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diana 05-04-2003 @ 8:05 AM                           Reply to this Discussion   Edit This Message   Delete This Message.
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For Juan:

Here are the definitions for many types of flour, all being part of the Wheat Flour family:

WHEAT FLOUR is the most important ingredient in home baking. Among the grains that can be milled into flour, wheat is unique. It is the only cereal grain that contains enough gluten to make a yeast bread. Flour milled from each of the 6 classes of wheat is used for specific products. The end products are determined by the characteristics of the wheat.

All-Purpose Flour (also called "plain flour") - A medium-protein wheat flour made from hard wheats or a combination of soft and hard wheats. It is designed for use in a wide range of baked products.

Biscuit Flour - Wheat flour milled from soft wheat, or a combination of soft and hard wheats, for the production of chemically leavened biscuits. (Chemical Leavening is usually some form of baking powder.)

Bleached Flour - Wheat flour that has been exposed to chlorine gas or benzoyl peroxide to mature the flour and condition the gluten, improving the baking quality. The bleaching agent evaporates and does not leave residues or destroy the nutrients. It also reduces the risk of spoilage or contamination.

Bread Flour - Flour ground from hard red spring wheat and milled primarily for commercial bakers. Similar to all-purpose flour, bread flour has greater gluten strength and is generally used for yeast breads.

Cake Flour - Wheat flour milled from soft wheat. This wheat is low in protein and low in gluten and especially suitable for cakes, cookies, crackers, and pastries.

Cookie Flour - Flour milled from lower-protein soft wheats.

Cracker Flour - Flour milled from soft red winter wheat or from a blend of hard and soft wheats.

Durum Flour - A by-product in the production of semolina from durum wheat. It is used for American noodles, some types of pasta, and occasionally in specialty breads.

Enriched Flour - To be labeled as such, this flour must contain, within each pound, 2.9 milligrams (mg) of thiamin, 1.8 mg of riboflavin, 24 mg of niacin, and 20 mg of iron. The majority of all-purpose flour in the United States is enriched.

Farina - Farina is the coarsely ground endosperm of hard wheats. It is the main ingredient in many hot breakfast cereals and may also be used for pasta.

Gluten Flour - This flour is milled from high protein wheat and contains much higher protein than bread flour. It is used by bakers in combination with low protein or non-wheat flours. The gluten flour improves baking quality and produces yeast breads with a high protein content.

Graham Flour - Another term for whole-wheat flour.

Pastry Flour - Flour milled from soft, low gluten wheat. In comparison to cake flour, the protein is comparable but pastry flour has less starch. This flour is generally used for baking pastries.

Self-Rising Flour - An all-purpose flour with salt and leavening added. One cup of self-rising flour contains 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Self-rising flour can be substituted for all-purpose flour in a recipe by reducing salt and baking powder according to these proportions.

Semolina - The coarsely ground endosperm of durum wheat. High in protein, it is used by American and Italian manufactures to make high quality pasta products such as macaroni and spaghetti. It is also used for couscous in Africa and Latin America.

Unbleached Flour - Wheat flour bleached by oxygen in the air during an aging process. This flour will be off-white in color but nutritionally, bleached and unbleached flours are equivalent.

Whole-Wheat Flour - A coarse-textured flour ground from the entire wheat kernel. It contains the bran, germ and endosperm. The presence of bran reduces gluten development, so baked products made from whole-wheat flour tend to be heavier and denser than those made from white flour. In most recipes, whole-wheat flour can be mixed half-and-half with white flour.

Hope this helps you out.

Sincerely, Diana
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