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Old 10-17-2006, 06:41 AM   #1
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What are the different types of wheat flours?

what are the different types of wheat flour? I have come accross a variety of them while reading recipes like cake flour, bleached flour, bread flour.. i was wanting to know the difference among the the variety. I know there are more but these are just the ones I can remember now. Is it absolutely essential to use them when a recipe calls for it or can I use plain flour? Is there anythign that I can add to make them like the other types?
Thanks :)

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Old 10-17-2006, 07:03 AM   #2
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For most uses, all purpose flour (plain) is fine. In fact, for all purposes it is. You will get slightly better/different results by using the flour that is specified in a recipe.
For example, bread flour is higher protein flour so it supports the structure of the bread.
Pastry flour is lighter (probably lower protein) so it allows the baked product to be lighter, airier.
Most AP flour is bleached--
For use as all purpose flour I prefer unbleached flour.
You can make plain flour into bread flour by the addition of vital gluten (available on the baking aisle now).
You can make plain flour into pastry flour by adding cornstarch.
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Old 10-17-2006, 07:08 AM   #3
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What proportions should I follow? how much cornstarch should be added to plain flour? I don't think I'll get the vital gluten here though
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Old 10-17-2006, 08:27 AM   #4
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Hi Shaheen,

All purpose flour is probably OK for bread if you aren't using commercial equipment. Loaf may be a bit more crumbly than with a high-gluten flour.

For pastry flour, I believe my mom used to use a proportion of 1/4 rice flour and 3/4 all-purpose wheat flour, or 1/2 rice flour and 1/2 whole wheat flour (whole wheat being heavier).

Good luck!
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Old 10-17-2006, 09:21 AM   #5
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Bread flour is a high protein or hard flour.

Pastry flour is a low protein or soft flour.

All Purpose flour is a compromise somewhere in between.

Rather than trying to doctor AP flour so it acts like bread or cake flour, buy these types when you need them. They are available in small quantities.
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Old 10-17-2006, 09:51 AM   #6
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In the UK we have Plain white flour, Self-Raising White flour and Strong Bread flour (white). We also have various gradings of brown flour - granary, wholemeal, bread etc. I have also noticed recently that some SR flour also has 'sponge flour' written on the packing, but I've never bought it.
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Old 10-17-2006, 12:05 PM   #7
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Go to http://www.kingarthurflour.com/. Have a look around. Everything you ever wanted to know about flour should be on that site.

Order their catalog (after having someone come to your house and hide all your credit cards), you'll love it.
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Old 10-17-2006, 12:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaheen
What proportions should I follow? how much cornstarch should be added to plain flour? I don't think I'll get the vital gluten here though
Here are some subs. I see where you are now and you probably can't get the gluten--although your flour may already be a higher protein than ours here in the US. Indian cooks make nan which is certainly nice and chewy.
You can use all purpose flour. Your bread (totally depending on the recipe) may not be as "pully", but I have only used bread flour in very recent years, having used regular flour for MANY MANY years before that.



cake flour = soft-wheat flour Equivalents: 4 1/2 cups cake flour = 1 pound Includes: self-rising cake flour These substitutions will perform better if you also do this: (1) Mix the batter as little as possible. (2) Separate eggs, beat the whites, and fold them into the batter Substitutes: pastry flour (This has more protein than cake flour but less than all-purpose flour. Cakes made with pastry flour tend to be a bit less delicate and crumbly.) OR all purpose flour (Substitute 7/8 cup all-purpose flour for each cup of cake flour and add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch for every 7/8 cup all-purpose flour used. Cakes made with all purpose flour tend to be less delicate and crumbly.)
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Old 10-17-2006, 01:11 PM   #9
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Gretchen, thnx for the tip about the cornflour for pastry flour, I never knew that, and since I often make my own flour, That kinda thing is Very handy to know! :)

Have some good Karma, that info`s invaluable to me :)
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Old 10-18-2006, 01:41 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone!!
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