The New Bakers Dozen
Pastry flour vs. cake flour

The The Bakers Dozen: Pastry flour vs. cake flour
By lrdani on Monday, May 15, 2000 - 07:52 am: Edit

What is the difference: Pastry flour vs. cake flour.

I have a choc. receipe calling for pastry flour. Can this be used for a wedding cake? Is it too light to hold stacks of cake?

By W.DeBord on Monday, May 15, 2000 - 09:08 am: Edit

There is a difference, but in my opinion not a big enough one for you to be concerned. Just use cake flour and it will be fine.

"Is it too light to hold stacks of cake?" that seems to be a more important question for us to answer! When we make wedding cakes we use a support stucture (equal to a spine) to support the layers of cake. NEVER ever should you assemble a wedding cake with-out supports unless it's 4" or smaller in height (meaning only one layer).

By Panini (Panini) on Monday, May 15, 2000 - 03:57 pm: Edit

We mix 50-50, cake and bread for formulas calling for pastry flour. I'm refering to winter wheats.

By ChineseFiveSpice on Friday, September 15, 2000 - 12:05 pm: Edit

Using cake flour will not "be fine". I developed
almost all of my recipes using pastry flour.
Once, doing a last minute cake, I ran out of
pastry flour and used cake flour. Diaster! My
chef friends agree that if anything, instead of
pastry flour, use AP flour as its gluten content
is just slightly higher, while cake flour is
almost all starch. I haven't tried Panini's idea,
but I think it's a good one.

By Rubble (Rubble) on Friday, September 15, 2000 - 04:17 pm: Edit

I have tried Panini's method of 50% cake + 50% bread to make a pastry flour equivalent and, of course, it works well!

By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Friday, September 15, 2000 - 08:20 pm: Edit

With a 1/2% variance among brands cake flour is 9% gluten, pastry 10-10.5%, AP 11.5%, bread 13%, and high-gluten 14%. Cake flour is bleached so a mixture of 1/2 bread and 1/2 cake is almost identical to pastry except that the pastry is unbleached. The only flours I use are cake, AP, and high-gluten and I mix and match those to create both pastry and bread flour with great results.

By W.DeBord on Sunday, September 17, 2000 - 09:33 am: Edit

Chinesefivespice, Irdani does not read as a professional nor have I seen them post here before. For a homemaker it's silly to frustrate them spliting hairs over gluten content in flours. The over-all success of Irdanis' recipe when making a chocolate cake isn't going to be hurt if they use AP flour, cake flour or pastry flour.

In my experience I've yet to find a recipe that "disaster" (change of crumb yes, but not failure)was caused by using cake flour instead of pastry??????? What were you making?

By Panini (Panini) on Sunday, September 17, 2000 - 08:11 pm: Edit


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