Learn About Flour

Author: Chef Toby

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What is all-purpose flour? 

Flour is the ground up, a pulverized product of dried grains, legumes, nuts, or seeds.  There is a large variety of different flours, but when most recipes call for flour, they are usually referring to all-purpose flour, a type of wheat flour.

All-purpose flour is made by removing the wheat bran and wheat germ from each individual wheat kernel, leaving behind only the endosperm.

This is then milled, refined, and bleached to create the white flour we know today. Flour is a very fine powder and is light in texture, like baking powder or cornstarch. 

All purpose flour - Kids Are Great Cooks

What does all-purpose flour taste like? 

All-purpose flour is not supposed to be eaten raw but has a slightly sweet taste. When baked, it has a light nutty flavor. 

What are some ways to use all-purpose flour?

As its name suggests, all-purpose flour is extremely versatile. It is used to bake bread, cookies, cakes, pies, and other baked goods. In stovetop cooking, you can combine it with fats like butter to create a roux, which is used as a base for sauces and soups. Flour can also create a crust on proteins and vegetables when fried, such in foods like fried chicken. 

Where can you buy all-purpose flour? 

Find all-purpose flour at most grocery stores, usually in the baking aisle. It typically comes packaged in a durable paper bag. 

How do you store flour?

Flour is best stored in a cool and dark place, like your pantry, refrigerator, or even freezer. It should be stored in an airtight container, either still in its original packaging or directly in the container. Cold temperatures prevent the natural oils in all-purpose flour from going rancid – so if you’re keeping the flour in your pantry, it’s best to replace it after three to six months. The flour will last about a year in the refrigerator and two years in the freezer. 

Did you know? 

In 1787, Oliver Evans created the first automated flour mill in Delaware. George Washington even installed one of these flour mills at his home at Mount Vernon. 

Fun Fact

The oldest method of producing flour is grinding wheat kernels with a mortar and pestle. 

Our Recipes Using Flour

Breaded Chicken Tenders Video Recipe Lesson

breaded chicken tenders video
Breaded Chicken Tenders Recipe Video

In our breaded chicken tenders recipe video, chef toby uses flour as the first layer in the breading. The flour helps keep the egg and breadcrumb coating on the chicken when it’s frying.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Video Recipe Lesson

how to make oatmeal cookies kids cooking lesson
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Video Recipe

For these delicious oatmeal cookies, Chef Sydney uses flour in combination with oatmeal and other ingredients to make these cookies.

Scones Video Recipe Lesson

how to make scones kids cooking
How To Make Scones Video Recipe

The base of these scones is all-purpose flour and butter, which make a crumbly, tender texture.

Other Recipes Using Flour 

Cheddar Cheese Sauce 

To make this sauce, use a roux to help thicken it. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Once it melts, add an equal amount of flour and cook it until the flour smells nutty and turns brown. Whisk in milk and allow it to simmer and thicken. Remove the sauce from the heat and add in shredded cheddar and season with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Sere the sauce over noodles, broccoli, or potatoes. 

Buttermilk Biscuits

To make biscuits, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. To this add cold butter and combine with a pastry cutter until it forms a crumbly texture. Then, add buttermilk and honey and combined. On a floured surface, roll out the dough (learn about rolling pins) until it is about 3/4 inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter to make the biscuits. Place them on a baking sheet, brush them with buttermilk, and bake them until golden brown. Serve them for breakfast with some over-easy eggs or pair them with fried chicken for a southern-style dinner!

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