I recently came across a recipe that called for instant flour, an ingredient that I haven't been very familiar with. What is it, and how is it different from all-purpose flour?
Instant or instantized flour, as it's called, was first introduced by Gold Medal in 1963. It refers to a low-protein, finely-ground, granular type of flour that has gone through pregelatinization, a process that involves heating the flour with hot water or steam, then drying it out. It's formulated to dissolve rapidly in either hot or cold liquids, making it an ideal thickening agent in creating lump-free sauces and gravies. It's also often referred to as Wondra, the leading brand for instant flour.
Wondra is sometimes called for in pie, tart, and other baking recipes to achieve a flaky consistency and texture. When have you come across instant flour?