How to choose the right kind of flour to make bread

November 30, 2014

There are many types of flour to choose from when it comes to making bread. Find out which ones are used to make which kinds of bread and your final product will be a success.

How to choose the right kind of flour to make bread

If you are going to bake bread, you have to make sure to choose your ingredients wisely.

  • Most bread recipes use simple ingredients that are easily found, but the variations in the ingredients account for the many types of bread that can be made.

Basic bread recipe

  • A basic bread recipe consists of flour, salt, yeast, oil and water.

Obviously, bread recipes vary depending on the kind of bread you are making because what you put into your bread will affect the flavour and texture of the final product.

From rye bread, tortillas and baguettes to whole wheat slices, the different types of bread use a specific type of flour to make it distinctive.

What is flour?

  • Flour is what you get after grinding up grains. Usually wheat is ground up to make wheat flour, which is the most common type of flour found at your grocery store.
  • Flour can also be made from seeds, corn and nuts.

Wheat flour

When a recipe asks for flour, more than likely it is referring to wheat flour.

There are many types of wheat flour.

  • All-purpose or plain flour is a blend of soft and hard wheat, which is a perfect pick when baking baguettes.
  • Whole wheat flour is made from the whole grain, including the bran and germ.
  • Bread flour is made of hard wheat and is great for rolls and pizza.
  • Cake flour is another type of wheat flour, made from soft wheat, which makes for soft baked cookies and cakes.
  • Pastry flour is also made from soft wheat. Pastry flour gives a tender texture to pie crusts and biscuits.

Corn flour and cornmeal

In the southern United States, Mexico and Central America, corn flour and cornmeal are popular flour options.

  • Cornmeal is made by grinding dried corn. It comes in different consistencies: fine, medium and coarse.
  • Corn flour is very finely ground cornmeal, used to make cornbread, roti and tortillas.

Rice flour

  • Rice flour is made by removing the husk of the rice and finely grinding it into powder. It can be made from white or brown rice.
  • Many gluten-intolerant people enjoy rice flour as a suitable substitute for wheat flour. When eating a loaf of gluten-free bread, the type of flour used is very likely rice flour.

Rye flour

Rye is a cereal grain that is similar looking to wheat.

  • The flour is made by grinding whole rye berries and grains of rye grass. It comes in light, medium and dark, depending on how much bran is left.
  • Rye with its characteristic flavour is used to make rye bread and sourdough bread.


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