Which Type of Flour Should You Use
All-purpose may be slightly misleading. Use these tips for the best results.
High Gluten, All Purpose, Whole Wheat, Semolina, Pastry, Cake… the options on the market shelves can be overwhelming. We’re here to help! Roll up your sleeves, and we’ll tell you about the most popular types of flour and when you should be using them.
Ratio is King
The biggest difference in these types of flour is the amount of protein, which is directly related to the amount of gluten. The gluten content of the flour is largely responsible for the texture of the baked good, so you’ll want to choose your flour type based on the desired texture of what you’re baking.
All Purpose Flour
If you like to keep things simple or have a teeny tiny pantry, all purpose is your go-to flour. It’s good for most cookies, pan breads, and baked goods. If you’re making something with a delicate crumb, like cakes or biscuits, sift the flour to help keep it tender. Shepherd’s Grain All Purpose Flour is also called LowGluten Flour.
Try this scone recipe we recently posted.
High gluten flour (which sometimes online is called “bread flour”) has a higher protein content than allpurpose flour. When high gluten flour is kneaded by hand or mixed with a dough hook, gluten is developed, which creates chewiness. It’s best for pizza doughs, pretzels, and bagels, as well as artisan breads.
With a protein content that’s lower than all purpose flour, pastry flour is ideal for using in baked goods that you want to be tender—pie crusts and pound cakes, for example. Because you’ll lose somestructural integrity that all purpose flour gives, pastry flour shouldn’t be used for Bundt cakes or similar baked goods.
Cake flour and pastry flour have similar protein contents, but cake flour is milled ultra-fine and is usually bleached, which allows the flour to absorb more liquid and rise more. This makes cake flour perfect for (you guessed it) cake.
We’ve noticed that many of our partners create their own combinations of flour. Most bread bakers seem to have specific ratios for high and low gluten flours. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what your family prefers. And, if you’ve been struggling with texture, try switching to the corresponding flour above.
What are you baking with Shepherd’s Grain? We’d love to see your creations! Hashtag your baked goods with #bakewithSG for a chance to be featured on our profiles. Have a recipe you’d like featured on our blog? Email us at email@example.com. We would so like to feature your recipe, thanks!