Friday, September 28, 2012

Different Types of Flour

Understanding  Flour
  Wheat starch or tang meen fun, all the gluten has been removed. When mixed with water it produces a pastry dough. It is mainly used as a wrapping for dumplings such as ‘har kar’or ‘choy pau.’ It cannot be substituted with potato or other starches. It has different properties and will give food a different texture. It is essential that the proportion of wheat stach to water be well balanced when making the pastry for har kau

Potato flour or potato starch is flour ground from dried potatoes; it is carbohydrate based thickener with little protein, useful for people who have to avoid gluten flours. It is used primarily for making commercial potato bread in combination with plain or strong flour or as a thickener for soups, gravies and Chinese stir fly dishes. The high starch content in potato flour encourages rapid fermentation and quick rise in yeast doughs. As such as a starch or thickening it has greater power than cereal starch and smaller quantities are required. It also gives a more translucent finish to soups and sauces as compared with corn flour or tapioca flour
Sago is dried starch granules derived from the pitch of sago tree. Sago flour is very rich in starch and has the same thickening ability as tapioca flour. In fact sago and tapioca flour may be used interchangeably for making kuih, bread and cakes.

Rice flour (includes white rice flour and nuttier brown rice flour) Substitutes: cake flour (especially if the rice flour is intended to soften the texture of a baked good) OR barley flour (also delivers a softer texture to baked goods) OR pastry flour (also delivers a softer texture to baked goods) OR (for those allergic to wheat) spelt flour (makes baked goods heavier) OR potato flour OR millet flour

Difference between Bread Flour and all Purpose flour
Wheat flours contain a protein called gluten which, in the presence of water, forms an elastic network throughout the dough. This is the stuff that gives bread doughs their rubbery consistency. The whole point of kneading bread dough, in fact, is to organize the strands of gluten running through the dough into a strong, resilient, interconnected web. It is this web of protein that will entrap the bubbles of CO2 given off by the yeast as it ferments, enabling the dough to rise. Without the gluten, the CO2 would just bubble up to the surface and be lost.

But flour vary greatly in both the quantity and quality of the gluten they contain because different strains of wheat from different regions and different growing seasons have different gluten profiles. There are times when gluten is not your friend; in a cake batter, excess gluten will create a chewy, coarse-grained cake, and in pastry doughs it will produce a tough pie crust. But for bread you want lots of strong gluten to produce a well-risen and well-shaped loaf. This is why there are special flours for special purposes: cake flour, pastry flour, bread flour, etc.

All-purpose flour is typically a blend of "hard" and "soft" wheats which will perform pretty well in most roles. It usually contains 10-12% gluten. It can be used for bread, but will tend to produce a denser, flatter loaf. Some people will add 1T extra per cup of flour when using all-purpose for bread.

Bread flours have from 12-14 percent protein. They will feel decidedly more elastic while kneading, and will give full, rounded loaves. These flours are made from hard winter wheats from northern states.

Besides the quantity, the quality of the gluten will vary. Some glutens are better at forming the elastic network than others. You can judge this for yourself by making a "gluten ball" from different flours: make a stiff dough using just water and 1/4 c of flour. Knead it until it becomes quite elastic, then continue kneading it between your fingers under a stream of water. This will wash out the starch from the flour and after a few minutes of this you will have a ball of pure gluten. By playing with this ball, stretching and folding it, you will see that some are far more resistant to tearing than others. A good bread flour will enable you to pull the gluten into a thin membrane.
Varies Types of flour
Gluten free flours - As explained above gluten is what makes wheat-based bread dough so sticky and elastic. This helps the dough hold in the air bubbles created by the yeast so that it will rise and eventually bake into a fluffy, porous loaf. If you're gluten-intolerant, though, you'll need to use gluten-free flour, along with an arsenal of ingredients to make it behave like it has gluten.

Just another name for Hong Kong flour made in Singapore and Malaysia. Superlite is a super soft flour. The Flour have been beached to give a very white texture.  It is best used for making Hong Kong type steamed buns (bao), Japanese castella cake, Malay sponge cake (kueh baulu) and others where a specially soft and light texture is required. This flour is also referred to as "Hong Kong Flour" by some users.

Just another name of flour made in Singapore and Malaysia. Top Flour is an extra-fine quality flour to give exceptionally smooth and fine texture for your baking needs. It is especially ideal for baking very fine cakes; such as chiffon cakes, swiss rolls, crepes, cake doughnuts and butter cookies.

Cake flour is a finely milled flour made from soft wheat. It has very low gluten content, making it suitable for soft-textured cakes and cookies. The higher gluten content of other flours would make the cakes tough. Related to cake flour are masa harina (from maize), maida flour (from wheat or tapioca), and pure starches. Cake Flour is a superb quality, soft-as-silk flour. It has excellent tolerance to a high amount of butter and sugar, resulting in cakes of good volume. This flour is best used for baking sponge cakes and very rich cakes like pound cakes.
To Substitute cake flour made in Malaysia and Singapore - Mix ¾ cup gluten free flour plus ¼ cup plain flour  . Cake flour does not have Sugar or baking powder added .
Optima flour is a premixed cake mix flour made in Singapore for making sponge cake.
It contains  sugar and  baking powder  and other conditioner to give nice texture of cake.
To substitute Optima flour, just substitute any sponge cake mix of any brand available.

All-purpose or plain flour is a blended wheat flour with an intermediate gluten level, which is marketed as an acceptable compromise for most household baking needs. Plain Flour is an all-purpose flour, best used for making cakes, pancakes, pastries, batter and as a thickener. This flour is also ideal for Oriental specialities like Chinese dumpling (bao), Chinese dough fritters (yu tiao) and roti prata.

Bleached flour ( Hong Kong Flour or Water Lily flour)  is treated with flour bleaching agents to whiten it (freshly milled flour is yellowish) and to give it more gluten-producing potential. Oxidizing agents are usually employed, most commonly organic peroxides like acetone peroxide or benzoyl peroxide, nitrogen dioxide, or chlorine. A similar effect can be achieved by letting the flour slowly oxidize with oxygen in the air ("natural aging") for approximately 10 days; however, this process is more expensive due to the time required.

Bread flour
Bread Flour is a high-protein flour, ideal for making all varieties of bread, buns and other flour-based products.
Self-rising cornmeal To make your own: Combine one cup cornmeal, one cup flour, one tablespoon baking powder, one teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup butter or other fat

Pastry flour or cookie flour or cracker flour has slightly higher gluten content than cake flour but lower than all-purpose flour. It is suitable for fine, light-textured pastries

Self-rising or self-raising flour is flour ("white" wheat flour or wholemeal) that is sold premixed with chemical leavening agents. It was invented by Henry Jones. Typical ratios are the following:
a pinch to ½ teaspoon salt
100 g flour
3 g baking powder
1 g or less salt
Self-Raising Flour is a premium quality flour blended with the right amount of leavening agents. It is best suited for baking cakes, hot cakes such as American pancakes and cookies. It is also excellent as a batter for frying chicken, fish, prawns and banana fritters.

Corn (maize) flour is popular in the Southern and Southwestern US and in Mexico. Coarse whole-grain corn flour is usually called corn meal. Corn meal that has been bleached with lye is called masa harina (see masa) and is used to make tortillas and tamales in Mexican cooking. Corn flour should never be confused with cornstarch, which is known as "cornflour" in British English

Tapioca flour, produced from the root of the cassava plant, is used to make breads, pancakes, tapioca pudding, a savoury porridge called fufu in Africa, and is used as a starch.

Wholemeal Flour is a high-protein high-fibre flour specially milled for the health-conscious. Just mix equal quantities of Prima's Wholemeal and Bread Flour to make delicious and nutritious wholemeal bread, buns and cookies.

Semolina is a granulated wheat flour. It is best for making sugee cake, semolina pudding, cookies and soup as well as baby weaning food.

Rice flour :

Glutinous rice flour or sticky rice flour, used in east and southeast Asian cuisines for making tangyuan etc.

Brown rice flour is of great importance in Southeast Asian cuisine. Also edible rice paper can be made from it. Most rice flour is made from white rice, thus is essentially a pure starch, but whole-grain brown rice flour is commercially available

Noodle flour is special blend of flour used for the making of Asian style noodles

Tang flour or wheat starch is a type of wheat flour used primarily in Chinese cooking for making the outer layer of dumplings and buns. It is also used in Vietnamese cuisine, where it is called bột lọc trong

Mung Bean Starch and water use to make bean thread, bean vermicelli, or slippery noodles


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