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Flours : UK vs US


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#1 claudinefm

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 03:06 AM

:unsure:

I am currently trying my hand at making italian-type bread and I have just bought an american recipe book for that purpose (The Italian Baker by Carol Field). The author uses mostly ‘all-purpose’ flour, which she also sometimes combines with cake/pastry flour. I am not too clear how these translates to UK flours.
From her notes, I gather that:
. UK bread flours are too ‘strong’ to use for most italian breads and should not be substituted for the US all-purpose flours. Made from winter wheat it contains 13-15% gluten (high, I gather);
. The soft wheat contains only 4-9% gluten and is best for pastries and cakes.
. The US all purpose is supposedly a mix of the too – at what ratio she does not say.

What do I get to replace the pastry/cake flour? What is the substitute for the ‘all-purpose’ flour ?
Moreover, I understand the italian love the Manitoba flour and I know that in the UK Waitrose sells it. What is so special about this one and is there a UK substitute or equivalent?

Thank you so much for your help. :wub: Happy St Valentine to all!

#2 AmritaBala

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 04:55 AM

As for the pastry flour, its just a preventive measure to make sure that tender crumbed cakes do not end up tough due to overdeveloped gluten. You can always use AP flour instead of cake flour, but just be sure to not overmix your batter. Also, your cake will have a less tender crumb.

I don't live in the UK and I just use plain flour when recipes call for All Purpose Flour. Hope this helps a little...:o)

#3 claudinefm

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 05:50 AM

Thanks for your answer. I am not really baking cakes - which is a bit forgiving - but bread, but perhaps I am a getting a little too worried....

#4 AmritaBala

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 06:00 AM

Oh its the same in bread too :o)

ps: do you have any asian shops selling bread flour? those have less gluten

#5 jackal10

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 06:01 AM

Use plain flour and you will be OK.
Tesco own label organic (red band) is 9.5% protein and makes excellent bread