Weekly Tips

Weekly Tip: Flour

Flour is a staple of life.  Because grain is easy to produce and relatively inexpensive, foods that are made from corn, rice, wheat and other grains become food staples.

Flour comes in many forms.  There is all purpose, bread, cake, pastry and self-rising to name a few.  They vary based on hard wheat, soft wheat and high starch content.

Generally, when we cook, all-purpose flour is our choice. When making bread or baking desserts, certain flours produce better results.


When making bread, bread flour is the best choice because it has a higher gluten and protein content. Bread flour is unbleached and ascorbic acid is added which increases volume and creates better texture.

Baking Desserts:

For cakes and pastries, cake flour is often recommended.  Cake flour has low gluten content. It produces a finer texture to the finished baked product.

Storing Flour:

Flour should be stored in an air-tight container in a cool, dry location. Flour’s shelf life is about six months, unless it is stored in the freezer.  All flour has weevil eggs in it.  These eggs produce small bugs.  To prevent the eggs from hatching, put a bay leaf inside the flour container.

How to convert all-purpose flour into cake flour and self- rising flour:

Self-rising flour is not often needed.  Rather than buying prepared self-rising flour, you can easily make your own.  To each cup of all-purpose flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder


Adding baking powder

and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Adding salt

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt before measuring out the  quantity you need for your recipe.

Cake flour can also easily be reproduced.

Check out Joy the Baker’s post.

Measuring flour when you are baking:

When baking, accurate ingredient measurements are critical to the end product.  Check out King Arthur Flour’s video that demonstrates the correct way to measure flour.

Patricia Rio
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