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Baking Flours Glossary

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  • All-purpose Flour: A white flour, is generally a combination of soft and hard wheats, or medium-protein wheats. It works well for all types of baked products, including yeast breads, cakes, cookies, and quick breads. All-purpose flour usually is sold presifted. It is available bleached and unbleached. Either is suitable for home baking and can be used interchangeably.
  • Bread Flour: The type of flour recommended for recipes in this book, is made from hard wheat. It has a higher gluten content than all-purpose flour. Gluten, a protein, provides structure and height to breads, making bread flour well suited for the task. Store bread flour in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 5 months, or freeze it for up to 1 year.
  • Cornmeal: A finely ground corn product, is made from dried yellow, white, or blue corn kernels. Cornmeal labeled "stone ground" is slightly coarser than regular cornmeal. Store cornmeal in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months, or freeze it for up to 1 year.
  • Gluten Flour: Sometimes called wheat gluten, is made by removing most of the starch from high-protein, hard-wheat flour. If you can't find gluten flour at your supermarket, look for it at a health-food store. Store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 5 months, or freeze it for up to 1 year.
  • Rye Flour: Made from finely ground rye, a cereal grain that has dark brown kernels and a distinctive robust flavor. Light rye flour is sifted and contains less bran than dark rye flour. Store rye flour in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, for up to 5 months, or freeze for up to 1 year.
  • Wheat Germ: The embryo or sprouting portion of the wheat kernel, is sold both raw and toasted. It is extremely perishable. Once opened, store in the refrigerator no more than 3 months.
  • Whole Wheat Flour: Unlike all-purpose and bread flour, is ground from the complete wheat berry, and contains the wheat germ as well as the wheat bran. It is coarser in texture and does not rise as well as all-purpose or bread flour. Store whole wheat flour in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 5 months, or freeze for up to 1 year.
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