What are the Different Types of Flour for Baking?

More and more people are getting into the art that is baking these days.


Are you an avid baker? Are you a new baker?

Either way, understanding the different types of flours (and when to use them) will help you become better.

Keep reading below to learn all about the different types of flour for baking.

All-Purpose Flour

Most recipes that don’t specify flour type are calling for this type of flour. It is a common option because it is good in most (but not all) baking or cooking recipes.

They mill all-purpose flour using hard and soft wheat. This makes it a good option for flaky piecrusts, chewy loaves, or soft biscuits.

Pastry Flour

This flour is unbleached and made from soft wheat. It is great for flakier recipes, so if you’re making crusts, croissants, or biscuits, this should be your go-to flour.

You can blend your own pastry flour by mixing 1/3 cup all-purpose flour and 2/3 cake flour (coming up next).

Cake Flour

This flour is perfect for the ideal cake, muffin, or scone. It is able to absorb more liquids than other flours on this list, which means moister baked goods.

Self-Rising Flour

In this brand of flour, salt and baking powder are added during the milling process. It is made from wheat that is traditionally grown in the South and has low protein.

You can use this for fluffy biscuits and pancakes, among other treats.

If you choose this type of flour, you should use it within 6 months of purchase to ensure the baking powder still functions correctly in recipes.

Bread Flour

This is the strongest flour because it has the most protein in it (which offers formation and support to your baked goods). If you’re trying to make bread, these are generally things that are necessary for more volume, a chewy inside, and a brown crust.

Gluten-Free Flour

You can find a lot of different gluten-free flours out there today that come from different sources, like grains or nuts.

A gluten-free flour will usually have a base flour that is blended with other starches. It may also include xanthan gum to mimic the chewiness that other flours would have due to gluten.

Click here to learn about Cassava flour, which is a great alternative to traditional flour.

Whole-Wheat Flour

In whole-wheat flours, they include more of the germ and bran in the final result than other flours. This is why it has more of the wheat kernel in it and why it is so high in protein.

If you are trying to make a dense baked good, like a heavy cake, whole-wheat flour may be the option to try. Generally, you can substitute all-purpose flour for whole-wheat flour if you need to be using different flour.

Keep in mind that the wheat germ is prone to going rancid, so this flour can only be stored for up to 3 months at room temperature.

Get Started With the Different Types of Flour for Baking

Now that you’ve got a better idea of the different types of flour for baking, you’re probably itching to give some of them a try.

If you’re making a cake, biscuits, scones, muffins, or more, there is a “right” type of flour for the project.

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