Pastry flour is a product of milling soft white and soft red ears of wheat. This flour is usually low in absorption and has limited mixing tolerance. These properties are similar to bread flours and cake flours.
Pastry flour was specifically developed to make sweet baked goods which required some of the attributes of hard and soft wheats. Decades ago, millers and bakers from all over the world used to blend hard and soft wheat flours to obtain the desired characteristics in the finished flour.
You’re likely to be an avid baker and know there are many types of flour. Pastry flour is one of the most commonly used flours in baking. But what makes it different from other flours? It is important to understand the advantages of pastry flour in baking. We will explain pastry flour and the differences between pastry flour and cake flour. Also, we’ll share a simple substitute for pastry flour for those times when pastry flour is not available.
What is Pastry Flour?
Pastry flour has between 8-10% and 10-12% protein. Although the exact amount of protein in pastry flour can vary from brand to brand and brand to brand, it will usually have less protein than all-purpose flour. Sometimes, pastry flour is also called cookie flour.
Pastry Flour Uses
Your baked goods will become more dense and chewy the more protein your flour contains. Pastry flour is a great choice for baking light baked goods such as cookies, pastries and biscuits. Flaky and airy recipes will require lower-protein flour. Protein is important for giving your product structure. Baking goods made with flour with a higher protein content than pastry flour can be more difficult or chewier.
Is pastry flour the Same as Cake Flour?
Pastry flour and cake flour are different. Pastry flour is much higher in protein than cake flour, with around 7-8% protein content. To further reduce its protein content, cake flour can be bleached. Cake flour is ideal for baking light baked goods like angel food cake or chiffon cake. Baking goods made with cake flour instead of pastry flour can become unstructured and fall apart.
Pastry Flour Substitute
There are many options available if you are looking for a substitute for pastry flour. These options may not substitute pastry flour perfectly, so they might produce a different texture from what you are trying to achieve.
Substitute Pastry flour with All-Purpose and Cake Flour
Combine 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup cake flour to make a reliable substitute for pastry flour.
Substitute Pastry flour with All-Purpose Flour or Corn Starch
You can substitute 1 cup pastry flour for 1 cup (slightly underfilled) of all-purpose flour and 2 tablespoons corn starch.
Pastry flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour but higher than cake flour. This flour is great for baking cookies, pie dough, and other baked goods such as cookies and biscuits. These recipes will give you a light and flaky texture when pastry flour is used. You can substitute pastry flour by using a combination of all-purpose flour, cake flour, or all-purpose flour plus corn starch.