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Old 02-08-2008, 05:10 PM   #1
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Confused about types of flour...

Lately I've started using whole meal flour for baking muffins, instead of white flour. I bought whole meal flour from our big chain grocery store. Today I found (labeled just like this) Organic Strong Whole Meal Bread Flour. I found it at the health food store I've shopped at a million times, never noticed it before. It was the only choice they had for whole meal flour (they sell most of their stuff in big barrels).

So, are these two kinds of flour the same, one just didn't say "bread" or are they totally different? And how will it effect muffins that I bake?

Also, some recipes I want to try call for pastry flour, which I haven't seen here anywhere.

I realize I can't always use whole meal flour, like I wouldn't use it in cookies or cakes. Trying to bake healthy fiber filled muffins for the boy!

Thanks!

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Old 02-08-2008, 05:25 PM   #2
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The difference is in the amount of protein -- called gluten -- the flour contains. The more protein, the sturdier the texture of the baked product.

In terms of everyday flours, cake flour has the least gluten, then pastry flour, then all purpose flour and then bread flour, which has the most.

You could probably get away with making muffins with bread flour but they will have a tougher texture. Never use it is a recipe that calls for cake or pastry flopur though.
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:30 PM   #3
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Thanks Jenny, so I guess the "strong" label on the flour I bought today is because of it's high gluten content...?

I've been googling and reading about flours and this link on wiki seems pretty helpful Flour - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I wonder why I haven't found whole meal pastry flour here, I've looked in every store!
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redkitty View Post
Lately I've started using whole meal flour for baking muffins, instead of white flour. I bought whole meal flour from our big chain grocery store. Today I found (labeled just like this) Organic Strong Whole Meal Bread Flour. I found it at the health food store I've shopped at a million times, never noticed it before. It was the only choice they had for whole meal flour (they sell most of their stuff in big barrels).

So, are these two kinds of flour the same, one just didn't say "bread" or are they totally different? And how will it effect muffins that I bake?

Also, some recipes I want to try call for pastry flour, which I haven't seen here anywhere.

I realize I can't always use whole meal flour, like I wouldn't use it in cookies or cakes. Trying to bake healthy fiber filled muffins for the boy!

Thanks!
I believe the whole meal means whole wheat flour. You can can use it in just about anything but still need to replace some of the whole wheat with white flour to get a better texture and taste.
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Old 02-09-2008, 03:59 AM   #5
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Thanks, I know whole meal is whole wheat. I was asking more about the pastry vs bread, and not knowing how using one vs the other would affect certain recipes.

I guess I'll have to google more to find answers!
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redkitty View Post
Thanks, I know whole meal is whole wheat. I was asking more about the pastry vs bread, and not knowing how using one vs the other would affect certain recipes.

I guess I'll have to google more to find answers!
Hmmmm..... Didn't I already answer that?

It will affect the texture of your baked product.
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redkitty View Post
I realize I can't always use whole meal flour, like I wouldn't use it in cookies or cakes. Trying to bake healthy fiber filled muffins for the boy!

Thanks!
rk, I use all whole wheat flour in brownies, cookies, muffins, pancakes, bread....and I have a hard time finding whole wheat pastry flour. I can not get it locally in any grocery store. I can only get it at a health food grocery shop. And in a pinch, I have used bread flour in cookies and other products, but pastry flour does work better.

This is the way I use flour. Hard/bread flour I use for products that use yeast, and soft/pastry/cake flour for products leavened with baking powder/baking soda/buttermilk/eggs. Good luck!
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:39 AM   #8
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Thank you Beth!! :)
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:11 PM   #9
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Hello All,
JennyEma is correct. The difference in the flours will mainly effect the texture and "toughness" of the end product. Protein in any recipe is what gives the structure of a baked good so the higher the protein the tougher the structure(when it comes to flour). of course between whole wheat and regular flour there will be a slight taste difference but that is all.

Cake Flour: 7-8% gluten(protein)
Pastry Flour: 8-9% gluten
All Purpose Flour: 9-10.5% gluten
Bread Flour 10.5-12% gluten
High gluten flour: above 12% and up to 14%(roughly)

I order all my flour from King Arthur Flour :: Home Page

Have a great day everyone,
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Old 02-12-2008, 05:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethzaring View Post
rk, I use all whole wheat flour in brownies, cookies, muffins, pancakes, bread....and I have a hard time finding whole wheat pastry flour.
I think King Arthur sells it on their website.
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