The flour is the basis of all the baked goods, and the main component of most desserts. What do we know about it?
When I just started to get involved in baking (about 10 years ago), I had no idea that the flour can be different, and each type has its own properties, and is suitable for certain baked goods.
My knowledge was limited to dividing the flour into grades (higher, first, second). However, this didn’t stop me from baking with enthusiasm; the business wasn’t limited only to desserts: bread, buns, some specific national pastries, pies, cookies…
Well, I baked a lot, but I had no idea why the shortbread cookies turn out to be harder sometimes, and the eclairs are not fluffy enough; the biscuit turns out to be dense, and the bread does not please me with an elastic springy crumb.
As it turned out, it’s all about the flour!
After all, I used premium flour for all the baked goods, and didn’t pay attention to other parameters. And as it turned out, I’d better do.
So, what should you look for when choosing flour?
- The grade - the higher the grade of the flour is, the cleaner its’ composition is, and the "softer" the result will be. However, such flour is perfect for desserts, but you better use the low grade flour to cook bread, because it contains more vitamins like B1, B2, PP, E and some coarse fiber.
- Grinding. The flour can be distinguished into fine, medium and coarse. The latter, the so-called Whole Grain - is often used for making healthy baked goods, as well as for bread. This flour is more useful for the body, however, you should keep in mind that the baked goods from it turn out to be more crumb, coarser and it will stale faster.
To bake bread, you can mix the medium/fine and the coarse flour.
For the biscuits, shortbread and puff pastry, the extremely fine grinding is suitable!
- Gluten is also an important indicator when choosing flour. The flour with high gluten (proteins 12.5-15g | 0.42 to 0.53 oz) is more suitable for bread, eclairs and cakes. In some other products it has to be added in its pure state. The flour with low gluten content (proteins 10.3-11.5 g | 0.35 to 0.39 oz) is suitable for biscuits, various types of cookies and muffins. Sometimes you have to add starch to lighten the crumb structure and to make the cookies more crumbly, and to add fluffiness to the sponge biscuit.
You see, the flour is very multifaceted.
This time we have only considered the wheat flour
We are glad to be helpful!