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A Lesson on Flour

FlourAre you using the most optimal type of flour for your recipes?

Like many other items in your kitchen, flour has a wide range of types that can confuse even the most schooled chef in your kitchen. High protein, high gluten, durum, all-purpose, bleached…so what really is THE best type of flour for the recipes that you use on a daily basis? Have you been using the correct flour types, or is there another type that might perform with better results for your favorite dishes?

Use our Flour 101 Guide to help you learn about the many types of flour, and the best uses and practices for each one. A simple change-up might be just what your bread or cake needs to get it to just the right texture.

Frequently Asked Questions About Flour

Protein is the most common measure of the gluten content of various wheat types and the resulting flour, and is the most accepted standard for flour prices and grades.

What is gluten?

Gluten is functionally important in baked goods because it forms an elastic web when mixed with water that traps gasses produced during the leavening process, allowing bread to rise.  Some products, such as cakes and pastries, call for less gluten, while others, such as crusty breads and bagels, require more gluten.

Commonly Used Flour Terms, and their Definitions


The amount of water present in the flour after milling, typically 14%.


The mineral content left after “burning” the flour sample. The highest concentration of ash is in the bran. Ash is used as a general indicator of bran content.


The amount of water that will be taken up by flour to produce the desired dough consistency and performance.


A term used to describe lower-ash flour.

Wheat Types and Their Best Uses

Soft Red Winter
Eastern United States
Low in protein
Flatbread, Cakes, Pastries and Crackers
Hard Red Winter
Central United States
High in protein, strong in gluten
Yeast Breads, Hard Rolls.
Hard Red Spring
North Central United States
Highest in protein
Yeast Breads, Hard Rolls, Noodles.
North Dakota and Montana
Production of Macaroni and Spaghetti.
Hard White
Colorado and California
Yeast Bread, Hard Rolls, Noodles.
Soft White
Low in protein
Flatbreads, Cakes, Pastries, Crackers, Noodles.

Flour Grades – Types and Their Characteristics

So many types of flour to choose from, so little time! Check out the different flour grades, and find out what foods are best made with which types.

Cake & Pastry

Common applications: Cakes, Pastries, Pie Crusts, Crackers.

Protein: 8% - 9%

Ash: 0.36%

Moisture: 14% maximum

All-Purpose H&R

Common applications: Cookies, Gravies, Breading, Muffins, Biscuits, Pancakes, Brownies

Protein: 10% - 11%

Ash: 0.52% - 0.56%

Moisture: 14% maximum

Traditional Bread

Common applications: Pan Breads, Sweet Doughs, Yeast-Raised Donuts, Soft Rolls, Danish, Croissants

Protein: 11% - 12.5%

Ash: 0.50% - 0.54%

Moisture: 14% maximum

Pizza/Hearth-Style Bread

Common applications: Thick-Crust Pizza, Kaiser Rolls, Hearth Breads, Specialty, Variety Breads

Protein: 12.5% - 13.5%

Ash: 0.52% - 0.56%

Moisture: 14% maximum

High Gluten

Common applications: Bagels, Thin- Crust Pizza, Kaiser Rolls, Hearth Breads

Protein: 13% - 14%

Ash: 0.52% - 0.56%

Moisture: 14% maximum

Contact your Performance Foodservice representative today to find out more about our large selection of Roma flours.