Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Common flours and flour types

Hi all. I had found this article and it really good as reference. hehehe

Common flours and flour types

Arrowroot flour
Made from the fleshy root of the tropical arrowroot plant. It is very finely ground and easily mistaken for cornflour and used the same way. Normally used as a thickening agent, its main advantage over cornflour is that it does not alter the colour of the sauce etc. If the sauce is over thickened however, it turns to a slime texture and cannot be diluted again.

Barley flour
Made from very finely ground barley, it is rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, and B vitamins.

Bean / Legume flours
Made from ground beans of all types. Used to enhance the flavour and add health benefits to breads, soups, etc.

Buckwheat flour
Made from the seeds of a plant originating in Asia, it has an earthy, slightly sour flavour that is usually tempered in commercial products by the addition of a wheat flour. Used for the production of soba noodles.

Chestnut flour
Made from dried, ground chestnuts and usually sold in ethnic markets

Cornflour / cornstarch
A finely ground corn/maize product that is gluten free. Mostly found bleached white, but also available with a yellowish tinge to it. Mainly used as a thickening or binding agent, but can be used in a limited way for baking also.

Mix two parts water to one part cornflour to make a slurry or slake, this can be stirred or whisked into liquids for thickening.

Rice flour
Rice flour is primarily made from polished broken rice and is therefore usually whiter than wheat or rye flour, it is usually ground more finely also.

There are essentially two sorts of rice flour: one is made from the type of rice most often cooked at home and one from glutinous rice. The glutinous rice flour has a swelling property that results in a slightly rubbery texture to doughs and therefore ideal for the Asian pork dumplings etc. They freeze well because unlike other starches / flours, it does not separate and lose moisture when thawing.

It cannot however be used in baking; although rice flour contains a high starch content, it does not have the protein called 'gluten' of wheat flours.

Millet flour
Made from a small round grain resembling mustard seed, (often used for bird seed) it has a slight nutty flavour

Oat flour
Oat flour is a fine flour ground from dried oats, has a characteristic nutlike flavour. Due to its lack of gluten it is best used in combination with wheat flour.

Potato flour / potato starch
Also known as 'fecule'. This is a gluten-free flour is made from cooked, dried and ground potatoes. Mostly used as a flavourless thickener for sauces, soups and stews etc

Rye flour
Ground grains of rye grass, that is a close relative of wheat but gluten free. It has a slightly sweet-sour flavour and due to its lack of gluten it is best used in combination with wheat flour.

Seven-grain flour
Seven-grain flour is a commercial blend commonly made up of millet, rye, corn, wheat, barley, oats and flax or triticale. Can be purchased in health-food stores.

Soya flour
Soya flour is high in protein and is usually mixed in with whole grain flours in recipes.

Spelt flour
This flour is lighter in protein and more easily digested than regular wheat flours. This flour is sometimes known as Farro and was the typical flour used by ancient Romans

Triticale flour
Triticale is a hybrid cross of durum wheat and rye grains. It is high in protein, and is excellent for making bread. But it will take longer to rise than regular wheat breads.

Wheatmeal flour
Made by blending in a certain amount of the brown skins of the bran with white flour.

Wholemeal flour
Made from the whole of the wheat berry: the endosperm, the bran and the embryo

  • Weak flour (also known as soft flour or hi-ratio flour) has a low gluten content of approx. 8% and is therefore ideal for delicate cake and sponge production
  • Medium flour (also known as all purpose flour) is produced so that it is suitable for products that have to be chemically aerated. It is weak enough to stop toughening but strong enough to stand the pressures of the gases resulting from the use of baking powders etc. It is also a good all round flour for bread-crumbing, batters, scones etc
  • Strong flour has a high gluten content, that makes it ideal for yeast products, breads and puff pastry
  • Durum wheat flour (also known as Durum flour and semolina flour) this is specially produced for the production of pastas.

Plain white flour
Milled from the endosperm of the wheat berry only; it has the bran, embryo and germ removed. It is graded as to its strength depending on its gluten content: weak, medium and strong.

The strength of a flour maybe tested by squeezing the flour in the hand;

  • a weak flour will cling together when the hand is open
  • a strong flour will crumble to flour again

Self raising flour
This is simply a convenience product; a medium strength flour with the addition of baking powder: 500 gm flour to 10 gm baking powder. This flour has a short shelf life due to the addition of the baking powder, it becomes less effective as the baking powder breaks down.

Baking powder
As an addition note, baking powder should be bought in as small a quantities as possible, it has a short shelf life and it becomes less effective as the baking powder components breaks down. It is simply made up of two common culinary chemicals: baking soda (bicarbonate of soda and tartaric acid), stable when apart but break down and cancel each other out over time once mixed.

Fresh baking soda can be made by sifting together one part baking soda to two parts tartaric acid.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I personally  loved this recipe because the doughnut are very soft and light. My boys loved it so much. They even eat it before I coat the doughnuts with caster sugar.

Doughnut (recipe I)


340 gm bread flour
160 gm flour
80 gm fine granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
15 gm milk powder
10 grams instant yeast
100 gm eggs
60 gm shortening
200 ml cold water 
caster sugar for coating

  1. Place all the ingredient except shortening in a mixing and use a dough hook to knead for 3 minutes or until dough is well develop.
  2. Then let the dough rest for 15 minutes or more before rolling and cutting with a doughnut cutter.
  3. Place in a flour pan and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours before frying in a slow fire. Remove and place on absorbent papers. Coat with caster sugar while it hot
  • If you don't have shortening, you can use butter or margarine . Most of the time I am using butter to substitute vegetable shortening.
  • If you don't have a mixer, you can knead the dough until it have an elastic touch.

If you are not patient enough to wait for the doughnut to rise. You can try this recipe.

Doughnut (recipe II)


300 gm bread flour
200 gm flour
80 gm fine granulated sugar
5 gm salt
20 gm milk powder
10 grams instant yeast
1 egg - grade B
40 gm shortening
230 ml cold water 
caster sugar for coating

  1. Place all the ingredient except shortening in a mixing bowl and use a dough hook to knead for 3 minutes or until dough is well develop. It should have an elastic touch. Cover the bowl with wrapping plastic or wet towel.
  2. Then let the dough rest for 30 minutes or double it size. Roll the dough into 1 cm thickness. Cut the dough with a doughnut cutter to cut out the doughnut and leave it rise in a flour pan for second time for about 20 minutes.
  3. Use medium heat to fry the doughnut till golden. Remove and place on absorbent papers. Coat with caster sugar while it hot. 

Hot Dog Doughnut

1 quantity doughnut dough (recipe I or recipe II)
frankfurters/chicken sausages
1 egg (beaten for glazing)
breadcrumbs for coating

  1. Scale at 70g portions. Roll each portion into a strip and wrap in a frankfurter. Glaze with egg wash and coat with breadcrumbs.
  2. Leave it in a tray to proof for another 20 minutes (if you use recipe I, you have to wait for 1 1/2 hour). Deep fry in medium heat till golden. Remove and place on absorbent papers.

  • You can make breadcrumbs on your own. Use stale breads or any white breads available and dry it in open air. The breads will become hard and grind it with grinder.  You can use the breadcrumbs as it is or colour it with food colouring  such as orange or dark yellow. Don't forget to dry it back after you mixed the breadrumbs with the food colouring.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Roasted Chili Paste (Nam Prik Pao)
This paste is an ingredient in several Thai dishes, one of the famous dishes is Tom Yam soups. There are several good quality commercial brands available in the market (Asian food store) but it more worth it if you can make your own. There are many variations of this paste and this is one of them.

6 large cloves garlic, unpeeled

2 onions, unpeeled (small or medium size) or Thai shallots

2 teaspoon fermented shrimp paste (belacan in Malaysia)

6 large dried red chillies

2 tablespoons ground dried shrimp (udang kering in Malaysia)

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate mixed with 2 tablespoons of hot water

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  1. In heavy-based iron pan or wok, dry-fry garlic and onions over high heat until charred. Cool, discard skins and chop roughly. This process will create a lot of smoke so make sure you open your kitchen windows or make sure that you switch on your cooker hood.

  2. Wrap shrimp paste in an aluminium foil. Dry-fry in same pan/wok for several minutes on each side. Cool and unwrap.

  3. Combine the rest of the ingredients and process it into a smooth paste. You can use food processor, blender or mortar and pestle. When it needed, you can add a couple tablespoons of cooking oil to bind the ingredients together.

  4. Fry the paste in a saucepan, gently stirring and make sure it won't get burn. Taste to see if extra tamarind juice, sugar or any salt is required to balance the flavour.

  5. Continue cooking for several minutes then cool before you keep it in sterilised jar with tight fitting lid. This paste can be kept for several months refrigerated.

Thai soup stock

9 cups water
600 gm chicken bones (or beef or fish bones)
2 stalk celery, roughly chopped
2 holland onions, quartered
2 coriander roots, roughly chopped
4 fresh or dry kaffir lime leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger root
  1. Put all ingredients in a pot and cook for several minutes,reduce heat and skim any fat from the surface.
  2. Cover and let it simmer in low heat for about an hour.
  3. Strain the soup and you can repeat it several time to get a clear stock as possible.
  4. The stock can be keep in refrigerator for several days or it can be frozen for long-term used. Don't forget to skim any fat during refrigeration.

Spicy prawn soup (Tom Yam Goong)


Almond London

125 gm butter (1/2 stick)
75 gm icing sugar
225 gm flour, sifted
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon emplex (optinal - a chemical that provides extra crispness to cookies, can be found at cake specialist shop)

toasted half almond (or whole almond )

toasted almond nips 
cooking chocolate (melted)
small paper cups/paper cases

  1. Cream butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in the egg  yolk and cream for a minute or two.
  3. Add flour bit by bit together with emplex and mix it well till become a dough.
  4. Take a marble-sized dough (about 8-10 gm) and wrap around the half almond. Shape into a small ball ( if you use whole almond, shape it like a football ball ).
  5. Place it on greased cookie trays and bake in pre-heated oven at 170 degree celsius for 20-25 minutes or till the bottom of the cookies become slightly brown. Cool on wire racks.
  6. Cover the cookie with melted chocolate and place it on the paper cup.
  7. Sprinkle almond nips over the top and leave it to set.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Here are some of common spices as a reference:

Caraway have a sweetish, sharp flavour reminiscent of aniseed. They flavour all kinds of vegetables, goose,poultry, pork, goulash and cheese. They are also added to cakes, biscuits, bread and dumpling. Medicinally this spice is used for it’s gas-relieving properties. Known as Jintan Manis in Malaysia

Fennel plant
A common plant through out Mediterranean. One variety,Florence fennel (finnochia) was been used as a delicious vegetables.  Can be found in certain well known supermarket in Malaysia.

Fennel seed
Small, dried light-green to brown. Used to flavour fish stock, soups and sauces, grilled fish and meat. One of the ingredients in Chinese five spice powder and Asian curry powder. Known as Jintan Putih in Malaysia.

Fenugreek seeds principally used in curry powder, also used in pickles and chutneys, added to vegetables dishes and dhals (lentil purees). Sprouting seeds can be use in salads. Known as halba in Malaysia

Garlic is one of the most versatile flavors you can found in your kitchen. It not only tastes wonderful, it's very good for your body. It is one of Mother Nature's most precious gift to cooks of all levels of expertise. Available as whole bulb,dried (garlic flakes, dried ground garlic, garlic salt), preserved as whole peeled cloves or as puree in jars or tubes. Known as bawang putih in Malaysia

Ginger has a hot and spicy flavour. Young ginger is an essential ingredient in Asian cookery where it is added to fish, meat, poultry and vegetables dishes. Whole dried root ginger is used to flavour pickles, chutneys, ginger beer or wine. Ground ginger used in gingerbreads, cakes, biscuits,pickles, chutneys, sauces, sweets, puddings and jams. Preserved ginger is used in cakes, puddngs and ice cream. Medicinally this spice cure-all and a jack-of-all-trade. It also has a powerful medicine against nausea across the world. Known as Halia in Malaysia.

Lemon grass


This is my family, friends and relatives favorites breads. I had to make about 1 kg bread flour just for my family. I found this recipes in a magazines and it was from one of the well known bakery shop in my country.

Basic Bread Dough

1 kilo high protein flour or bread flour
250 gm fine sugar
12 gm salt
20 gm instant dry yeast
20 gm bread improver
150 gm eggs
40 gm milk powder
50 gm butter
50 gm margarine
1/2 liter water


  1. In a mixing bowl, mix the bread flour, sugar, salt, yeast, bread improver, eggs and milk powder with a beter. While mixing, ad in the butter and margarine and ensure that it is throughly mixed.

  2. Slowly add the water bit by bit while using the beater. At this stage, the dough will have form a solid gooey mass. Properly made dough will be strecthable and slightly sticky. For the proper consistency, you may have to knead the dough and toss it as you would - like making a pizza (slamming it on the table and then rolling it again and repeating).

  3. Put the dough in an airtight container or cover the bowl with the moist cloth. Dough must be constantly kept moist. Leave the dough to rest for about 15 minutes so that the yeast can work on it.

  4. Tear off the dough, rll it in yor hands and knead into a ball as required for the various recipes.


  • Use the water bit by bit and make sure you stop when the dough start to get sticky. It all depends on the flour,sometimes it need less water.

  • The use of bread improver is an optional. This is only an agent to make the bread more soft. You can also make the bread soft if you knead it well.

  • You can use 100 gm butter or 100gm margerine, you can be flexible. Even if you don't have both of it you can use cooking oil.

  • Don't afraid and be creative, if you don't have milk powder you can subtitute the milk powder with bread flour and put half of the water with milk.
  • If you don't have any bread machine or a strong mixer, you can use your own hand to knead the dough.  The process will take about 15 to 20 min to get a right dough. Test the dough by stretch it and if the dough can be stretch without easily been break. Thats mean you are done.

Sausage Rolls

Additional ingredients:

1 pack of chicken sausages ( any kind of sausages you like and you can make more than a pack)
1 egg beaten


  1. Break the dough off into 50 gm rolls. Rolls into a long sausage shape and then using a rolling pin, flatten it out.
  2. Place a sausage onto the flat dough and roll it in so it covers approximately half of the middle portion of the sausage. The dough  is elastic and may shrink, so you would have to stretch  it out a bit again.  Repeat until you use up the sausages and dough. Leave under a moist cloths for one and a half hour or two.
  3. Before baking, use the beaten egg and paint the mixture onto the dough to glaze it. Bkae at 180 degree celsius for 20 to 30 minutes or until it brown. 

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Utensil and Ingredients that been used during cooking and baking


Shortening is a semisolid fat used in food preparation, especially baked goods, and is so called because it promotes a "short" or crumbly texture (as in shortbread). The term "shortening" can be used more broadly to apply to any fat that is used for baking and which is solid at room temperature,like butter,lard (fat from pork) or margerine , but as used in recipes it refers to a hydrogenated vegetable oil which is solid at room temperature. Shortening 100% fat content, compared to about 80% for butter and margarine. Vegetable shortening can be found in any baking specialist shop. Branded vegetable shortening such as Crisco can be found in any supermarket.

Baking Soda
Rising agent used in baking and cooking. Also known as bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate, supplies the carbon dioxide gas that leavens batters and doughs. It is often used when acidic ingredients such as buttermilk, yogurt, or citrus juices are present.

Baking powder
A raising agent that reacts to produce carbon dioxide which expands during baking to ensure that cakes, biscuits and breads rise.It consists of bicarbonate of soda (alkaline), cream of tartar (tartaric acid) with a dried starch or flour

Instant dry yeast.
Fermipan was a brand that I use for my bread. This is a 500gm dry yeast per pack. It much cheaper ( so much cheaper ) if you buy in a big packet rather than a box with small packets. The brown packet was a combined of dry instant yeast and bread improver. You can find this yeast in any baking specialist shop.