What Type Of Flour Is Best For Cookies
- June 19, 2022
When it comes to baking perfect chocolate chip cookies, it sounds so simple.Keep reading to check out all the awesome cookie science results.Chocolate chip cookies were one of the first things I remember attempting on my own in the kitchen.And what I remember most is that every time I attempted chocolate chip cookies the results always differed.Understanding how the ingredients function will help you achieve the perfect cookie in the end.This means that the flour can be responsible for making our cookies: chewy, cakey, even dry and crumbly.Amount Of Flour Used – incorrect measuring can result in a cookie that is dry and crumbly vs. chewy and delicous.For example, a cookie where you want it to hold their shape – like shortbread or biscotti – more flour will be used in proportion to the liquid.This protein, like a slinky can stretch and expand which means it can provide lots of structure and shape (aka rolling it into thin sheets of puffy pastry), can trap gasses (aka carbon dioxide when baking bread), and provide that chewiness we love (think breads, and al dente pastas).Which means the amount of gluten that forms will vary based on the type of flour that you choose to use.Of course to fully understand what happened with each cookie batch made with the different flours.The higher the protein content, the more structure it will provide for your cookies.But this flour can also be used to give more structure to your chocolate chip cookies.This is your go to flour for cakes and other baked goods where tenderness is favorable.But you can also try using cake flour in your muffins, scones, even your cookies for a tender baked good in the end.You will also notice a difference in color with this flour and that is again due to the fact that all 3 parts of the kernel are used.Best Used For: Cookies, Bread, Waffles, Pancakes, Pizza dough, Pasta.Because most Americans measure by volume (aka you use your measuring cups) instead of by weight (using a kitchen scale) the amount of flour that ends up in the cup can vary.Stuff it to the brim the point you have to sit it on it in order to zip it (yup I’m this kind of packer).I always use either a small spatula or the back of a butter knife to get this part done.This chocolate chip cookie recipe used 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour.Here are the results of the cookie tests I did with changing the type (or amount) of flour used.As you can tell just by changing the flour resulted in quite a different cookie each time.The bread flour gave it a little more structure due to the higher protein content.Because cake flour has a lower protein content this cookie I found was a bit softer and more delicate.This cookie was probably the closest in texture and appearance compared to the control recipe.But I will say that I noticed that the cookie didn’t spread as much, have quite the same crispy edges and was a bit softer.Because bleached flour has a slightly lower protein content than unbleached flour due to the bleaching process, it did change the texture slightly.I added in an extra 1/2 cup of flour to the control recipe.Because of the extra flour, the cookie was thicker and didn’t spread as much.Without the right amount of flour to provide structure, this cookie spread into a big old puddle.So if you find your cookies spread too much, then it may be due to the wrong of amount of flour used.Just changing the type of flour or the amount can yield very different cookies!If you like this cookie science post, let me know and leave me a comment and star rating below! .
Which Flour Is The Best For Making Chocolate Chip Cookies?
There's variability, of course, and playing around with this key ingredient can make your cookies chewy, crispy, cakey, or extremely soft.We stuck to five of the most popular varieties and combinations of flours that professional bakers swear by, keeping all other variables constant.We used the classic Nestlé Toll House cookie formula as our base recipe and simply swapped out the flour, keeping the quantity the same. .
Baking Better Cookies Through Chemistry
You make many decisions when deciding on a cookie recipe: which kind of flour, which fat, which sweetener, which leavener, whether to add liquid.Your choices determine if the cookie will be flat and crisp or soft and puffy, pale gold or deep brown.cake flour (low protein, acid)/ more steam and puff; less browning.all brown sugar (hygroscopic, acid)/ soft and moist; less spread when used with egg.Cookies made with sugars that are high in sucrose (granulated sugar and maple syrup) or glucose (corn syrup) tend to stay crisp.Fructose is hygroscopic (meaning it absorbs water from the air), so cookies made with a lot of honey get soft upon standing.Brown sugar is also slightly acidic, so it can help limit spread in cookies using an egg.Shortening, on the other hand, melts at a higher temperature, so cookies have more time to set in the oven and will stay domed.But baking soda by itself is alkaline and is a major contributor to browning.In most cookie recipes, the amount of soda is excessive for leavening and is used primarily for color.The amount and type of liquid can influence the spread and puff of cookies.This is particularly true if there’s an acidic ingredient (such as brown sugar, cake flour, or chocolate), which makes the egg set quickly to limit spread. .
How to Make Cookies
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team.Cookies come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors — but one thing they have in common is they depend on the right ingredients, techniques, and tools to make them the best they can be.Finally, we'll take a deeper dive into choosing the right cookie ingredients and highlight some essential cooking-making tools you'll need.Once you feel comfortable with making a type of cookie, you can start to put your own personal spin on it.Unless your recipe says otherwise, you'll always use large-size eggs, unsalted butter and nuts, and pure extracts of vanilla or almond.Successful baking relies on the correct ratio of ingredients, so be sure to measure accurately.For the best results, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife.Chill dough for cut-out cookies, and soften it up at room temperature for a few minutes before rolling out.Adjust baking times to achieve the cookie texture you crave.Have all ingredients at room temperature before mixing the dough, unless your recipe specifically says otherwise.Rolled and cut-out cookies should be refrigerated before baking for sharper, clearer edges.Some cookie recipes require a creaming step in which the fat and sugars are beaten together until light-colored and fluffy.Other cookie recipes require a sandy texture, so the fat is cut into the flour.How to make cookies flatter: If you want your cookies on the flat side, you can do some or all of the following things: Use all butter, use all-purpose flour or bread flour, increase the sugar content slightly, add a bit of liquid to your dough, and bring the dough to room temperature before baking.If you want your cookies on the flat side, you can do some or all of the following things: Use all butter, use all-purpose flour or bread flour, increase the sugar content slightly, add a bit of liquid to your dough, and bring the dough to room temperature before baking.How to make cookies puffier: For light, puffy cookies, use shortening or margarine and cut back on the amount of fat; add an egg, cut back on the sugar, use cake flour or pastry flour, use baking powder instead of baking soda, and refrigerate your dough before baking.How to make cookies chewier: Try melting the butter before adding it to the sugars when mixing.Using the correct ingredients in their proper ratios is crucial to good baking.Baking powder is a combination of bicarbonate of soda plus cream of tartar, an acidic ingredient.Cookies are made primarily with butter, margarine or shortening, and each behaves differently.If cookies spread more than you'd like them to, try lowering the amount of butter, sugar, or baking soda in the recipe.If cookies spread more than you'd like them to, try lowering the amount of butter, sugar, or baking soda in the recipe.won't spread as much and will hold their shape better because shortening has a much higher melting point than butter.To make up for the drying effect of the egg whites, extra sugar is often added.This is why cookies made with just egg whites tend to be so sweet — think of light and airy French macarons.Just a tablespoon or two of water or other liquid will help your cookies spread into flatter and crisper rounds.allow air movement and help cookies bake evenly, but they can be expensive.To keep cookies from sticking to the baking sheet, buy an inexpensive roll of parchment paper or invest in a nonstick silicone baking mat to make cookie removal and clean-up easy.Note that silicone baking mats don't slide off cookie sheets as easily as parchment paper.More: This handy temperature conversion chart shows Fahrenheit to Celsius equivalents. .
Which All-Purpose Flour Is Best?
To prove our point, we asked 10 testers with different hand strengths and sizes to measure out and weigh 1 cup of each flour in our lineup. .
The Different Types of Flour
Not long ago, your only choices for flour were bleached all-purpose or unbleached all-purpose—but not anymore!The short answer is yes: While all types of flour serve essentially the same purpose, they're each a little different in terms of flavor, texture and even nutritional value.It’s safe to chill any and all flours, but most white flour—including all-purpose, cake, pastry, bread or self-rising—is shelf-stable and can be stored in a cool, dry spot either in the pantry or in a canister on the counter. .
10 Types of Flour for Baking
Add to that 10 different types of flour staring you down in the grocery aisle, and it’s enough to make you want to throw in the tea towel.While we’re willing to put a good amount of effort into our baking trials (after all, even when the results aren't perfect, they are usually delicious!Now that we’ve had our science lesson for the day, let’s break it down a little further into the difference between the ten most popular types of flour.Created from a mixture of soft and hard wheat varieties, it has a moderate protein content of about 9 to 11 percent.As the most versatile flour, it’s capable of creating flaky pie crusts, chewy cookies, and fluffy pancakes.(If you watched the video at the top of this article, yep, that homemade tortillas recipe calls for all-purpose flour.).All-purpose flour is best used for: cookies, muffins, bread, pie crusts, pancakes, biscuits, pizza dough, and pasta.It strikes the perfect balance between flakiness and tenderness, making it the go-to choice for pie crusts, tarts, and cookies.Pastry flour is best used for: pie crusts, cookies, muffins, pancakes, cakes, biscuits, and bread sticks.The secret ingredients of self-rising flour are the baking powder and salt added during the milling process.During the milling process, a kernel of wheat is separated into its three components: the endosperm, the germ, and the bran.Because of this, whole wheat flour usually leads to super sticky dough and denser baked goods.Gluten-free flour can be made from all sorts of ingredient bases, such as rice, corn, potato, tapioca, buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, or nuts.The “00” refers to the super-fine texture of the flour, making it easy to roll out to extreme thinness without breaking, which is perfect for pasta and crackers.00 flour is best used for: pasta, couscous, thin crust pizza dough, flatbreads, and crackers.This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. .
Making cookies with bread flour
At King Arthur, we offer many different flours, all of which are suitable for various types of baking.Fun fact: Alton Brown even named his signature bread flour Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe “The Chewy.".It all comes down to the key distinguishing factor between different types of flour: protein content.That’s because protein level plays a big role in the way your flour behaves during baking, impacting your final products.Essentially, the higher the protein content in a flour, the more gluten there is to develop when water is added.Various protein levels are suited for specific types of baking, which is why we make so many different flours.The original Buttery Snickerdoodles, made with bread flour as called for in the recipe.The final cookies turned out identical in shape and size, and upon tasting, they actually had fairly similar textures too, with slight deviations: the bread flour version was marginally more chewy, while the all-purpose cookies were a touch more tender.I like to use chocolate chunks and scoop my cookies on the large side, so they wound up a bit bigger than the recipe normally yields.The appearance of the final cookies were fairly similar; the all-purpose versions were perhaps a touch more golden-hued (most likely from their placement in my oven, and not because of the difference in flour).When it came to the taste test, I wound up with expected results: the bread flour cookies had a bendier, chewier texture than the all-purpose, which ended up moderately more tender.There are no set industry standards for protein content in flour varieties, meaning it can vary across brands.For more details on choosing the right flour for your baking, check out this previous blog post.And if you've made a batch of cookies with bread flour and are looking for other ways to use up that bag, we have a ton of recipes to get you started. .
The 15 Best Flours in 2022
Whether you’re baking bread , making pizza , becoming the next best pastry chef, or whipping up a gourmet meal, you’ll reach for any flour you can get your hands on if you’re short on available options.Cookies made with this flour retain their size and shape well, spreading just enough to create a crisp circle without becoming an amorphous blob.Tests have noted that a slightly sweet quality enhances vanilla flavors particularly well with this flour, making it even more of a stronger pick for cookie time.The brand prides itself on being “Unbleached Forever!”—a pro since it helps you avoid the additives and chemicals required to get it to that snowy hue.Whole-grain flour, like brown rice, has its bran intact, which makes it thirstier (and in the case of a roux or fried food, thirsty for oil, negating your best intentions).Whether you’re making angel, layer, pound, pudding, sheet, cup-, pan- or any other type of confection that ends in “cake,” this retro-looking box of flour has been proud to be the brand of choice since 1894, particularly in the American South.What makes it so special is that it’s sifted repeatedly for a grain that’s “27 times finer than all-purpose flour,” which helps create a moisture-holding, tender crumb, and a fluffy rise perfect for any application that calls for light flavor and low density.For lack of a better category name, we just wanted to point out that if you’re looking for flour in non-wheat territory, Erawan is the brand to buy next time you’re confused at an Asian market’s wealth of rice and tapioca starches.This line is made by Sun Wah Foods and trusted by Asian chefs around the world, making it consistent and accessible.It’s the hardest of all U.S. wheat varieties and comes in a coarser grind, which makes it more nutritionally dense, nuttier tasting, and naturally firmer, thus holding on better to the shape you will it to take.This extremely fine-ground soft wheat flour has a 12.5 percent protein content that lets the pizza dough stretch to remarkable, pliable, and appropriately cheese-pull lengths for optimal results.Every package’s exact percentage varies based on its source but has been tested to typically scale on the higher range.On the far side of the spectrum lies bread flour , which has a 12 to 14 percent protein level for a strong gluten network once activated.While we don’t recommend using this for bread, it will gift your non-yeasted baked goods with airy oomph and anything you should make with it a soft, smooth texture.Because of its very high protein content, be cautioned not to work your dough hard and to increase the amount of liquid the recipe calls for.Developed by the legendary Thomas Keller, this custom blend for Williams Sonoma swaps in corn, white and brown rice, milk powder, tapioca, potato, and xanthan gum to work its magic.There’s a multipurpose option , but we like that the Wholesome Flour blend adds a heartier texture by way of golden flaxseed and rice bran, and takes away the smoothing dairy and tuber elements to make it a great substitute for the satisfying nature of whole wheat.The regular white wheat used by King Arthur for the latter is certified and traceable from seed to field to flour; the brand prides itself on its “identity-preserved” practices.Whole wheat flour, with its naturally more nutrient-dense profile, nuttier taste, and heartier feel, shines when made into rustic bread , provided it’s not overworked to toughness.It also does well in earthier applications, such as carrot cake , gingerbread, muffins, dinner rolls, crackers, zucchini bread, and the like.This supermarket staple brand is consistent in its right-in-the-middle 10.5 percent protein content, and its original blue-label bleached version is readily available pretty much anywhere.A very neutral blend, the slight hint of pleasant nuttiness that shows up in crunchy bakes is what edges it out over other easy-to-access, affordable lines.As for performance, the brand prides itself on having a precisely calibrated, right-in-the-middle formula, which means that every bag in every batch will have the same exact 11.7 percent protein content and same soft and hard wheat proportion.If your flour smells off in a rancid, sour kind of way, chuck it—it’ll affect the flavor of what you make with it, and the last thing you want to do is suffer through a hard-won carb instead of enjoying it.Typically, this beautiful, powdery ingredient is imported, hence the 00 designation, which is rated according to Europe’s grind level ranking system versus American protein percentage categorization.It’s more tender because it blooms faster and younger, and can be milled to a softer, more powdery feel that's great for lower-gluten, less-structured baking projects.Su-Jit Lin has over a dozen years of experience in food writing and research and three times that in eating and comparing it with zeal.Her extensive travels have led her on singular scavenger hunts for the best and most authentic regional baked goods around the world, from the typical like croissants in Paris, pizza in Naples, and scones in Dublin to Sacher tortes in Vienna, pistachio paste cookies in Rome, pineapple buns in Hong Kong, and rusks in Cape Town.She’s a food science enthusiast and as such, an avid collector of ingredients known among friends to overflow her long-suffering pantry with things like single-purpose flour. .
5 of the Healthiest Flours for Every Purpose
Flour is a pantry staple used for making desserts, baked goods, casseroles, and pasta.For example, white and all-purpose flours are less healthy, as they’re refined to remove the bran and germ, which store most of its fiber and nutrients, from the wheat.As such, many people are interested in replacing white flour with more wholesome options for baking and cooking.It’s more calorie-dense than traditional grain-based flours and a good source of protein, fat, fiber, and minerals like iron and potassium.This fat is primarily saturated and largely comprised of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which may reduce inflammation and support healthy metabolism ( 1 , 2 ).SUMMARY Coconut flour is gluten-free and a good source of fat, protein, fiber, and antioxidants.Its mildly sweet flavor works best in baked goods like cakes, cookies, and muffins.Almond flour is a good source of magnesium, omega-3 unsaturated fats, plant protein, and vitamin E — a powerful antioxidant.The nutrients in this flour offer several benefits, such as improved insulin resistance, as well as lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood pressure.Almonds may also protect brain health, as vitamin E may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s ( 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 ).It works well in baked goods like pancakes, cookies, scones, and biscuits, plus certain savory foods like homemade pasta and meatballs.This gluten-free pseudocereal is widely considered a whole grain, which means that it hasn’t been processed and refined, leaving its original nutrients intact.Furthermore, it boasts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that may benefit digestive health, inhibit tumor growth, and lower overall disease risk ( 13 , 14 ).Some people find this flour bitter, but you can diminish the aftertaste by toasting it on a dry skillet over medium heat for 5–10 minutes, stirring gently, before adding it to your recipe.It gives a fluffy texture to baked goods, as well as pizza and pie crusts, in addition to serving as a thickener for soups and sauces.Buckwheat flour has an earthy flavor and is used to make traditional Japanese soba noodles.It’s a good source of fiber, protein, and micronutrients like manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, and phosphorus.Research shows that this flour may reduce blood sugar in people with diabetes and improve biomarkers of heart health.Prebiotics are a type of fiber that feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut, which support digestive health ( 19 ).It works well in pancakes and quick breads and makes a delectable crumb coating for meat or other proteins.You can enjoy it in homemade breads, muffins, cakes, cookies, rolls, pizza dough, pancakes, and waffles. .