Thursday, 1 June 2006

All About Flour

The term "Flour" is generally used to refer to any edible substance in powdered form. Of all the cereals milled into flour, Wheat Flour is by far the most versatile, as it provides the elasticity in dough required for baking. Rice flour and Cornflour do not have this property.

Bread Flour(高筋面粉)
It is a high-protein flour, ideal for making all varieties of bread, buns and other flour-based products.

Cake Flour(低筋面粉)
It has the least amount of gluten of all wheat flours, making it best for light, delicate products such as sponge cakes, and some cookie batters. Cake flour often comes bleached, which gives it a bright, white appearance.

It is also known as cornstarch or maize flour, is milled from the starch of corn kernels. It contains no gluten and is used as thickener, giving sauces a smooth consistency. It can be combined with other flours for baking.

Plain Flour(普通面粉)
It a mutli-purpose wheat flour made from a blend of hard and soft flour. The husk particles are sifted out after milling. This flour is also ideal for Oriental specialties like Chinese dumpling (bao), Chinese dough fritters (yu tiao) and roti prata.

It is a coarse flour ground from yellow and white corn. Cook it like porridge or use for cakes and bread. It may also be mixed with water or stock, cut into slices and grilled or fried.

Rice Flour (占米粉)
It's ground from white or brown rice and is used as a thickener or a substitute for people with gluten or wheat allergies. It can be used to make shortbread and rice noodles, or in general cooking mixed with other flours.

Self-raising Flour (自发面粉)
It is plain flour combined with a leavening agent, usually baking powder. It is used where leavening is required in recipes and is best suited for baking cakes, hot cakes such as American pancakes and cookies. It is also excellent as a batter for frying chicken, fish, prawns and banana fritters.. To make self-raising flour: add 2 teaspoons of baking powder to each 1 cup of plain flour and sift together 2 - 3 times.

It is ground from the endosperm of hard durum wheat. It's a strong flour suitable for making sugee cake, pasta, cakes, semolina pudding, cookies and soup as well as baby weaning food. It is also available in coarse and fine varieties.

Wholemeal Flour(全麦面粉)
This is made from milling the whole wheat grain, so the bran and germ of the flour are still present. The bran makes the flour slightly heavier but is more nutritious. This flour is subject to rancidity so purchase in small quantities and store chilled.

1 comment:

  1. One of the reason that I'm too coward to try baking yet is the great variety of ingredients especially flour. This is really useful to me, thanks ^_^


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