All purpose flour is a type of wheat flour milled from the inner part of the wheat kernel, called the endosperm. It contains a moderate amount of protein and fat and has been refined in preparation for different uses. All-purpose flour is used for making cakes, cookies, pastries, muffins and quick bread. In this post, you will learn what is all purpose flour, its various uses, storing ideas and many more.
All-purpose flour is the most commonly used type of flour, a mid-strength, medium-gluten flour that’s designed to be suitable for baking everything from pizza doughs and crusty bread to pie crusts, cakes, and cookies and pancakes.
All purpose flour is a staple in any kitchen. This article will help you buy the best all-purpose flour for your baking and cooking needs.
What is called all-purpose flour in Hindi
In India most regions Refined flour or all-purpose flour is called maida or plain flour in Hindi.
Table of Contents
What is all purpose flour
All-purpose flour is multipurpose white colour wheat flour. Basically, all-purpose flour is a blend of strong flour which is high-protein flour as well as a higher value of gluten and Weak flour which is low in protein as well a lower value of gluten.
It is estimated that all-purpose flour has an approximate gluten value of 12 %.
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How maida is made
- All-purpose flour is produced from the endosperm, the bran is separated from the germ and endosperm and forms all-purpose unbleached flour.
- Then to make super smooth and white flour it is bleached using bleaching or maturing agents ( Oxidizing the sulfhydryl groups of the protein ).
- This not only makes the flour white in colour but also enhances its elasticity of flour. This helps to make proper doughs and bread from all-purpose flour.
What is the difference between all purpose flour, bread flour and cake flour
- All-purpose flour is used in a wide variety of baked goods and recipes. It is a blend of hard and soft wheat, which gives it a protein content somewhere between bread flour and cake flour.
- All purpose flour has an average protein content of 10 – 12% while bread flours have an average protein content of 13 – 14%. Cake flours have an average protein content of between 9 – 11%.
- The higher the protein content in flour, the chewier your baked good will be. The lower the protein, the more tender your baked good will be. All purpose (or all-purpose) flour falls somewhere in between these two extremes, making it ideal for baking items such as cookies or cakes with both firmness and softness to them
How to store all purpose flour
- You can safely use all-purpose flour for a longer period if you put it inside an airtight container and stored it in a cool, dry place. You can also store it in the freezer for an even longer shelf life.
- If plain flour exposes to warm and damp condition then microorganism easily grows inside it making the flour caked and finally spoiled the flour. So to avoid this store maida in a dry place and dry container.
- All purpose flour has a tendency to absorb odour so it is advised to keep it away from strong odour foods items like onions, garlic etc because flour can easily absorb odours.
Are there any substitutes for all purpose flour
If you don’t want to use all-purpose flour in your baking dish then you have two substitutes one is pastry flour for making pies pastries and cookies, and another one is bread flour for making bread and pizza doughs.
Apart from this, there are many substitutes for all purposed flour, and depending on the brand, even substitutes that are gluten-free. These include:
- Whole wheat flour
- Rice flour
- Coconut flour
- Almond flour
Popular maida recipes
All-purpose flour or maida is a very common flour that uses to prepare various delicious recipes.
- In India plain flour or maida is used to prepare various Indian snack recipes including samosa, kachori etc and some popular indian desserts including Gulab jamun, and jalebi.
- Plain flour dough is also used to make various indian bread like naan, paratha, chapati, puri etc.
- Apart from this various baking items including cakes, pies, cookies, bread, and muffins are usually made from all-purpose flour.