10/2/08

0 Flour: All Purpose, White Wheat, Red Wheat & Bread Flour

Okay, okay. I grew up on white bread. When I was younger, I could not stand the color and taste of whole wheat bread. I would beg for Wonder bread....so soft, that I could roll it up into almost any shape that I wanted! My mom also had heard, "The whiter the bread, the sooner you're dead." That didn't really mean anything to me, as I loved white bread so much. Then my mom tried making her bread by "sneaking" in the wheat, making it half/half, which I grew to like. Now, White Wheat is available, which is lighter in color and taste than the traditional red wheat flour.

Which is best? White or wheat? Definitely wheat for nutritional value as white flour (a.k.a. All Purpose) is stripped of the bran and germ kernel that is rich in B vitamins, oil and vitamin E. It was "necessary" to strip these off for white flour to ensure long term storage. White flour is refined and only 4 vitamins are added back, compared to the 15 lost. If you wish to use white flour, look for unbleached flour, as chemicals are not added to whiten the flour.

Red Wheat flour is commonly available. I have found White Wheat flour in the Montana brand at my local Walmart. What is the difference between Red and White wheat? Mainly the color and taste. Bread made with Red wheat is darker in color and has a stronger taste. Bread made with White wheat is lighter in color and has a milder taste. Nutritional value remains the same.

Bread flour is a high gluten flour that has small amounts of malted barley flour, vitamin C or potassium bromate added. You can use bread flour in bread and pizza crust recipes where you want the loftiness or chewiness that the extra gluten provides. Bread flour is not recommended for use in recipes that you don't want to be chewy, such as a soft cookie or cakes.

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