The term ‘flour’ refers to the powder derived from grounded wheat. The process of grinding the wheat to obtain the fine powder is called ‘milling’ During the process of milling, the whole wheat grain can be used to obtained the flour of the various layers that surround the endosperm can be removed before the remainder is mixed to the powdered form.
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Flour mixtures are combinations of different types of flours used in baking and cooking to achieve specific results in terms of texture, flavor, and nutritional value. These mixtures are created by combining different flours in varying proportions to meet specific recipe requirements or dietary preferences. Here are a few common flour mixtures:
1. All-Purpose Flour: This is a versatile flour commonly used in a wide range of recipes. It is made from a mixture of hard and soft wheat, providing a balance of protein and gluten content. All-purpose flour is suitable for baking cakes, cookies, bread, and other general purposes.
2. Self-Rising Flour: Self-rising flour is a mixture of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. It is often used in recipes that require a leavening agent. Self-rising flour is commonly used in biscuits, pancakes, and quick breads.
3. Whole Wheat Flour: Whole wheat flour is made from grinding the entire wheat kernel, including the bran, germ, and endosperm. It contains more fiber, nutrients, and a stronger flavor compared to all-purpose flour. Whole wheat flour is commonly used in bread, muffins, and other baked goods to add a nutty taste and increase the nutritional value.
4. Cake Flour: Cake flour is finely milled from soft wheat, and it has a lower protein content compared to all-purpose flour. It results in a tender and delicate texture, making it ideal for cakes, pastries, and cookies.
5. Bread Flour: Bread flour is made from hard wheat with a high protein content. It has a higher gluten content compared to all-purpose flour, which gives bread a chewy texture and helps it rise. Bread flour is commonly used in yeast-based bread recipes.
6. Gluten-Free Flour Mix: Gluten-free flour mixes are created for individuals who need to avoid gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. These mixtures typically contain a combination of gluten-free flours like rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, and cornstarch. They can be used as a substitute for regular flour in various recipes.
7. Other Specialty Flour Mixtures: There are various specialty flour mixtures available, such as nut flour blends, which combine ground nuts like almond or hazelnut with other flours. These mixtures are often used in gluten-free or low-carb baking to add flavor and texture.
TYPES OF FLOUR IN COOKERY AND THEIR PROPERTIES
- Whole wheat flour: this is also known as graham flour or entire wheat flour. It contains all the natural constituents of wheat in undiluted proportions. Because of its high fat content, it can easily go rancid and cannot be stored for a long period.
- All-purpose flour: this is also called general purpose or family flour. It is intermediate to bread flour and cake flour in its characteristic and is intended for all cookery purpose.
- Instant blending flour: Also known as agglomerated flour. It is characterised by a granular texture and is of uniform particles in size. It is free flowing, disperses quickly in cold water, is dust free, does not pack down and hence requires no pre-sifting.
- Self-rising flour: It contains salt and the ingredients of baking powder, hence, it has the characteristics of rising even when used without the addition of raising agents. It is suitable for making scones and plain cakes.
- Composite flour: these are mixtures of two or more different types of flour. E.g wheat flour can be mixed with corn or millet or cassava flour in specific ratio. The resulting flour is known as composite flour and can be used in caking.
It’s important to note that the proportions and specific types of flours used in mixtures can vary depending on the desired outcome of a recipe. It’s always a good idea to follow a recipe’s instructions or consult a trusted source when working with flour mixtures.
- Describe the term milling
- Outline five types of flour in cookery and state their uses.
Explain the following types of flour:
- Cake flour
- Pastry flour
- Soft-wheat flour
- Hard-wheat flour