Cake Flour vs All Purpose Flour
If you are an experienced chef, you are aware of all the nuances of flour when making different recipes, but it becomes problematical for a beginner when he is trying his hands at cakes and other recipes requiring different kinds of flours. Well, there is this all purpose flour that can be substituted for other flours with little additions while there are other types of flours like bread flour, self rising flour, cake flour and so on. Is there a difference between a cake flour and all purpose flour, and whether one can be substituted for another? Let us find out in this article.
What do you do when you have undertaken to make cookies for the entire family for Christmas and as cake flour finished, you end up with a dozen less than you had planned? Do you rush to the market to buy cake flour or try to make do with what you have at home? This may be a very common problem but rarely answered.
Let us now turn back to the problem of differentiating between all purpose flour and cake flour. Both hard and soft wheat go into making any type of flour and serve different purposes. Hard wheat lends higher proportion of gluten and proteins that help to make chewy cookies and crumbs of breads. Soft wheat makes tender and softer cookies. As the name implies, an all purpose flour can be used to make many different types of recipes, and this is precisely why it contains both soft as well as hard wheat flours. On the other hand, cake is always soft and tender and thus requires soft flours only.
The proportion of gluten in flour makes all the difference. Different flours have different amounts of gluten with bread flour having the highest proportion of gluten while pastry flour having the least amounts of gluten. Pastry flour is used for pie crusts that do not require rising of flour at all. Thus, one cannot use this flour for making bread, as it lacks gluten and will not rise at all, and unable to give the structure that is required.
All-purpose flours fall between the two extremes of bread flour and pastry flour, with cake flour lying closer to pastry flour than all-purpose flour that lies in between the extreme.
Bread flour needs a lot of kneading to make great bread. Ever wondered why? This is because the more you knead, the more the flour rises allowing you to make great breads. Cake flour does not require that much kneading while all purpose flour does require kneading.
What is the difference between Cake Flour and All Purpose Flour?
• Cake flour has lower proportion of proteins and gluten than all purpose flour, which is used to provide structure and chewy taste to recipes while cakes need to be softer
• All purpose flour can be used to make bread while it is hard to make cakes with this flour. All you need to do is to reduce the quantity by 2 tablespoons if you require a full cup of flour. On the other hand, increase the quantity by 2 tablespoons if you have only cake flour though you want all purpose flour.