Cake Flour Confusion in the UK
Posted: 22 July 2008 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi Cake Bakers

I am here in the UK and have got my copy of The Cake Bible from Amazon UK, although I believe it is the American edition.  The recipes and photographs are amazing and I can’t wait to get started!

My dilemma as you can probably guess concerns ‘cake flour’ a quick search reveals many workarounds for the UK baker - microwaving flour/subtracting flour and replacing it with cornflour, or just using Self Raising minus any baking powder.

Is there a definitive answer to this problem?  I hope someone could please advise.

Many thanks in advance.

Jane

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Posted: 22 July 2008 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Jane, Welcome to the blog!  I’m in Scotland and constantly bake from all of Roses’s Bibles.  I use Shipton Mill organic plain flour for all cake recipes in the Cake Bible and Pie & Pastry Bible.  We cannot get either cake flour or pastry flour here.  You may want to make Kate Flour if you a) have time or b) make smaller quantities but I go through large quantites of flour and it is not an option for me.  Your cakes will be fantastic - it’s just that if you do a side-by-side comparison the texture will not be the same.  But my cakes do rise to the specified height in the recipes.  For self-raising flour I use Dove’s Farm organic.  Jeannette, also on the blog, lives in Wales so she may be able to add to this. Hope this helps.

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Posted: 22 July 2008 01:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Jane, another welcome from me, Jeannette!  I live in N.Wales, where are you?  I have the US edition of the Cake Bible and have made SOME cakes from it but not as many as Annie, who I believe used to live in the US so is more an authority on American baking than I am!  However, what I have made have been successful but I would like to be able to do a comparison with cakes made with the US cake flour to be able to form a proper opinion on them.  I have been in touch with Kate, both by using her blog and recently on the telephone, she has done a lot of experiments using various flours, the microwave and also adding Xanthum gum to the mixtures, obviously she has spent a lot of time and some scientific expertise to reach her conclusions, I’m afraid I am not as well equipped or as patient to do as she has done, but i follow her experiments with interest.  To follow all her work you can click on to her blog, you will find it on Rose’s website where she has a list of her favourites. It’s called ‘A Merrier World’  I hope you find all this interesting and look forward to reading how you get on with the recipes, please keep us informed!  You will also find lots of help from others on this site, they quickly become like old friends! grin

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Posted: 22 July 2008 03:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thank you both for the warm welcome - and also the advice regarding the flour.  I live in the West Midlands and have always made sweet things in preference to savouries so when I got my copy of the CB I couldn’t believe the fabulous cakes you can make at home.

My 10 year old daughter is just discovering cake making and with the summer holidays upon us what better time to make a start!

Thanks again for the help

Jane grin

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Posted: 22 July 2008 05:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Jane, one more thing to bear in mind.  When making Rose’s cakes using plain flour, do not beat the batter any longer than Rose specifies.  Somewhere on the blog you may see a discussion on increasing the times to 2 mins 30-30-30 seconds when adding the liquids.  As our flour has a bit higher protein percentage (depending on what brand, but speaking for myself) keep the beating to Rose’s times max otherwise the gluten will over-develop - keep to 1:30 - 20-20-20.  Look at any of the butter cake recipes if you’re not sure what I’m talking about!  Annie

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Posted: 31 March 2011 11:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Just wondering if there has been any updates to this topic since 2008? I live in the UK now (American) and have bought Gold Medal AP flour from some AMerican importers.  I just would like to see if there is anything on the UK supermarket shelves that I can use instead? If you go down the Baking aisles here now, there seems to be a lot of “new” cake baking flours on the market. McDougalls now do a “00” flour for making cakes/sponges.  Any good I wonder? I don’t really have the time to do the Kate Flour method!

I see that you can buy 16kg bulk heat treated, high ratio cake baking flours from mills here in the UK.

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Posted: 02 November 2011 05:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Kate flour is terrific - photos of my experiments with it are on Kate’s blog -  but I’d be very interested to know which flour mills you’ve found that supply 16kg heat treated high ratio flours.  I’ve not had any success in tracking it down.
- Catherine

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Posted: 02 November 2011 08:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Re: an update, you can check out Rose’s “Power of flour” posts over on the blog (there are four of them in all), they specify using unbleached flour cut with potato starch and reduced leavening as a viable alternative to Kate Flour.

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B&T Blog:  Cultured Butter Recipe

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Posted: 09 February 2012 12:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Hi don’t know if this is any help to anyone but I have found a company in Uk that sells heat treated cake flour.
The name of the firm is Heygates and the flour is just called heat treated cake flour. I have just made a whole
batch of different sizes and other than a little shrinkage when cooling they are lovely.
Happy Baking
Carol

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Posted: 10 February 2012 05:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Hi Carol,  Thanks for posting the information about Heygates.  I’ve looked at their web site and they appear to be a wholesaler.  Did you buy directly from them or have you found a retail shop that sells their heat treated cake flour?  Any further info would be very welcome, thanks again, Catherine.

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Posted: 10 February 2012 01:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Hi Catherine,  I have been in contact with Heygates this afternoon and they have told me that the smallest amount they send out is 1/2
tonne, but that anyone is very welcome to go to their depot’s in Northanpton, Norfolk and Herefordshire where they can buy it straight from them.
They are also going to get one of their development people to have a chat with me and discuss the different flour that they have and if they
need other things added to them to help get the results I’m after.
I will let you know what they say when the’ve been in touch

Carol

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