A Heaping Scoop: Rules for Subbing Flour| January 17, 2023
FT, Help Me!!
What are the rules for subbing and swapping different types of flour in baking — white wheat, whole wheat, 80% whole wheat... Is the ratio 1:1 or slightly different (specifically when using 80% instead of white in a baking recipe)?
I don’t think I can do this topic justice in this forum, but I’ll do my best! Here are a few thoughts for starters.
When using 80% whole wheat, it can be subbed 1:1 for white flour, and generally white whole wheat can also be subbed 1:1. If you’re using 100% whole wheat in a yeast dough, for every cup of whole wheat flour subbed, increase the liquid by 2 teaspoons. Also, once you’ve mixed the dough but before kneading, let it rest for 30 minutes. This gives the flour the time it needs to absorb the liquid fully, yielding a softer dough, which should rise as high as one made with white flour.
In bread and rolls (without added flavors), the whole wheat flavor can be quite strong. If your family doesn’t love the taste of whole wheat, make sure your flour is as fresh as possible. Older flour can become bitter and lose its delicious nutty flavor. I store all flour in the freezer to avoid this.
When subbing whole wheat flour in cakes, it’s recommended to add a little more liquid because it absorbs more due to its high protein percentage and its bran. In dark-colored cakes like chocolate cake, you can’t tell the difference in appearance or taste at all. Go for it!
Here are a few more useful flour substitutions:
To make your own self-rising flour: For each cup of flour, add 11⁄2 teaspoons baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt. Whisk together well to be sure it’s evenly distributed throughout.
For high-gluten flour, you can sub bread flour or even pastry flour. Pastry flour has a fine texture and soft form. Although it has a low protein percentage, it’s good enough to give structure to bread and cakes, and it adds a light and airy texture. You can even use cake flour.
As a sub for pastry flour, combine 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour with 1⁄2 cup cake flour for each cup of pastry flour. Alternatively, put 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in a measuring cup and add all-purpose flour to the 1-cup mark.
And finally, here’s a really good hint for measuring any flour: First fluff up the flour in your container using a flour scoop. Then gently pour the flour, using a scoop, into the measuring cup. Level off the excess with a knife. Don’t bang your cup on the counter!
I really like my Tasty brand garlic press, which comes with a slicer. It makes slicing those tiny garlic cloves a breeze.
What’s one small kitchen gadget that’s made a huge difference to your cooking in a way you never imagined?
I recently joined Susie Fishbein on a cooking trip in Italy, and she used a mandoline to slice fennel. I rarely use a mandoline and in fact never owned one. I don’t like fennel at all, but the mandoline completely changed its taste because it got cut so thin. I now started adding fennel to my salads, and I use the mandoline for radishes too!
If there was one food I could make chalav Yisrael, it would be _____ _____.
I don’t eat dairy anyway, but what would really appeal to me is a dairy alternative that tastes good and has the right texture. I’m happy with my coconut ice cream and other pareve alternatives, but a truly delicious pareve cheesecake made without dairy or soy...that’s my dream food.
(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 827)
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