Flours, Grains and Meals

Flours, Grains and Meals

As a baker you should familiarize yourself with the various grains used for baked goods.  Rice, barley and refined products such as pastry flour or cornmeal and considered whole grain.  The various type of grains discussed in this blog are inexpensive and easily attainable.

Whole Grain have shorter lifespans and aren’t milled.

Milled Grains have longer shelf life, but lose it’s nutrients because of the processing involved removing germs and bran.

A multitude of methods are used to for milling, such as crushing grains using a metal roller, grinding them between stones or using steel blades to cut them.  In this scenario stone -ground is favored because less heat is required during milling that other methods.


Flour varies, but wheat flour is the most conventional type used in the bakeshop.  Wheat flour is the only four that contains enough gluten-forming proteins to provide the essential structure to baked goods.

Wheat Kernel

A baker should familarize themselves with variuos wheat flours and it’s makeup.  For instance the wheat kernel is made up bran, endosperm and germ.


Milling is a technique that separates the wheat kernel into three parts: bran, germ and endosperm.

Extraction Rate

Extraction rate is what is obtained after a grain has been milled.


Ash is a milling practice that actuates the mineral composites after the flour is milled.


Aging and bleaching must be performed in order to prepare newly milled flour for baking.  Flour must be able to age for several months until the oxygen whitens the flour and helps to produce proteins.  Benzoyl peroxide and chlorine dioxide are  agents used to Speed up the aging process of flour.  Hence you get the name “bleached flour” or ” unbleached flour”.

Enrichment and Oxidizing are other agent used to either improve the volume or to add nutrients to the flour.


Not all flours are created equally.  Baked goods require different types of flour in order to yield a final product that is satisfactory.

All-purpose flour

All-purpose flour is a combination of hard and soft wheat fours milled from wheat kernels and endosperm.  The protein content in this type of flour can range anywhere from 8 to 12 percent.

Bread flour

bread flour is a tougher type of wheat made from endosperm and is generally used to for breads and soft rolls.  Protein content can range from 11 to 13 percent.

Cake flour

cake flour is a soft wheat generally used for cakes and cookies.  The protein content can range from 6 to 9 percent.

Clear flour

Clear flour is made from endosperm and has a darker color and harder texture. This type of wheat has a high-gluten count is best used for rye bread.  The protein count ranges from 13 to 15 %

Durum flour

is a hard wheat used for bread making and obtained from the endosperm of the durum wheat kernels. Protein count varies from 12 to 14 percent.

High-gluten flour

is used for bagels and hard rolls and milled from the endosperm.  It’s protein content is 13 to 14 percent.

Pastry flour

is best used for pie crust dough, muffins and some biscuits and pastries with a protein count of 10 percent.


is a course ground durum wheat used for pasta making.

Rye Flour

Can vary in color and has various protein content ranging anywhere from 8 to 17 percent.