Flour

Buying Guide

With so many different types of flour to choose from, it can be difficult to decide what kind is right for you. Whether you’re baking breads, cakes, or pastries, or using it as a thickening agent in casseroles or gravy, selecting the right type of flour is essential to your success.


To find the best flour for your cooking needs, use this guide. Check out the glossary for helpful information on deciphering what terms like ash content, pH level, and brominated mean.

Anatomy

Glossary

Ash Content

Ash content is determined by exposing a sample of flour to high heat until all of the moisture and organic materials have burned away, leaving only ash (the non-combustible, inorganic minerals) and revealing the amount of bran contamination in the flour. The more ash there is in a type of flour, the darker the color of finished products. For example, whole wheat flour has a high ash content while white flour has a much lower ash content.


Bleached Flour

Bleached flour is a type of refined flour (flour that has the germ and bran removed) that has had a whitening agent added to it. This type of flour is artificially aged using a bleaching agent, maturing agent, or both. Potassium bromate, benzoyl peroxide, ascorbic acid, and chlorine gas are the four most common bleaching/maturing agents used in the U.S.


Brominated Flour

This type of flour contains potassium bromate, a chemical oxidizer that works as a dough conditioner. It can enhance the appearance of your baked goods by allowing them to rise higher and display a finer crumb. However, it is important to note that if bread made with this type of flour isn’t baked long enough or at a high enough temperature, potassium bromate can have harmful effects.


Enriched Flour

Enriched flour undergoes a process meant to replenish essential nutrients such as iron, B vitamins, and even calcium that have been lost during the manufacturing process. Enrichment is necessary, especially for white flours, in order to restore the flour to its original, unrefined nutritional status.


Gluten

Gluten is a protein composite found in foods manufactured from wheat that gives elasticity to dough, enabling it to rise and keep its shape during the baking process. The more refined the gluten is, the chewier your products will be (think pizza and bagels) while less refined gluten yields soft baked goods such as pastries.


Hard Flour

Hard flour, also known as bread flour, has a high gluten content, which makes it tougher. Products made with hard flour will hold their shape well once they are baked.


Malt

Grains that were soaked in water until they began to sprout, but were stopped from germinating further by being dried with hot air. This process, known as “malting,” develops the enzymes required to break down the grain’s starches into sugars as well as the enzymes that break down proteins so they can be used by yeast. High-protein forms of malted barley are often an ingredient in flours used to bake yeast breads and other baked goods.


Moisture Content

To determine the moisture content of a type of flour, a sample of flour is heated in an oven and the amount of weight loss that occurs during this process is measured. This number (expressed as a percentage) is the moisture content. This percentage can be an early indicator of flour quality and storability. Flour with a high moisture content (above 14.5%) supports mold and bacteria growth as well as insects. Flour with a low moisture content is less prone to deterioration and will be more stable during storage.


Patent Flour

Patent flour is a pure, high-quality flour made from the center part of the endosperm. The amount of straight flour that patent flour contains determines whether a bread flour is short patent (70-80% straight flour), medium patent (80-90% straight flour), or long patent (90-95% straight flour).


pH level

pH level is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. Pure water has a pH of 7. Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic (such as lemon juice, which has a pH around 2) while solutions with a pH more than 7 are said to be basic or alkaline (such as ammonia, which has a pH around 11).


Protein Content

The protein content of a particular type of flour impacts the structure and texture of your final baked good. Flours with higher protein content are harder and stronger and will produce crusty or chewy breads. The lower the protein content, the softer the flour will be, making it perfect for cakes, cookies, and pie crusts.


Soft Flour

Soft flour, which is often divided into cake flour and pastry flour, is low in gluten and will give products a finer texture than baked goods made with hard flour.


Straight Flour

Flour in which 100% of the wheat kernel has had the bran and germ removed.

Low Gluten

Great for pastries and cakes that have a delicate crumb.

Soft Wheat Premium Pastry Flour - 50 lb.

Premium Pastry

Swan Pastry®
Moisture %: 14.0 max.
Protein %: 8.5 ± 0.5*
Ash %: 0.48 ± 0.02
*Proteins may vary due to crop conditions

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Milled from the finest soft wheat, Swan Pastry® is a pastry chef’s dream. Bright, white and low in protein, it produces delicate, tender results, but offers strength and stability in the baking process. Untreated.

Great For: Donuts, pastries, pie crusts, muffins, cookies, biscuits, scones, cream puffs and eclairs.



High Ratio Cake Flour - 50 lb.

High Ratio Cake

Tea Table Cake®
Moisture %: 14.0 max.
Protein %: 8.0 ± 0.5*
Ash %: 0.38 ± 0.02
*Proteins may vary due to crop conditions
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A short-patent, high-ratio gem with the lowest ash content, Tea Table Cake® is a dainty delight, ideal for high sugar and high fat baking. Bleached and enriched.

Great For: Non-spread cookies, cake doughnuts, layer cake, pound cake, angel food cake, cupcakes and decorator sheet cakes.



Extra Fine White Whole Wheat Flour - 50 lb.

Extra Fine White Whole Wheat

Kansas Diamond®
Moisture %: 14.0 max.
Protein %: 12.5 ± 0.5
Ash %: 1.2-1.6

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Prepared by carefully selecting and milling hard white wheat to ensure that the process yields a light-colored, yet fiber and protein rich flour with microfine particles that produce a sweet and pleasing mouth feel. The mild, sweet taste and smooth texture offers consumer-pleasing results for virtually any baked good. Perfect for when you want the nutrition of whole wheat, but want your baked goods to be milder-tasting and lighter in color. Untreated.

Great For: Pizza crust, tortillas, breads, buns, bagels, pasta and cookies.



Fine Whole Wheat Brown Flour - 50 lb.

Fine White Whole Wheat Brown

Moisture %: 14.0 max.
Protein %: 12.8
Ash %: 1.6 ± 0.02

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Achieve the grainy goodness of 100 percent whole wheat with this whole wheat flour. This fine whole wheat brown flour serves as a versatile medium; use this flour to make nutritious baked breads with a dark crumb color and hearty, nutty flavors. Untreated.

Great For: Standard breads, variety breads, pasta and dinner rolls.

Medium Gluten

Your “work horse” flour. All purpose.

All Purpose Flour - 50 lb.

All Purpose White

Hotel & Restaurant
Moisture %: 14.0 max.
Protein %: 10.25 ± 0.5*
Ash %: 5.6 ± 0.02*
*Proteins may vary due to crop conditions

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Milled from a combination of hard red winter and soft wheat. H&R all purpose flour produces reliable results with consistently high volume and even texture. Good for all-around kitchen use. Bleached and enriched.

Great For: Cakes, biscuits, pizza crust, quick breads, breading, cookies, pasta, thickening agents and for use as dusting flour.



Premium Wheat Flour - 50 lb.

Premium Spring Patent

Commander®
Moisture %: 14.0 max.
Protein %: 13.0 ± 0.3
Ash %: 0.54 ± 0.02

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A premium spring flour, Commander® combines the pure attributes of a patent flour with the strength provided by its medium-level protein content. Preferred pizza crust flour on the East Coast. Bleached, enriched, and bromated.

Great For: Hearth breads, pizza crusts and hoagies.

High Gluten

Great for bagels, pizza, and other doughs that need strong texture.

High Gluten Flour - 50 lb.

White High Gluten

Gigantic®
Moisture %: 14.0 max.
Protein %: 14.0 ± 0.3
Ash %: 0.54 ± 0.02

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A great multi-purpose high gluten flour. Gigantic® works well in a variety of applications and is also the best suited for frozen doughs. Bleached, enriched, and bromated.

Great For: Bagels, Kaiser rolls, hearth bread, thin-crust pizzas and frozen doughs.




High Gluten Premium Wheat Flour - 50 lb.

Premium High Gluten White

Regal®
Moisture %: 14.0 max.
Protein %: 14.2 ± 0.2
Ash %: 0.53 ± 0.02

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Choose Regal® for its outstanding mixing tolerance and excellent absorption properties. It is a versatile medium for creating a variety of delicious, consistently-textured baked products. Bleached, enriched, and bromated.

Great For: Kaiser rolls, hearth breads, pizza crusts and Italian, French or Jewish breads.

Flour Comparison Chart