Flour is a common ingredient consumed by people globally and is often the main ingredient in baking. Flour consists of finely ground grain reduced to powder—which makes them ideal for creating various baked goods. Bakery and cake stores would often have to constantly opt for a flour supplier in Singapore to provide a constant steady supply of flour ingredients. As with all types of baking, from cakes to muffins and cookies, flour is what you’ll need.
However, not all flours are alike. Today’s supermarkets have plentifully stocked options to reflect and accommodate the numerous needs and diverse baking styles. Some flours may not derive from grains as some may come from nuts, seeds, coconuts and different vegetables. There is pastry flour, semolina flour, etc.
So before you decide to invest in whole wheat flour in Singapore, it’s vital to develop a surface understanding of different types of flour. Whether you’re opening a pastry shop or planning to bake something for your loved ones or for your Sunday afternoon, knowing the distinct differences between each flour will prevent you from ruining your baked goods.
Without further ado, here are the different types of flours you can find in an average supermarket for diverse baking needs:
Wheat flours are the most common and prevalent flour type milled by manufacturers from wheat. Wheat flour is often expansive in nature, ranging from 100% whole-wheat flour to gluten flour for higher protein. Some producers of wholegrain or wholemeal flour in Singapore often grind them to a fine texture for a plain appearance. Wheat flours are an excellent source of protein. It also contains iron and B vitamins. The three known part of the grain for wheat flour is:
- Bran—which is the fibre-rich part of the grain
- Endosperm—which is the starchy part with protein
- Germ—the fatty and vitamin part of the grain
The gluten is the natural part of the wheat, and it becomes elastic when you knead the dough. It gives baked goods their defining structure when it becomes more elastic enough. Wheat flours can either be strong flours (consisting of high-protein wheat with a high-level gluten content) or weak flour (low-protein content with less gluten).
Almost every flour supplier and supermarket groceries have wheat flour in thick, sealed paper-based packaging or containers. Wheat flours are often an ideal healthy ingredient since it is abundant in vitamins and minerals. However, doctors may not recommend it for people with gluten sensitivity.
Before you consider looking for wholegrain bread recipes, it’s also vital to learn the different wheat flour to find the ideal flour ingredient.
Self-rising flour might sound quite unusual. Nonetheless, it’s all-purpose flour with baking soda and salt added. Many bakers use it for leavening action and rising agents. However, it tends to lose its effectiveness when stored too long. Thus, it may not be something many would use the most time.
Whole-wheat flour is often made of 100% whole wheat flour, while other whole-wheat variants are from white whole wheat flour. The 100% are derived from hulled red wheat grain, which offers more fibre and nutrients and is often used in place of all-purpose flour. On the other hand, white wheat is from hulled white wheat with a lighter colour and milder taste than 100% whole wheat. Nonetheless, they have a shorter shelf-life. For best use, you can mix with all-purpose flour for better rising and lighter texture.
Most all-purpose flours have a medium level of gluten content, and home bakers often use it for a wide range of baking needs, from cookies to pastries. It is an excellent flour that is milled with only the endosperm.
Non-wheat flours are often gluten-free variants blended with other fruit and plant-sourced flours, such as potato starch or tapioca flour. Though some grains may contain gluten, others may not. Hence, you may often come across flour products labelled ‘for Gluten-Free Baking’. Most non-wheat flours often have high fibre. It is also a rich source of protein with fewer calories. Some may contain little to no fat per serving. Many consider non-wheat flour an excellent part of a diet for those who seek to boost their nutrition.
Almond flour is an example of an ideal alternative to wheat-based flour that is healthy due to its high level of magnesium and omega-3 unsaturated fats, and it’s naturally gluten-free. They are still high in calories, unlike other whole wheat flour types. Many gluten-free, non-wheat flours are often more perishable. Hence, they must be kept in an airtight container, while others can refrigerate them.
It may not be something to replace wheat flour for wholegrain bread recipes. However, it has a fair share of diverse applications, from making homemade corn tortillas to muffins and pancakes. Here are the most common types of non-wheat flour:
Potato flour is from dried potatoes, and you can use it as a thickening agent for creamy sauces, such as gravies or desserts. Nonetheless, you can also use it for baking, but you’ll need to add starch to the dough to allow it to hold water.
Oat flour is made from ground oat groats and can be used to substitute for wholemeal flour recipes. However, if you’ll use them for baking goods that need to rise, you need to combine them with other types of flour.
Chestnut flour is ideal for pastry-making needs. In fact, Italian cakes and pancakes often use chestnut flour since it’s one of the best substitutes for whole wheat flour and more nutritious than other alternatives. Chestnut flour is made from pulverised dried or raw chestnuts.
If you are looking for a reputable flour supplier in Singapore, you can visit Prima Flour for a wide range of flour products for baking and pastry-making needs!