Different flours have varying levels of protein and fiber, which affect the final baked product. Here are the ones Cooking Light often uses.
All-Purpose Flour: As its name states, this flour has many uses and is the one most frequently used in baking. It's a middle-of-the-road flour in terms of protein content, and produces tender cakes.
Whole-Wheat Flour: Milled from the complete wheat kernel (both the bran and the germ) this flour retains many nutrients and is higher in fiber than many other flours. It gives baked products a nuttier flavor and denser texture than all-purpose flour, which is why it's often mixed with all-purpose flour.
Cake Flour: Cake flour has the least protein and yields very light baked goods, making it ideal for delicate products such as sponge cakes and some cookie doughs.
Pastry Flour: Containing only a bit more protein than cake flour, pastry flour is made by grinding soft wheat into a fine flour. It's good for making feathery light pastries, pies, and cookies. It's available in a whole-wheat variety, too.
Bread Flour: Bread flour has the most protein and is used to make denser items, including breads and pizza dough, where you want a chewier texture.