Have you ever come across a flour that’s labeled as “granular” or “free-flowing”?
It’s not as commonly used as all-purpose or whole wheat flour, but it has its own unique properties that make it a valuable addition to any baker’s pantry.
In this article, we’ll explore what granular flour is, how it differs from other types of flour, and how you can use it in your cooking and baking.
So let’s dive in and discover the world of granular flour!
What Is Granular Flour?
Granular flour is a type of wheat flour that has been specially formulated to dissolve quickly and easily in both hot and cold liquids. It is produced from the top milling grades of hard red spring Canadian wheat and is enriched to meet regulatory requirements.
Unlike regular all-purpose flour, granular flour has a fine, granular texture that allows it to dissolve instantly in liquids without clumping. This makes it an ideal thickener for sauces, gravies, and other cooked mixtures. However, it can also be used as a substitute for regular all-purpose flour in baking recipes.
How Is Granular Flour Different From Other Types Of Flour?
Granular flour is distinct from other types of flour in several ways. First and foremost, its fine granular texture sets it apart from other flours that have a more powdery consistency. This texture allows granular flour to dissolve quickly and easily in both hot and cold liquids, making it a popular choice for thickening sauces and gravies.
In terms of protein content, granular flour is similar to all-purpose flour, which means that it can be used as a substitute in baking recipes. However, its unique texture may affect the final texture of baked goods, so it may not be the best choice for certain recipes that require a specific texture or consistency.
Granular flour is also different from whole wheat flour, which is milled from the entire wheat kernel and contains more fiber and nutrients than refined flours. Additionally, granular flour is not the same as cake flour, which has a lower protein content and more starch than all-purpose flour.
The Benefits Of Using Granular Flour In Baking
Granular flour has several benefits when used in baking. Firstly, its fine granular texture ensures that it mixes well with other ingredients, resulting in a smooth and consistent batter or dough. This is particularly useful when making delicate pastries or cakes that require a smooth texture.
Secondly, granular flour is a great thickener for batters and doughs, which can help to improve the overall texture and structure of baked goods. This is because the flour helps to hold in the gas produced by fermenting yeast, resulting in a more airy and light texture.
Lastly, granular flour has a high gluten content, which is desirable in baking. Gluten provides elasticity to the dough, allowing it to stretch and rise properly. This is important in bread making, as it helps to build the structure of the bread and create a chewy texture.
How To Use Granular Flour In Your Cooking And Baking
Granular flour is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of cooking and baking applications. Here are some tips on how to use granular flour in your kitchen:
1. Thickening sauces and gravies: Granular flour is perfect for thickening sauces and gravies because it dissolves quickly and doesn’t clump. Simply whisk the granular flour into the liquid until it reaches the desired consistency.
2. Baking: While granular flour is primarily used as a thickener, it can also be used as a substitute for regular all-purpose flour in baking recipes. In a pinch, you can use granular flour instead of all-purpose flour to make cakes, cookies, and other baked goods.
3. Coating for frying: The granular texture of rice flour can be a hindrance in baking, but it can be a real boon in everyday cooking. Using granular flour as a coating for frying adds more crunch than regular wheat flour and is a lot lighter.
4. Mixing with other flours: You can also mix granular flour with other flours to create unique blends for your baking needs. For example, you can mix granular flour with whole wheat flour to create a healthier alternative to traditional white flour.
Where To Find And Buy Granular Flour
If you’re looking to buy granular flour, you can typically find it in the baking aisle of most supermarkets. It may be labeled as “instant flour” or “quick-mixing flour” and is often sold in blue canisters or bags.
You can also find granular flour online through various retailers, including specialty baking stores and Amazon. When purchasing online, make sure to read product descriptions carefully to ensure you’re getting the right type of granular flour for your needs.
One popular brand of granular flour is Wondra, which is widely available in supermarkets and online. However, there are also other brands and varieties of granular flour available, so be sure to shop around and compare prices and quality before making a purchase.
When buying granular flour, it’s important to check the ingredients list to ensure that it is made from wheat and enriched to meet regulatory requirements. Some brands may also contain additional ingredients, such as malted barley flour or vitamins and minerals.
Tips For Storing And Using Granular Flour In Your Pantry
If you’re planning to store granular flour in your pantry, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure its quality and longevity.
First, it’s important to store granular flour in an airtight container to prevent moisture and humidity from affecting its texture and consistency. This will also help to keep out any pests or insects that may be attracted to the flour.
Second, be sure to label the container with the date of storage so that you can keep track of its freshness. Granular flour can last for several months when stored properly, but it’s always best to use it within a reasonable amount of time.
Third, when using granular flour as a thickener in sauces or gravies, be sure to whisk it into the liquid gradually to prevent clumping. Start by mixing a small amount of granular flour with cold water or broth until it forms a smooth paste, then slowly add it to the hot liquid while whisking constantly.
Finally, if you’re using granular flour as a substitute for regular all-purpose flour in baking recipes, keep in mind that it may affect the texture and consistency of the final product. Granular flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour, which can result in a softer, more tender texture. It may also require adjustments to the amount of liquid or leavening agents used in the recipe.