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The functions of flour in the breadmaking process 

Flour is usually the main component in bread recipes and accounts for a large percentage of the total weight. Learning the role flour plays in bread and why it’s essential to making bread as we know it is crucial. From the history of flour to the various types of flour used to make bread, we’ll cover it all.

Flour’s many contributions to breadmaking center on its role as the bread’s structural ingredient. The importance of protein and gluten in bread construction cannot be overstated. Flour’s two main proteins, glutenin, and gliadin, combine with water to produce a gluten network of fine strands that build the bread’s structure and trap the air bubbles created by the yeast’s fermentation of sugars within the dough so they may rise and bake without escaping.

Mixing and kneading the dough creates this gluten foundation. Gluten is formed when flour proteins break down in the water, then kneading establishes the structure and lengthens the strands to make the broad network. The dough will be heavy, flat, and airless if the gluten network isn’t made.

Here, bread flour is emphasized to help find the best baking flour. We’ll test standard flour to see if they have the properties we need to make bread.

Which flour makes bread?

Bread flour replaces all-purpose flour in cooking. Bread flour has 12-14% protein because the best bread is created with high-protein flour. We’ll compare bread flour and softer cake flour to demonstrate. Since cake building doesn’t require gluten, cake flour is usually refined to 7–9% protein. Bread flour is best since protein is essential to baking.

White or brown bread flour can yield brown or white loaves of bread.

Flour Types

Bread preparation requires a solid understanding of flour possibilities. The type of bread baked determines the best flour and recipe changes. We’ll examine some of the most popular bread flours and discuss variables to consider while choosing. There are different types of bread flour; it all depends on the result you are looking for. 

White flour and whole wheat flour are breadmaking staples. It can be used alone or in flour blends. White flour is made from the endosperm of 75% of wheat grains. It should be dazzling white regardless of bleaching.

White flour has no bran, whereas brown flour does. This makes brown flour taste rich and light brown. It can be used alone or with other flours for distinct textures and flavors. In loaves of bread, a 60:40 ratio of brown to white flour creates an airier texture. Due to its composition, it absorbs more water than white flour. Therefore recipes may need modifying.

Wholegrain flour is ground without removing the bran or germ. Thus, a recipe must account for a more nuanced flavor and higher water absorption. Like brown flour, this is mixed. 

Bread can be made using many flours, but water is just as important. As shown above, different flours require different amounts of water to form a dough.

Bread flour vs. all-purpose

We often get asked if all-purpose flour can replace bread flour. This question hinges on bread flour vs. all-purpose flour. Protein content determines which flour is used. Bread flour has 12-14% protein, and all-purpose flour 9-11%. All-purpose flour results will vary because protein creates the gluten network that provides bread its structure.

If you don’t have bread flour, you can use all-purpose flour. The bread will rise less and be thicker and chewier. Bread flour is best, but all-purpose flour works too.