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Old 01-09-2012, 04:41 PM   #1
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Bakery type cakes

What is it that bakeries do to make their cakes so light? Most scratch baked cakes I've had (and made) are usually of a denser texture. I know the type of flour you use can make a difference (I use king authur).... Other factors too. But only once did I get a cake to come out where the texture was somewhat light and tender. But I'm not a cake baker...would like to be.

I've seen where King Authur has a cake enhancer. Anybody tried it? Was there a difference?

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Old 01-09-2012, 04:59 PM   #2
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Do you use cake flour? That would yield a lighter, more delicate texture. Also, when you cream your sugar and butter, do you cream it until light and fluffy?
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:01 PM   #3
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Most home cooks use all purpose flour at home. Bakers use cake flour. Cake flour is a lower protein flour that results in a softer, lighter end result. King Arthur (and others) sell both.

Make sure you use a recipe that's written for cake flour. Cake flour requires less liquid than AP flour.
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:09 PM   #4
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It may be the type of cake you are making. I prefer a "heavy" cake like a country pound cake. If you want a lighter cake look at recipes that have sponge or chiffon in the name.

In many cases bakeries can incorporate more air into the batters because of the types of equipment they use. Air is cheaper than cake batter. Remember the TV chef Michael Chiarello. When a recipe called for water he would always say time to add the profit. Air is almost as cheap as water!
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:17 PM   #5
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I also use King Arthur flour for many things. But it has a bit higher protein (think gluten) content than others, like Pillsbury & Gold Medal. A flour found only in the south, White Lily, has and even lower protein content, but not as low as cake flour.

Many serious bakers keep a variety of flours on hand and use what's best for the purpose.

Another thing to be careful of is overbeating. Beating develops the gluten and toughens the cake. You want to use a gentle hand when combining the flour with the other ingredients. I almost never use a mixer for this final step, but prefer to fold the flour into the batter by hand.

Another thing to watch is HOW you measure. The 'dip and swipe' method measures out more flour than the 'spoon and level' method. Scooping your measuring cup into the flour bin and then leveling it packs much more flour into the cup than lightly spooning in the flour, then swiping it. Many serious bakers have switched to weighing their flour to eliminate the problems.

What flavor cake are you looking for? Maybe we can give you a recipe for a good, light one.
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:19 PM   #6
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It's the cake flour and cake enhancer. Between Shrek and I we have done a lot of bakery cakes. You already use KA, order/buy their cake flour! I have to order most of it, very little of it on supermarket shelves around here.
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merstar View Post
Do you use cake flour? That would yield a lighter, more delicate texture. Also, when you cream your sugar and butter, do you cream it until light and fluffy?

I have used cake flour in the past. I didn't notice much difference though.
I believe it's light and fluffy when I cream the butter and sugar. It appears that way to me...
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:02 PM   #8
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I believe that was when I got that best results was when I used the cake flour but the next time I used it, the cake was more brownie textured.

King Authur flour I can get here but I'd have to order anthing else. Which I'm not against doing if it means I can bake a good cake, lol.

I've only just started getting more serious about cake baking. I am now trying to figure out where I'm going wrong. I usually go by the recipes pretty set to what it says. I did figure out this weekend that my oven is 15 degrees hotter than what it says. I bought a oven gauge and I guess it's right, lol. Don't know if that would affect the texture of the cake.

But I'm going try the cake flour again. I guess I'd probably need to buy it fresh, huh?? The one I have, Swan (sp?), I think, is over a year old, lol. Oh and I should add I've tried many different kinds. What the recipe generally calls for but my cakes still seem heavy.
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silversage View Post
I also use King Arthur flour for many things. But it has a bit higher protein (think gluten) content than others, like Pillsbury & Gold Medal. A flour found only in the south, White Lily, has and even lower protein content, but not as low as cake flour.

Many serious bakers keep a variety of flours on hand and use what's best for the purpose.

Another thing to be careful of is overbeating. Beating develops the gluten and toughens the cake. You want to use a gentle hand when combining the flour with the other ingredients. I almost never use a mixer for this final step, but prefer to fold the flour into the batter by hand.

Another thing to watch is HOW you measure. The 'dip and swipe' method measures out more flour than the 'spoon and level' method. Scooping your measuring cup into the flour bin and then leveling it packs much more flour into the cup than lightly spooning in the flour, then swiping it. Many serious bakers have switched to weighing their flour to eliminate the problems.

What flavor cake are you looking for? Maybe we can give you a recipe for a good, light one.

The way I dip my flour could be affecting the texture? I usually just dip it
and swipe it.

That was another thing, beating the cake, how are you suppose to know how long to beat it when all beaters are not alike, lol. I have a couple of beaters and if I set both at medium speed it's not the same. One is faster then the other. So, how can you tell??

I knew there was technique to baking a great cake but that's to many details, lol.

Oh and I'm partial to white and yellow cakes.
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:09 PM   #10
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Are you sifting the flour first? Sift and then measure.
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