Food - Drink
The Real Difference Between Bleached And Unbleached Flour
By NATASHA BAILEY
Flour forms the base of most baked goods, but not every flour will do the best job for a particular recipe. Some recipes work well with either bleached or unbleached flour, but for more specific recipes, bakers have to choose between these two varieties, which differ in texture, taste, protein content, and their best uses in the kitchen.
Bleached flour goes through a longer refining process and is treated with chemicals, so it has a fine texture, an ultra-white color, and rises faster and retains its color better than its unbleached counterpart. Bleached flour is "softer," less expensive, and makes for tender and light cookies, pie crusts, quick breads, muffins, and pancakes.
Unbleached flour is produced similarly to bleached flour, but is aged instead of being treated with chemicals, leading to a higher protein content and off-white color. The extra gluten in this "harder" flour is best for baked goods that need to maintain their structure, such as yeasted breads, cream puffs, eclairs, and other pastries.