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Old 03-17-2008, 09:48 PM   #1
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All-Purpose Flour as a Substitute

I have not baked any cake yet but reading some recipes, I found out that there are different flours mentioned in baking. If I have only an all-purpose flour, what can I add to it in order to come up with the following

1. self-rising flour
2. baking flour
3. bread flour
4. cake flour

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Old 03-17-2008, 09:55 PM   #2
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The easiest answer is to look for a recipe that calls for AP flour rather than adapting another recipe.

Self-rising flour contains baking powder and salt. The other flours are flours with different degrees of 'hardness' determined by the protein levels in the wheats.

Cake flour is very low in protein and produces a soft cake texture, while bread flour is very high in protein and produces a chewy bread. I wouldn't expect to see any cake recipe calling for bread flour.

I'm not sure what baking flour is. If you're baking bread, you'd use bread flour. If you're baking a cake, you'd be using cake flour.
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:01 PM   #3
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Most people here use just plain flour (AP) or self-raising. It is only recently that bread flour has become readily available so self-raising flour was used for bread making as well as for cakes. Plain flour was really only used when specified or in general cooking such as for coating fish/meat or making a roux. Things change as manufacturers produce more item-specific goods.

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Old 03-17-2008, 11:34 PM   #4
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Yeah Phex, flour is flour, but not exactly.

Some wheat flours have more or less protein. The more they have, in general, the better they are for bread. Just a broad generalization.

The softer they are, the less protein they have, the more they are good for cakes and similar products.

And yes, self rising flour contains leavening in the form of baking powder. So one does not have to worry about how to make the stuff rise.

Baking flour, no idea what that is.

Would probably not try to take a flour and make it a self rising one. Would look at the recipe and add what it says.

Just my two cents. Take care.
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:33 AM   #5
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Thanks for the help. I'll just visit the grocery store again to find the right flour and reserve the AP flour for another time :)
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by phexchanger View Post
I have not baked any cake yet but reading some recipes, I found out that there are different flours mentioned in baking. If I have only an all-purpose flour, what can I add to it in order to come up with the following

1. self-rising flour
2. baking flour
3. bread flour
4. cake flour
Hi I bake quite a lot I bake all my cakes, and cookies using AP flour unless the recipe calls for other flour. Cake flour is lighter and is usually found by the cake mixes but you can substitute AP flour for it Minus 2 Tablespoons from 1 cup

For self-rising flour if you don't have it use 1 cup AP flour plus 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.

Hope that helps
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:45 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Christine_ View Post
Hi I bake quite a lot I bake all my cakes, and cookies using AP flour unless the recipe calls for other flour. Cake flour is lighter and is usually found by the cake mixes but you can substitute AP flour for it Minus 2 Tablespoons from 1 cup

Cake flour sub is made by removing 2T from the cup of AP flour and replacing them with cornstarch. Your recipe will get fouled up if you just use less flour.
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:28 AM   #8
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Thanks for the info. I have always done that and never had a problem but I will
do that next time, that sounds right
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:54 AM   #9
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Baking 911 is an excellent reference source for flour info.
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:19 AM   #10
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Baking 911 is an excellent reference source for flour info.
Good resource, thanks !
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Old 05-03-2008, 11:06 PM   #11
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Cake Flour

Hi,

I was told that cake flour = 20% corn starch + 80% plain flour.

So far I have tried this formula for a cake recipe and it turns out great.

Hope it helps!
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:37 AM   #12
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As Jennyema mentioned above, you can make a substitute for cake flour by taking out some of the AP flour and replacing it with corn starch. That does not mean that cake flour has corn starch in it. It does not.
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Alvina View Post
Hi,

I was told that cake flour = 20% corn starch + 80% plain flour.

So far I have tried this formula for a cake recipe and it turns out great.

Hope it helps!
Hi Alvina,
For me, cake flour is a white/brown or wholemeal flour with raising agent added in the mill - otherwise known as Self-rising/Raising flour. The added rising/raising agent will be baking powder - a chemical reagent activated by moisture and heat to produce carbon dioxide.

As the gas (CO2) expands, due to heat it "raises" the mixture, and the cake is fixed in shape when the proteins of the flour and egg coagulate (or set) due to the applied heat. Other gases may be present, and in particular air, incorporated during the creaming of fat and sugar or whisking of egg yolks and sugar of egg whites. Air will expand on the application of heat in the same way as carbon dioxide.

A 20% corn starch + 80% plain flour will need to be raised either by egg whites, a very well whipped combination of eggs and powdered sugar or a chemical reagent like baking powder, added to the flours, to produce a cake. So what cake are you making - what is your recipe with this combination of flours?

Quite frankly, I cannot concieve of a cake which can be baked without some form of leavening - egg whites, egg yolk and sugar mousse or a chemical reagent. Do let us know how you do it!

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Old 05-09-2008, 10:52 PM   #14
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All I know is cake flour will not work at 7500 ft elevation it's just not strong enough to keep a cake from falling in the oven the AP works better.
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