Heat-Treated Flour as an Alternative to Bleached Flour

Flour.jpgSiemer Milling is a Midwestern milling company that mills specialty flours for its clients all over the world. We became acquainted with the company through one of our bloggers who works for them. When she informed us that one of Siemer's specialty flours is a heat-treated flour as an alternative to bleached flour, we asked for a sample to test against chlorinated bleached cake flour. I had done similar tests both on my own and with the inventor of Kate's Flour, Kate Coldrick, when I was at her Devon, England home several years ago. I was so impressed with her flour that we included her technique for making it in one's own microwave in Rose's Heavenly Cakes and on our blog. Although we found Kate's flour to produce similar texture and height results, it does add a slight 'nutty' taste to cake batters. At times, we receive questions regarding alternatives to chlorinated flours, especially from England and other former British Commonwealth countries. So we were eager to try this flour that is a commercially produced alternative. We tested the Siemer's heat-treated cake flour head to head with Soft as Silk bleached cake flour for making a single layer, whole egg, butter cake. This is the same cake batter recipe that we had used for our "The Power of Flour" tests and blog posting that we conducted several years ago. With our control cake test notes for referencing, we made two cakes--one with Siemer's heat-treated flour and the other with Soft-as Silk bleached cake flour. Our testing resulted in the following observations for the Siemer's flour: The flour has a darker off-white color than Soft as Silk. The texture of the cake was slightly denser and coarser, but had almost the same softness as Soft as Silk. The flavor did not have the 'nutty' taste that we experienced with home-made microwaved flour. The flavor had a slightly 'rustic' taste compared to the Soft as Silk cake. Our conclusion for this flour is: The Siemer's heat-treated flour is a viable alternative to chlorinated bleached cake flour, with the understanding that the texture will be somewhat coarser and denser.