ISO organic unbleached cake flour

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Joined Jun 28, 2001
I had been bugging Momoreg and AnnaW about this and now I will bug all of you! ;) Where can I find this stuff? I know it exists out there... somewhere. When I worked in the bakery at Fresh Fields/Whole Foods Market, we sometimes got it in. And yes, now I am kicking myself for not making a note of the brand on the 50# bag. I've searched on engines several times, called different mills, and looked in health food stores and I just can't find the stuff.

On another note... can I make it myself? When I worked at a different Fresh Fields, our angel food cake was made with pastry flour since we could only use organic flours and that was the lowest gluten flour we had. The product came out "ok", but it still screamed for less gluten and more starch. Then we got in a formula calling for less pastry flour with some added cornstarch. And voila! The cakes started coming out normal. If I remember correctly, the ratio was 7 parts pastry flour to 1 part cornstarch. I've seen a few other angel food cake recipes also calling for cornstarch along with the cake flour so I'm not sure if this pastry flour/cornstarch mix is an actual substitute for cake flour in other recipes? I remember doing a gluten test in one of my pastry classes where we took equal amounts of bread, AP, and cake flour and individually mixed them water. Then we kneaded the doughs and washed out the starches to show how much gluten was left behind in each one. Of course the bread flour ball was the biggest, while the cake flour ball was the size of a pea. Some groups' cake flour ball just disintergrated. So that's why I'm wondering if it's possible to just take pastry flour and add some type of starch, either cornstarch or potato, tapioca or what have you. What is the gluten content of cake flour anyway?
 
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Joined Aug 4, 2000
If I recall correctly, the KA flour catalog shows pastry (or cake) flour clocking in somewhere around 7 or 8% protein.
 
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Joined Mar 4, 2000
This may sound like a silly question, but why don't you call your former employer and ask them where they got their flour?
 
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Joined Apr 19, 2001
Hi, Lotus - just found this on the KA web -


Queen Guinevere Cake Flour
Bleached, Unbromated, Unenriched
8.0 Protein; .30 Ash
Uses: High ratio cakes and cakes of all types
Premium high ratio cake flour. Despite our reservations about chemicals, this flour must be bleached to set the proper pH to absorption, tolerance and adaptability possible.

Hope this helps.
 
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Joined Jun 1, 2001
Arrowhead Mills makes an organic unbleached pastry flour and organic whole wheat pastry flour, both of which I use (just for my humble home baking, though) and like a lot. From what I recall of some recent flour readings (I was browsing through some of my cookbooks, including Sweet Kitchen, for no good reason this weekend) cake flour is pastry flour with the **** bleached out of it. So if it's unbleached, it's not "cake", but the protein content and so forth should otherwise be the same. I think many manufacturers do some additional milling and sifting with cake flour, too, though, that might be affecting results.

Arrowhead Mills is part of the Hain Celestial group (http://www.hain-celestial.com/index.html) but I don't know who the distributor would be in your area.
 
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Joined Apr 24, 2001
Lotus,

Was wondering why not modify pastry flour with wheat starch rather than cornstarch. Afterall, it is wheat flour that we are using. Is there any advantage to using cornstarch? I am accustomed to seeing recipes where the flour is mixed with cornstarch to lower the gluten content instead of using bleached cake flour and so this is what I've become accustomed to doing. But why not wheat starch?
 
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Joined Jun 28, 2001
Marmalady,
I had also seen that on the KA site. Too bad it's not organic! Boo!

CompassRose,
Where do you get Arrowhead Mill's pastry flour? I've only seen their WW pastry flour available. Does it contain the germ? When I worked for Fresh Fields/Whole Foods Market, the only organic unbleached white pastry flours we ever got had the germ in it. And we would switch brands sometimes and they all had the germ. I wonder why that is as conventional brands don't contain it.

Monpetitchoux,
Using wheat starch would make sense, would it? B/c yes, you're right, it IS wheat we are dealing with. I didn't even think of wheat starch as an option as it is not exactly readily available, especially not in organic, though it is out there. The only company I found who carries it only sells "industrial amounts", a palate of 50 pound bags.

I don't know what it is about cornstarch either. Though when I've looked through angel food cake recipes or read through pastry forums talking about angel food cake, I will find almost every recipe contains corn starch. This is the only time I've seen it, but not in any other recipes calling for cake flour or a low gluten flour. Anyhow, that is going to be my guess on cornstarch; people use it to lower gluten content b/c it's easier to find than wheat starch.
 
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Joined Aug 4, 2000
Indeed, KA sells organic flour - but not organic cake flour. Their organic (meaning higher protein organic flour) is listed in their catalog.
 
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Joined Jun 28, 2001
I have KA's most recent catalog and they do not have organic cake flour listed in it. Just the one that Marmalady mentioned.
 
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Joined Mar 27, 2002
Try contacting a company called Giusto's---they sell to stores and restaurants, and have several organic flours. I buy organic cake flour at a local grocery and I'm pretty sure that its sourced from Giusto's.
On the King Arthur line, I believe they still sell an Italian style flour that has a lower gluten level.
In addition to cake flour having a lower gluten content, an important distinction is that cake flour is typically ground from soft wheat berries, while bread flour is from hard or winter wheat.
 
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Joined Jun 28, 2001
Leone,
Thank you so much for that info! I emailed them and they do indeed have what I need! Giustos's told me that Neishmany (a local distributor) orders from them, but doesn't order the flours I am looking for, so I have to see if they'll get it for me. But at least I'm one step closer. Thanks again!

-Vedika

P.S. I've only met one other person with your name- a cousin of mine. Wouldn't happen to be Masele's daughter, would you? Whoa, that would be weird.
 
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Joined May 18, 2013
You have to read some professional info about flours. All what you know is on a very home kitchen level.

 Flour is a complicated business. A lot is going on therу what is not very kosher.  
 
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