Flour that does not have a leavening agent (typically baking powder) is called all-purpose or plain flour. Cookies are usually prepared using this type of flour.
Leavening agents are used with some flours to produce lighter and softer baked products by embedding small gas bubbles. Self-raising (or self-rising) flour is sold premixed with chemical leavening agents. and typically composed of the following ratio:
- 1 cup (100 g) flour
- 1 teaspoon (3 g) baking powder
- a pinch to ½ teaspoon (1 g or less) salt
Wheat varieties are called "clean," "white," or "brown" or "strong" if they have high gluten content, and they are called "soft" or "weak" flour if gluten content is low.
Buckwheat flour is used as an ingredient in many pancakes in the United States. In Japan, it is used to make a popular noodle called soba.
Glutinous rice flour or sticky rice flour, used in east and southeast Asian cuisines for making tangyuan, etc.
Difference Between Baking Soda & Baking Powder
Both baking soda and baking powder are leavening agents, which means they are added to baked goods before cooking to produce carbon dioxide and cause them to 'rise'. Baking powder contains baking soda, but the two substances are used under different conditions.
When a recipe contains baking powder and baking soda, the baking powder does most of the leavening. The baking soda is added to neutralize the acids in the recipe plus to add tenderness and some leavening.