Flour 101: Different Types of Flours for Baking and the Fundamental Differences Between Them. An incredibly helpful baking reference post!

This post was created in partnership with Bob’s Red Mill. 

We’re talking about flour today! All different types of flour, as well as when and why you would use them for different baking applications.

This post is going to get a bit nerdy and technical (remember this salt post?), but I love when that happens. In an effort to keep things simple, this post is focused on flour varieties produced from various strains of wheat. All of the flour varieties described below are standard flours available in most grocery stores.

If you enjoy understanding the whys and hows of baking, you will love this post. If you’ve ever wondered the difference between bread flour and all purpose flour, what pastry flour is and why you would use it, or why cake flour produces light-as-air sponge cakes, this post is for you. I’m going to break it all down. This is a monster of a post, but it is packed with information.

Let’s get started…

Flour 101: Different Types of Flours for Baking and the Fundamental Differences Between Them. An incredibly helpful baking reference post!

Wheat: The Basics

Wheat flours are produced by milling wheat kernels (aka. wheat berries – the same ones you see in the bulk bins of your grocery store!) of various strains of wheat. I use Bob’s Red Mill flours in my own kitchen (you can read more about why here). The gluten percentages described in this post are specific to their brand and milling specifications, but are generally consistent with other brands of flour. As flours naturally age, gluten and protein increases. These qualities are desirable, but naturally take time.

Wheat kernels are comprised of three basic parts: germ (the embryo), bran (the kernel shell), and endosperm. Wheat germ and wheat bran are high in natural oils, nutrients, fiber, and minerals. They also contain protein. In contrast, the endosperm consists primarily of protein and starch molecules.

All-purpose flours and refined flours are produced exclusively from the milling and grinding of the endosperm. The germ and bran are removed these flours. The endosperm is broken into very small particles, or streams, and analyzed for protein and starch content. This information allows millers to create specific flour blends with certain baking characteristics. Stone-ground flours are the exception to the rule, as they can contain some germ and bran in the final product.

In comparison, whole wheat flours are produced from the milling of the entire wheat kernel (germ, bran, and endosperm). For this reason, whole wheat flours are generally higher in protein than all-purpose flours. 

The Weekly Mix - A Beautiful Plate

The Weekly Mix

The weekend is here! I’m celebrating because it’s supposed to hit 60 degrees in Chicago today and this is my last weekend of Whole30! Whaaat?! I...

AMAZING Mediterranean Chicken Salad with Sumac Dressing. This salad is packed with flavor and is topped with tahini dressing!

Mediterranean Chicken Salad with Sumac Dressing

Oh my god! This Mediterranean chicken salad! I could literally it every day of the week (in fact, I nearly did this last week). It is that...

EASY Lemon Tahini Sauce made with just two ingredients! Use on grilled vegetables, chicken, meat, seafood, or thin it down and use a simple salad dressing.

Easy Lemon Tahini Sauce

This easy lemon tahini sauce is made with just two ingredients, and is the perfect accompaniment to grilled vegetables, chicken, meat, seafood, or greens. Naturally vegan, gluten-free,...

Whole30 Two Week Update

Whole30 Survival Guide: Two Weeks Later

Woh! I’ve officially crossed the halfway threshold of this Whole30 challenge. In fact, today marks day twenty one. Twenty one days with zero added sugar,...

The Weekly Mix - A Beautiful Plate

The Weekly Mix

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This week was very full and exciting. I feel like I keep saying that, but it’s true! My other sister’s baby –...

Roasted Beet Salad with Orange and Avocado. An EASY healthy salad recipe packed with healthy fats, texture, and nutrition!

Roasted Beet Salad with Orange and Avocado

Sometimes I have to remind myself that the best salads don’t always contain leafy greens. In fact, sometimes they don’t contain any greens at all! This roasted...

The Weekly Mix - A Beautiful Plate

The Weekly Mix

Hi! How are you?! There are so many things to share with you this week! First, I want to apologize for not sharing any...

The Weekly Mix - A Beautiful Plate

The Weekly Mix

This week started slow (that’s what cutting out sugar, dairy, and carbs will do to a girl), but ended very fast! I’m headed to the airport as...