Pastry Flour – Should You Use It in Baking?
Perhaps, in your journeys on the cooking internet sphere, you’ve come across something called pastry flour. But you’re a beginner baker and don’t know exactly what that is. We tell you right now.
All-purpose flour is just great, because, yeah, it’s all purpose and you can use it in everything, from breading meats to making some great roux as a base for foods, to bread and then, of course, baked goods. It’s great because it’s the only thing you have to buy from the store for most of your needs.
But what if you find a recipe requiring ‘pastry flour’ and don’t know what that is? Well, I am about to tell you. This particular type of flour is lower in protein than the all-purpose one and has been designed to make your pastries and baked goods lighter and more tender. And we do love the sound of that!
How much protein is in all-purpose flour, usually? 11 percent. How about in pastry flour? The protein content here is usually 9 percent. And there’s another flour with even less protein: cake flour, clocking at about 7-8 percent protein. And yeah, those seemingly tiny percentage points make all the difference when it comes to your baking.
What to use pastry flour for?
It works with pretty much everything, really. You can use it to whip up cakes, cookies, and muffins, but also pastries that you make from scratch. Because of the lower protein content, pastry flour makes the end product more tender, but it can also provide enough structure and strength for your baking, way better than cake flour does.
But it really depends on your recipe and what you’re trying to make. Some baked goods will have a lighter texture needed so you might want to use cake flour for that. Just pay attention to the recipe and the ingredient list and you will know exactly what you have to pick. Pastry flour is usually the best options for all things that are not bread. Bread recipes usually need a type of flour with more elasticity and more protein.
How do you use pastry flour?
You can substitute all-purpose with this type of flour in a 1:1 ratio. Keep that in mind the next time you want to make fluffier waffles and more airy pancakes, as well, not to mention muffins and cakes.
Pastry flour can be tougher to find, but you can make some on your own with this recipe. Mix 14 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and so you will restore the balance to the protein content.