How to begin? You've decided to take the big leap and bake--- BREAD!! So you go to the grocery, look at the shelves of flour, and just go glassy-eyed. You didn't know there would be so many to choose from. Oh my, that cookbook says "all-purpose"---so that must mean ANY kind will do, huh?

UH-UH! Back to square one. Let's first look at the types of flour, the brands of flour, and then let's decide what kind of bread you want to make.

BLEACHED ALL-PURPOSE 9-11% I NEVER use this! See why below.* This would include southern-style biscuit flours.
UNBLEACHED ALL-PURPOSE 10%-11.7% Ideal for bread, sweets, the full range of baking, but usually not used for artisan breads
BREAD FLOUR 11.5%-12.7% Extra gluten rises dough strongly; Milled specifically for yeasted baked goods; Best for artisan breads and additions to ryes; use in bread machines.
HIGH-GLUTEN 13.5-14.2% Highest protein flour, for ultra-chewy yeasted baked goods; Best kneaded by mixer, food processor or bread machine; Not recommended for sandwich breads.
FIRST CLEAR About 14% High-ash, big flavor, high protein flour; The rye baker's choice for addition to any rye flour.
WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR 12-13% Milled from hard winter wheat berries; A blend of high-protein and hard red spring wheats. (A milder lighter White Whole Wheat flour by King Arthur is 13.0% protein.)
CAKE AND PASTRY FLOURS 8%-9.2% Cake flour is bleached, the lowest in protein, aids cakes to rise their highest. Pastry flour is milled from soft winter wheat, specifically for tender, easy-to-handle pastries, pie crust doughs, biscuits and cookies.
SELF-RISING FLOUR About 7% Lower protein flour with baking powder and salt already in it; plus it is bleached.
RYE AND PUMPERNICKEL FLOURS Varies White Rye, Medium Rye, or Pumpernickel with pumpernickel being the largest grind.
ARTISAN FLOURS Varies European-style; Italian-style; French-style; Irish-style wholemeal: All milled and blended to mirror the best European flours.
OTHER GRAINS Varies Semolina and Durum for pasta. Cornmeal, Polenta and Masa Harina; Milled from corn. Grain Flours: Blends of flours (spelt; soy; rice; etc.) and grains (barley; oats; flax; millet; etc.). Nut Flours: Blends of flour with finely ground nuts (chestnut; hazelnut; almond).

* Have you ever wondered what's in "bleached flour"? I learned a valuable lesson from King Arthur Flour, and here it is just for you.
Bleaches commonly used: Chlorine Gas (deadly to humans) and Benzoyl Peroxide (an ingredient normally found in acne medication). (!!!) Other more hazardous bleaches were banned in the early 1900's.
Chemical Additives commonly used: Potassium Bromate, to accelerate yeast growth and fortity gluten (these can be possible health hazards).
Nutrients commonly used: Iron, Niacin, Thiamin and Riboflavin as enrichment.
Malted Barley Flour which is commonly used to feed the yeast.

THE ONLY ADDITIVES King Arthur Flour uses in their unbleached flour are the nutrients and the malted barley flour! Comparisons of their flour to Pillsbury and Gold Medal have proven that their flour is far superior in quality, protein, and gluten development.


Come on---Browse Around---Let's Bake Some Bread!
(Click on the title)
Different Flours: Why King Arthur's Flour is Best
The Process
Hearth Bread Baking
Sourdough and Starters
My Favorite Yeast Bread Recipes
My Favorite Quick Bread Recipes
Where I buy my "Stuff"
Round Table Member Bread Photos
Special! Pan De Campo by Dr. John Raven
Another Special! Wingboy's Lovely Hole-y Bread
One More Special! Special! Breadbakered's Crocodile Bread
Back to My Breadbox
Back to my Kitchen Front Page
Copyright 2004 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved