All-purpose Flour: is a blended flour mixture that consists of low gluten (soft wheat) and high gluten (hard wheat). During the milling process of the flour, the bran and germ are removed creating a lower protein content which gives a fair balance of tenderness and strength. Because of the composition of All-purpose flour, it is very versatile and can be used to make pastries, breads, pizzas, cakes, cookies, biscuits, muffins, pies, gravy’s, etc. There are different types of All-purpose flour:
- Bleached Flour: Is All Purpose flour that undergoes a process in which it is bleached using edible chemicals to provide a white color. Chemicals used to bleach flour include Chlorine, Chlorine dioxide, Azodicarbonamide benzoyl peroxide, Calcium peroxide and Nitrogen dioxide. Foods made with bleached flour usually represent a finer grain and a higher loaf volume. Chemicals such as Chlorine help to preserve the product from spoilage as well as texture.
- Unbleached Flour: Is All Purpose flour that has not been exposed to the bleaching process.
- Self-Rising Flour: Is All Purpose flour with two other ingredients added; salt and baking powder. These extra ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the flour giving the product a quick rise when baking. It is best used when baking biscuits, muffins, certain cakes and dumplings, waffles, pancakes and even in gravy. When Self-rising flour is used in baking, chemical leavening agents normally added in a recipe is no longer necessary. You may need to make slight adjustments in your recipe to factor in the baking powder and a salt already provided in the flour. Read more on all types of Flour here