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The Different Types of Flour That All Home Bakers Should Know About

There’s nothing quite like sinking your teeth into warm bread or a fresh pastry. The problem is making delicious bread that actually comes out the right way. If it’s not done in the middle, you’ll regret all your life decisions.

The first part of making amazing baked goods is familiarizing yourself with the different types of flour. If you use cake flour to bake a loaf of bread, it’s going to have a weird texture.

We can help you become the best home cook that you can possibly be. Check out this guide to learn the ins and outs of the different flours you can prepare and buy.


First up on the list is your general all-purpose cooking flour. It’s the easiest type to get your hands on because it’s on the shelves of the baking aisle of every store.

It’s also the most versatile flour that you can buy. If a recipe doesn’t elaborate on what type of flour it wants you to use, self-purpose is going to be your best bet.

Its moderate protein content allows it to make the fluffiest baked goods that you’ve ever put in your mouth. This flour is best used for pancakes, cookies, bread, biscuits, pasta, and pizza dough.

Cake Flour

Cake flour has even less protein content than all-purpose brands. Since it only has about 5% protein, it’s not packed full of as much gluten.

That’s why it’s so good for cakes and muffins. It makes for some soft baked goods. Cake flour also tends to absorb more liquid, so you can count on having a moist cake.

If you can’t find baking mixes in the store, you can make your own cake flour. Measure out a cup of flour and remove two tablespoons of it. Replace these tablespoons with cornstarch.

Whole Wheat Flour

Whole wheat flour is made with germ, endosperm, and fiber-riched bran. This makes it a bit denser than the other options available to you. It doesn’t rise near as much.

To this end, you’ll need to let your batter rest for about half an hour to get the best results. Doing so will allow the liquid to break through the ingredients of the flour and soften things up. Whole wheat is the best flour for scones, bread, waffles, pizza dough, pasta, and cookies.

Pastry Flour

You can buy regular white pastry flour or get it in whole wheat. It all depends on what kind of taste and consistency you want out of your scones.

No matter what type of pastry flour you buy, it’s going to be a lot softer than all-purpose and wheat flour. Since it has such a fine texture, it has a reduced gluten content.

That means you should avoid using it for bread. Pastry flour does work for cookies, waffles, pie crusts, pound cakes, and muffins.

White Whole Wheat

White whole wheat flour is a good cross between whole wheat and white flour. It has endosperm, bran, and germ while containing some of the components of white flour.

This makes it a bit lighter than whole wheat flour, but it’s not quite as bleached as white flour. Its 13 percent protein content doesn’t make it a suitable option for light cakes.

It will make some sweet cookies. It’s also great for bread and muffins.

Bread Flour

When making bread, you need plenty of protein on your side. That’s exactly what bread flour can give to you. On top of having a high protein content, it also packs gluten.

The combination of these two things will allow your bread to rise. This is especially true if you’re trying to bake bread that contains yeast.

It gives you that delicious chewy texture that comes hand in hand with pretzels, artisan bread, bagels, and pizza dough.

Self-Rising Flour

If you’re trying to be a smart homeowner, take a little bit of the baking work off yourself by picking up self-rising flour. It already has all the ingredients in it that are needed to help your baked goods rise.

It closely resembles cake flour. In fact, you can make it almost the same way that you make cake flour. Instead of using cornstarch, however, you’re going to use baking powder.

If a recipe calls for self-rising, and you don’t have it or have the materials to make it, you’ll have to go to the store. There’s no substitute for this type of flour. The best thing to use self-rising flour for is biscuits.

Almond Flour

Are you looking for a gluten-free alternative to regular flour? Almond flour is the perfect fit. Not only is it gluten-free, but it contains healthy fats and fiber.

It doesn’t pack as many carbs either. It is lighter than most flours, so you’re going to have to add a little heft if you want it to be an adequate replacement.

Most people do this by adding baking soda or baking powder. After you do that, you can use almond flour for cookies, bread, biscuits, muffins, and pancakes.

The Different Types of Flour You Can Use in Your Kitchen

If you’re going to become a better baker, you’re going to need to familiarize yourself with the different types of flour. Failing to do so could lead to you making a tragic mistake.

Using cake flour to bake bread will throw off the consistency. With some flours, you have to add things to it to make it work in a recipe. There’s a lot that you have to keep in mind.

We hope that reading this article has made you a better baker. For more tips that will help you work your way around the kitchen, feel free to explore the rest of our blog.

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