Durum flour is a type of flour that has been a staple in Italian cuisine for centuries. It’s the primary ingredient in traditional pasta, giving it a distinct flavor, texture, and color.
But what exactly is durum flour? How is it different from regular wheat flour? And what makes it so special? In this article, I’ll answer all your burning questions and more!
What is durum flour?
Durum flour is called “durum” because it is made from a hard variety of wheat called durum wheat that’s high in protein and gluten-rich. The word “durum” comes from the Latin word “durus,” which means hard.
Durum wheat is primarily grown in Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Turkey, and Morocco. It is commonly used to make pasta, but it can also be used to make bread, pizza dough, and other baked goods.
Commercially, durum wheat is first cleaned and tempered, then passed through a series of roller mills that grind it into fine particles. The resulting flour is then sifted to remove any remaining bran or germ, leaving behind a slightly yellow-colored flour.
Sometimes durum flour and semolina flour are used interchangeably, but they are actually different types of flour! Durum flour and semolina flour are both made from durum wheat, but durum flour is a finer grind of durum wheat, while semolina is coarser.
What’s the difference between durum flour and regular flour?
Durum flour is made from hard wheat that has a higher protein and gluten content than the wheat used for making all-purpose flour, which is a mix of hard (high protein) and soft (low protein) wheat.
This means that durum flour has a harder, coarser texture than all-purpose flour that’s more suited for making pasta and bread, while regular flour is great for baking cakes and cookies because it produces a lighter, fluffier result. For more, see durum flour vs all-purpose flour.
Benefits of durum flour
Durum flour is a great source of nutrients like iron, B vitamins, and magnesium. It also has a lower glycemic index than regular flour, which can help manage blood sugar levels.
The main benefit of using durum flour is that its high gluten content makes it ideal for making homemade pasta, rustic bread, and pizza dough, giving them that chewy texture and elasticity we all love!
Durum flour nutrition facts
|Flour (¼ cup)||Calories||Carbs||Fiber||Sugar||Fat||Protein||Glycemic Index|
|Durum flour||110||22 g||1 g||1 g||0 g||4 g||44-60|
|All-purpose flour||120||24 g||1 g||0 g||0.5 g||4 g||85|
How to bake and cook with durum flour
If you’ve never used durum flour, let me tell you that it can be a game-changer!
You can easily substitute durum flour for all-purpose flour in most recipes using a 1:1 ratio. But when baking cakes or cookies, use a combination of durum flour and all-purpose flour for a softer texture. Durum flour can make your baked goods tough due to its high gluten content, so this helps to balance it out.
100% durum flour can be used for bread with a hard crust, Italian focaccia, and traditional Italian-style pizza crust, which is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
Popular durum flour baked goods and dishes
I’ve already mentioned a few, but here’s a list of some common uses for durum flour:
- Homemade pasta
- Crusty, rustic read
- Pizza crust
- Cookies and cakes
How to make durum flour at home
Here are the basic steps to make durum flour at home:
- Starting with durum (hard) wheat berries, rinse and dry them.
- Grind the wheat berries into flour using a grain mill or blender.
- Pass the flour through a fine-mesh sieve until you get a fine, uniform texture.
Note: processing durum flour at home may be difficult without specialized equipment, so it may be easier to buy it from a store.
How to store durum flour
Durum flour is best kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from moisture and direct sunlight. It has a shelf life of about 1-2 years.
Homemade durum flour should be used within a few weeks of making it or put in the fridge or freezer to extend its shelf life.
What are the best substitutes for durum flour?
Semolina flour is the best substitute for durum flour because it is made from the same hard wheat variety (durum wheat). This gives both flours a similar texture and flavor, making semolina flour the best replacement in recipes that call for durum flour.
Other wheat flours, such as all-purpose flour or whole-wheat flour, will also work just fine. However, whole-wheat flour is a closer match to durum flour in terms of its higher protein and fiber content.
Durum flour is sometimes called semolina flour because they are both made from durum wheat, but they are not the same thing. Semolina flour is a coarser grind than durum flour, and is typically used for making pasta and couscous, while durum flour is a finer grind and is used for making pasta, bread, and other baked goods.
Durum flour has a lower glycemic index than white flour, but it is not necessarily healthier than white flour as both are processed and stripped of many important nutrients.
Durum flour is a type of wheat flour made from a specific hard variety of wheat called durum wheat, which has a different texture, protein, and gluten content compared to wheat flour made from hard and soft wheat varieties, so they are not exactly the same.