Information on flour.

Some good information on whole grains can be found here.


Hi Everyone, some of you wanted information on the different kind of flours. So, here is some of what I got. All of this information comes from the book, Grains of Truth by Donna G. Spann. I am only giving information on flours that I have used. smile.gif I grind my own flour, so I am using the word grain for flour. You can buy any of these flours at most health food stores.

Amaranth: This is a very expensive grain. High in lysine, methionine (amino acids), and protein. It has twice as much protein as corn and rice. This grain is a complete protein and is higher than most other known grains in both phosphorus and calcium. High in vitamins and minerals such as iron and Vitamin C. Low in “bad” fat and high in “good” fat and fiber. This is a gluten free grain.

Amaranth has a VERY long shelf life. It is quite pest resistant. For best storage, keep amaranth in a well-covered glass container.

Best used in cobmbination with other grains. Add a maximum of 15% amaranth to the mixture.

For nonwheat baking, amaranth and barley go well together.


Corn: Corn is actually a gluten-free grain. High in Magnesium and also has thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, essential fatty acids, magnesium, calcium, sodium, protein, carbohydrates, potassium, iron, zinc, Vitamin A, B & C, phosphorus and fiber. Corn is not concidered “whole food” because it lacks lysine and tryptophan.

Corn is reported to be one of a number of foods which aids the body in removing certain toxic metals. It is one of the most common food allergens. Som symptoms which could indicate a corn allergy include: migraine, weakness, vague aches, torpor, sleepiness or insomnia, irritability, restlessness and oversensitivity.

Cornmeal is made from milling corn kernels that have a rough hull covering twin layers of hard and soft starch deposits. Enriched-degerminated cornmeal is the product usually found on the grocery store shelves. The steel rollers that grind the kernels destroy most of thenutrients. They break down and filter out the fiber in the hull and then remove the germ entirely. The result is a dry and somewhat granular product that is lacking most of the nutritive value. By law, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin and iron are added back in.

“I’d like to know the difference between hard flour and soft flour. I haven’t a clue about that, or even if this is a valid question.” Said Donna.

This is a very valid question, so I am glad you asked. smile.gif

The terms Spring and Winter wheat refer to the time of year the seed is planted. Hard and soft refer to the volume of gluten in the grains’ cellular structure.

Hard Wheat: High in both protein and gluten content and absorbs liquid easily. Ideal for breadmaking. Grown in the north. The north is known for making great bread.

Soft Wheat: Has lower protein and gluten content than the hard wheat used for breadmaking. This is not good bread flour. It is starchier and more malleable than hard and has a 6-10% protein content. Usually grown in the south and midwest. Good for cakes, cookies, pasteries or other baked goods calling for baking powder. When a recipe calls for “whole wheat pastry flour” it is referring to soft wheat. The south is known for great cakes and pasteries.

If you purchase patry flour, the bran and germ have been removed. Sometimes car starch has been added to give a lighter texture to cakes.

Red Wheat: Grains that are dark in color and heavier in fiber and bran than white wheat. The flavor is hearty and nutty. This isn’t my favorite wheat, but I do mix it with white sometimes.

White Wheat: Grains are lighter in color. High in protein/gluten content and low moisture. Makes nice light loaves of bread. This isn’t always true at my house. rolleyes.gif

Both red and white are hard wheat.


“What kind of grinder do you use Michelle?”

I have a Whisper Mill. The K-Tec mill is suppose to be very good one too. Both are very loud. stars.gif

From the Truth of Grains:
When considering the costs of mill and breadkneader, keep in mind that your cost per loaf to make your own 100% whole grain bread with no perservatives or chemicals and all the nutrients is about 25 cents a loaf.

I have never figured out how much my bread costs. The mill and mixer are very expensive. It is a tough to decide if you want to go this route. I don’t mean for this topic to sound like you should grind your own grains. I just wanted to go over the different types of flours. You can buy whole wheat flours from your grocery store and the other flours you can buy from a health food store. smile.gif

“I have amaranth and spelt flour but so far haven’t had much luck with the amaranth.” said Michielle.
I just mix it with my whole wheat flour. I haven’t tried mixing it with spelt. Here is what the books says to do. Maybe this will help. smile.gif

For each cup of whole wheat flour, remove 1/8 cup and substitue 1/8 cup amaranth flour. For nonwheat baking, amaranth and barley go well together.

Spelt requires less liquid than regular grains. Try using about 1 1/4 spelt flour in place of 1 cup of whole wheat flour or decrease the liquid to about 3/4 of that called for in your recipe.

Kamut flour is a good one to use if you have wheat allergies.

“I would love to have more information & recipies for flax seed. ” said Beth.

I have a cookbook on Flaxseed, but I haven’t made anything from it yet. I usually just grind up the Flaxseed in my coffee grinder and sprinkle over salads. smile.gif

You can use a Flaxseed and water mixture for an egg replacer, haven’t tried it. I don’t have a problem with eggs user posted image and I don’t use any in my daily bread.

When you said glass storage is best. I had purchased a glass containers that hold 10lbs of flour and sugar.
I like glass containers and they look nice, but my grains are in Tupperware containers. I do not have enough room for glass. I can stack the Tupperware containers on top of each other. What is really important is a tight seal. Bugs really like flours and grains here in Florida.

Flaxseed: Tiny brownish maroon seed. My husband thinks they look like ticks and will write “iddy biddy ticks” on my containter rolleyes.gif Flaxseeds contain soluble fiber and ucilage with not only helps with the cholesterol, but is an excellent laxative as well. Contains more lignin, promotes anti-estrogenic activity and appears to be an anti-cancer agent, than any other food. Flaxseed oil is nature’s richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids (52%). Flaxseed contains, glycosides, gum, linamarin, linoleic acid, mucilage, oleic acid, protein, saturated acids, tannins and wax. The oil is richhin lecithin and phosphatides which assist in fat digestion. Also found in the flaxseed are most of the major minerals, trace minerals and vitamins A, B-1, B-2, D and E.

Both seeds and the oil can be found in health food stores. The seeds are much cheaper than the oil and provides the same benefits as the oil. I now see the oil in our local grocery store. If any of you decide to use the oil, make sure you purchase a good brand and that it is already refrigerated. This oil goes rancid very quickly and must be refrigerated. smile.gif Once opened, it will need to be used in 3-6 weeks. I buy my seeds at the health food store and keep them in the freezer.

There are two kinds of seeds, one is dark brown and the other is a golden color. There is no nutritional difference, but there is a price difference. I think the gold one is more costly because the plant does not yield as much as the darker kind. dunno.gif

Some important things to remember about Flaxseed and Flaxseed oil.

*You can not cook with the oil. Great in smoothies.
*You should not eat the seeds whole. Besides giving you stinky gas blush.gif , the sharp edges of the seeds may cause damage in the stomach and intestines.
*Ground Flaxseed (this can be done in a cheap coffee grinder) are great for baking, sprinkling on salads, smoothies, etc.

One quarter cup of seeds will make about 1/2 cup ground. Do not put flaxseed through an electric or stone mill (too much oil). I can’t find how much you should use in breadmaking. I have only used this once in my bread and it was a heavy loaf. I really just like it in my salads, but when my kids are not watching, I’ll start putting the finely ground seeds in their smoothies. smile.gif

Flaxseed Binder

3/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup ground flaxseed (2 TB whole seed, ground)

Bring water and ground flaxseed to a boil, stirring with a wire whisk. Boil for 3 minutes while stirring. Cool and refrigerate in a tightly covered container. Measure 1/8 cup (2 TB) per 1 egg.
This will be hard to measure exactly because it will stick to itself like glue. Pull it up with a fork into a 1/8 cup measure or scoop out a heaping tablespoon. An exact measure is unimportant. Thoroughly whisk into first liquid ingredient in th recipe before adding to the next. It won’t add lightness to the baked goods, but provides the “binding effect” of eggs.

  I searched the internet to get this information. smile.gifSource: Pastry Wiz

White Flour (the one you buy off the grocery store shelf): It is the part of the flour that has the outer shell removed before it is ground. The outer shell is the part with all of the vitamins and minerals that we need for our body. To replace some of the destroyed nutrients, synthetic nutrients are added back in to “fortify” or “enrich” the product.At O Chef they answer questions about the difference between all-purpose, cake, pastry, and other flours. Take a look, if you are interested.

Self-rising flour: Self-rising flour is all-purpose flour with added salt and leavening (baking powder).

You will notice that recipes that call for self-rising flour do not call for baking powder.

Make your own self-rising flour

For 1 cup self-rising flour use:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt.

This is from Ask the dietitian.

Question asked: I am somewhat confused over the “flour” ingredient component on the ingredient list of various breads. One will say “wheat flour”, another says “enriched flour (wheat)”, another “enriched flour (flour)”, another “stone ground wheat flour”, etc. How’s a regular (fiber-pun intended!) person supposed to assess the relative value of these statements?

Can you give some direction on the merits of each, particularly as it applies to whole wheat, stone ground wheat, cracked wheat, etc.? Thanks for your interest.

Answer: The ingredient listing on food labels contains the raw ingredients in decreasing order used in the manufacture of that particular food. Typically the type of flour describes the milling process (how the grain was ground into a flour) i.e. was the bran (outer coating) and / or the germ (oil portion) included AND any treatment applied after milling i.e. enrichment (add vitamins and minerals lost during processing) or bleaching (natural aging of flour during storage or achieved with chemicals that oxidize the yellow pigment and improve the baking quality of the flour).

The following wheat flours do not include red durum or semolina, which contains bran specs from durum and both are used in the manufacture of pasta. Nor are soft wheat flours included, which are used in the manufacture of cakes, cookies and pastries. Bread flours are made from hard wheat, which contains more gluten (protein) and provides structure to bread.

Wheat Flour is made by grinding wheat and typically does not contain the bran or germ.

Enriched Flour (wheat) is wheat flour (no bran or germ) that has been enriched with thiamin, riboflavin and niacin and may include Vitamin D, iron and calcium that are lost during flour processing.

Enriched Flour (flour) is the same as the above except that the source of the grain is not identified. Other grains such as rye, oats, barley or soybeans can be used in the making of this flour.

Stone Ground Wheat Flour describes how the wheat grain was milled. Again since the word “whole” is not included and this flour does not contain the bran or germ of the wheat grain. Similar to wheat flour other than how the grain was milled.

Grinding the entire wheat grain makes whole Wheat Flour, including the bran and germ. Other ingredients may be included such as malted wheat, wheat flour and barley flour. It is also called graham flour and entire wheat flour.

Cracked Wheat is made by cracking the wheat grain into angular pieces and is similar to whole-wheat flour in composition, but the flour has coarse flecks of brown rather than a uniform size particle.

The choice that consumers have is whether or not they want “white” bread or “whole” wheat bread. White bread contains very little fiber, but is usually enriched. Whole wheat bread contains some fiber and how much depends on whether or not some white flour has been added as well. I usually recommend that persons choose bread that has whole-wheat flour as the first ingredient with no white flour added. If a person needs to eat a low fiber diet then they should choose bread with white flour as the first ingredient with no whole-wheat flour added.

The food label will contain the nutritional content of 1 slice of bread, which you can use to compare between various breads. You may find that white bread is higher in thiamin, riboflavin and niacin because of enrichment. Whole wheat bread will be higher in fiber and other trace minerals, which may or may not be listed on the label since they are not required by FDA.

KAMUT Protein level of Kamut tends to be higher than other wheats. Has higher total lipids. Lipids are higher in energy than either carbohydrates or protein. The percentage of fiber is slightly less than common wheats (hard and soft wheats). Kamut is higher in B1, B2, niacin and especially vitamin E (30% more than common wheat). Lower in pantothenic acid, B6 and folacin. Higher in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, and copper and lower only in manganese. It has higher level of the major fatty acids as well as higher levels of sixteen aof the eighteen amino acids.

Taste is described as “rich and buttery” and “light”.

Kamut may be an answer to people who suffer with wheat intolerance. smile.gif

I have not had success in making a loaf of bread with just Kamut. I have had to mix Kamut flour with hard white to a make a good loaf. Kamut is good for making pasta and for recipes calling for soft flour. I use it mostly in cookies, muffins, pizza doung and sometimes waffles (mixed with other flours).

Millet Yes, this is the little yellow seed we feed to the birds. biggrin.gif Do not buy birdseeds to eat. You can get the seeds or flour at your health food store. The seeds can be added to baked goods for a nice crunchy texture. I like it whole, hubby does not. Millet is high in vitamins and minerals. Rich in phosphorous, potassium, thiamin, lecithin, iron, calcium, riboflavin, and niacin. Very easy to digest. Offers the complete vitamin B complex, including B17.

Millet is a gluten-free grain.

In yeast breads you can use a 1 to 5 ratio of millet to wheat flour. It is not good ot use alone. You can substitute millet flour in your current recipes that call for amaranth, cornmeal and sorghum. Great thickner and adds flavor to soups and stews.
Oat flour – Oats exceed all other grainsin protein content at 14% except for amaranth, quinoa and triticale. Contains seven B vitamins, vitamin E and nine minerals. Also contains silicon hich is valuable to healthy hair, skin, nails and eyes.

Oat choices:

Groat – The soft kernel of the oat grain. Add to stews, soups, and breads or use as cereal. I flake this in a hand flaker to make oat meal and use it in granola.

Steel-Cut Oats – are the oat groat that has been sliced into two or three pieces. Chewier and require longer cooking time.

Rolled Oats – (Old-fashioned oats) have been partially cooked by passing the whole oat groat through a steam chamber and then flattened between rollers. Each rolled oat is one whole groat that has been flattened.

Quick Oats – Similar to rolled oats. They are “quicker cooking” because they are flatter than rolled oats and slightly cooked.

Oat Flour – Milled oat groats. Oat flour is particularly good to add to bread as it seems to inhibit spoilage. Also great for cookies in any form. I grind groats into flour for our breads and waffles.


10 responses to “Information on flour.

  1. Wow! Great summary! I’ve been looking for something like that- About the flax-“issues”, so far, the tastiest, best textured wheat breads I’ve made use 1 Tbsp each flax oil and flax seeds, and they come out great. I have some other “tricks” that help nutritionally and otherwise, too- I crush one vitamin C tablet to get my Ascerbic acid in it (keeps it from caving in) and add 1/3 cup vital wheat gluten to make it feel as soft as white bread and rise even higher. Thanks for taking the time give us a “dozen flours”… :>)

  2. Thank you for this information! Very helpful.

  3. Just wondering if there is a flour mill in western florida where you can buy fresh stone ground flour? Thanks, Yvonne

    Not that I know of. 🙂

  4. Not that I know of. 🙂 ]]>

  5. Do you know if oatmeal can be further ground into oat flour in a wonder mill grinder?
    I transposed an order number, ended up with 50 lbs. not the 5 lbs. I wanted.

    Hope you can help, we don’t like oatmeal that much.

  6. Hi Mary, you can not ground oatmeal in a mill. It will clog it up real good. 😀

    You can; however, use your blender.

    I’ll email you.

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