The primary component of all bread is flour. Most frequently, different kinds of flour made from wheat are used to make bread. Hard wheat varieties are particularly suited for bread making since they have a high protein content, so their ability to produce gluten is higher.
For the dough to rise correctly, bread prepared predominantly with non-wheat flour frequently contain some wheat flour. Non-wheat flours are more regularly used to make bread in various regions of the world because the climate may not be favorable for producing wheat or because a different grain has long been favored in that area.
Unbleached, high-gluten flour, known as “bread flour,” is suitable for creating bread because it comprises 99.9% hard wheat flour and malted barley, which boosts yeast activity. Using bread flour, you can produce larger bread loaves with a lighter and less crumbly texture. Another name for bread flour is unbleached flour.
All-purpose flour, such as Spelt flour, can be used for various baking recipes and is arguably the most often used wheat flour for baking. It is made from a mixture of cake flour with low protein content and high protein bread flour, which creates the ideal balance for most baked items. All-purpose wheat flour comes in bleached and unbleached versions. Because bleaching chemicals weaken the flour’s gluten, unbleached flour is frequently preferred by bakers.
Hard wheat that has been processed to remove the starch is used to make gluten flour. It is almost two times more potent than conventional wheat flour and includes more gluten than other forms of flour (at least 70% pure). The most common application of gluten flour is as a supplement for other flours that are either gluten-free or low in gluten; however, if used excessively, it can toughen the bread. It is excellent for making flatbread, including rolls, bagels, and pizza dough. It is frequently confused with bread flour, which is also fortified with gluten but contains less of it than gluten flour.
Wheat flour that already has a leavening agent is known as self-rising flour, and baking powder typically serves as the leavening agent. The mixture frequently includes salt, which raises the sodium level significantly compared to other flour forms. While self-raising flour is excellent for making quick bread, it should not be used to make yeast bread. Remember that the longer self-rising flour is stored, the less effective the leavening agent becomes.
Typically milled from red wheat, whole-wheat flour is made by grinding the wheat kernel, including the bran, germ, and endosperm. Due to the bran, which prevents the dough from rising correctly, whole-wheat flour used alone in bread preparation produces a healthy but smaller and denser loaf. It is frequently ideal for blending whole-wheat flour with bread flour or all-purpose flour to make a loaf of bread that is a little bit lighter and has more volume.
Other types of flour used to make bread include graham flour, bromated flour, bolted flour, chapati flour, and tortilla flour. It all depends on your preference.