One of the main ingredients in many of our favourite cakes and cookies, flour is something you will almost always have stock of if you are a frequent baker. After all, it’s easier to buy them in bulk. There are so many different types of flour and all of them are suitable for different things! We have compiled a list of 12 different types of flour with their comparisons and usage! Learn about which type of flour you should use to achieve the best results for your desserts!
1. All-purpose flour
If the recipe states to use flour, most of the time it’s asking for All-purpose flour. All-purpose flour is the most versatile of all flours, it can be used to create all sorts of baked goods like pie, biscuits, breads and cakes.
2. Bread flour
Did you know? Bread flour is actually the strongest of all flours, providing the most structural support. It is important to specifically use bread flour for bread, especially yeasted breads, where you need a strong gluten network to contain the CO2 gases produced during fermentation.
3. Cake flour
Cake flour has the lowest protein content, only around 7 to 9 percent! It is a great flour to use for tender baked goods, such as cakes, biscuits and muffins. Only one thing should not be baked with cake flour, which is bread. Cake flour is not suitable at all for baking bread, remember to keep that in mind.
4. Pastry flour
Pastry flour has protein levels that are in the middle of all-purpose and cake flour. Pastry flour actually gives the ideal balance between flakiness and tenderness, making it perfect for cookies, tarts and pies!
5. Self Raising flour
Self Raising flour is used best for tender biscuits, muffins, pancakes and some cakes. It is best stored tightly wrapped in its original box and should be used within six months of purchase.
6. Almond flour
Almond flour is very nutritious! It’s rich in vitamin E and magnesium, two important nutrients for health. It is also a flour that is very easy to bake with. In most baking recipes, you can use it to replace wheat flour if you run out of it.
7. Whole Wheat Flour
Whole Wheat flour tends to be quite high in protein and is usually used to produce heavier, denser baked goods. It can be stored for up to three months at cool room temperature, and then transferred to the freezer.
8. Gluten Free Flour
There is a wide variety of Gluten Free Flours available in the market, made from all sorts of nuts, grains and starches. The more widely available ones are based on rice flour blended with tapioca and potato starch.
9. Semolina Flour
One of the most common uses for Semolina Flour is using it to make pasta from scratch. It is much more elastic than other flours, which helps the pasta hold its shape when cooking.
10. Corn Flour
Flour is typically made from wheat, while Corn Flour is made from corn and only contains carbohydrates, so it is a gluten-free product. For this reason, Corn Flour is an excellent alternative to flour thickeners in gravy and sauce recipes. It can also be used to make desserts like Pavlova and Meringue kisses.
11. Tapioca Flour
Ah yes, Tapioca Flour, if you’re a bubble tea enthusiast you will definitely know what this is. Used to make our beloved boba pearls, Tapioca Flour works as a great thickening agent when added to liquid-based foods. But other than bubble tea, did you know that Tapioca Flour can also be used for baking? Adding just the right amount of tapioca flour to your baked treats will create a light, airy, crispy and chewy texture.
12. Superfine Flour
Superfine Flour has an extra fine and smooth texture that makes it ideal for making dense and fine cakes, such as butter cakes, moist cakes, muffins, cookies, tarts and pastries and much more! Use it to make your desserts delicate, soft, and most importantly, delicious!
Long story short, All-Purpose flour is a great champion in baking, but some recipes are better off with other kinds of flour. After all, it’s a jack-of-all-trades, but a master of none! We hope this guide can help you in choosing the best flour for your desserts! If you would love more tips and tricks to help with your baking, feel free to head here for some extra reading or join our community! We have many online and offline classes taught by experienced instructors that you can freely choose from. You can also visit our Facebook page to know more about us or leave us a question here if you have any inquiries!