All-Purpose vs. Cake vs. Pastry vs. Bread
All-purpose, cake, bread, pastry....there are so many different kinds of flour! What really is the difference?
* PROTEIN *
When you are talking about white flour, the only thing that separates them is the amount of protein.
All-Purpose: 9 - 11%
Bread: 11 - 13%
Are they interchangeable? Yes, but it depends on what you are making.
Protein + Water = Gluten
So the higher the protein content, the higher the gluten and the stretchier the dough consistency. So for most items you make, all-purpose flour will work just fine.
If you are making bread from scratch you will get a better texture if you use the bread flour, but for muffins and cookies, all-purpose.
Self-rising vs. All-purpose
Some recipes call for self-rising flour which has leavening agents already combined throughout the flour, baking powder and salt. Many southern biscuit recipes call for it!
You can easily make your own flour if you combine:
1 1/2 TSP baking powder
1/2 TSP salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
Whole Wheat vs. Unbleached
One hundred percent whole wheat flour is made from hulled red wheat grain.