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Buying in Bulk: Hi-Ratio Cake flour Vs Regular Cake Flour

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone

I'm looking to buy cake flour in bulk. I found out today that there's more than one type of cake flour. All I've ever seen marketed in the stores is "cake flour" but it seems when buying in bulk, distributors have a wider range. I spoke with a Dawn Foods sales rep today and he mentioned hi-ratio cake flour. A search on CC led me to a post that mentioned that it rises higher than regular cake flour.

For those in the know, can hi-ratio cake flour be easily substituted for regular cake flour? Since I'm thinking of getting a 50lb bag I don't want to get the wrong type of flour.

Also, for those familiar with Dawn Foods, is there a particular type of cake flour you would recommend that I purchase?

Thanks!
post #2 of 14
It's my understanding that all cake flour is considered "high ratio", meaning that it has the best rise for products that have a high ratio of sugar to flour (better than AP or pastry flour).
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you Jason. For a while there I was so confused. Up until today I had never heard of different types of cake-flour. I'll meet with him tomorrow and see what samples he shows up with.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Okay I got some clarification and I figured I would update. When the rep referred to different 'types' of flour he was talking about the mixes. He said, "we have flour for scratch baking and the other types where you only add some ingredients." That's where we got mixed up. You would think a sales rep would know the difference between cake flour and cake mix.

So cake flour is high-ratio flour.
post #5 of 14
Actually, there is a difference and there is hi-ratio cake flour. I use it in my shop, it does raise higher than the cake flour you buy in the store. I also take measures in my recipes to control the flour. I'm unwilling to post publicly how I do that.

When I tested the hi-ratio flour against the one available for the home market there was a huge difference. Also where the wheat is grown will make a difference in how it reacts. It is worth it to do some independent research (Internet and books on flour) rather than rely totally on the sales rep. They will say anything to get the sale.

But at the very least your sales rep should be willing to give you a sample to try. I got a 50lb bag to test. Then again my neighbor is the general manager of one of the last remaining flour mills in the area and I got to get some directly from the mill and not the middle man. But it's worth asking. The worse they can say is no.
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post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144a

Actually, there is a difference and there is hi-ratio cake flour.


What is the manufacturer and brand name of the cake flour you use?
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure why I didn't get any notifications about these new posts. I ended up getting the 50lb bag of "premium" cake flour from Dawn Foods (it doesn't say high-ratio anywhere on it). They have another cake flour, can't remember the name, but the "premium" cake flour is what they brought when I mentioned high-ratio. So far this one works fine.

While I was searching for info i found that ConAgra has a brand of cake flour they call American Beauty High ratio cake flour.

I also found that some brands have unbleached cake flour, not sure how that works since the chlorination is one of the main things that sets cake flour apart from other flours.

Could it be that what people are referring to when talking about "regular" cake flour and high-ratio cake flour is the unbleached vs bleached cake flour?
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144a

[b]Actually, there is a difference and there is hi-ratio cake flour[/b]. I use it in my shop, it does raise higher than the cake flour you buy in the store. I also take measures in my recipes to control the flour. I'm unwilling to post publicly how I do that.

When I tested the hi-ratio flour against the one available for the home market there was a huge difference. Also where the wheat is grown will make a difference in how it reacts. It is worth it to do some independent research (Internet and books on flour) rather than rely totally on the sales rep. They will say anything to get the sale.

But at the very least your sales rep should be willing to give you a sample to try. I got a 50lb bag to test. Then again my neighbor is the general manager of one of the last remaining flour mills in the area and I got to get some directly from the mill and not the middle man. But it's worth asking. The worse they can say is no.



This is a marketing gimmick. All bleached cakes flours (I have come across one that claims it is hi ratio that is unbleached--so bleached naturally as opposed to chemically) are designed for high ratio cakes. The chlorination process makes it possible for the batter to contain more sugar/water than flour. However not all cake flours are equal.

With the protein range allowed for a flour to qualify as cake flour one may have a higher protein content than another. They may have different chlorination processes. They could also have different ash and moisture contents as well as varying particle sizes. No two cake flour brands are the same and thus will account for difference in performance. Because one brand of cake flour produces higher cakes does not mean one cake flour is high ratio and the other is not.

To claim that a cake flour is "high ratio" implies there are cake flours that are not for high ratio cakes. . That a given brand may perform better does not mean that other bleached cake flours are unsuitable for high ratio cakes. They may produce results a particular baker prefers (imo higher is not always better) and that is fine.

However adding "high ratio" does not mark a difference within cake flour as a type of flour. Indeed in all the discussions of how flours are differentiated you will not find a discussion of needing "special" cake flours for high ratio cakes. Indeed all discussions of cake flour as an ingredient in cakes discuss how cake flour generally (not a specific hi ratio type) is required for high ratio cakes.

Why label them that way? To get people to buy them--something that is not uncommon in packaging particularly when there are no laws governing how flour bags are labeled---at least I could not find any.
post #9 of 14
[quote="gatorcake"]
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144a

[b]Actually, there is a difference and there is hi-ratio cake flour[/b]. I use it in my shop, it does raise higher than the cake flour you buy in the store. I also take measures in my recipes to control the flour. I'm unwilling to post publicly how I do that.

When I tested the hi-ratio flour against the one available for the home market there was a huge difference. Also where the wheat is grown will make a difference in how it reacts. It is worth it to do some independent research (Internet and books on flour) rather than rely totally on the sales rep. They will say anything to get the sale.

But at the very least your sales rep should be willing to give you a sample to try. I got a 50lb bag to test. Then again my neighbor is the general manager of one of the last remaining flour mills in the area and I got to get some directly from the mill and not the middle man. But it's worth asking. The worse they can say is no.



This is a marketing gimmick. All bleached cakes flours (I have come across one that claims it is hi ratio that is unbleached--so bleached naturally as opposed to chemically) are designed for high ratio cakes. The chlorination process makes it possible for the batter to contain more sugar/water than flour. However not all cake flours are equal.

No it is not a marketing gimmick. It is from personal experience. Also my neighbor is the general manager of the mill where the flour is produced. We have discussed this particular flour I use in detail. It is different from the store brand you can normally buy and it does act differently also.

I wouldn't make the statement if I wasn't sure what I was saying. And the reason why I buy it is because it is grown and milled locally at the last local flour mill in the area. I am a local business supporting local businesses. I do not buy the flour because it says hi-ratio.
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post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144a

No it is not a marketing gimmick. It is from personal experience. Also my neighbor is the general manager of the mill where the flour is produced. We have discussed this particular flour I use in detail. It is different from the store brand you can normally buy and it does act differently also.


I'm sure there are some differences between cake flours (for example the protein content can vary depending on where the flour was grown, it can be bleached vs. unbleached, etc.) but the cake flour you buy and the cake flour available at the store are both considered high ratio. If the flour is not high ratio -- meaning it doesn't work well with baked goods with a high sugar-to-flour ratio -- then it's not cake flour.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144a

Actually, there is a difference and there is hi-ratio cake flour.


What is the manufacturer and brand name of the cake flour you use?



http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMDFY2_Daisy_Flower_Mill_Inc_Rochester_NY

I think it's the last one standing in that area.

And here's another thread.

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-717179-0.html
post #12 of 14

I can attest to the fact that there is a difference between the cake flour you buy in the store and the high ratio cake flour you can buy in bulk.  I used the high ratio on my yellow cake, in which I always use store purchased cake flour, and the difference was GREAT....not great as in good, but great as in big.  My MIL got me a 50 lb bag, so now I'm trying to tweak the recipe to get it to work with this high ratio flour.  Time will tell I guess.

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144a View Post

Actually, there is a difference and there is hi-ratio cake flour. I use it in my shop, it does raise higher than the cake flour you buy in the store. I also take measures in my recipes to control the flour. I'm unwilling to post publicly how I do that.

When I tested the hi-ratio flour against the one available for the home market there was a huge difference. Also where the wheat is grown will make a difference in how it reacts. It is worth it to do some independent research (Internet and books on flour) rather than rely totally on the sales rep. They will say anything to get the sale.

But at the very least your sales rep should be willing to give you a sample to try. I got a 50lb bag to test. Then again my neighbor is the general manager of one of the last remaining flour mills in the area and I got to get some directly from the mill and not the middle man. But it's worth asking. The worse they can say is no.

where do you get your flour?

post #14 of 14

So High ratio flour is mainly used in commercial baking. It is used to because of it gluten content and particle size. It has the ability to absorb more liquid  as opposed to regular cake flour. More liquid =less expense.

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