A brief guide to flour and baking terms
Brixton Windmill flour is a stoneground wholemeal wheat flour. When freshly milled it may be a little more unstable for bread baking than other flours, although its nutritional value and tastiness is greatly enhanced.
To make your bread rise better and be more stable, take the flour content of your recipe and mix it in a ratio of 90% Brixton Windmill flour and 10% strong white bread flour. This will retain all the lovely flavour while making the dough more consistent and manageable.
If you’re making cakes, use a sieve to sift out some of the bran, making the flour lighter to use.
Here is a brief guide to types of flour and some of the terms used in baking.
Types of flour
Cake flour is white flour milled from wheat low in gluten and is used for making cakes.
Self-raising white flour is white cake flour with added baking powder used to make cakes or scones etc without adding any other raising agents.
Strong white bread flour is white flour milled from high-gluten wheat and is used for making bread.
White flour is created by milling wheat grains and then separating out the bran and the wheat germ by sifting.
Wholewheat or wholemeal flour (they mean the same) is made from all of the seed grain – the bran and germ are left in to create a darker, brownish coloured flour that is nutritionally richer than white flour and much better for our digestive systems. It is a little bit trickier to bake bread with, as the bran in the flour disrupts the gluten that is necessary for the dough to rise.
Gluten is a sticky elastic protein that is present in the flour. It creates the structure in dough that allows bread to rise.
Sourdough contains naturally occurring yeast formed by leaving a mixture of flour and water to ferment over several days. Making bread with sourdough is a longer process than using yeast – six to eight hours versus three to four – but creates greater flavour, colour and nutritional value.
Yeast (fresh or dried) is a fungus – added to flour and water, it causes fermentation, which makes your dough rise.