Not All Flour Is Created Equal
Dear Lisa: Is cake flour and low-protein or low-gluten flour the same thing? Can I use them interchangeably in recipes? Thanks, Paula.
Dear Paula: It’s true that not all flour is the same. A tour down the baking aisle will reveal at least a dozen choices.
All-purpose, bread flour, whole wheat, white wheat, cake flour, bleached, unbleached, and low-protein varieties are available in both store and national brands.
Different types of wheat and processing produce flours of varying protein content.
This is an important distinction in baking because the protein level affects the ability of the flour to absorb liquid and produce gluten.
Biscuits, muffins, cakes and pie crusts are most tender when they are made with cake or low-protein flour, because gluten formation is minimized.
Cake flour brands such as Swans Down or Softasilk are made from soft wheat and have a protein content of about 8 percent per cup.
Other low-protein/low-gluten flours include pastry flour and Southern brands such as Martha White and White Lily. They can be used interchangeably with cake flour.
All-purpose flour is a blend of hard and soft wheat with a protein content that can range from 10 to over 12 percent, depending on brand and region of the country.
The higher protein content, coupled with the greater amount of liquid that all-purpose flour can absorb, results in more gluten formation.
This might explain why some cooks get great results from recipes and others think they are terrible bakers.
Reasons You Should Be Baking With Cake Flour
Have you ever wondered what the secret is to soft, tender cake and melt-in-your-mouth baked goods? Swans Down Bleached Cake Flour is the ultimate soft wheat variety with a low protein percentage, meaning it creates the most delicate crumb for cakes, pies, and biscuits. Sifted numerous times before packaging, their cake flour is 27 times finer than regular all-purpose flour, making it one of the most essential products a baker can have on hand. Here are five reasons you should be baking with cake flour.
In Every Home Baker’s Pantry Is A Bag Of Flour From King Arthur To Gold Medal For All
It’s always in our pantry. It’s in practically every baking recipe. It’s got a permanent spot on our grocery list. And, if we didn’t realize before just how much we rely on it, the buying rush and ensuing shortage last spring due to the pandemic made it pretty clear that everyone wants to have it on hand.
Yes, I’m taking about flour.
Today we consider availability, consistency, and specialty for a list of flour brands we rely on and buy again and again!
Recommended Reading: Gluten Free At Nothing Bundt Cakes
Tips For Perfect Biscuits
Cut butter into small chunks before adding to the flour. This makes it easier to cut/rub it into the flour quickly.
I prefer to work the butter into the flour using my fingers rather than a pastry blender. Wash your hands well before beginning then toss the butter cubes with the flour so that they are all well-coated before you begin.
Using only your fingertips, flatten the butter cubes and rub them into the flour. Dig your hands in and toss the butter and flour together while you are working the butter. Work quickly and stop when the mixture looks coarse with a few chunks of butter spread around that are no larger than the size of peas.
After adding the buttermilk, stir lightly until the dough turns into a shaggy mass and most of the flour has been incorporated. Dont mix any more than this as you will finish the mixing process by hand after its turned out onto the counter.
After you cut the biscuits, place them together on the baking sheet so that they are touching each other. This makes for a nice soft-sided biscuit and is said to help them rise better. At this point, you can quickly brush the tops with melted butter before placing them in the oven.
Bake biscuits in a very hot oven until they are golden brown, which should take between 8 and 10 minutes. Remove them to a wire rack and let cool for a few minutes before digging in!
Which Flour Is Ideal For Making Pie Crusts And Pound Cakes
Since pastry flour has less protein than all other types of flours, it makes pastries that are chewier, and it is commonly used in baking when baking powder is the leavening agent. There are a lot of tasty recipes you can make with this flour aside from pie crusts and pound cakes like pancakes and biscuits as well. However, avoid using it when the baked goods require structure, such as pasta and bread dough.
You May Like: Sam’s Club Bakery Wedding Cakes
How To Decide Bleached Vs Unbleached Flour
Choosing bleached vs unbleached flour for the recipe at hand can mean the difference between an okay-tasting treat and a can’t-wait-to-stuff-this-in-my-mouth experience. Once you have the proper staple, you can make fluffy cakes, chewy pizza crusts, unforgettable breads, and lighter-than-air biscuits. The biggest differences between each type of flour? Protein content, texture, and the type of wheat used. To find out which is best for which foods, scroll through our primer on 10 different flours.
: : : : : : : : : :
Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.
When To Usecake Flour Vs All
Once you know the difference between cake flour and all-purpose flour, understanding when to use which flour becomes a bit easier. But the #1 rule is to follow the recipe. Use cake flour in recipes where you want an extra-light, extra-fluffy texture, like Angel Food Cake, Cream Cheese Pound Cake, or Buttermilk-Chocolate Cake. You can also use cake flour to bring a more tender crumb to other sweets, like Chocolate Crinkle Cookies.
If a recipe doesnt specify a certain type of flour, its generally advisable to use all-purpose flour. All-purpose flour can be used for breads, muffins, cakes, and more.
Recommended Reading: Sams Club Cakes Order Form
Is Swans Down Cake Flour Self Rising Or Not
Are you a newbie in the baking world? Well, all flours available are not similar and certain aspects make them distinguished. A cake flour, self-rising flour, all-purpose flour, and baking flour, all are different and cannot be used interchangeably.
Self Rising Flour
The easiest way to know about self-rising flour is to understand that it is just another type of flour that has baking powder and salt put into it. You must have noticed that those recipes that have self-rising flour as an ingredient usually dont ask you to add baking powder or salt separately.
This makes self-rising flour a 3-in-1 ingredient that offers you the ease of use if you have it market bought. Generally, when making self-rising flour a slightly lower-protein flour is used and not all-purpose flour. One low protein flour with only 8% protein content is cake flour.
The low protein content makes sure that the baked goods that are made with self-rising flour are a little extra tender as compared to those made with recipes that have all-purpose flour in them.
Which Flour Is Best
by Summer Stone
Our contributor, Summer Stone Polzel of Cake Paper Party, is back today with a new baking science experiment.
Flour is one of the most important ingredients in a cake recipe. It not only is the structural workhorse of a cake but provides important flavor and textural elements. Choosing the best flour for a cake recipe can be tricky. There are many options on the market and depending on where you are in the world, certain flours may or may not be available. Here I will try to clarify some of the differences between various types of wheat flours and show you how they translate to baked cakes.
Wheat flour is commonly categorized for sale based on protein content. Flour is primarily composed of wheat starch but also contains protein molecules. Most of the protein in flour is the type which converts to gluten in the presence of water. The size of the flour granules can also play a role in the properties of a given flour and the resulting baked product. Finely ground flours create a smaller crumb and better texture in a cake.
Flour can also differ because of the type of wheat grain of origin. Wheat flour comes from either hard wheat or soft wheat grain varieties. Hard wheat varieties cannot be ground as finely as soft wheat types and therefore do not work as well in cakes. Some flour manufacturers will label the type of wheat the flour originates from but often this information is not listed.
Here are the typical wheat flours you can find in stores:
Also Check: Wedding Cake Steps For A Pool
What Happens To Cake If No Baking Powder
Problems. Baking a pound cake without baking powder can result in a heavy, grainy cake with an unappealing texture. The flavor will not change, but youll lose the traditional high, cracked top. Very careful mixing can prevent this, but the baking powder acts as an insurance policy for your pound cake.
Is Swans Down All
Thats because Swans Down is made from the finest American soft winter wheat and repeatedly sifted so that its 27 times finer than all-purpose flour. Swans Down Cake Flour is a pure soft flour that does not contain a leavening agent or salt. It is the perfect flour for all of your special baking needs.
Recommended Reading: Samsclub Bakery Cakes
Pastry Flour Vs Cake Flour
Have you ever had trouble choosing between all the different types of flour? Pastry flour and cake flour, which one is better? Have you ever made disastrous cakes and pastries because you used the wrong flour? Well, you came to the right place because this article will settle which one is the better flour in baking.
If you are a passionate baker, you would know that they are the most common kinds of flour used in baking. However, what separates it apart from one another? Which flour works best for delicate and tender cakes? Which flour is better than the other?
Why Do Cakes Not Rise
Using old or stale baking powder, or baking powder that has been improperly stored, can result in not enough rise, and flat dense cakes. As soon as the water is added to the baking powder the air bubbles are released, so leaving your batter to stand after mixing can also result in flatter, denser cakes.
Don’t Miss: Sam’s Club Bakery Wedding Cakes
Does Swans Down Cake Flour Have Baking Powder
Americas favorite cake flour since 1894 Does not contain baking powder or salt. Same great cake flour. For over 100 years, bakers have preferred swans down cake flour. Thats because swans down is made from the finest American soft winter wheat and repeatedly sifted so that its 27 times finer than all-purpose flour.
Baking Tips For Red Velvet Cake
- Be sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature before getting starting.
- Make sure to sift the dry ingredients to remove any lumps of cocoa powder. This will also help to keep the cake soft and light.
- I suggest creaming the butter and sugar together for about 4-5 minutes. Creaming the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy incorporates more air into your cake batter creating a softer, lighter cake.
- Alternate mixing the dry ingredients in three additions with the buttermilk, this will help to prevent over mixing the cake batter.
You May Like: Pure Protein Birthday Cake Protein Bar
Classifying Wheat: Hardness Color And Season
American farmers grow wheat varieties that are grouped into six major classes. The first five are all varieties of a species known as common wheat or bread wheathard red winter, hard red spring, soft red winter, hard white, and soft whiteand account for 95% percent of wheat production worldwide. The last is durum, which is a different species of wheat that accounts for nearly all of the other 5% . To determine which type of wheat is the best match for a recipe, its important to understand how the hardness, color, and time of year when the wheat is harvested affects the flours that they produce.
Can I Use Self Raising Flour Instead Of Cake Flour
Self-rising flour has the addition of salt and baking powder to help it rise. Cake flour does not have any added ingredients. These two flour types shouldnt be interchanged as they wont yield the same results on their own. Cake flour has a lower protein content, is finely milled, and is commonly bleached.
Don’t Miss: Gluten Free At Nothing Bundt Cakes
Cake Flour Substitutes & Other Flours You May See
If you are hoping to substitute for cake flour and you have something else on your shelf, you may be able to make it work, but there are some flours that are not ideal for this purpose. We will talk about a few of them here!
Theres really only one important thing to remember when baking a cake: let us try some at the end! Okay, that was a joke, but there are a lot of little intricacies to making delicious, tall, fluffy cakes, and cake flour is only one of them! We recommend doing your best to use the real thing whenever possible, but that does not mean your cake will not be delicious if you end up needing to substitute! We will even taste test for you, if you need it!
Best Cake Flour Brand
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases
Angelina is very interested in baking, so recently she joined a baking class. She is very happy to learn new cake recipes and tips. But she was surprised when saw that there are different varieties of flours for cake.
She didnt know for a long time that all-purpose flour should not be used for making cakes. Instead of regular flour, you should make cakes with cake flour. The cake will be much softer and perfect. That cannot be done with all-purpose flour even with processing.
But which one is the best cake flour brand? Like Angelina, do you have this question?
Today, we are going to review the 5 best cake flour brands to make your decision much easier.
You May Like: Wedding Cake Steps For A Pool