Yeast Bread And Cake Flour... Expertise, Please? (Long)

Decorating By shisharka Updated 25 Mar 2008 , 2:37pm by oliveoyle

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shisharka Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 2:43am
post #1 of 4

There is this special Easter bread that is a pain (ahm, I mean "art"â¦lol) to make, and even though Iâve been baking for some 10 years now, itâs only the third year that I attempted it⦠Depending on the recipe, it has to rise multiple times, as long as overnight and has to be kneaded up to 3-4 times⦠Anyway, my recipe is "easy" and only calls for two 2-hour rising cycles, and a bit less kneadingâ¦

Supposedly, the finer the flour, the better this bread would be⦠so I figured Iâd use cake flour instead of all-purpose. Recipe calls for 8-9 cups flour. Well, 9 cups later, Iâm looking at stiffer cake batter consistency, and by no means anything that can be kneaded⦠11 cups later, itâs a sticky mess, but with at least a cup more flour (maybe two by the end of it, I stopped measuring at that pointâ¦) on the counter, it is getting to what itâs supposed to look like⦠Needless to say, Iâm thinking this is a disaster, itâs going to be too dense, itâs not going to rise, and wonât be edible at all, I may as well just stop wasting product and time on this batch⦠I start the yeast for another batch, but nonetheless continue working this doomed one.

Sooo, to cut the long story short, the cake flour dough rises like magic, itâs super soft and nice to roll, fill, then work into a braid, bakes like a charm and turns into loaves Iâd be happy to boast in front of my expert grandma â all 12+ cups of cake flour into a 8-9 cup recipe! In contrast, batch #2 with all purpose flour, exactly 8 cups of it, feels heavy, doesnât rise at all, itâs difficult to work with and eventually turns into marginal dense bricksâ¦

I combed the Internet to find the "baking science" explanation of this phenomenon but didnât see anything relevant (all other things were the same â ingredients, kneading times, bake temperature, pans, etcâ¦)

Any ideas why a recipe that calls for 8-9 cups flour (unspecified) would turn up better after more than 12 cups of cake flour, as opposed to the 8 of all-purpose?!

3 replies
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peanut123 Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 10:07am
post #2 of 4

Did you consider the influences of the protein content in the two types of flour? I suspect that you will find your answer there (gluten).

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oliveoyle Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 2:33pm
post #3 of 4

cake flour doesn't have the right amount of gluten in it , all purpose flour will work just fine for bread baking but if you want to use a finer grind of flour there are bread flours out there. Personally I never bother with the bread flours all purpose has always worked fine for me and I have been baking bread for about 15 years. hope this helps

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oliveoyle Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 2:37pm
post #4 of 4

sorry posted that too soon ,the humidity has a lot of effect on bread dough and sometime you have to adjust your flour content, it is possible you added too much flour to the batch made with all purpose flour or you didn't knead long enough to truly develope the gluten

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