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Wheat Flour

Everyday Food, Volume 8 December 2003

Used most often to make breads, cakes, cookies, and all sorts of pasta, this flour comes in many varieties.

Types of Wheat
There are two basic types of wheat grain. Hard wheat is high in protein and gluten, which give it a coarse and elastic texture. Soft wheat, used for delicate baked goods, is lower in protein and has more starch.

White Flours
These flours are all milled without the bran and germ of the grain. All-purpose flour combines hard and soft wheats; you can bake just about anything with it. Bread flour is made entirely of hard wheat. Durum flour, also made of hard wheat, has an even higher protein content, which is good for pasta. When a very fine texture is required, cake flour (all soft wheat) is used.

Whole-Wheat Flours
Ground from the entire grain (with bran and germ), whole-wheat flours produce heavier and denser baked goods. They are often combined with a white flour in making breads and muffins.