Understanding the best flour for the recipe
No longer must the home baker use just one type of flour for all baking needs. The intended use of the various types of flour on sale is usually listed on the packet. You may have also seen this in recipes which call for a “pastry” flour or “bread” flour.
To ensure that the best type of flour for a particular end use is provided, flour millers produce different types of flour for cake/biscuit making, for bread making, for household use, and pasta production. A lot of care is taken before the milling process begins to ensure that wheats have been tested to determine their best potential end use.
Some wheat is eaten in grain form and whole wheat can be flaked, shredded or treated in some other way to make breakfast cereals or muesli bars. Softened, malted or kibbled grain is often incorporated into baked products.
Flour can also be separated into its major components, gluten (protein) and starch. Wheat starch is used primarily as a thickening agent for soups, gravies, puddings, spreads and various other products. Gluten protein is often added to wheat flour to improve bread making quality, and it can also be used as a base for making various vegetarian foods.
A flour specification is a list of quality standards that a flour must meet, for example, moisture content 14-15% and protein content 10-11.5%. Bakers can write a flour specification for the quality of flour they want to buy. The flour specification that a bakery prefers may not work as well for another bakery, event if both make the same type of product, due to different combinations of processing equipment, ovens and recipes which make each bakery unique.