The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New Member--looking for help baking with home mill flour

SewShine's picture
SewShine

New Member--looking for help baking with home mill flour

Hello,

I have been baking bread with my home mill flour for some time and have good success.  My challenge is baking cakes and such.  I use soft white and sift out the bran.  I just can't replicate the soft fluffy cakes that you get with pastry flour. I just ordered spelt to try that as was recommended on another site.  Anybody here have sage advice for me?  I love my home milled flour and will not go back to store bought.  I'm just hoping I can find a solution to my cake predicament!

Thanks so much!

Rebekah

IceDemeter's picture
IceDemeter

but what I do to soften the crumb is to use the same trick that is recommended for substituting all purpose flour when a recipe calls for cake / pastry flour:  replace part of the flour with a non-gluten starch (most often potato starch, or cornstarch, or tapioca starch, or arrowroot starch).  I go by an old rule-of-thumb to replace 1/8 of the recipe flour with the starch.

Since these starches aren't "whole" and are really something that you can mill at home, another option that might work for you would be to substitute sifted whole oats in the same proportion. 

It also does help to go back to the old-school method of sifting the combined flour a few times to make sure that it is well mixed and fully aerated before adding it to the batter.

Hope this helps!

SewShine's picture
SewShine

Thank you so much!  I'll try this next time.  Do you use soft white or another grain?  I've never used spelt for baking but I saw it recommended on a blog.  I am game for anything really except going back to store bought flour.  

Do you measure with a measuring cup or with weight?  I typically use weight and use a conversion of 120g for 1 cup flour.   It works well in most every recipe, but cakes are always a challenge!

Thanks!

IceDemeter's picture
IceDemeter

I tend to use soft white winter wheat, and often some kamut (khorasan) or durum or spelt, depending on what overall flavour I want.  I measure everything by weight, and use the same weight of arrowroot or cornstarch as flour (but I'll use a bit less of the potato starch, since it is more dense).  I use the same basic conversion that you do, but also will tweak hydration to make a batter feel "right".

I haven't tried making a sponge-style cake, though, so you're going to have to be the experimenter for that!

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!