Consumers are seldom aware of the hardness or softness of flour. These
are the characteristics of the two types: hard wheat falls into
separate particles if shaken in the hand while soft wheat flour clumps
a bit and tends to hold its shape if pressed together. Hard wheat flour
feels somewhat course and granular when rubbed between the fingers.
Soft wheat flour feels smooth, more like talcum powder. Different kinds
of wheat flours are selected for those qualities specific to the food
product. Hard wheat flour is more suitable for commercial bread
production because it has the qualities to produce a lighter, more
porous texture. This is the same reason that hard wheat flour is added
to whole wheat and rye flours for bread. Soft wheat flours are sold for
family use for biscuit or cake flours. In commercial production it is
used for crackers, cakes, cookies and pastries.