Finely ground cereal, such as wheat, barley, oats, rye, rice and maize (corn). In Britain, the word 'flour' usually refers to flour produced from wheat. Wheat flour contains gluten, a protein that forms an elastic network that helps contain the gases that make mixtures (such as doughs and batters) rise as they bake. Different types of flour are needed for different products. Bread flour, or strong flour, for example, has a high protein content and good gluten strength. Plain household flour is usually a soft flour and is best for cakes and pastries. Self-raising flour has a standard amount of raising agent already added to it. Varying degrees of processing in the milling of the grain give wholewheat, brown and white types of flour. Spelt flour is made from an ancestor of our wheat and, although it does contain a small amount of gluten, some people who are intolerant to wheat flour can cope with it.