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Narsai David: Cake Flour vs. All-Purpose Flour

141246298 Narsai David: Cake Flour vs. All Purpose Flour

Flour (credit: FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Cake flour is a little more tender than all purpose flour, so when you’re making a cake and there’s no cake flour around you could do the following to improvise: for each cup of all-purpose flour, you can substitute a tablespoon or two of corn starch. However, the truth is it’s not really necessary. All-purpose flour should work just fine.

If you wanted to make a very delicate Genoise, a light Italian sponge cake, then it becomes a little more important to use the softer flour.

KCBS Food & Wine Report:

Flours are generally graded based on the amount of gluten they have in them. All-purpose flour is 10 or 12 percent generally. Bread flours are much higher at about 14 percent gluten.

If you want a French bread that’s nice and chewy you need that gluten. Cake flour or pastry flour on the other hand could be as low as eight percent, so you’ll learn that different varieties of grain have different amounts of gluten in them.

All-purpose flour is a blend of flour consisting of the soft used for pastries and the rougher used for the breads.

Narsai David is the KCBS Food and Wine Editor. He has been a successful restaurateur, chef, TV host, and columnist in the Bay Area spanning four decades. You can hear him Saturdays at 10:53am, 12:53pm and 4:53pm, and at 2:53am Sunday on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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