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Before you start baking, it’s important to know


TYPES OF FLOUR By Carmen Lau Photo by Elle Hughes

the differences between the types of flour and to choose which one you need for what you’re going to bake. The first most important thing to know is that you can’t bake anything or everything with just a single type of flour. There are a variety of different flours for specific types of baked goods. Flours are a mystery because most of them look the same but all of them do different things. Let’s start with the basics and take a closer look at what each flour does.

The main factor that makes flour different from each other is the percentage of protein content in it. Most flours are white flour which is produced from milling endosperms in wheat kernels. However, this does not apply to “whole-wheat” labeled flours. Whole wheat flours are made from the milling of the entire wheat kernel which encompasses the germ, bran, and endosperm. This makes whole wheat flours to have the highest protein than other flours. The protein content in flour determines the amount of gluten that exists in the flour. The higher the protein, the more gluten it has, which gives you more strength to your baked goods. Gluten will give NOMADIC | 24 pastries and bread a sturdier structure. If you are looking to make a more stretchy and elastic dough, you should use a flour with a high protein content as it will hold it's shaped better.

TYPES OF FLOUR / BAKING 101 All-Purpose Flour

Cake Flour

The most basic flour in baking. It doesn’t

Cake flour produces a soft and even crumbed

necessarily mean all purpose flour, but it is the

like texture. It has the lowest protein content

type of flour which is most versatile. All-purpose

of 5-8 percent which causes the flour to form

flour contains a protein percentage of 10-12

less gluten. It allows your cakes to rise high.

percent. The protein content determines the

Cake flour would be perfect to make cakes or

amount of gluten the flour can have which leads


to more strength. The benefit of this flour is that it holds structure and it works well when baking

How to store it

cakes. Keep cake flour in the pantry up to eight How to store it Best to store in a tightly sealed canister. Its shelf life is about 1 year and can be kept for almost 2 years if refrigerated.


Pastry Flour

Bread Flour

Protein levels are somewhere between 8-9

Bread flour has the highest protein level,

percent, which results in the flour to achieve a

sitting at 12-14 percent. It provides the

nice flakiness and light tenderness. It creates a

strongest structural support when baking.

light and airy texture to your baked goods,

The higher the protein, the more gluten you’ll

making it perfect for biscuits, pie crust and

get. The high gluten causes it to form an


elasticity that would hold everything together. It will give your baked bread a chewier

How to store it


Store in airtight container and store in a

How to store it

refrigerator. Bread flour can be found in both white or whole wheat. Store in a pantry for up to nine months.

Baking guide: types of flour  
Baking guide: types of flour