Stocking your pantry baking essentials. Week two in a nine part series. Buy the right flour for the right recipe.

Week Two of Eight in a series:

Hopefully, last week you all went out and bought the sugars you’ll need for baking on our journey to the well-stocked baking pantry. If you’re just catching up, over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing items needed to get your kitchen into Baking Season top-shape, one step at a time. See week one for more on the subject. This week is all about flour in the kitchen.

All-Purpose flour can be found in most kitchens, but the title can be deceiving. All-Purpose doesn’t mean all-you-ever-need. Depending on your baking specialties, you will have other types of flour in your stock-pile – Are you known for your delicious bread-baking? Do you specialize in decadent cakes? And how about you pizza dough chefs? Not to mention those with gluten-free needs or others of us who just love to experiment with nut flours because the taste and texture is a delicious experience.

The following list of different types of flour is not the end-all, but it’s extensive enough to accommodate most recipes. Let’s get started with a little primer on common flours and the best ways to use them.

Pantry essentials. Flour


All-Purpose Flour: This flour is the most commonly used flour due to it’s ability to provide great structure to breads but still contribute to tenderness in many cake recipes. I recommend using unbleached flour as some bleached flours have an off-flavor.

Whole-Wheat Flour: Whole wheat is exactly that; the whole wheat kernel including the germ which will produce a more dense-finished recipe. This is not interchangeable with all-purpose flour as I’ve found out the hard way. My Carrot and Quinoa Muffin recipe calls for whole-wheat flour as well as almond-flour. If you substitute all-purpose for either of these, the muffin’s texture is not at all the same, and as many of my tasters and followers have noted, not as yummy.

Cake Flour: This flour is used in many delicate cake recipes like angel food and pound cakes. But if a recipe calls for cake flour, you can substitute 7/8 cup of all-purpose flour and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch for every cup of cake flour called for. Cake flour is almost always bleached, so making your own might be a good option. Plus why not save space in the pantry?

Nut Flours and other Gluten-Free Flours: Two delicious nut flours that I use often in my recipes are coconut flour and almond flour. I love recipes using these flours on their own (Blueberry muffins) since I find gluten-free recipes often require several combined flours as well as xantham gum. I’m no expert on the best gluten-free flours, so I won’t be speak more on flours in this category. But the Gluten-Free Goddess has some good information here.

stock your pantry essentials

Be sure to buy the best-quality ingredients you can afford for your pantry. You won’t be sorry. If you can’t buy “best-of-the-best” of every ingredient, pick a few items to make an investment in from time to time and build from there. When all is said and done, made-from-scratch is at the heart of sharing love with your family and loved ones. Good for them, good for you! I’m proud of you.

Stock your pantry essentials  flour

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Stocking Your Pantry Baking Essentials - Flours
Different recipes call for different flours. All-Purpose doesn't necessarily mean it works in ALL recipes. Here is an encompassing list of some powerhouses in the pantry. But note, this list is not totally complete. But have these on hand, and you can bake 90% of the baking goodies out there. I've provided extra bullets below for flours that you might want that I didn't include.
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Whole-Wheat Flour
  • Cake Flour
  • Almond and/or Coconut Flour
  • Gluten-Free Flour
  • Bread Flour (if you bake a lot of bread and even pizza crust)
  • Others to consider based on your needs include Self-Rising Flour, Buckwheat and Pastry Flour
  • Semolina (a staple in making pasta and very occasionally in pizza dough)
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The pantry featured in this post can be found along with many other amazing pantry ideas here. I don’t know about you, but I dream of a pantry that’s actually a second room and is so extensive I would actually need a library ladder! But most of all, in this featured blue beauty, I want that wooden bowl with the horse head handles!

Some of the information I acquired for the flour post comes from Cook’s Country October/November 2014 edition.

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