Posted on 22 October 2015 | Categories: Kitchen Tips

The Versatile Soybean Flour


Soybean flour is a star of baking addition for its many uses. It is made by roasting the soy beans and finely grinding it smooth enough to pass 100-mesh screen. Generally, this flour comes in full-fat and defatted forms. While the full-fat contains all amounts of the natural oils, the defatted one has the oil removed.

According to the process, soybean flour has various flavours from strong and nutty to mild and slightly sweet. It is widely used in bakery industry as it boosts protein without sacrificing the economic value. 

Soybean flour is a great improver for baking. It whitens the bread, thus makes the colour more appealing. Soybean flour also increases volume and textures of bread as well as allowing more water to be added to the dough.

Full fat soybean flour has lower protein contents so that it does not as popular as defatted one. However, it is still good for baking rich and sweet kind of goods such as cookies and sweet bread. Some brand can even substitute egg in baking.

One thing for sure, full fat soybean flour can replace 30% of wheat flour in baked goods. Adding it more than 30% makes the dough brown faster. Since it is gluten free, it does not react with yeast. That is why yeast-raised breads made with soy flour are denser.

Despite all the gold and glitter, the defatted one is actually more favourable than the full-fat. While full fat soybean flour has 35% protein content, the defatted got 50%. Nevertheless, it seems like its characteristics is more appealing than its nutritional value.

Defatted flour can be used in bakery products as bleaching and improving agent, especially soybean flour with higher PDI (Protein Dispersibility Index). The higher the PDI, the easier it disperses into water. 

The most extensively used defatted flour has 50-75% dispersibility. It absorbs more and holds more water. As it binds the dough and gives elasticity, defatted flour can reduce the amount of fat in the baked goods. It also establishes the shape and structure of the bread. As the result, baked goods with soybean flour have maximum tenderness, moisture, fine texture, and appealing colour.

With its high protein content and the binding characteristics, many brands use soybean flour to replace eggs and milk in pancake mix, donut mix, and cake mix. It works well in pancake mix, but it is even better in donut mix. Soybean flour can substitute 100% of egg yolk in donut mix. The result is dough that does not absorb much oil when fried as well. It also makes a good replacement for white egg in cake mix. It gives fluffier yet firmer texture in cake.

Defatted flour can be used as supplement for cereal products such as wheat, corn, and rice as well. Many brands fortified defatted flour with additional micronutrients and minerals although it is already full with nutrition.

With all the versatility, soybean flour should be used more in bakery. With high nutrition, unique characteristics, and better result, it will be good to start trying this product for your bakery.