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Flour that we use in baking, is a powder milled from grinding grains, nuts, legumes, and some fruits and vegetables. They are either WHEAT derived or from NON-WHEAT sources, Some contain gluten, while others are free from it, called GLUTEN-FREE, meaning they do not contain wheat, rye, barley and other gluten-containing grains and their derivatives. Wheat free, however, does not mean a product is definitely gluten-free. If truly gluten-free, make sure it has been processed and packaged in a gluten-free facility to avoid contamination. Always read ingredient labels carefully.
All flour and grains are not alike--you can't switch from one type to another without wrecking havoc with your recipe. (I have found that flour substitutes do not work as well as they should, anyway, just because there's more things to consider besides flour type, such as ash content.) It is extremely important to use the right type that is of a good quality.
CAKE FLOUR, BLEACHED You can substitute cake flour, but many times the result is not what you might expect. What I use is:
1 cup bleached cake flour equals 1 cup (preferably) bleached all-purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons, and then add in 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Combine.
Every type of flour has its own unique attributes and when substituted with something else, will not quite match the original: Bleached cake flour should have a protein content at around 8 ± 0.5% with a moisture content of 13 ± 0.5%, an ash level of .35± 0.05% and a particle size of 10±0.5 microns. The cake flour should be well bleached with chlorine bleach, (not benzyl peroxide) to a pH level of 4.4 - 4.8.
FLOUR, SELF-RISING For each cup of cake or all-purpose flour, add 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR 1 cup = 1/2 cup all-purpose + 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, depending on the recipe
NOTE: Do not replace more than half the all-purpose white flour with whole wheat flour. Too much whole wheat flour in a recipe calling for all-purpose flour might result in a reduced volume and a heavier product.