HELP!!! experimenting with new flour

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Mary/adam, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. Mary/adam

    Mary/adam Member

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    Hello all,

    I had a weekend job as an assistant patisserie. They used a low protein flour for there cakes. When i asked the head pastry chef if it was self raising flour, he would say no "special flour". I later found out it was soft flour with low protein content.

    I did some research and brought some from a mill. However, my cakes are not coming out right. They don't rise and are chewy in texture. Can some1 please tell me what im doing wrong and is soft flour better then self raising flour? Also why don't my cakes taste like bakeries? why do the tops of my cakes become sticky when cooled?
     
    Mary/adam, Oct 6, 2017
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  2. Mary/adam

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Without seeing a recipe it's impossible to offer any advise. So post recipe and method. Is the flour specificaly cake flour or pastry flour? Low protein flour in of itself is not cake flour. Also what is the protein, ash, and extraction rate of the flour. If it's not on the bag, the mill should be able to provide the information. Also is it bleached (chlorinated).

    There's no such thing as self rising flour. Flour labeled self rising simply means it is flour blended with chemical leavening and salt. The amount of leavening and salt varies by mill. Also the variety of flour and the flour treatments vary by mill. So no two brands of self rising flour perform the same.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Oct 7, 2017
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  3. Mary/adam

    Mary/adam Member

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    Thank you.
    I don't have a recipe that calls for this flour. I assumed that most bakeries and patisseries use soft flour instead of self raising.

    the flour does say cake and pastry flour and the protein content is low compared to other flours. Does any1 here know/have a recipe for this type of flour? I have uploaded pics of the details about the flour.
     

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    Mary/adam, Oct 7, 2017
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  4. Mary/adam

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Are you in the UK? If so, you can't buy real cake flour. Cake flour is bleached, and all bleached flours are banned in Europe. So self-rising flour is usually used for cakes in Europe.

    Cake and Pastry flour are not one and the same. Unfortunately, pastry flour makes a horrible cake. I stock a couple of types of unbleached pastry flour in my pantry, But I would never use them in a a cake. Pastry flour produces a dense flat cake. Low protein is not the only factor. It's the bleaching of the flour.

    Bleaching changes the protein structure, rate of starch gelatinization, and the ph level. So bleached cake flour rises much higher than unbleached flour. It also produces that soft tender crumb. The bite is very short, And the more acidic ph level keeps the crust from over browning.

    That's why American cakes are so tall, soft, and airy with a thin lighter colored crusts. Since European cakes are made with unbleached flours, they are low, dense, and have a much thicker crust. And they have a longer bite.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Oct 8, 2017
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  5. Mary/adam

    Mary/adam Member

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    hi,

    Thank you for your reply. yes I'm in the U.K. So what is this flour used for if not cakes? it says cake n pastry flour. I know some bakeries use a low protein flour and add there own raising agents. Does any1 here have good recipe that use mixed flours? I've tried baking with both plain n self raising flours, but though my cakes are fluffy they don't taste nice. I use the creaming method when making cakes. ive tried adding cornflour, dried milk powder but again i cant get the same texture as bakeries. what is it im doing wrong. please help!
     
    Mary/adam, Oct 8, 2017
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  6. Mary/adam

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    The pastry flour is good for tart shells. Blended with a higher protein flour, its good for pie crust, some muffins and quick breads, puff pastry, and some cookies.

    That soft delicate texture in bakery cake is actually the shortening coating your mouth. Bakeries use what's called high ratio shortening instead of butter. High ratio shortening formulated with emulsifiers; it is manufactured specifically for the food industry. It's cheap, it extends shelf-life, and it dupes the eater into thinking the cake is soft and moist. Bakeries also add additional emulsifiers to their batters. These ingredients are not readily available to the home baker.

    To be honest, a box mix with its emulsifiers and shortening will produce more of a bakery style cake. A lot of big chain bakeries actually use box mixes. They don't bake from scratch. A lot of home bakers doctor box mix with great results. I'm a scratch baker, but I don't think there's anything wrong with using a box mix. Check out Shawna McGreevy's cakes. She's doctors box mix. Link below.

    In so far as taste, well that's very subjective. Have you tried any Mary Berry, Dorie Greenspan, or Pierre Herme recipes? It wouldn't do any good for me to give you a recipe since my cakes are based on cake flour.


    http://mcgreevycakes.com/recipes-2/

    The link is one of the commercial emulsifiers used by bakeries.

    http://www.palsgaard.com/products/bakery/
     
    Norcalbaker59, Oct 9, 2017
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  7. Mary/adam

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    Apocalypso, Oct 9, 2017
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  8. Mary/adam

    Mary/adam Member

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    Mary/adam, Oct 9, 2017
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  9. Mary/adam

    Mary/adam Member

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    Hi,

    thanks very informative. think I still Have lots to learn about the science of baking.
     
    Mary/adam, Oct 9, 2017
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  10. Mary/adam

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I actually developed a really good white cake recipe blending pastry flour and low protein all purpose (plain flour). I was in a no bleached flour phase for several years. But I haven't used it in a couple of years, so I was reluctant to offer it up.

    I'll see if I can locate it.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Oct 9, 2017
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  11. Mary/adam

    Mary/adam Member

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    Hi,

    Thanks that would be appreciated.

    This may sound really silly on my part but how can you bleach flour? Is it something i can add to the flour or is it more complicated then that?
     
    Mary/adam, Oct 9, 2017
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  12. Mary/adam

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately you cannot bleach flour at home.

    Bleaching actually happens naturally when flour is aged after milling. But most mills cannot leave their inventory to age that long as time is money.

    Commercially bleached flours are exploded to chorine gas. It converts to chloride when it makes contact with the flour. Chloride is an electrolyte required for life. Chloride depletion.will result in death.

    People don't understand how flour is bleached; they simply hear the word "chorine" and assume it means the chorine we use to bleach clothes. So they panic. I was guilty of that assumption for years. But as I explored the science of baking more extensively, I realized that bleached flour isn't harmful. I use it for almost all my cakes. And I'm considered a very health conscious person. I pretty much live on kale, quinoa, & lentils. So I certainly wouldn't use bleached cake flour if I suspected in the least that it was harmful.

    May take a while for me to locate that recipe. We have wildfires burning all round us here. Lost power yesterday. Still not sure if we're going to have to evacuate. Already some 1500 homes have burned down. So going through mr files probably won't happen this week.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Oct 9, 2017
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  13. Mary/adam

    Mary/adam Member

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    Thank you,

    Hope all is well with. As for the recipe, when ever it's convenient for you.
     
    Mary/adam, Oct 9, 2017
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  14. Mary/adam

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    NorCalBaker, just saw the news. Hope you're prepared to evacuate if necessary. Keep us posted. Best wishes!
     
    Apocalypso, Oct 10, 2017
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  15. Mary/adam

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Mary/Adam,

    I was scouring the Internet looking for a source for T 45 French flour in the US. I came across something they sell in the UK marketed as cake flour. It’s heat treated flour.

    In the US what differentiates retail cake flour (cake flour sold in grocery stores) and commercial cake flour (flour produced specifically for the trade) is bleaching AND heat treatment.

    The combination of bleaching and heat alters the protein structure. So the performance of the flour is significantly changed. While the flour in the UK is not bleached, the heat treatment alone may in fact alter the flour protein enough to improve its performance. It might be worth purchasing a small bag to experiment with.


    The brand I saw was Matthews. It’s a large sack. But I suspect there are other mills that produce heat treated flour.

    http://www.fwpmatthews.co.uk/product/matthews-heat-treated-cake-flour/

    I haven’t forgotten about digging up the cake recipe. It’s on my to do list. I should have it next week.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Oct 25, 2017
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  16. Mary/adam

    Mary/adam Member

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    Hi,

    Thank you for this. Appreciated.
     
    Mary/adam, Oct 29, 2017
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