Difference Between Cake Flour & Pastry Flour

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The difference between cake flour and pastry flour is that cake flour contains less protein than pastry flour. The amount of protein in a flour changes the turn-out of the food that the flour is used in, due to the fact that protein promotes gluten creation.

Composition

  • Cake flour's protein content ranges from 5 to 8 percent (but can be 7 to 9 percent). Cake flour has the lowest protein content of all flours.

    Pastry flour's protein content ranges from 8 to 9 percent.

Features

  • Food made with pastry flour has a more pronounced texture than cake flour.

    Cake flour contains more starch than protein, and food made from it is more delicate and tender.

Considerations

  • Both cake and pastry flour are made from soft wheat, but cake flour is chlorinated (with chlorine gas) to chemically change it.

Function

  • Though neither is suited for breads and can be used for such things as pastries, cookies, quick breads, and brownies, cake flour is better for recipes with a high sugar-to-flour ratio, as the food it is made with will be less likely to collapse after rising.

Substitution

  • To achieve a flour resembling pastry flour, cake flour and all-purpose flour, whose protein content ranges from 9 to 12 percent, can be mixed.

References

  • Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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