Saturday, June 28, 2003

Grains Flours and Pasta
Grains are the seeds or fruit of cereal plants, used as food by humans and animals.

Each grain has the following

Germ - the embryo of the plant, rich in vitamins and minerals.
Endosperm - the starchy food which the germ needs to grow. Contains complex carbohydrates and some protein.
Bran - the tough outer coating which protects the grain until it sprouts. A good source of fibre.
Hull - an inedible protectove jacket covering some grains, such as rice, oats and barley.

Refined white flour is roller milled and sieved. This removes Bran and Germ. Has only Endosperm's stuff.

Whole grain has germ and bran, with their vitamins, minerals, and fibre.

Stone-ground flour is slowly crushed between flat millstones, making a coarse flour. The low temperatures preserve nutrients and flavour.

Refined white flour has been roller milled and sieved to remove the bran and germ.

Bleached flour is treated with a bleaching agent ( benzoyul peroxide) and maturing agents (chlorine dioxide and acetone perioxide) to shorten production time. Oxidizing agents destroy vitamin E. Looks white and nice.

Fortified flour is refined flour with vitamins and minerals added to compensate for the loss of bran and germ.

Flour is made of finely ground grains, beans, or roots. Most western pastas are made from semolina flour milled from refined durum, the wheat highest in protein and gluten (Gluten is the high-protein element in flour that allows bread to rise. It contains two types of protein: gladins that make the dough stick together and glutenins that make the dough elastic. Kneading and stirring develop the gluten, allows the dough to capture carbon dioxide released by yeast, baking powder, or baking soda. High gluten flours make high, light loaves of bread. Low or non-gluten flour may be added to high gluten flours to vary the taste or texture of bread. Low-gluten flours also work well for making quick breads, where a tender crust is desirable.)

Flavored pastas are made with the addition of vegetable purees (often spinach, carrot, or tomato). The vegetable purees add colour and subtle taste.

Fresh pastas have not been dried. They are nutritionally equal to dried pasta but cook much more quickly.

Whole wheat pastas are made from whole wheat flour and have a chewy texture. They contain more fibre, vitamins, and minerals than white pastas.

Egg noodles are made with the addition of eggs and have a more delicate texture than other pastas. They contain more protein but are also higher in fat.

Wheat free pastas include brown rice, quinoa, and corn pastas. Because they do not contain gluten, they are delicate and must not be overcooked.


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