INGREDIENTS KNOWLEDGE



ALL ABOUT ABOUT FLOUR

I found the below basic information about flour from Culinary Arts.  I thought it is very useful information for beginners and would like to share with all of you.

WHEAT FLOUR BASICS

Wheat flour is the most common flour used in baking. There are different types of wheat flour, and they’re distinguished by the amount of gluten they contain.
Gluten is the wheat’s natural protein, and it’s what gives baked goods their structure. When dough is kneaded, these glutens develop and become elastic. Flours made from hard, high-protein varieties of wheat are called strong flours. They have a higher gluten content. Flours made from softer, low-protein wheats are called weak flours, and are lower in gluten.

All-Purpose Flour:
All-purpose flour is formulated to have a medium gluten content of around 12 percent or so. This makes it a good middle-of-the-road flour that can be used for a whole range of baking, from crusty breads to fine cakes and pastries. Even so, most professional bakers don’t use all-purpose flour but instead use either bread flour, cake flour or pastry flour, depending on what they are baking.
One sifted cup of all-purpose flour should weigh around 4½ ounces or 125 grams.

Bread Flour:
Bread flour is a strong flour, meaning that it has a relatively high gluten content — usually around 13 to 14 percent. A handful of bread flour will feel coarse and will look slightly off-white. Bread flour is used for making crusty breads and rolls, pizza doughs and similar products.
One cup of bread flour will weigh around 5 ounces or 140 grams.

Cake Flour:
Cake flour is made from soft wheat and has a lower gluten content — around 7½ to 9 percent. Its grains are visibly finer than bread flour, and it is much whiter in color. Its fine, soft texture makes it preferable for tender cakes and pastries.
One sifted cup of cake flour will weigh around 3½ ounces or 99 grams.

Pastry Flour:
Pastry flour is slightly stronger than cake flour, at around 9 to 10 percent gluten. It can be used for biscuits, muffins, cookies, pie doughs and softer yeast doughs. It has a slightly more off-white color than cake flour.
One sifted cup of pastry flour will weigh just over 3½ ounces, or around 101 grams.

Self-Rising Flour:
Self-rising flour is a peculiar bird. It’s basically ordinary all-purpose flour that has baking powder and salt added to it. Intended as a convenience, it’s really anything but — the main problem being that there’s no way to control how much baking powder it contains. Also, when stored in your pantry, the baking powder in the flour will quickly lose its effectiveness, making things even more unpredictable. Unless you have no other options, this type of flour is probably best avoided.


ABOUT BAKING POWDER, DOUBLE BAKING POWDER & BAKING SODA

Information from ThoughtCo.

Difference Between Double-Acting and Single-Acting Baking Powder:

Single-acting baking powder reacts with a water-based ingredient to form bubbles as soon as the ingredients are mixed. If you wait too long to bake your food or mix it too long these bubbles will escape and your food will fall flat.

Double-acting baking powder produces some bubbles when the ingredients are mixed, but most of the rising occur once heat is applied. This product is more reliable for home baking because it is harder to overbeat the ingredients and the recipe is less susceptible to fail if you forgot to preheat your oven.

What Is the Difference Between Baking Soda and Baking Powder?

Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate. When baking soda is combined with moisture and an acidic ingredient (e.g., yogurt, chocolate, buttermilk, honey), the resulting chemical reaction produces bubbles of carbon dioxide that expand under oven temperatures, causing baked goods to expand or rise.

The reaction begins immediately upon mixing the ingredients, so you need to bake recipes which call for baking soda immediately, or else they will fall flat!


Baking powder contains sodium bicarbonate, but it includes the acidifying agent already (cream of tartar), and also a drying agent (usually starch). Baking powder is available as single-acting baking powder and as double-acting baking powder. Single-acting powders are activated by moisture, so you must bake recipes which include this product immediately after mixing. Double-acting powders react in two phases and can stand for a while before baking. With double-acting powder, some gas is released at room temperature when the powder is added to dough, but the majority of the gas is released after the temperature of the dough increases in the oven.

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