Wheat flour is a powder made from the grinding of Wheat used for human consumption. There are different types of wheat flour, and they’re distinguished by the amount of gluten they contain. Wheat varieties are called “soft” or “weak” if gluten content is low, and are called “hard” or “strong” if they have high gluten content.
Wheat flour is made from grinding up parts of the wheat grain. There are three main parts of the grain:
- The endosperm, or protein/starchy part
- Germ, the rich in protein/fat/vitamin part
- Bran, the fiber-rich part
Wheat is classified by several different characteristics: the season it is grown (spring or winter wheat), its color, whether it is “hard” or “soft,” by the amount of protein it contains, and by the amount of a specific protein, called gluten that it contains. Hard wheat is usually a bronze-color and has a higher gluten content than soft wheat, which is a light golden color.
There are a number of wheat flours, including:
- All-purpose flour
- Bread flour
- Cake flour
- Pastry flour
- Self-rising flour
- Whole wheat flour
Nutrition and Benefits:
Flour nutrition varies by the type of flour. Each pound of white flour must be enriched to include 2.9 milligrams of thiamin, 1.8 milligrams of riboflavin, 24 milligrams of niacin, 0.7 milligrams of folic acid and 20 milligrams of iron. Whole wheat flour is high in vitamins B-1, B-3, and B-5, and riboflavin and folate. It also contains has more iron, calcium, protein, and other nutrients than white flour.