Learning As I Chop

Did You Know: Flour Edition

Posted in Did You Know, Uncategorized by R @ Learning As I Chop on April 15, 2011

After my friend C read the first installment of LAIC’s new “Did You Know?” series, she quickly gave me this tip:

Did you know that you can create pastry flour by combining cake and all-purpose flour?

C wasn’t sure of the exact measurements, so I did a quick google and found this formula:

To make two cups of pastry flour, combine 1 1/3 cups (185 grams) all-purpose flour with 2/3 cup (90 grams) cake flour. Good for making pastry, pies and cookies. (source)

While walking to work this morning (lucky me, I’m well aware), I also began thinking about bleached versus unbleached flour. For obvious reasons – who wants to willingly add bleach to their food? – I always buy unbleached flour. But am I doing myself a disservice by omitting the bleach? Does it really add to baking? Well, according to Wikipedia:

Bleached flour is a white flour treated with flour bleaching agents to whiten it (freshly milled flour is yellowish) and to give it more gluten-producing potential. Oxidizing agents are usually employed, most commonly organic peroxides like acetone peroxide or benzoyl peroxide, nitrogen dioxide, or chlorine. A similar effect can be achieved by letting the flour oxidize with oxygen in the air (“natural aging”) for approximately 10 days; however, this process is more expensive due to the time required.

I am going to guess the answer is no, and unbleached is fine. Do I really need more gluten in my food? The unbleached variety tends to work well and peroxides don’t sound so great to me.

Lastly, a Spring-related tibdit of knowledge – flour used to be spelled flower. This fact automatically makes me think of this little guy. One of my childhood favorites.

Have a great weekend and enjoy!


One Response

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  1. Carrie (Carrie on Vegan) said, on April 22, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I’ve heard that you can also make pastry flour by running it through the food processor. It makes the flour finer and lighter for baking, I guess. I agree with your thoughts on bleached flour, no thanks!

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