Flour: Origin, Taste, Types and Use


Most types of flour are indispensable in our kitchen, while rarities such as rice and corn flour can be found especially in the more exotic kitchens. Flour is a powder made by grinding or mortaring grain.


There are a large number of different types of flour that are obtained from common types of grain:

  • Wheat
  • Spelt
  • Rye
  • Corn
  • Barley
  • Rice
  • Millet

Not every flour is suitable for every use. For example, bread can only be made from bread grains, which include wheat, rye, spelled and emmer flour.


The story of flour is basically the story of grain. Grains have been grown and cultivated for food for over 10,000 years. In our latitudes, the grain has been known for about 7,000 years. Milling flour was discovered around 2,000 years ago.


The taste of flour depends on which grain was used to make it.

  • Wheat flour has a mild, almost neutral taste.
  • Oatmeal is also relatively mild. Buckwheat has fine nutty nuances in addition to its mild taste.
  • Rye flour, on the other hand, like spelled flour or green spelled flour, has a spicy and sometimes strong taste.
Tip: Most of the minerals in a grain are found in the outer shell of a grain. Whole wheat flour contains a lot of healthy carbohydrates and, thanks to its high fiber content, keeps you full longer.

Types of flour

The typing of flour types in USA differs from many other countries.The following types of flour are differentiated in this country:

  • Wheat flour – W 480 (wheat flour for fine baked goods) : popular household flour , good baking properties
  • Wheat flour – W 700 (wheat flour with the highest adhesive properties): suitable for fine-pored dough and as a multi-purpose flour
  • Wheat flour – W 1600 or W 1700 (dark wheat flour) : mixed breads or hearty baked goods
  • Rye flour – R 500 (fine rye flour) : light rye bread
  • Rye flour – R 960 (normal rye flour): mixed breads, gingerbread, pastries
  • Rye flour – R 2500 (whole meal rye flour)
  • Spelled flour – D 700: is ideal for pizza dough
  • Spelled flour – D 1500: for various mixed breads
  • Whole-grain flour (whole-grain wheat flour) : are suitable for gingerbread, bread, pastries, etc., but are not standardized.

In addition, a distinction is made according to properties such as “smooth”, “universal” or “non-slip” or “double grip” – this essentially reflects the grain size.

Tip: The universal flour is usually a mixture of smooth and grippy flour.

Application / use in the kitchen

Flour with Egg
Flour with Egg

Flour is usually the basis of most baked goods and pasta. In recipes, the amount of other ingredients is always based on the amount of flour used. For example, baking powder must always be dosed depending on the amount of flour.

Tip: If you use whole meal flour instead of fine flour in a recipe, the amount of liquid in the recipe should be increased by 10 to 20 percent so that the dough does not become too firm. In addition, such dough has to rise longer and should rest for around 20 minutes before they are processed further.

Flour is also used to thicken sauces and soups. For this, a stoving (= roux) is made.

Flour should best be stored below 20 degrees and not get too moist. Depending on the type of flour, storage times of up to one and a half years result.

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