Making own AP FLOUR


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Hello everyone.

I have a question. Can I make my own AP Flour from mixing or combining hard (bread) flour and soft (pastry) flour? At what ratios can I do that?
 
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Hello everyone.

I have a question. Can I make my own AP Flour from mixing or combining hard (bread) flour and soft (pastry) flour? At what ratios can I do that?


Hello Akos. I hope you and your family are well.

Many AP flours are blends. This is done for a variety of reasons: quality, flavor, texture. Blends can actually create a extraordinary flour. Some of my favorite flours from Central Milling are blends. Central Milling is one of the best mills in the United States. They supplied the top bakeries in the country.

That said these blends are created by millers with years of experience.

Mixing pastry flour and bread flours to make your own AP is risky. It’s more complicated than trying to dilute the level of gluten. Not knowing the actual protein and ash contents and extraction rates of the flours are issues.
There is no standard for AP flour. The range for protein can be anywhere from 10% to 12%. What will be your standard? 12% is too high for cake; 10% is too low for many cookies and rolls. How will you determine the protein level in your blend?
All purpose flour extraction rates are typically between 70% - 72%. Pastry flour is typically 45%. With bread flour it’s difficult to say, it might be as high as 85% depending on the mill.
How will you determine what 70% - 72% extraction is in your blend? Extraction rate is very important because the bran cuts through the gluten network during mixing and kneading. Too much bran will cause a dense texture and low rise.

You also don’t know how the bread flour was milled. Was the bran sifted out, then some of it added back in after? Was the grain tempered to crack off most the bran, just leaving a trace? There’s different methods to milling. And those methods affect how the bran performs in the flour.
Another issue is pastry flour is not suited for many applications. The low protein flour is very weak. So you also run the risk of creating a blend that is limited to a select few applications.

Also the differences in absorption rate of the two flours is significant. We know brands of ingredients matter as formulas vary by brand. A homemade blend, will perform differently than the current brand of AP flour you are using. If you decide to blend an AP flour do not expect the same results without testing and adjusting your recipes.

There are many challenges in creating a blend. If AP flour is not available I can understand experimenting to make your own. But, if it is available, I would stick with commercial AP flour.
 
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Hello everyone.

I have a question. Can I make my own AP Flour from mixing or combining hard (bread) flour and soft (pastry) flour? At what ratios can I do that?

Yeh, for cakes , sub 25% corn starch into a strong flour.
12oz bread flour and 4 oz corn starch = 1lb, gives passable results .
We did it for yrs to make genoise .
I never used AP flour until I started working in hotels.

For making bread, I just use whatever I've got and adjust the proceedure.
For puff dough I prefer to blend bread with cake flour to weaken it. That makes a big difference in tenderness.
For a dough that needs full development , like brioche, if all I have is AP flour I mix it and then leave it for 15 minutes, then turn the mixer on again, the alcohol or CO2 strengthens the available gluten and allows full development or elastic quality. Its better than burning the mixer up.
 
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Joined
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Hello Akos. I hope you and your family are well.

Many AP flours are blends. This is done for a variety of reasons: quality, flavor, texture. Blends can actually create a extraordinary flour. Some of my favorite flours from Central Milling are blends. Central Milling is one of the best mills in the United States. They supplied the top bakeries in the country.

That said these blends are created by millers with years of experience.

Mixing pastry flour and bread flours to make your own AP is risky. It’s more complicated than trying to dilute the level of gluten. Not knowing the actual protein and ash contents and extraction rates of the flours are issues.
There is no standard for AP flour. The range for protein can be anywhere from 10% to 12%. What will be your standard? 12% is too high for cake; 10% is too low for many cookies and rolls. How will you determine the protein level in your blend?
All purpose flour extraction rates are typically between 70% - 72%. Pastry flour is typically 45%. With bread flour it’s difficult to say, it might be as high as 85% depending on the mill.
How will you determine what 70% - 72% extraction is in your blend? Extraction rate is very important because the bran cuts through the gluten network during mixing and kneading. Too much bran will cause a dense texture and low rise.

You also don’t know how the bread flour was milled. Was the bran sifted out, then some of it added back in after? Was the grain tempered to crack off most the bran, just leaving a trace? There’s different methods to milling. And those methods affect how the bran performs in the flour.
Another issue is pastry flour is not suited for many applications. The low protein flour is very weak. So you also run the risk of creating a blend that is limited to a select few applications.

Also the differences in absorption rate of the two flours is significant. We know brands of ingredients matter as formulas vary by brand. A homemade blend, will perform differently than the current brand of AP flour you are using. If you decide to blend an AP flour do not expect the same results without testing and adjusting your recipes.

There are many challenges in creating a blend. If AP flour is not available I can understand experimenting to make your own. But, if it is available, I would stick with commercial AP flour.


I'm well, Cate. So is my family, thank you.

As always. I get lots of knowledge from you on baking. Thank you so much.
 
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Yeh, for cakes , sub 25% corn starch into a strong flour.
12oz bread flour and 4 oz corn starch = 1lb, gives passable results .
We did it for yrs to make genoise .
I never used AP flour until I started working in hotels.

For making bread, I just use whatever I've got and adjust the proceedure.
For puff dough I prefer to blend bread with cake flour to weaken it. That makes a big difference in tenderness.
For a dough that needs full development , like brioche, if all I have is AP flour I mix it and then leave it for 15 minutes, then turn the mixer on again, the alcohol or CO2 strengthens the available gluten and allows full development or elastic quality. Its better than burning the mixer up.

Thank you.
 
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Hello Cate,

Thanks once again for your reply to my question. I've been going over your response again. You said,

All purpose flour extraction rates are typically between 70% - 72%. Pastry flour is typically 45%. With bread flour it’s difficult to say, it might be as high as 85% depending on the mill.
How will you determine what 70% - 72% extraction is in your blend?

Please what is the extraction? Thanks
 
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Hello Cate,

Thanks once again for your reply to my question. I've been going over your response again. You said,

All purpose flour extraction rates are typically between 70% - 72%. Pastry flour is typically 45%. With bread flour it’s difficult to say, it might be as high as 85% depending on the mill.
How will you determine what 70% - 72% extraction is in your blend?

Please what is the extraction? Thanks

Akos,
The wheat kernel is comprised of three parts:
  • bran - outer layer 14.5% of the kernel; vitamin Bs, antioxidants, fiber​
  • endosperm - middle layer 83% of the kernel; starches, carbohydrates, no real nutrients​
  • germ - the embryo 2.5% of the kernel; vitamin Bs, some proteins, healthy fat​

Milling is more complex than this, but I’m simplifying it just to explain extraction rate.

When flour is milled, the three parts of the kernel are separated. The three parts are then milled and then blended in different ratios to create different types of flour. Extraction rate refers to the amount of each of these three part in the flour. The higher the extraction rate, the more of the three parts the flour contains

Whole wheat flour is a 100% extraction rate flour. It means 100% of the kernel was used to extract the flour. That means whole wheat flour contains all the bran, endosperm, and the germ from the wheat kernel. So 100% of the kernel was used.

All purpose flour is a 70% extraction flour. That means 70% of the kernel was used to extract the flour. Now if you go back up and look up to wee what I wrote about the endosperm you see it makes up 83% of the kernel and its all starch. All purpose flour is going to be milled from the endosperm—which is very high in starch with no real nutrients. Then some bran and germ added back in.


Pastry flour at 45% extraction will be milled from the endosperm and no bran or germ added back in. Because separating the bran and germ is not a perfect science, the extraction rate represents the bran and germ that they are not able to remove from the kernel.



White flours are often “enriched”, meaning nutrients are added to the flour because they are milled from the endosperm which contains no nutrients.


The lower the extraction rate, the less bran and germ it contains.

The term extraction rate can be confusion because we think of it as removing some thing.

But think of it as extracting parts of the kernel into flour

  • extracting 100% of the kernel into flour is whole wheat flour
  • extracting only 45% of the kernel‘s endosperm into flour is pastry flour
 
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Akos,
The wheat kernel is comprised of three parts:
  • bran - outer layer 14.5% of the kernel; vitamin Bs, antioxidants, fiber​
  • endosperm - middle layer 83% of the kernel; starches, carbohydrates, no real nutrients​
  • germ - the embryo 2.5% of the kernel; vitamin Bs, some proteins, healthy fat​

Milling is more complex than this, but I’m simplifying it just to explain extraction rate.

When flour is milled, the three parts of the kernel are separated. The three parts are then milled and then blended in different ratios to create different types of flour. Extraction rate refers to the amount of each of these three part in the flour. The higher the extraction rate, the more of the three parts the flour contains

Whole wheat flour is a 100% extraction rate flour. It means 100% of the kernel was used to extract the flour. That means whole wheat flour contains all the bran, endosperm, and the germ from the wheat kernel. So 100% of the kernel was used.

All purpose flour is a 70% extraction flour. That means 70% of the kernel was used to extract the flour. Now if you go back up and look up to wee what I wrote about the endosperm you see it makes up 83% of the kernel and its all starch. All purpose flour is going to be milled from the endosperm—which is very high in starch with no real nutrients. Then some bran and germ added back in.


Pastry flour at 45% extraction will be milled from the endosperm and no bran or germ added back in. Because separating the bran and germ is not a perfect science, the extraction rate represents the bran and germ that they are not able to remove from the kernel.



White flours are often “enriched”, meaning nutrients are added to the flour because they are milled from the endosperm which contains no nutrients.


The lower the extraction rate, the less bran and germ it contains.

The term extraction rate can be confusion because we think of it as removing some thing.

But think of it as extracting parts of the kernel into flour

  • extracting 100% of the kernel into flour is whole wheat flour
  • extracting only 45% of the kernel‘s endosperm into flour is pastry flour

Thanks a bunch, Cate. I understand now. Thanks lots.
 
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