I saw on a baking web site where it was stated that bakeries don't use
all-purpose flour. For cookies, bread flour is used. Is this true? I
would think the cookies would be tough or chewy but then I read somewhere
where the fat content in the cookie recipe balances this out. Can anyone
set me straight?
I am generally leery of generalizations. "White boys can't jump," etc.
I suspect it depends on the bakery and the recipe.
Many artisan bakeries don't use bread flour except for specialty breads,
such as bagels. They prefer a lower gluten flour, such as all-purpose,
for most work. It gives better flavor and handles better, though it may
not rise quite as far.
When we were doing cookies in my bakery, we used a mix of bread flour
and cake flour to approximate all-purpose flour. We used bread flour
because we're in the sticks and couldn't get the flours we really
wanted, but we could get a good bread flour. Sometimes, you use what
you can get.
Not all bakeries follow such thinking..specially in North America and
.it depends what part of the world is the bakery located. In other
countries where wheat quality is not good or wheat is imported its
expensive . Therefore they have to use only one kind of flour for all
baking application. The resulting protein level ranges from 10-12%
which is approximately the protein content of all purpose flour.
.> Is this true? I
Formulations for specific bakery products vary from country to country.
In some places they use bread flour for cookies and bread but it the
quality is not good. The bread may be okay but the cookies shrank a lot
after baking, its chewy eating and tend to peak and crack during
baking. To minimize that they add more fat in the recipe But still
from western standards the cookie quality is not what we call good; it
does not spread much during baking which is one critical parameter in
Industrial biscuit manufacturers in such flour quality limited
countries the add sodium metabisulfite in the cookie formulation to
weaken the gluten, and they can still obtain an acceptable cookie by
I happen to have experienced doing practical baking in such country
where there is only one flour available. It is challenging to be a
baker in such places.
If I make bread I used the flour straight and sometimes with admixture
of wheat gluten to get the desired flour strength for a certain bread.
If I make cakes such as the pound cake/ butter cake I use blend of5-
10% wheat starch/9095 % flour; If I make sponges, I blend 15-20% wheat
starch with 80-85% flour. If I do cookies I used blend of 8-20% of
wheat starch and the remainder is wheat flour..
If wheat starch is not available I use corn or tapioca starch to
simulate the wheat starch.
If I make bagels and other hearth breads including thin crust pizza
bases , I blend 5% vital wheat gluten and 95% flour etc.
Indeed North Americans are lucky as we are spoiled with regards to
flour variety and quality. We can even dictate the flour mill to
specifically mill flour to ones specifications.
Never can you do that abroad.