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Old 03-09-2015, 12:59 PM   #1
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Flour vs. Flour

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?

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Old 03-09-2015, 01:02 PM   #2
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I use cake flour for cakes if I have it. Bread flour for almost all breads. AP for everything else.
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Old 03-09-2015, 01:06 PM   #3
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Cake flour should be your first choice for cakes but AP flour will also work. There would be texture differences. They cannot be substituted one for one. Bleached vs. unbleached within a flour type is less critical. They can be subbed one for one.

You don't often see recipes that call for self-rising flour. IT is most commonly called for in biscuit recipes.
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Old 03-09-2015, 02:00 PM   #4
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I generally only buy hard and soft flours; whole wheat and white. Hard/bread flours are best used for yeasted products such as bread. Soft/cake/pastry flour is best used for items leavened with baking power and baking soda, such as cookies, cakes, pancakes, biscuits. I rarely buy AP flour because I have the hard flour or soft flour in stock and use the appropriate flours as needed. I never buy self rising flour because I consider it a gimmick. I have always been fully capable of adding my own salt and leavening agents to my flour to create my own "self-rising flour".


That said, I have successfully used the "wrong" flour for some non-yeasted products.
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Old 03-09-2015, 02:40 PM   #5
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I grew up with plain old unbleached AP flour.

If we needed cake flour we added two tablespoons of cornstarch to the bottom of each cup of flour and sifted the mixture three times.

For self rising flour we added 1 1/2 t of baking powder and a 1/4 t of salt to the bottom of each cup of flour and sifted the mixture.
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Old 03-09-2015, 02:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
I grew up with plain old unbleached AP flour.

If we needed cake flour we added two tablespoons of cornstarch to the bottom of each cup of flour and sifted the mixture three times.

For self rising flour we added 1 1/2 t of baking powder and a 1/4 t of salt to the bottom of each cup of flour and sifted the mixture.
I've made bread with AP flour too. I add a TB of vital wheat gluten to each cup, and it works just fine. I've also started using a conditioner, and that seems to help too, especially with shelf life.
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Old 03-09-2015, 02:52 PM   #7
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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!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
I grew up with plain old unbleached AP flour.

If we needed cake flour we added two tablespoons of cornstarch to the bottom of each cup of flour and sifted the mixture three times.

For self rising flour we added 1 1/2 t of baking powder and a 1/4 t of salt to the bottom of each cup of flour and sifted the mixture.
Another question I've always wondered about....do brands of flours make any difference in the product?
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Old 03-09-2015, 02:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
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?
IMO the age of the flour, and other ingredients, is more important than the brand name. It is one of those vicious cycles where the less you bake the worse the results and the more discouraged you become.
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:01 PM   #9
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Growing up in Soviet Union we were lucky to get flour. Forget about all those options. Both my grandmother and mother were excellent cooks/bakers. The cakes, the breads, the pasta, the pastries and everything in between was absolutely amazing. I, on the other hand have hard time to bake anything with all those fancy flours available.
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:28 PM   #10
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Growing up in Soviet Union we were lucky to get flour. Forget about all those options. Both my grandmother and mother were excellent cooks/bakers. The cakes, the breads, the pasta, the pastries and everything in between was absolutely amazing. I, on the other hand have hard time to bake anything with all those fancy flours available.
It's always been said that cooking is an art. If that's the case, then baking is a fine art.
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