White flour

An ingredient used in many foods, flour is a fine powder made by grinding cereals or other edible starchy plant seeds suitable for grinding. It is most commonly made from wheat—the word “flour” used without qualification implies wheat flour—but also maize, rye, barley, and rice, amongst many other grasses and non-grain plants (including buckwheat, grain amaranths and many Australian species of acacia). Ground legumes and nuts, such as soy, peanuts, almonds, and other tree nuts, are also called hi flours. The same substances ground more coarsely are called “meal” instead of “flour”.
Flour is the key ingredient of bread, which is the staple food in most countries, and therefore the availability of adequate supplies of flour has often been a major economic and political issue.
Flour always contains a high proportion of starches, which are complex carbohydrates also known as polysaccharides.
Most people think of flour in terms of wheat flour. When in fact, flour can be ground from a variety of nuts and seeds. Some types of flours available are: amaranth, arrowroot, barley, buckwheat, chickpea, corn, kamut, nuts, oats, potato, quinoa, rice, rye, soy, spelt, tapioca, teff, wheat, and vegetables.
Wheat varieties are called “white” or “brown” if they have high gluten content, and “soft” or “weak flour” if gluten content is low. Hard flour, or “bread” flour, is high in gluten, with a certain toughness that holds its shape well once baked. Soft flour is comparatively low in gluten and so results in a finer texture. Soft flour is usually divided into cake flour, which is the lowest in gluten, and pastry flour, which has slightly more gluten than cake flour.

Whole wheat flour

Whole wheat flour is a powdery substance derived by grinding or mashing the wheat`s whole grain. It is used in baking but typically added to other “white” flours to give nutrition, texture, fiber, and body to the finished product. Usually, whole wheat flour is not the main ingredients of baked goods, as it adds a certain “heaviness” which prevents them from rising as well as white flours. This adds to the cost per volume of the baked item as it requires more flour to obtain the same volume, due to the fewer and smaller air pockets trapped in the raised goods.
Nevertheless, it is possible to make a high-rising, light loaf of 100% whole wheat bread, so long as one increases the water content of the dough (the bran and germ in whole wheat absorb more water than plain white flour), kneads the dough for a longer period of time to develop the gluten adequately, and allows for a longer rise before shaping the dough. Some bakers let the dough rise twice before shaping. The addition of fats, such as butter or oil, and milk products (fresh milk, powdered milk, buttermilk, yogurt, etc.) can also greatly assist the rise.
The word “whole” refers to the fact that all of the grain (bran, germ, and endosperm) is used and nothing is lost in the process of making the flour. This is in contrast to white, processed flours, which contain only the endosperm. Because the whole flour contains the remains of all of the grain, it has a textured, brownish appearance.
Whole wheat flour has a shorter shelf life than white flour, as the higher oil content leads to rancidification. It is also more expensive.
“Brown” bread made from whole wheat flour is more nutritious than “white” bread made from white, refíned flour, even though nutrients are added back to the white flour. This is because whole wheat bread is less refined, and retains more of the naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals. However, many brown breads do, in fact, contain a certain amount of white flour.
Wheat is a good source of calcium,Iron,fiber and other minerals like selenium.
Whole-wheat flour is brown in color, and is derived from the complete wheat kernel (the bran and germ). When used in bread baking, it gives a nutty flavor and a denser texture when compared to all-purpose flour. Bread does not rise as high in whole-wheat breads, which is why a mixture of both whole-wheat and white flour is often used when baking.

What kind of bread should you choose?

A comparison of nutritional values of whole wheat and white all-purpose flours confirms that whole wheat provides a huge bonus in fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium. While the number of calories is the same, all-purpose flour has no sodium and less fat than whole wheat, though the amount of fat (really oil from the germ of the wheat berry) is insignificant.
Although many things in the nutritional values are similar for different types of bread, such as:

  • Calories – usually about 40-70 calories per slice
  • Total Fat – 0.5-1g
  • Cholesterol – 0mg
  • Sodium – 90-130mg
  • Protein – 1.5-3g
  • Iron – 4-8%

There can be big differences in the amount of fiber and calcium that different breads have. And whole wheat breads usually have more vitamin B6, vitamin E, magnesium, folic acid, copper, zinc, and manganese. However, many white breads are fortified with these vitamins.
In general, 100% whole wheat/whole grain breads have more fiber than white bread or other breads made with wheat flour, although some white breads, such as Iron Kids and Iron Kids Crustless bread, have almost as much fiber as many kinds of wheat bread.
A high fiber diet is recommended for most people, and is especially helpful for children who are constipated.
Remember that ‘wheat’ breads that do not say that they are ‘whole wheat’ are a mixture of enriched white flour and whole wheat flour, and so will likely have less fiber than whole wheat breads. ‘Whole wheat’ will be listed as the first ingredient if the bread is made from 100% whole wheat.
But white breads often have more calcium, especially if they are made with milk, than wheat breads. However, many different kinds of wheat bread are now fortified with calcium too.
Whether it is white bread or wheat bread, find one that is high in calcium (at least 10-15% per slice), high in fiber (at least 1-1.5g per slice), and which tastes good.

Sources: Keep kids Healthy, Recipe Zaar

No related content found.