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You probably think flour is flour, but there are varieties around that can make a difference to your baked goods. Grain is sorted even before being milled, where its protein content is determined. Protein quality and the ability to form gluten helps decide whether the grain will produce hard or soft wheat. This is the term millers and farmers use, and basically describes the amount of gluten present.
Hard Wheat Flour
This has a high protein content, and if the gluten is up to standard, will ensure a strong, stretchy dough. This allows bread to have an improved structure when risen, ideal for bread, pizza and similar baked products.
Soft Wheat Flour
Soft wheat has a lower protein content and is more delicate with less gluten elasticity, more suitable for cakes and pastries. This ‘all purpose flour’ is light, crumbly and perfect for pancakes, biscuits and sauces. When raising agents are added it becomes self raising flour great for sponges, scones, suet pastry etc.
Wholemeal flour is milled using the whole of the grain including the germ and bran layers for a rich flavour and robust texture.
Is simply wholemeal with the coarser particles sieved out, great for lighter bakes like patisserie and light sponges.
Flours that are stoneground are milled in the traditional way, using mill stones, a method which results in very flavoursome, textured flour.
High quality organic flour is produced by processes that retain all of the original organic grain it is aged naturally and it has no artificial additives,
Natural wholegrains like oats, brown rice and quinoa can be used to create flour that is gluten free. This is a good alternative for those who need to avoid gluten in their diets.
Ancient Grain Flour
Flour from grains with a long history, as opposed to more modern varieties, and have a variety of distinctive flavours and textures.