cake flour or......?

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Joined Apr 21, 2010
i live in the uk and have read many recipes that call for "cake flour" n specifically say "not self raising". there is no cake flour here so i need help finding out what i can substitute it with, can you help me?
 
1,403
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Joined Jan 1, 2001
Cake flour is made from the endosperm of soft spring wheat. Sometimes it's also called pastry flour. It has a lower protein/gluten content than either all-purpose or bread flour which is usually milled from hard red winter wheat. Therefore, due to its lower gluten content, it results in a softer crumb.

Oftentimes, cake flour is premixed with leavening for a "self-rising" cake flour used frequently for southern style biscuts and other types of baked goods with super-tender centers.

Rose Levy Berenbaum suggests using bleached all-purpose flour if cake flour is not readily available. Apparently, bleaching process roughens up the flour grains somewhat making it easier to achieve a tender crumb than when using unbleached all-purpose. She emphasizes, however, that when subbing the bleached AP for cake it's essential to sift the flour into the measuring cup and level with a straight edge and then sift again with whatever leavening you are using. 

This worked really well when I was making cakes for SMTs that we did when she was promoting her new book and General Mills flour. 

She's lovely, BTW, and could write an amazing culinary gossip column. ;)
 
3,599
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Joined Aug 13, 2006
I'm not sure if the UK flour is hard wheat or not.  But they have "plain flour" which is not leavened. 

You can replace a tbsp or two of flour with cornstarch (cornflour) and that will make it lighter for cake baking. 
 
3,819
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
Cake flour will have less protein than regular "AP" flour.  AP will be about 11 or 12%; Cake flour will be around 9%.  Bread flour will be about 14%  Do the calculation from the nutritional information label data.  I assume they give that data in the UK; it has been a long time since I was there and can't recall.

Some substitution of corn starch for flour will work to reduce the protein level.  I've heard of people cutting AP by up to 50% but I don't particualrly like the result of that in anything but a genoise sheet used for rolling into a Roulade.
 
3,819
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
... and I've always agreed with her because the difference is difficult, if not impossible, to tell!

 
Rose Levy Berenbaum suggests using bleached all-purpose flour if cake flour is not readily available. Apparently, bleaching process roughens up the flour grains somewhat making it easier to achieve a tender crumb than when using unbleached all-purpose. She emphasizes, however, that when subbing the bleached AP for cake it's essential to sift the flour into the measuring cup and level with a straight edge and then sift again with whatever leavening you are using. 
 
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