Bread flour or strong flour is always made from hard wheat, usually hard spring wheat. It has a very high protein content of between 12% and 14% making it excellent for baking bread. The dough has good elasticity and holds its shape well when it is baked. Wheat varieties are known as soft or weak if the content gluten is low and called hard or strong if the gluten content is high. Soft flour which is low in gluten produces a loaf with a fine crumbly texture. Low protein flour is used in biscuits, cake, and pastries. Wheat is high in the following nutrients: iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, pantothenic acid B5 phosphorus, vitamin B6, and zinc.
To produce wholewheat flour all of the bran and germ are added back into the white wheat flour that was originally separated by the milling process leaving the endosperm which is where the white wheat flour comes from. The endosperm is milled by multiple passes through reduction rollers. With each pass the output is sieved to maximise the extraction of white flour from the endosperm and this process removes the coarser bran and germ. The result of this process is that the whole wheat flour is made up of 100% of the wheat kernel.
Spelt, also known as Dinkel in Germany and Farro in Italy, has very similar values to high protein wheat flour and nutritionally is higher than wheat. Spelt is lower in gluten than wheat and easier to digest than wheat because the gluten in spelt is fragile and water soluble.
Spelt is higher in fibre than wheat and this helps with digestion of the gluten. The kernel of the Spelt grain is completely encapsulated on the plant. This makes the de-hulling a much more difficult process than other types of wheat. Spelt contains significant levels of copper, folic acid, iron, manganese, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, thiamin, vitamin B6, and zinc. All of these make up part of a healthy balanced diet.
Kamut, also known as Khorasan, is an ancient grain that originates from Egypt. The grain is twice the size of modern day wheat and has a smooth texture and a rich nutty flavour along with a high protein content. Kamut wheat is highly nutritious having high levels of iron, magnesium, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine and zinc.
Rye Flour is a very important grain throughout European countries such as Russia, Germany, Poland, Belarus, and Scandinavia. Rye flour is high in gliadin but low in glutenin and has a lower gluten content than wheat flour. Due to the low glutenin level in the flour the bread can be denser than wheat baked breads and it is higher in bran and fibre than wheat flour.
Rye dough will ferment faster than wheat flour and if left can quickly over ferment and collapse. Rye is high in Pentosan which is a substance found in plants and due to this the flour absorbs high volumes of water. The Pentosans are fragile and easily damaged which results in the dough becoming sticky and very difficult to handle. Rye doughs should be gently mixed by hand or on a slow speed in a mixer. Bread made with Rye flour has a very distinct aroma and has a very unique rich flavour. The nutritional benefits include B-complex vitamins, dietary fibre, copper, manganese, magnesium, and phenolic antioxidant compounds.
Durum is the latin word for “hard” and it is the hardest of all wheats. Durum wheat is milled using steel grooved rollers to remove the bran and germ and it leaves granules with a rich yellow endosperm called semolina. Durum milling is a complex procedure involving repetitive grinding and sieving. The course semolina granules are finely ground into a fine powder to create the Durum flour which is high in protein. Although Durum flour has a high protein content is it not a strong wheat and it doesn’t give strength to dough through the gluten network. The nutritional values of Durum wheat include folate, iron, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, thiamine B1, riboflavin, and zinc. All of these are essential nutrients.
Below is a selection flour for easy online ordering from Amazon.
- King Arthur, Special Bread (Unbleached) Flour, 5 lb
- 100% Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour, 5lbs
- Bob’s Red Mill Organic Rye Dark Flour – 22 oz – 2 pk
- Bob’s Red Mill Organic Kamut Flour – 20 oz – 2 pk
- VitaSpelt Organic White (Unbleached) Spelt Flour 5lb bag
- VitaSpelt Organic Whole Grain Spelt Flour 5lb bag
- Bob’s Red Mill Semolina Pasta Flour – 24 oz – 2 Pack
Written by thebbqbaker.com