Flour Differences

Baking By bloch Updated 23 Apr 2012 , 10:12pm by hbquikcomjamesl

bloch Posted 13 Apr 2012 , 6:50pm
post #1 of 4

okay majority of the cake recipes I have say plain/all purpose flour. I use self rising flour instead of all purpose flour. so it bad for the cake. One of them says cake flour. Now cake flour isnt available. So I use self rising flour again. Whenever I have used self rising the recipe has come out good but do you think plain flour would end up with better results. Any ideas ??

3 replies
auzzi Posted 14 Apr 2012 , 12:28am
post #2 of 4

If you substitute self rising/raising flour for plain or all purpose flour without removing the appropriate amount of baking powder, then your cake will be over-leavened. It runs the risk of collapsing.

Self rising/raising flour is a wheat flour with a protein [gluten] content of 9-11% that includes baking powder.

Plain or all purpose flour is a wheat flour with a protein [gluten] content of 9-11% that does not include baking powder.

Cake flour is a wheat flour with a protein [gluten] content of 6-8% that does not include baking powder.

Plain or all purpose flour recipes have baking powder or other leaveners* included in their ingredients list. *Leaveners, other than baking powder, include bicarbonate of soda [baking soda] plus acidic ingredient or yeast.

You may substitute self rising/raising flour for plain or all purpose flour plus baking powder if, and only if, the amounts are equal. That is: if the recipe lists 1 cup US plain or all purpose flour plus 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder plus 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt then you can use 1 cup US self rising.

Recipes that use self rising/raising flour do not have baking powder or leaveners in their ingredients list.
Their are numerous recipes available that use self rising/raising flour. Both Britain and Australia have a tradition of using self-raising flour.

Example: Butter cake
8 oz butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
3 eggs
2 3/4 cups self-raising flour
2/3 cup milk
Preheat oven to 360°F. Grease and line 9" round cake pan with baking paper.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter, caster sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating to combine. Add half the flour with a spoon. Stir to combine. Add half the milk. Stir to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Stirring with a spoon does not "toughen" the cake texture.
Spread mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar. Serve.

Plain or self-raising flour? It does not matter as long as the recipe is appropriate ..

bloch Posted 14 Apr 2012 , 8:17am
post #3 of 4

Thanks for the info. I was always confused as to which one to use.

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 23 Apr 2012 , 10:12pm
post #4 of 4

Excepting "self-rising" (which is, of course, flour with a leavening additive), and Wondra flour (which is evidently subjected to a precooking process that makes it suitable for use in gravy, without the need to form a roux or slurry to suppress lumps), and white vs. whole wheat vs. whatever, the main difference is the gluten content. Cake flour is "weak" flour, made from soft wheat, with a low gluten content. Bread flour is "strong" flour, made from hard wheat, with a high gluten content. All purpose flour is in the middle.

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