Monday, January 9, 2012

Culinary IQ: Monday, January 9, 2012; Flour

From Cookies to Bombs!

Bombs? Yes flour dust suspended in air is explosive! Flour in fragile containers has also been lobbed at unsuspecting recipients usually along with eggs or ripe tomatoes as a method of protest or agitation, a more common reference to the flour bomb.

Flour of some kind is a daily staple in most, if not all homes. Flour is a powder that results from grinding a grain, seed or root. Different regions in the world tend to have flours more common to that area, probably because of the availability of resources. Wheat flour is most common in Europe, North America,  the Middle Eastern and Northern Africa. Maize flour remains a staple in most of Latin America. Rye flour is very important to much of central and northern Europe.

Bread, pasta, crackers, many cakes, and many other foods are made using flour. Wheat flour is also used to make a roux as a base for gravy and sauces. It is also the base for papier-mâché.

Over the next week I will be sifting through (ha! ha!, get it) the different types of flours that we most commonly use in the kitchen, their differences, applications and what to do if you don't have the right flour on hand.

I will be discussing, all-purpose flour, bread flour, pastry, cake and self-rising so get your sifters out and meet me back here tomorrow!

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