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Old 03-10-2015, 07:29 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by mech3d View Post
When baking cakes we are faced with the question what flour to use, should it be cake flour, self-rising, all purpose, bleached, unbleached etc.

So I am curious, what are your preferences?
It depends on the recipe. I usually use self-raising flour for cakes because that's what most British cake recipes ask for, plain flour for pastry, "strong" flour (ie flour with a high gluten fcontent for most yeast cookery- but in any case use what the recipe states. I like unbleached because it is usually better quality than artificially and chemically bleached flour.

Unless you really know what you are doing don't try playing around with the type of flour or he raising agent in a recipe as you will be heading for disaster.
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Old 03-10-2015, 09:38 PM   #32
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I often substitute whole grain flour for white flour and with cakes, biscuits, cookies, and muffins, it has never been a problem.
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:10 PM   #33
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So much great information - this is a great forum, glad I found it.
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Old 03-12-2015, 02:13 PM   #34
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So much great information - this is a great forum, glad I found it.
We are glad you found it also. Stick around for more information and fun.
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Old 03-12-2015, 03:04 PM   #35
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All of the above is very interesting to me, although I don't bake. I only have AP flour on hand for that reason. If I get inspired to ever make a cake, I'll sure remember this AB!



Another question I've always wondered about....do brands of flours make any difference in the product?
I must say that there are brands that I don't use because I don't think the results are as good as with those that I do use. (No point in mentioning brands as I'm not in your area.) Price is not always an issue in this

I tend to be less picky about plain flour than I am about self raising flour. The only difference I can see between plain flours sourced from reputable sources is that the cheaper brands need more sifting. Sifting flour is a bit of a thing among cooks in my country. All English cookery books call for it when baking. From observations while watching Food Network and other US cookery programmes, American cooks don't usually bother with sifting. Is that generally the case? Specific "cake" flours are a bit of a recent innovation in the UK and don't seem to be widely used.
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Old 03-12-2015, 03:25 PM   #36
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I honestly think the not sifting and using a whisk instead came about because sifting takes time, using a whisk is much quicker. On TV, time is of the essence. So using the whisk came about. I always sift. But then I am not in front of a TV camera.
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Old 03-12-2015, 03:34 PM   #37
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I often substitute whole grain flour for white flour and with cakes, biscuits, cookies, and muffins, it has never been a problem.
Sorry, Taxi, I didn't make myself clear. I meant self-raising as opposed to plain flour (ie flour packed without raising agents added at the factory), not whole grain, white, etc. I often substitute flours as you metion.
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Old 03-12-2015, 05:16 PM   #38
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I quit sifting flour when I switched to wholegrain, so I don't sift out the bran. Okay, I do sift wholegrain cake flour. For the hard flour, I really don't find it causes a problem. I used to use a fork to mix the ingredients until I saw someone use a whisk. It's quicker and seems more efficient than a fork
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:33 PM   #39
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I must say that there are brands that I don't use because I don't think the results are as good as with those that I do use. (No point in mentioning brands as I'm not in your area.) Price is not always an issue in this

I tend to be less picky about plain flour than I am about self raising flour. The only difference I can see between plain flours sourced from reputable sources is that the cheaper brands need more sifting. Sifting flour is a bit of a thing among cooks in my country. All English cookery books call for it when baking. From observations while watching Food Network and other US cookery programmes, American cooks don't usually bother with sifting. Is that generally the case? Specific "cake" flours are a bit of a recent innovation in the UK and don't seem to be widely used.
I grew up sifting, and most people that I knew that baked, sifted. I think that a new generation is "discovering" baking and this is just a shortcut that has become popular. I sometimes sift and sometimes don't. With most things I don't really notice much difference. I will say that as soon as I buy a better sifter, I'll likely sift more since my instinct is to sift.
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:08 AM   #40
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I don't have a sifter.

I've been watching Alton Brown (really like him, so much better than the rest of the show-offs) and he said to skip the sifter. Said we should weigh the flour (he's very big on weighing!) and then put the stuff in the food processor to sift it.

Running it through the FP does make it poofier, but it loses some of the poof when it's transferred.

Any thoughts on FP versus real sifting? (Should I get a sifter?)
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