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Old 12-24-2018, 02:12 PM   #1
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Bleached Flour; Why?

Several months ago, I was shopping at the dollar store. Flour was on sale and I needed some, so I got a five lb bag. I wasn’t really paying attention, so I was surprised and a little upset with myself when I got it home and realized it was bleached flour. It’s been sitting in my cupboard, unopened, ever since.

What is the point of bleached flour? Why is it still produced? Are there recipes that specify “3 cups of bleached flour?” I googled it and read several articles about it; none had anything good to say about it. In fact, 90% of the articles called it dangerous because of the toxic and carcinogenic chemicals that are used in the bleaching process. It takes less time to produce, so it’s cheaper. That’s about the only positive thing that was said about it. One article claimed that because of its finer texture, it is good in cakes and quick breads, but that seems to be a very specious argument for using it. “The texture of these cupcakes is so lovely and soft! Of course, consuming them may very well give you cancer. Care for another?”

I guess I really don’t have a question here. Perhaps I should have posted this in petty vents. Okay, maybe one question; do any of you have a suggestion for using my 5 lb bag of bleached flour. I don’t need any doorstops...

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Old 12-24-2018, 02:35 PM   #2
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Joel, when you Google for information about something, what criteria do you use to decide whether what you're reading is reliable or not?

There is a lot of misinformation out there these days about "chemicals" and how terrible they are. Most of it is unproven fear-mongering and/or lack of understanding.

Show me a few of the articles you read and I'll let you know what I think - although it might be a while, since it's Christmas Eve In the meantime, use the flour for whatever you bought it for. It's not going to kill you.
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Old 12-24-2018, 02:39 PM   #3
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I see little practical difference between bleached and unbleached. I guess white is a prettier color than light beige.

I wouldn't hesitate to use the flour.
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Old 12-24-2018, 02:41 PM   #4
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When you are baking, you could just use it for dusting the work area. Rolling out a sheet of pie dough comes to mind. Or...

https://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-hom...er-than-eating

I don[t know if you have any children or grandkids, but there are some great suggestion at this site.

I simply Googled "Uses for flour other than food." There are a lot of sites there, but most of them are a repeat of this site. Take a looksee.
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Old 12-24-2018, 03:18 PM   #5
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From "The Kitchn":

Quote:
For baked goods, the overall basic outcome is the same with either flour. Your muffins will still rise, your cookies will still be delicious, and that layer cake will turn out just fine.
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Old 12-24-2018, 06:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JustJoel View Post
...What is the point of bleached flour? Why is it still produced? Are there recipes that specify “3 cups of bleached flour?” I googled it and read several articles about it; none had anything good to say about it. In fact, 90% of the articles called it dangerous because of the toxic and carcinogenic chemicals that are used in the bleaching process...
If I were you, I'd worry more about getting cancer from breathing in Vegas air than eating a bit of a bleached flour pastry.

When baking cakes, the finished product is affected by the flour used. For light baked goods, bleached flour (especially cake flour) results in more lift. For all the down-and-dirty details, this article (and Stella Parks replies to queries in the "Comments" section) explains the whys and hows of using cake flour, a bleached flour.
Why You'll Never Find Unbleached Cake Flour in My Pantry

If you really don't want to consume the flour, make salt dough from it!
Salt Dough Ornaments
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Old 12-25-2018, 05:08 AM   #7
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Stella Parks' article was an interesting read. Thanks for the link.
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Old 12-25-2018, 05:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
When you are baking, you could just use it for dusting the work area. Rolling out a sheet of pie dough comes to mind. Or...

https://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-hom...er-than-eating

I don[t know if you have any children or grandkids, but there are some great suggestion at this site.

I simply Googled "Uses for flour other than food." There are a lot of sites there, but most of them are a repeat of this site. Take a looksee.
Some great ideas. Really fun! Thanks, Addie!
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Old 12-25-2018, 05:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooking Goddess View Post
If I were you, I'd worry more about getting cancer from breathing in Vegas air than eating a bit of a bleached flour pastry.

When baking cakes, the finished product is affected by the flour used. For light baked goods, bleached flour (especially cake flour) results in more lift. For all the down-and-dirty details, this article (and Stella Parks replies to queries in the "Comments" section) explains the whys and hows of using cake flour, a bleached flour.
Why You'll Never Find Unbleached Cake Flour in My Pantry

If you really don't want to consume the flour, make salt dough from it!
Salt Dough Ornaments
Very interesting article. Maybe I’ll keep that 5 lb in my pantry, after all. Thanks!
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Old 12-27-2018, 02:17 PM   #10
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The first time I tried making angel food cake, I used soft whole grain wheat flour. It worked beautifully. It rose to about 6" tall and didn't collapse. I have tried since then and it never worked anywhere near that well again.
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Old 12-27-2018, 02:55 PM   #11
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I have a question, related to this (I think).

Some know that I have only been baking since I came across desserts for 2 recipes..

I really, really adhere to the various recipes I've found and the cakes I bake are very good except..

I have never been able to make a cake as light and fluffy as those when I use a boxed cake mix or pick up a cake in a grocery store or bakery..

Also... None of my recipes call for cake flour..

The question... Should I be using cake flour in my 'for two' recipes?

Ross
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Old 12-27-2018, 03:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Cooking View Post
I have a question, related to this (I think).

Some know that I have only been baking since I came across desserts for 2 recipes..

I really, really adhere to the various recipes I've found and the cakes I bake are very good except..

I have never been able to make a cake as light and fluffy as those when I use a boxed cake mix or pick up a cake in a grocery store or bakery..

Also... None of my recipes call for cake flour..

The question... Should I be using cake flour in my 'for two' recipes?

Ross
It depends on the type of cake you're making. Stella Parks, aka Bravetart, the pastry chef at Serious Eats, describes how cake flour is different from all-purpose and when she chooses which; you also might want to check how much protein is in the all-purpose flour you use. Look for the cake flour section, although the rest of this article is very good, too.

https://www.seriouseats.com/2018/10/...gredients.html
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Old 12-27-2018, 03:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Cooking View Post
I have a question, related to this (I think).

Some know that I have only been baking since I came across desserts for 2 recipes..

I really, really adhere to the various recipes I've found and the cakes I bake are very good except..

I have never been able to make a cake as light and fluffy as those when I use a boxed cake mix or pick up a cake in a grocery store or bakery..

Also... None of my recipes call for cake flour..

The question... Should I be using cake flour in my 'for two' recipes?

Ross
Certainly. And if that is not the answer to your problems, you can also use the cake flour to dredge you fried chicken. Also, the stirring of the dry ingredients just doesn't do it for me. I always use my faithful old fashion sifter with the handle, and never have a problem with high cakes. Flour loves to settle into a pack while sitting of the grocery shelf. Sifting fluffs it up again.


I don't know which "famous chef" started the stirring of dry ingredients, but sifting certainly makes a big difference. My granddaughter works in supermarket in the kitchen. She decorates the cakes that are ordered for special occasions. Wedding, birthday, holidays, etc. But when the baker is sick or doesn't show up for a day, she also makes the cakes. SIFT!

Check your baking powder also. You should be using double acting baking powder. Get a glass of warm water. Add a teaspoon of baking powder, if no fizzing, toss it and get a new can.

I am not the only one who doesn't listen to Martha Stewart. Besides she has a whole crew who really make up all the recipes.
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Old 12-27-2018, 04:10 PM   #14
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In a tight pinch, it could also be used to powder your wig!

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Old 12-27-2018, 04:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
Also, the stirring of the dry ingredients just doesn't do it for me. I always use my faithful old fashion sifter with the handle, and never have a problem with high cakes. Flour loves to settle into a pack while sitting of the grocery shelf. Sifting fluffs it up again.

I don't know which "famous chef" started the stirring of dry ingredients, but sifting certainly makes a big difference. My granddaughter works in supermarket in the kitchen. She decorates the cakes that are ordered for special occasions. Wedding, birthday, holidays, etc. But when the baker is sick or doesn't show up for a day, she also makes the cakes. SIFT!
Whisking accomplishes the same thing as sifting, so that's what I do. One less piece of equipment I need to make room for. Also, I move my flour from the bag to a canister; that action aerates it as well.
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Old 12-27-2018, 05:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
It depends on the type of cake you're making. Stella Parks, aka Bravetart, the pastry chef at Serious Eats, describes how cake flour is different from all-purpose and when she chooses which; you also might want to check how much protein is in the all-purpose flour you use. Look for the cake flour section, although the rest of this article is very good, too.

https://www.seriouseats.com/2018/10/...gredients.html
Thank you..

Ross
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Old 12-27-2018, 05:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
Certainly. And if that is not the answer to your problems, you can also use the cake flour to dredge you fried chicken. Also, the stirring of the dry ingredients just doesn't do it for me. I always use my faithful old fashion sifter with the handle, and never have a problem with high cakes. Flour loves to settle into a pack while sitting of the grocery shelf. Sifting fluffs it up again.


I don't know which "famous chef" started the stirring of dry ingredients, but sifting certainly makes a big difference. My granddaughter works in supermarket in the kitchen. She decorates the cakes that are ordered for special occasions. Wedding, birthday, holidays, etc. But when the baker is sick or doesn't show up for a day, she also makes the cakes. SIFT!

Check your baking powder also. You should be using double acting baking powder. Get a glass of warm water. Add a teaspoon of baking powder, if no fizzing, toss it and get a new can.

I am not the only one who doesn't listen to Martha Stewart. Besides she has a whole crew who really make up all the recipes.
Thank you..

Ross
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Old 12-28-2018, 06:24 AM   #18
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The first time I tried making angel food cake, I used soft whole grain wheat flour. It worked beautifully. It rose to about 6" tall and didn't collapse. I have tried since then and it never worked anywhere near that well again.
The bleaching process softens the flour. foods made with bleached flour tend to have a softer texture, more volume and brighter color. It's best for making cookies pie crusts quick breads muffins and pancakes.
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Old 12-28-2018, 01:10 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Rparrny View Post
The bleaching process softens the flour. foods made with bleached flour tend to have a softer texture, more volume and brighter color. It's best for making cookies pie crusts quick breads muffins and pancakes.
I suppose they might be best by your standards. Personally, I prefer the stuff I make with whole grain flour.
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Old 12-28-2018, 01:25 PM   #20
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In a tight pinch, it could also be used to powder your wig!





I just happened to have one of those powdering gizmos. I use it all the time.
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