Lesson 2:Basic Materials Used in Bakery And Confectionery


Also called as refined flour, white flour or maida is obtained from wheat. It is the basic structural component of most bakery products. Wheat flour contains two proteins- gliadin and glutenin which form gluten by addition of water. No other cereal flours form gluten. Rye flour contains both glutenin and gliadin but is incapable of forming gluten because there are substances in rye flour that interferes with its ability to form gluten.

When water is added to the flour these proteins interact with each other to form a unique protein known as gluten. Gluten is an elastic substance that forms a mesh-like structure in the batter or dough. This elastic structure holds gases in the form of small bubbles that expand leavening gases (carbon dioxide, air or steam)during heating giving a spongy texture (as in bread) or raised effect (in cakes). The gluten when heated is denatured due to coagulation to give rigidity to the structure. The gluten continues to stretch as the gases expand during heating until the heat of the oven coagulates the gluten.

Different types of wheat flours contain varying amounts of the gluten-forming proteins and influence strength of gluten.

  • Hard wheat flour has high protein content and forms a strong gluten framework when mixed with water. This strong gluten framework provides the structure needed for bread.
  • Soft wheat flour contains less protein and cannot form strong gluten but is suitable for cakes, quick breads and pastries, where a tender product is desirable.
  • All purpose flour is obtained by blending different types of wheats during milling to achieve medium protein content. This flour may be used for all baking purposes.
  • Whole wheat flour contains the nutritious wheat germ, bran and the starchy endosperm which make smaller, heavier but nutritious baked products.
Last modified: Thursday, 15 December 2011, 10:19 AM