Bread flour is made from high protein, low moisture grains. This type of flour is necessary when making dough with yeast in it. During the kneading process, the protein (gluten) strands are developed making them stretchy and elastic. During the rising process, the gases produced by the yeast become trapped by the stretchy dough and the dough rises with those gases. Bread flour may be used in recipes such as cakes and cookies but you may notice the texture to be denser than you would like.
For milling your own grains for whole wheat bread flour, use a “Hard” wheat, as this type of grain will be higher in protein. Ancient grains such as Spelt and Kamut also have enough protein to make a dough with yeast in it.
All Purpose Flour or AP Flour
AP flour is made of wheat flour but it tends to high a more equal amount of protein and moisture. This flour can be used when making dough with yeast in it but the dough may not rise as much as you would like. This flour can also be used in recipes such as cakes or cookies and will give a slightly better result than if you had used bread flour. AP Flour is perfect for muffins or quick breads.
For milling your own grains for whole wheat AP flour, “Hard” wheat (for yeast dough) or “Soft” wheat (for quick breads) can be used. Ancient grains such as Spelt and Kamut also make good AP flours due to their slightly higher moisture content.
Pastry flour is typically made from high moisture, low protein grains. Due to the lower amount of protein (gluten), this flour is an excellent choice when making cakes, cookies and pastries where a flaky texture is desired.
For milling your own grains for whole wheat pastry flour, “Soft” wheat is ideal as well as some grains such as Rye, Barley or Spelt.