The most popular use for flour is in baking, and many types of flour are now used for that purpose due to the higher incidence of gluten intolerance, whether true or assumed. But there is no doubt that baked foods are popular and delicious, and their popularity seems to increase every year.
Most casual users like me can do just fine with one type of flour, All Purpose flour, but dedicated bakers like my husband prefer to venture into the vast assortment of flours found in the markets. He includes in his collection of flours with which he bakes artisan breads so many we needed a special small refrigerator and freezer to keep them fresh.
Among the available flours we have tried are high gluten wheat, soy, rye, spelt, rice, potato, barley, oat, rye, kamut, whole wheat, corn, oats, chickpea, buckwheat, barley, amaranth, arrowroot, millet and buckwheat. My mother, a cake baker, kept boxes of cake flour in the freezer for freshness. We have not tried almond, buckwheat, chickpea, tapioca, coconut, pumpernickel, teff, quinoa, semolina and soy.
Although flour in general has many nutritional benefits, the necessary evils brought on by the industrial revolution required that baked goods last longer without spoiling to enable long distance transportation. In order to extend flour products shelf life the fat from the grains contained in the germ was removed. What seemed like a logical solution at a time when very little was known about nutrition stripped the refined, processed flour products of most vitamins, amino acids and micronutrients such as minerals.