Pastry Flour v. Cake Flour?
Posted: 19 January 2010 04:13 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I made Rose’s Yellow Cupcakes this weekend.  I used pastry flour instead of cake flour.  They came out a little dry and crumbly.  Could it have been the pastry flour?  This was the first time I’ve ever made a cake from scratch, so I understand it could be a number of other things as well.  I mainly want to know if I should continue to substitute pastry flour for cake flour.  Thanks for your help.

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Posted: 19 January 2010 05:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I don’t think pastry flour (you are talking about bleached pastry flour right) in and of itself would make the cakes dry, however, you probably would need to use less of the flour by volume. Are you weighing or measuring?  If you used the same volume amount as the cake flour, it could have made the cakes a little dry.

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Posted: 19 January 2010 06:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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pastry flour is 8-9% protein; cake flour can be 5-8%. All purpose is 9-12%.  The normal substitution of AP for cake flour is to reduce the amount of AP by 2 tb per cup. Since pastry four has less protein than AP and is closer to Cake flour, I would think you have to use less pastry flour also. Maybe 1 tb less per cup. I could be that you used too much pastry flour which is why your cake came out with a less fine crumb but I also agree with Matthew that other factors like not weighing, baking too long at incorrect temp might have contributed to the dry crumbly nature of your cake.

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Posted: 19 January 2010 07:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I have been using All Purpose flour instead of Cake Flour/Bleached All Purpose Flour in most of the cakes that I made. I usually substitute 20% of the weight of the flour with cornstarch. It worked really well. I could not tell that I’m using All Purpose and the results looks and taste as spectacular as if I’m using Cake Flour. I know some other people on this blog were doing the same substitution.

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Posted: 20 January 2010 01:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Why don’t you bake the recipe with cake flour and see how you like it? This way, you can tell whether it is indeed the flour, or some other variable.

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Posted: 20 January 2010 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Cake flour makes a more tender, fragile cake.  I know there are some people here who prefer to use bleached all-purpose flour instead of cake flour.  I normally use cake flour myself, but sometimes I use a blend or just AP flour depending on the cake.  For loaf style cakes, I tend to prefer a bit more structure. At any rate, you want to end up using the same weight of flour. Since an equal volume of AP weighs more, you need to use less volume wise.

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Posted: 20 January 2010 03:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I really like the flavor of cake flour, but I will substitute bleached AP flour when I need a sturdier crumb.  The AP has to be bleached to hold the butter in suspension, otherwise you’ll end up with a greasy cake.

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Posted: 20 January 2010 08:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thanks for the info.

Can I tell by looking at the flour whether it is bleached or unbleached?  I dumped my AP flour into a canister and now I don’t remember if it’s bleached or not.

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Posted: 21 January 2010 02:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Bleached AP should be whiter than unbleached if you compare them side by side.

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