We all love our cakes and pastries right? But do you know what is the main basic ingredient used in them?
In the USA they call it all-purpose flour but what does a guy call it in the UK?
If that is the question that is bugging you or maybe you are following a recipe that asks you to add all-purpose flour and you are scratching your head thinking, what is an all-purpose flour? Then don’t worry because in this blog I will assist you with that.
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What is all-purpose flour called in the UK?
All-purpose flour is called plain flour in the UK. It is simply white flour but without any raising agent added to it.
There is also an Indian variety of plain flour called ‘maida’ and it is available in Asian grocery stores.
The plain flour is less refined than ‘maida’, Indian plain flour, and slightly more refined than wholemeal. The plain flour contains much less gluten than other bread flours hence, it results in a weak and stretchy dough.
How is all-purpose flour/ plain flour made?
Plain flour is made with a combination of hard and soft wheat milled together. It gets is white color from the bleach. It has around 10% percent protein in it.
After the milling nutrients like iron, niacin, thiamine, etc are added. This whole process is termed fortifying.
What are the uses of plain flour?
Plain flour is used all over the world in a plethora of dishes. If you are consuming anything that is not cooked in your kitchen then chances are you are consuming some plain flour.
Sweets, cakes, pastries, noodles, pasta, chips, and whatnot are all made of plain flour.
(FAQ) Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Plain Flour
Here are some frequently googled questions about plain flour.
Is plain flour and all-purpose flour the same thing?
Yes, plain flour and all-purpose flour are the same things the only difference is that in the USA people refer to it as all-purpose flour, and in the UK people refer to it as plain flour but basically, they both are the same thing.
What is all-purpose flour also known as?
All-purpose flour is called plain flour in the UK and is used to make and bake a plethora of sweets, biscuits, and dishes.
One type of all-purpose flour is ‘maida; which is very popular in India.
Is all-purpose flour plain or self-raising flour?
All-purpose flour and self-raising flour are two different things. Self-raising flour contains a raising agent which helps it to rise when it is baked whereas all-purpose flour does not contain any raising agent. All-purpose flour and plain flour are the same things.
Best plain flour substitution as a thickening agent.
Substituting all-purpose flour with other flour depends on the dish that you make. If you want to thicken a soup then the best substitutes will be maida, cornflour, rice flour, or potato flour.
If you want to substitute all-purpose flour in a bechamel then the best substitute will be maida or cornflour.
Best plain flour substitution for baking.
For baking cakes, biscuits, and pastries a healthier alternative to all-purpose flour will be wholemeal flour. Remember that using wholemeal flour will make your cakes and pastries heavier, if you want to prevent this then you can sieve wholemeal flour and you will be good to go.
Best gluten-free substitute of plain flour.
If you are on a gluten-free diet or gluten makes your stomach upset then you can switch to gluten-free flour all you need to take care is of measurements. You can also add some binding agents like xanthan gum and guar gum if you are vegan or vegetarian.
Can I replace self-raising flour with plain flour in a recipe?
In case you are out of self-raising flour then you can replace it with plain flour or all-purpose flour.
But you have to keep one thing in mind and that is, plain flour or all-purpose flour do not have any raising agents added to them whereas self-raising flour as the name suggests has raising agents added to it.
How to substitute self-raising flour with plain flour in a recipe?
So if your want to substitute self-raising flour with all-purpose four or plain flour then make sure to add some sore of raising agent to it. The rule of thumb is to add 2 teaspoons of baking powder to each 1 cup (150g/6oz) of plain flour. Then you need to mix the dry mixture of baking powder and plain powder thoroughly so that everything is evenly combined.
And then you are ready to bake your favorite treats!
So, this was all about plain flour or all-purpose flour. In essence, both of them are the same and perform as same ingredients in recipes, the difference is just the name, in the USA it is called all-purpose flour and in the UK it is called plain flour. So now you know the difference between the two.
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