It may not look like it, but flour is one of the most groundbreaking of all human inventions. Food will not be the same without it. We will not be able to enjoy marvellous parts of our cuisines (and other cuisines worldwide!). You will be surprised by the number of ways you can cook once you allow high protein flour and other similar flour types into your diet. You do not need much flour to bring attention to your foods. You can use flour in all sorts of ways to make your food look delicious.
Most people know flour to be a base ingredient in bread. But both bread eaters and those who do not eat bread should know why it comprises a significant part of our diet. We don’t just use flour in bread. We can find it in many foods such as fried foods (we coat meat in flour and bread crumbs before frying them), cereals, pasta, cakes, and much more.
You might wonder how bread and other similar foods emerged as one of the leading foods we eat as part of our diet. Many people worldwide enjoy bread as a staple food alongside rice, potatoes, and other sources of carbohydrates. Flour, one of the most important ingredients in bread, also serves as part of the energy sources we need to survive.
We have been using healthier flour ingredients for over 30,000 years. Scientists found evidence of grinding up cereals and seeds with ancient tools for this time. The time we have been using flour is longer than many ancient inventions humans still use today. You should not be surprised to know that ancient ancestors made flour and ate bread alongside vegetables and other meats.
What Is Flour? Why Do We Need It?
Before we figure out the various uses of flour, let’s delve into what flour is. Flour is any powder that is made by grinding up various ingredients. Most flour derives from cereal grains, but other people can make flour using other ingredients, such as seeds. Some flour types like wholemeal flour in Singapore come from whole wheat grain or berry, and no sifting happens. Other types, such as those found in Central America and other cultures make flour from corn, rice, rye, and much more.
You are missing out if you do not know how to sift through various uses and functions of flour. You cannot make rye bread or some distinct bread types if you do not know how to use flour. You can check out the various purposes of flour here.
1) To make soup
Flour in soup may sound like an odd combo, but it works for some types of flour that do not have enough gluten for baked goods to rise. Baked goods are some of the most enjoyable creations many people make, but some flour types are not suitable for them. Just look at the humble barley flour and see how trendy it is. Flour adds fibre and texture to the soup you make. We put barley flour to thicken soups or stews or add it to gravy to give it that thick and luscious texture. With flour, you will not have that thickness to your desired sauces.
2) To give added taste and texture to bread
Bread is the primary source of carbohydrates for many people in Europe, the Americas, and beyond. But sometimes, some people may get tired of the monotony of the same bread every single day. There is no problem when you know how to break the monotony—you can try other flour to create your bread.
For example, with healthier baking, you can try to test other types of flour that may have distinct colours and flavours. Some give the bread an almost earthy taste that cannot compare to others.
3) To create cuisine-specific dishes
If you haven’t tasted tempura and other Japanese fried dishes yet, you are missing out. Nearly every tempura recipe will call for a specific flour type. Tempura flour can coat many things, up to and including large prawns, crab sticks, shrimps, and other foods. Another is the katsu breading, made from a specific type of flour that gives this food the crunchiest texture. You can thank flour for some of the most recognisable foods worldwide. Tempura flour is only one of the many types of flour ingredients that you can use for this reason.
4) To create fried foods
With wheat flour, the higher the protein content, the more the batter will change. Gluten absorbs moisture and fat so gluten-rich flours will have a chewier and oiler crust. You need just the right flour for frying your foods because the gluten in flour helps the batter cling to meats and other foodstuffs without creating an oily or chewy texture.
However, you need to watch out for your flour content for healthy baking recipes. If you use too much flour, the batter will make a tough crust around the food, and if you use too little, the crust won’t hold up to pressure. You need flour to create the perfect fried foods with batter.
5) To create a higher versatility in foods
Tired of the same boring foods eaten all day? Then flour can create a whole lot of versatility. Many cakes cannot exist without the flour to help keep their shape. The simple fact is this—many of our favourite foods will not be present in their original shape or form without the flour to hold them together.
Food will never be the same without the help of flour to aid it. For more wholemeal flour recipes and other ways, you can improve your food with flour, visit Prima Flour’s website.