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The type of flour you use determines how a finished product looks, tastes and handles. Gluten, a protein found in some grains, has elasticity that allows dough to rise by trapping the released gases from the yeast. Choose high-gluten flours for chewy yeasted breads, and low-gluten flours for delicate and tender pastries and quick breads. Experiment with substituting a portion of wheat flour in recipes with other grain flours for different nutrient profiles.


All-purpose flour is made from a blend of high-gluten hard wheat and low-gluten soft wheat. It’s a fine textured flour made from the inner part of the wheat kernel and contains neither the germ nor the bran.

Red Rose Unbleached

This is the conventional choice for an all-purpose flour and is enriched with niacin, riboflavin, thiamin and iron.

Bakers’ Choice

This is the organic choice for an all-purpose flour and has not been enriched with added vitamins and minerals.

Fine Whole Wheat Flour

This is the ideal flour for making 100% whole wheat baked goods. Fine whole wheat flour, because of its smaller particle size, exposes more of the endosperm protein, enabling a more complete development of gluten.

High Gluten Ultimate Performance Flour

This flour is milled from high protein spring wheat. This natural, high gluten, high protein unbleached flour performs especially well in bagels, pizza dough, and other breads that need a strong texture.

Old Mill Low Gluten Flour

The amount of gluten in flour affects the texture of the finished product. Baked goods made with a low-gluten flour will be tender and have a soft crumb. This is the ideal flour for pastries.

Peak Performer

This flour is right between an all-purpose and a bread flour because of its moderately high protein. Milled from the highest quality winter wheat, Peak Performer is an all-natural, unbromated and fine textured flour.

Whole Wheat High-Protein Flour

This is the best whole wheat flour to use in bread making. Higher protein encourages gluten development in the bread, which helps the bread rise and provides structure and texture, while providing the added health benefits of whole wheat flour.

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

Whole wheat pastry flour is finely ground organic soft wheat which contains all the germ, bran and nutrition of whole wheat with the delicate properties of pastry flours.

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

Whole wheat pastry flour is finely ground organic soft wheat which contains all the germ, bran and nutrition of whole wheat with the delicate properties of pastry flours.


Barley Flour

Barley flour is starchy, soft and sweet. Due to its low gluten content, this flour produces a cake-like crumb when used in baked goods.

Oat Flour

Adding oat flour to baked goods lends a delicate and moist sweetness as well as a natural antioxidant, which helps baked goods stay fresh longer.

Rye Flour

Rye flour is sweet and tangy, low in gluten, and most commonly found in dark and filling pumpernickel bread.

Whole Spelt Flour

Spelt, being a relative of common wheat, provides familiarity of flavor and versatility of use, making it a great substitute for whole wheat flour in recipes.

White Spelt Flour

White spelt flour is made from the finely milled endosperm of the spelt berry and is great for making tender pastries and pie crusts.

*Note: Visit the Co-op to find additional flours available in Aisle 3, such as Coconut Flour, Almond Meal/Flour, Garbanzo and Fava Flour, and Sweet White Sorghum Flour.

Why Whole Grain?

Whole grains provide complex carbohydrates, essential vitamins and minerals and are linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and other health problems. Whole grains are the edible seeds of plants that include the bran, germ and endosperm. When grains are refined, the bran and germ are removed and with them valuable nutrients. To increase the nutrition of refined flour, nutrients such as riboflavin, niacin and iron are often added back into the four. However, these added nutrients represent only a fraction of the originally eradicated nutrients and therefore refined grains are nutritionally inferior to whole grains. In general, whole grains are better sources of fiber and other important nutrients, such as selenium, potassium and magnesium.

Gluten-Free Flours

Blue Cornmeal

Blue cornmeal is slightly grainier and sweeter than yellow cornmeal. Use for making blue corn tortillas.

Brown Rice Flour

Made from whole rice kernels. The healthy bran layer is included with the rest of the kernel in this finely ground, healthful, gluten-free flour.

Buckwheat Flour

MadeTraditionally used for making pancakes and crepes, this gluten-free grain flour is nutrient-rich with a pleasant, yet slightly bitter flavor.

Corn Flour

Corn flour is a finely ground cornmeal that is used for breading and corn tortillas. Unlike cornstarch, corn flour is made from the whole corn kernel.

Corn Masa

Masa harina (corn masa) is a special corn flour that serves as the base for corn tortillas and tamales. The corn for making masa is dried and then treated in a solution of slaked lime and water to loosen the hulls from the kernels and soften the corn. The soaked maize is then washed and ground into masa.

Quinoa Flour

This gluten-free flour is full of flavor and nutrients and imparts a light, delicate crumb. Because of its high oil content, quinoa flour should be refrigerated to prevent rancidity.

Teff Flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

Teff flour is a light, uniquely flavored, whole grain flour made from a tiny, iron-packed grain. Substitute teff flour for about a fourth of the all-purpose flour in baked goods for an appealing taste and added nutrition.

Garbanzo Bean Flour

Also known as besan, gram, or chickpea flour, this glutenfree, high protein legume flour cooks dry, powdery and chalky. Garbanzo bean flour makes a great thickening agent for soups, stews and sauces.

Soy Flour

Soy flour adds a moist and tender finish to baked goods and can replace up to 25% of wheat flour in a recipe.

*Note: The flours in the bulk department are not sealed, and therefore could contain trace amounts of gluten from other flours in the department. If you have a serious gluten allergy, it is best to purchase the packaged gluten-free flours, available in aisle 3.

Why Gluten Free?

Most commonly, a gluten-free diet is used to treat celiac disease—a condition which involves the inability to digest gluten, preventing the absorption of key nutrients needed for staying healthy. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale. Some common symptoms of gluten allergy or intolerance include headache, bloated stomach, fatigue and skin rash. Numerous experts are beginning to consider that celiac disease is at the most extreme end of a spectrum of gluten sensitivity, and a number of people are adopting gluten-free diets to treat celiac-like symptoms in the absence of a positive test for celiac disease. It is commonly misdiagnosed because the symptoms are comparable to other chronic intestinal disorders.

Common Terms Defined:

Bromated vs. Unbromated

Bromated flour has been treated with potassium bromate to improve dough elasticity, allow it to stand up to commercial baking practices, and produce a higher rising bread. Potassium bromate is a potential carcinogen that may be harmful when consumed and is outlawed in the U.K.

Bleached vs. Unbleached

Bleaching is a way for flour processors to speed up the aging process (aged flour performs much better than freshly milled flour in baking) and thereby increase profits. In the United States, the most common bleaching agent is benzoyl peroxide, which has been banned as a bleaching agent in the E.U. due to health concerns. Unbleached flour has been allowed to age and turns white naturally as a result of the oxidation process.

Hard Wheat vs. Soft Wheat

Hard wheat has a higher gluten content than soft wheat, and is therefore ideal for bread. The high amount of gluten is what allows the dough to trap the carbon dioxide released by the yeast and be able to rise. Soft wheat has a lower gluten content, and is therefore a better choice for pastries and sauces where elasticity of dough is not desirable.

Whole Wheat vs. Wheat

It may be confusing to see wheat flour on a label and think that this is the same as whole wheat flour. The difference between the two is in taste, texture and nutrients. Wheat flour can be highly processed wheat flour, which is quick to absorb into your bloodstream and can spike blood sugar. Whole wheat flour contains the nutritional benefits of the bran and germ and is absorbed more slowly in the body, leading to more stable blood sugar levels.