It really more than answers my question
on "all-purpose" flour.
Excellent, now I can easily translate recipes and use the correct flour, etc.
And now, I'm that bit more knowledgable! Thanks.
thanks for the info! i never knew there were so many variations of wheat flour. gosh!
My mom has celiac disease, an allergy to gluten that she contracted while she was pregnant with my little brother. If she eats anything with gluten in it (wheat, barley, rye, or oats), the villi in her small intestine shrivel up and die, and she has gastrointestinal distress.
So I grew up in a house without much bread, cake, cookies, or pretty much anything else with wheat in it. We ate lots of rice and potatoes, and sometimes had interesting things like buckwheat or Pai Mai Fun rice noodles. It really broadened my food horizons, something I took for granted until I got to college and found out that most people would never try things that I found delicious because they hadn't been exposed to it.
Celiac disease affects about 1 in 133 people in the US. For more information, check out http://www.celiac.com/
Excellent article, I just had one thing to add. I mill my own grain at home and we also can get hard white wheat. I haven't found the soft red but I have hard red, hard white, and soft white, spelt, rye and kamut. I would like to get soft red because my father told me that that is what he grew when on the farm in Ohio growing up. I started milling my own flour when friends told me about it. It's a lot more nutritious and the fiber is easier on the system. I also found that I could use other grains that are less allergenic than wheat. I recently red about "diastatic malt" made from sprouting wheat and used in breadmaking. I am currently researching that topic.
St. Petersburg, Florida
a very informative and clearly written article. thanks for the enlightenment. at 71 i have just retired and i am beginning to cook and bake. i was desperately in needed of this valuable information.
should that me "any" rather than "and"?
recipe (leave in and baking soda a recipe calls for).
Good catch, problem fixed.
I got all the info I needed.
:) this was a very excellent article and i also liked alot of the comments as well..I am a nutrition major and I see what I learn in my classes does matter in people's lives
Being an engineer, I love to be precise. I don't believe any flour contains gluten. Wheat flour contains two proteins, glutenin and gliadin. Gluten is not formed until water is added and you begin to stir the mixture. The proteins combine with water and with each other to form gluten. The more you stir, the more gluten is formed.
My friend avoid recipes that rely on convenience foods. Go back to the "from scratch" recipes the convenience food replaces. Learn to make the basic sauces and gravies often used in casseroles and soups. Look in a gluten-free cookbook or Lifeline for a similar recipe. Compare proportions, they are the key. Flour and other ingredients that act as thickeners are compared to the amount of liquids in the recipe.
Well have you people heard about the latest craze towards the protein foods? I am sure you people must have heard this, where the emphasis is on a no carbohydrate diet and everuthing that one has for food involves the protein. But then there are pros and cons of this diet, as we all know carbs are the main suppliers of energy in the human body. So I wonder what the others have to say regarding this.
Does anyone knows how to transform all-purpose flour to bread or cake flour? Unfortunately, in Brazil, only all-purpose flour is sold.
Does any one has specific information on soft wheat flour? You may suggest excellent reading materials or websites to gather information.
Thank you so much. Your help is greatly appreciated.
you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Seitan is pretty much gluten, gotten from flour (google it -- it's used in the Orient as a meat-like food). I tried making some with all-purpose flour. Not too bad, but the trick is to knead it a while before rinsing it under water, which takes the starch out.
If you can't get bread flour you could use the same process to wash out the starch. leaving you with gluten, which you could then add into your bread dough, kneading it in, giving you a higher gluten bread flour. (Or, you might be able to buy 'vital wheat gluten' at the store). You could also add starch to all-purpose flour for a cake flour. I have read of adding corn starch to flour to sub for cake flour.
I havent' tried this for this purpose, and you would to experiment to get the right proportions, but I don't see why it wouldn't work as a substitute.
Very informative article. Thanks.
I did some measurements of my own, and I found a density of 123 grams/cup for white all-purpose flour which had been sifted into a bowl, scooped into the cup and leveled. I got as high as 183 grams/cup by settling the flour by tapping the cup gently on the table and adding more, etc. then leveling.
With the method of shaking in a closed container (a plastic storage canister about half full), however I got 147 grams/cup one time, and 148 grams/cup another - considerably denser than sifted.
I've read that whole-wheat flour absorbs more water than white, and this agrees with my observations. Does anyone know of quantitative rule for adjusting the water/flour ratio when going from white to whole-wheat or vice versa?
I did a crude experiment. I often make bread with half and half white and whole-wheat flour (by weight) and a water/flour ratio (by weight) of 0.8
I attempted to get the same consistency with pure white, and pure whole-wheat flour, and got water/flour ratios of:
Since I didn't have an objective way of comparing the consistency, this is perhaps not very meaningful. But it does suggest that the difference is not neglible, and it would be nice to have some rule for adjusting quantity of flour and/or liquid when going from white to whole-wheat or vice versa. Recipes that I have seen will sometimes say that the white flour
(or part of if) can be replaced by an equal amount (by volume?) of whole-wheat. I have found a few mentions of a need to use slightly more liquid with whole-wheat, but nothing quantitative.
How to make bread flour out of regular flour? Wheat gluten.
I normally bake a couple of 50% whole grain rye, 50% (boring) white loaves a week.
I like whole grains but hate a slice that falls apart. I add a small palmfull of wheat gluten to my recipes.
It's probably excessive for most people, but I like a slice that's bordering on rubbery.
I buy Hodgson Mill wheat gluten at Wal-Mart, but here's a picture on Hodgson's website
Being an engineer, I threw out the controller on my bread machine and wired it up to my PC.
Now I can fine-tune everything exactly. Moreover, I can get an alarm and pull the scraper out before the final rise. That way, there's no big hole.
Since shifting to a lower-glycemic-index diet, I've started substituting spelt, oat, and rye flours into my baking and as gravy or sauce thickeners. Spelt does seem more thirsty than whole-wheat flour; oat not so much. Does anyone know how to adjust a recipe's moisture to these flours, or can anyone recommend a simple way for me to test and quantify it myself?
I am an engineer, and given the name of this webpage, I was expecting more detail. In particular, I am curious about two types of flour used in Italian cooking. First, my wife makes many things, especially desserts, from a flour that we purchase in an Italian store. This flour is sold as "Tarali Flour." I would like some information on what this flour is, gluten content, etc.
The second flour about which I seek information is "00" (double zero), which is used in many of the best pizzas produced in the US (as well as Italy).
Any further detail that could be supplied on either of these flours would be greatly appreciated.
Taralli is a bread snack - many variations - perhaps the flour takes it name from that? made from Italian 00 flour, btw....
here's some links on double thru quad zero flours - the Italian designations may actually be a different meaning that industry designations for ash.
There is now a whole-wheat flour made from a white flour (rather than red). It was developed by Conagra and is called Ultragrain. It is available mostly in processed foods, but there is now limited availability of the flour itself at retail. It is lighter in color and flavor than traditional whole wheat, but has the same nutritional profile including fiber and vitamins. The lighter color and flavor is appealing to many people who do not like the flavor of regular whole wheat.
Ultragrain is a hard (high-protein) flour suitable for breads, not cake or biscuits.
i actually use both kinds of measuring cups in my kitchen, the dry measure and the other one where the measuring line drops below the lip of the cup. i find that dry measures are good for solids like flour and sugar, while the other type of cups are good for liquids, since the extra height reduces spilling when i move it around.
Try adding a couple of spoonfuls of cornstarch (or whatever the local equivalent is) to your flour.
for the reason of:
Adding cornstarch is one technique for making all purpose flour into cake flour. If you need cake flour but only have all purpose, you could substitute a tablespoon or two of corn starch for the flour, and it would theoretically have a lower protein content.
Can you digest raw flour?
If you just mix flour with water and eat it, will you get the same nutrition out of it as if you had mixed it with water, cooked it, and then eaten it?
I love to make and eat apple fritters and I use a Fry Daddy with a temperature range of 350-375. Using all purpose flour recipes I do not get an internal texture that is light and airy but is dense and chewy. Is there a best flour for crisp exteriors and light interiors? Would cake flour do the trick?
my first suspicion is the fritter batter is too wet.
water absorbs an enormous amount of (heat) energy - a batter that is too wet - be it for pancakes, waffles, crepes, dumplings, <whatever> cooks on the outside faster than suitable for the inside. perhaps better worded, the inside cooks to perfection too slow....
give a shot at reducing the liquid, on the order of 20% by weight - see if that evolves in the desired direction.
I reduced the liquid content in the recipe by at least 20% without much difference. What I think is required is a batter with a large degree of internal air bubbles. I am considering adding various combinations of baking powder, baking soda and finally even yeast. Any thoughts on this?
I'd suggest a first step of posting the complete recipe - that will give folks some specifics to consider.
baking soda leavens by creating CO2 from mixed with an acidic component. buttermilk would be a good one for fritters.
baking powder - double acting - does the same thing but additionally releases CO2 when heated. (single acting exists, but is not too commonly used)
note on baking powder: it does have a shelf life - how fresh is your batch?
when using either baking soda or baking powder, the batter should be used right away - it should not be made "the night before" for example.
Could someone please help me find the answer to this question? I am in a never-ending argument w/ my brother about this.
I am under the impression that whole wheat/ whole grain flour is a flour that is not ground to such a fine texture as all purpose flour. For this reason it is a healthier flour since on the molecular level the sugar molecules are encased w/ fiber molecules and do not get absorbed by our bodies but instead pass on through our digestive system. But, all purpose flour is ground so finely that the fiber casings are destroyed and all the sugars now get absorbed by our digestive system.
Is there any science to back up ths theory I've been told?
My Kingdom for an answer that makes sense. Actually, I rent, hehehe.
lotta research needed to form your own opinion.
"wheat" is the seed of a plant. as such there are various "parts" to the seed.
milling "white flour" from the grain "as harvested" is not a one step process.
one grind separates the husk, another the endosperm, another the germ, another the pericarp, etc.
"white flour" is typically just the ground bits of the seed endosperm.
there are many grades of "how fine" a flour is ground.
additionally, "whole wheat" grind include parts other than the endosperm.
"all purpose" flour is not a good consideration here. the all purpose, bread, pastry, etc, type classifications refer to the gluten/protein level. that is not related to "how much of the wheat seed" is included except that protein levels are measured by weight percentages - so if you add (or do not remove) anything that affects weight and not protein, the classification will change.
so far as sugar molecules being encased in x or y or z, and being destroyed/preserved by some particular grind, that sounds a lot like some bit of snake oil. no flour grind is so fine that it destroys / preserves anything at the molecular level.
whether the part of the wheat grain that contains sugar(s) x,y,z is included in a particular whole/white/[insert marketing hype word here] four type is an entirely different question.
whole/partial grain type flours certainly add to 'dietary' fiber.
grinding a whole grain to the point the sugar is destroyed on a molecular level is a bit of a stretch.
While I very much enjoyed your article on wheat flour and in the main found it to be useful, I feel that you mislead your readers when it comes to the weight of a cup of flour. As a professional baker with a business of 23 years as well as a food writer who develops recipes, the advice that the recipe assumes sifted flour is incorrect. As you correctly noted, most writers, magazines, books and professionals use 140 grams or 5 ounces as a cup of unsifted flour. No one sifts flour anymore which is why this measurement is used and professionally you cannot sift 20 or more pounds of flour on a routine basis as nothing would get done in the bakery for all the time spent sifting. You can aerate to some degree but not sift it. If you use recipes from a book, the reader should see if the writer explains how the flour is measured. Also, cake flour weighs 100 grams or 3 1/2 ounces sifted, while it weighs 115 grams unsifted. So all flours do not weigh alike. For all purpose or bread flour if the flour is stirred with a spoon, spooned into a measuring cup to overflowing and swept off, the measurement is a consistent 140 grams. If your readers use the 125 gram measurement they will be off by 1/2 ounce per cup which maybe does not matter in some recipes or can make a big difference in others. All of the recipes on my website, gooeychocolate.com use a non sifted weight (140 grams) by necessity. You can see the results, I wish you could have tasted them.
I want to know more about high protein flour. Thanks for the start. I am off to experiment with my bread recipes. I have been making our bread for 4 years and want to get my bread healthier and better and better.... This will get me started. Seems that no one has an answer about good nutrition values and better than the super market values. Even then, I love making the bread and just want to be able to continue. How can I use whole wheat white flour and make it high gluten and still get a faulous loaf of challah bread. That is my benchmark.
within generalizations, higher protein also entails higher gluten.
whole wheat flour has less gluten; lots of other good things - but on a percentage basis less gluten. not because whole wheat is missing something "different" - but because every part of the "whole" wheat kernel is retained - but gluten doesn't occur in the bran.... so although all the gluten is still there, by weigh percentages the gluten is "less" than white flours where bran/germ, etc have been sifted out.
there is a product called "vital wheat gluten" I use to increase the gluten percentage when I make whole wheat loaves.
you will also notice in many many many "whole wheat" recipes, it is not 100% whole wheat.
100% whole wheat makes for very pretty bricks; very dense.
Dilbert, you got me thinking about the different kinds of ground wheat available in India and I found a good reference HERE
. I use atta (from the Indian grocery) to make chappatti and rotis, and the single time I tried to make naan I used All-Purpose, which explains the disasterous results!
What it doesn't explain is the difference between hard and soft wheats; or whether these varieties are available as non-specialty flours in the US.
Anyway, if you need a cheap source of pure whole-wheat flour, you might check with an Indian grocery if you live near one. Give it a try, at least.
the classification of hard or soft methinks relates to the protein/gluten content of the specific wheat variety - it's an inherent trait of that specific wheat strain.
there are specialty growers / millers that can supply 100% of the type they grow or have access to - but it's uncommon to find that "on the shelf" other than "Durum"
"Whole wheat flour contains the germ (the embryo of the wheat kernel)..."
Whole-wheat flour also contains bran. I believe it turns out to be about 85% endosperm, 12% bran, 2% germ. Whole-wheat flour is made by milling the entire groat. White flour is made by milling the groat after removing the bran and germ (it should look something like a grain of rice).
Graham flour is white flour with the proportions of wheat bran and wheat germ mixed back in. And so it is the same as whole-wheat flour in composition. The difference is that the bran and germ are much coarser in this recombined form, whereas with regular whole-wheat flour it is all milled, so you should have a finer mill. I regularly remake wheat flour by adding a handful of bran and about a tablespoon of germ to my white flour. It makes a delicious bread, and the only thing I need to keep below room temperature is the germ (which I keep in the freezer).