I wanted to see who sifts their all purpose flour or use cake flour? I am trying it both ways.
I've used both myself however I prefer cake flour.
Cake flour is made from softer wheat and milled more finely than all purpose flour. It is usually (but not always) bleached--I have both bleached and unbleached flour in my kitchen. The protein, thus the gluten content, of cake flour is significantly lower than that of cake flour.
To approximate a cup of cake flour in a recipe, when you only have all purpose on hand, you need to use 2 Tablespoons less AP flour and add 2 Tablespoons cornstarch. This will approximate the gluten content of cake flour. The crumb will not be exactly the same, but similar.
Sifting is always a good idea. My mentor chef always advocated sifting 3 times for a delicate cake, and usually once for any old thing. This has stood me in good stead and I'm usually sorry when I don't sift. (But I"m buying flour in 50 lb bags, so if you are not, it may not be as crucial).
Hope this helps--maybe more than you wanted to know LOL
Thanks so much! Wow i love all the help and advice. I will sift from now on.