Since the 19th century, when English millers first popularized it, cake flour has existed. It gained much traction in America, where it was used in numerous cake and pastry recipes. It is still made from soft wheat nowadays and milled to a fine consistency and texture. It makes incredibly tender cakes and may be found in the baking section of your neighborhood grocery store.
What distinguishes cake flour from all-purpose flour?
All-purpose flour made explicitly for cakes and other delicate baked items is known as “cake flour.” Compared to all-purpose flour, it is derived from softer wheat, giving baked foods a more tender crumb and soft texture.
The soft and hard wheat endosperm make all-purpose flour, sometimes called AP flour, a mildly flavored white flour. During milling, the bran and germ of the wheat kernel are separated from the endosperm to produce AP flour. These ingredients contain oils, which promote deterioration; their removal during the milling process increases the shelf-life of AP flour compared to other whole-grain flour.
Although both types can be used to make cakes, there are two main variations between all-purpose flour and cake flour:
The amount of moisture absorbed by milled flour depends on the size or granularity of those particles. The rate of absorption increases with particle fineness. Cake flour is extra finely milled, producing an incredibly moist and soft crumb. Contrarily, the bleaching procedure, which can soften the texture of AP flour, significantly impacts the texture. While unprocessed AP flour has a rougher and denser texture, bleached AP flour has a finer, softer feel.
Cake flour is made from tender wheat, which produces a more delicate treat since it has less protein and gluten than AP flour. The ideal use for all-purpose flour, a mixture of soft and hard wheat with 10% protein, is for baked items with heavier textures.
How do you use cake flour?
It’s crucial to strictly follow the recipe while using cake flour. Adding these components in the proper sequence and quantity is vital because cake flour is frequently blended with additional ingredients like baking powder and salt. It can also be a substitute for other flour types in a recipe, but it’s crucial to maintain the same ratios.
Can you utilize all-purpose flour in place of cake flour?
If a cake recipe specifies cake flour, use all-purpose flour instead. You should replace two tablespoons of all-purpose flour with two tablespoons of cornstarch when substituting a cup of AP flour for a cup of cake flour, and this will have a similar effect to removing the two tablespoons of AP flour. Additionally, contributing to a more sensitive texture is sifting all-purpose flour.
Cake flour isn’t always the best choice for a recipe, not even in the world of cakes. The relative strength of all-purpose flour helps give cakes with a lot of dry ingredients, like cocoa powder, or a lot of liquid ingredients, like carrot cake or banana bread, a suitable, balanced structure.
Now that you have learned more about cake flour, it is time to try that recipe.