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Uses Of Flour- When to use which

Updated on June 26, 2011

Choose Flour Based On the Baked Good

In baking the uses of flour are endless. It is often a key component in recipes for baked goods. There are many types of flour in the world today and it can be difficult to determine which flour should be used in a particular baked good. As a baker and bakery owner, I find it vital to use the correct type of flour which is why I have assembled a list of the most common flours and when to use to them.

  • All-purpose flour
    This is the most common type of flour and can be used in any recipe. If you're a penny pinching baker, this is the flour for you. It is usually the most inexpensive option and purchasing just this one type of flour will suffice for almost all recipes.
  • Bread flour
    This one is also pretty obvious. It is primarily used to make bread and pizza crusts. The higher gluten content in bread flour makes it the best choice for anything that should be a touch chewier than the average baked good.
  • Cake flour
    This flour, which should always be sifted, is perfect for delicate things that require a rise like, you guessed it, cakes. It is higher in starches than others which helps fats become evenly distributed in the batter.
  • Pastry flour
    Biscuits and pie crusts are perfect things to use pastry flour with because it lends tenderness and texture. You may not see this one in every grocery store, but it can easily be ordered online.
  • Whole wheat flour
    One of the healthiest flours around, whole wheat flour is best used in yeast breads. It does not provide much of a rise, but this can be remedied by mixing it with an equal amount of all-purpose flour.
  • Semolina flour
    Pasta and puddings are the best candidates for semolina flour due to its' high gluten content. If you've never tried making your own pasta, give it a shot! It's fun, easy, and with semolina you will get great results every time.
  • Teff flour
    While the flours above are made from wheat, this flour is made from the teff grain. The lack of gluten makes this flour a good choice for people with Celiac disease. It is used by Ethiopians to make injera, a flat bread. In baked goods, use half the amount of the flour called for and half of teff flour.

For more information on flour, how it is made and common substitutions between flours, visit

Or visit my baking blog!


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      Nicole has something special to share with you! 4 years ago

      wew its too awesome

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      rtrt 4 years ago


    • Carmen H profile image

      Carmen Beth 6 years ago

      Very good simple definations! Voted up.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Welcome to HubPages. Very useful article!