bit more difficult to know what type of flour to keep in your pantry and when to use it.
This handy guide will get you started in learning more about flour to get the best bake possible.
Cake flour is a bleached flour that absorbs more liquid and rises higher. That is why it is perfect for baking cakes. Many of your cake recipes will call for all-purpose flour, but there are times when you might find yourself reaching for cake flour. Its low protein content (6 to 8 percent) and very smooth, fine consistency give baked goods a tender texture and high rise.
Self-raising is flour that contains baking powder so it is always important to buy it in smaller quantities as it loses its rising power over time. This is lower-protein (around 8 to 10 percent) all-purpose flour with salt and baking powder mixed in.
Whole wheat flour
As the name indicates, it’s made from the entire wheat kernel, including the bran (protective outer layer), endosperm (the starchy food for the seed that surrounds it, used in white flour), and germ (the seed). Its protein content is 13 to 14 percent. The fat in the wheat germ can go rancid, which is why it should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Whole wheat flour will give your baked goods a nuttier flavour, darker colour, and heartier texture. It is best for making muffins, and quick bread.
All-purpose flour is said to be the best flour to have in your kitchen as it has a longer shelf life. It is often called “the Jack of all trades”. This versatile staple is what you will be pulling out most times for almost anything: cookies, cakes, muffins, brownies, and even some bread and pizza dough. So if you’re going to keep one type of flour in your pantry, this is it. The brand you use does make a difference to a certain extent since protein content can vary from 10 to 12 percent and is worth checking before you buy.