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Flour confusion

What's the difference between enriched flour and all purpose flour? Or are they the same?

asked by skittle about 3 years ago
8 answers 3137 views
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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 3 years ago

From what I have read, enriched flour is all purpose flour that has had some nutrients (B vitamins and calcium) that are lost in processing added back. I think you can use them interchangeably.

Buddhacat
SKK
added about 3 years ago

These flours can be used interchangeably unless you are baking yeast bread. In the case of yeast bread you want unbleached flour.

Goodcheer
hah
added about 3 years ago

drbabs is correct. When whole wheat is refined to give you white flour, many nutrients, plus fiber, are lost. "Enriching" simply means they've replaced some of those nutrients, although not all. This is true of unbleached white flour, too. It's refined, white, flour, just not chemically bleached.

Yeast breads do not require unbleached flour. They can be made with whole grains, refined grains, wheat, barley, oats, etc. Unbleached flour usually refers to a white flour made from wheat which has not been commercially bleached. For myself, I use it because I believe it's better for the environment (fewer chemicals in the water/soil) and there's no need whatsoever for bleaching. Why do an extra step with stuff which, while GRAS, is completely unnecessary?

Dsc00859_2
added about 3 years ago

This appears to be spam.

Dsc00859_2
added about 3 years ago

just saying, my post above wasn't meant to refer to posts by hah, SKK dr. babs or skittle, but a post that was on this thread this morning. My computer wasn't letting me flag.

Buddhacat
SKK
added about 3 years ago

@hah, regarding unbleached flour the source for the necessity of unbleached flour in yeast breads is Shirley O. Corriher, Cookwise. She said that bleached flour does not have enough protein content and yeast breads will not be as light. I tried it and found her science to be accurate.

Default-small
added about 3 years ago

Thank you for the information!

Goodcheer
hah
added about 3 years ago

skk, thanks for coming back to explain what she said. I have no idea where she got that, although I have found in the past that her research can be a little off. I don't doubt YOU at all, though. I doubt HER, since there's just no empirical data for it. I wonder where she got that?

I also wonder if she feels that the protein content of refined white (but unbleached) flour goes down as it slowly lightens on its own? The reason why commercial outfits started chemically bleaching their flour was because it made the flour snow-white immediately, instead of having to wait while the flour turned white on its own. It doesn't turn stark white, either, when it does it on its own.

If I remember, I'll ask the question on one of King Arthur's Flour fora. Also, you might want to read the reviews of her books on Amazon.com for other opinions about Corriher's science. Opinions are quite divided on it.