What is flour?

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It is a powder resulting from the crushing of cereal seeds, legumes and some other plants. Flour is the product of the milling of wheat or other cereals such as rye, buckwheat, corn, rice or some floury plants such as chestnuts, chickpeas, lentils.

In France the most commonly used flour is wheat flour. Wheat is the generic name of various varieties of wheat (durum wheat, common wheat, spelled). The term “fine wheat flower” refers to a superior quality of flour reserved for pastry.

The pulse flour contains in a variable quantity vitamins (B1, B2, PP and E) and minerals (phosphorus, potassium, magnesium) which will be all the more present that the type of flour will be high since it is in the envelope and the germ of the grain they lodge.

And starch?

Starch is only starch extracted from seeds of cereals or roots and tubers such as potato, cassava, yam, maranta. It comes in the form of a very fine and volatile white powder which is used alone, diluted in cold water to thicken sauces and creams or to replace part of the flour to lighten a cake. The most commonly used are cornstarch commonly called cornzena, potato starch, rice starch and maranta starch called arrowroot. All starches are gluten free.

Flours are classified according to their ash content

Flours contain mineral matter from the bran (the grain shell). When they are incinerated at 900 ° C, only the mineral residues in the form of ash remain.

The higher this rate is, the more the number of the type of flour will be, and conversely the less the flour will be white.

So we will have at the extremes the purest type 45 flour, the whitest but which has lost a lot of nutrients and conversely the type 150 flour called complete or integral which contains all parts of the wheat grain and who kept his minerals and vitamins (B and E basically).

We thus find 6 main types of flour starting from the most “pure”:

Type 45: White pastry flour or “flour flour” for pastry.

Type 55: Common white flour for white breads, pie dough and pizzas.

Type 65: White flour for special breads and pizzas.

Type 80: Whipped or semi-complete flour for special breads.

Type 110: Complete flour for rolls and breads.

Type 150: So-called integral flour for breads with sound.

A so-called “breadmaking” flour is a flour that contains gluten

When we talk about flour we also talk about gluten and gluten is the substance that gives the dough its elasticity. It is this elasticity that will allow the dough to rise and give the bread an airy crumb.

But not all flours have the same level of gluten, and some do not contain them at all. They are called non-bread flours like:

Rice flour – Corn flour – Chestnut flour – Quinoa flour – Chickpea flour – Buckwheat flour also called “black wheat flour”.

Meals that are perfect for people allergic to gluten but do not make bread used alone. On the other hand you can use them to “typify” your breads and cakes by making a two-thirds mixture, for example: 1/3 of chestnut flour for 2/3 of wheat flour.