Flour Cookery | Meaning, Composition, Types, Raising Agents & Mixtures

Flour Flour is the result of grinding whole wheat (or any other cereal) into a powder through the milling process. Milling involves crushing and grinding grains into powder using a machine. Cereal flours can be categorized into low extraction rate or high extraction rate. Wheat is the most commonly used cereal for flour. Low Extraction […]

Flour

Flour is the result of grinding whole wheat (or any other cereal) into a powder through the milling process.

Milling involves crushing and grinding grains into powder using a machine. Cereal flours can be categorized into low extraction rate or high extraction rate. Wheat is the most commonly used cereal for flour.

Low Extraction rate flours are produced by removing all outer layers of cereals, leaving only the central endosperm. This results in very white flour with low nutritive content.

High Extraction rate flours are produced from partially milled cereals that retain some outer layers. They are not as white as low extraction flours but have better nutritive value.

 

Composition Of Flour

Starch is the primary component of any flour. Gluten, the elastic and impermeable protein in flour, is crucial for bread making. Flour contains up to 16% water, and although sugar quantity is small, it plays a significant role in fermentation.

 

Types Of Flour

  1. Whole wheat flour: Contains all natural wheat constituents in unaltered proportions. Rich and natural but not suitable for long-term storage.
  2. Instant blending flour (Agglomerated flour): Uniform-sized particles that don’t need sifting, freely flowing and dispersing in cold water.
  3. All-purpose flour: Average protein content, suitable for various cooking purposes.
  4. Soft wheat flour: Very soft, smooth, and granule-free. Low in protein, used for cakes, cookies, pastries, and crackers.
  5. Hard wheat flour: High protein content, heavier texture, suitable for bread making.
  6. Cake flour: Made from soft wheat, low protein, retains shape when pressed lightly.
  7. Self-raising flour: Contains salt, baking powder, and other ingredients for self-rising, good for plain cakes and scones.
  8. Pastry flour: Soft and smooth, used for making pastries, cookies, etc.
  9. Composite flour: A mixture of two or more types of flour in specific ratios.

 

Raising Agents

Raising agents make flour mixtures rise and double in size. Commonly used raising agents include air, baking powder, yeast, palm wine, cream of tartar, bicarbonate of soda, and steam.

 

Flour Mixtures

Products obtained from flour and other ingredients, grouped based on ingredients and raising agents:

  1. a) Pastry: Mixture of flour, fat, salt, and liquid, used for meat pie, sausage rolls, cream puff, etc., with baking powder as the raising agent.
  2. b) Dough: Mixture with little butter and yeast as the raising agent, used for bread dough, doughnuts, dinner rolls, etc.
  3. c) Batter: Flour mixture with enough liquid, salt, egg, and a pouring consistency, using air as the raising agent. Used for pancakes, Swiss rolls, spring rolls, etc., and coating foods for frying.
  4. d) Cakes: Rich flour mixtures with equal parts butter and sugar, eggs added for richness, and baking powder as the raising agent. Used for various cakes, buns, chin-chin, etc.

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