It goes without saying that there are innumerable different techniques for creating cookies. The choices are nearly limitless, from the taste of the dough to the stuff that may be placed into the cookies.
With so many various methods to personalize cookies, you may start to wonder whether you might modify even more basic parts of the cookie.
Most people understand that you can modify the taste of cookie dough to chocolate or another basic flavor, but what if you changed anything before that? What if you switch the flour you used to make the cookies?
It is certainly possible, since gluten-free cookie variations are available. If cookies can be created using flours other than wheat, shouldn’t they be able to be made with other flours as well?
If you want to experiment with your cookies and the ingredients you need to create them, you may not know where to begin. When doing this, the first thing you should do is start with cake flour.
Cake flour is surprisingly adaptable, since it may be used in a variety of baked dishes that are not intended to be cake-like.
When you use cake flour in your cookies, you may be amazed at how big of a difference it makes. But, before you start making alternatives, you need understand what makes cake flour distinct from regular wheat flour used in cookies.
- The Unique Properties of Cake Flour
- Making Cake-Like Cookies with Cake Flour
- What About Other Flours?
- What About Gluten-Free Flours?
- What happens if I use cake flour for my cookies?
- Which flour is best for cookies?
- How do I substitute cake flour for all-purpose flour in cookies?
- What makes cookies chewy vs cakey?
- What is the best flour for chewy cookies?
- What happens if I use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour?
- Is cake flour or all-purpose flour better for cookies?
- What is the golden rule in baking cookies?
- What flour do Italians use for cookies?
- Can I use any type of flour for cookies?
The Unique Properties of Cake Flour
Cake flour and all-purpose flour have the same basic structure. They are both wheat flours, however the way they are milled differs. All-purpose flour is exactly what it sounds like.
It is flour that has been milled in such a manner that it may be used for almost any purpose, including cakes, cookies, donuts, breads, pastas, pizzas, and anything else that needs flour as a foundation component. Cake flour, on the other hand, is milled expressly for the goal of producing the best cake possible.
To be more explicit, although cake flour is still manufactured from wheat, it is an exceedingly finely milled flour created specifically from soft winter wheat. This winter wheat will include various nutrients, giving it distinct qualities than regular flours.
Although cake flour may be used in other baked products, its qualities make it ideal for producing the perfect cake without the need for fine-tuning.
One example is that winter wheat flour has less protein than regular all-purpose flour. Because the flour has less protein from wheat, it naturally contains less gluten.
When there is less gluten in a recipe for baked goods, the texture is lighter, softer, and more tender, as opposed to the chewy, almost elastic-like feel that results from baked products with a greater gluten level.
As a result, cake flour is created using a special wheat variation that permits the flour to have a reduced gluten concentration, which means that any cuisine you make with cake flour will be lighter, more delicate, and softer in texture.
This is precisely what you want in a cake, but what happens when you use cake flour in other recipes?
Making Cake-Like Cookies with Cake Flour
Because the flour you’ll be using for your cookies will have different qualities than regular all-purpose flour, you may be surprised by what happens when you incorporate it into a baked treat like a cookie.
The reduced gluten level will produce the same pillowy, delicate texture in cookies as it will in cakes.
This will result in soft, delicate cookies that are fluffier and almost pillowy in texture. An simple analogy is to the extra-soft sugar cookies with colored icing and rainbow sprinkles seen in most grocery stores’ bakery area.
While the flavor is entirely up to you, since you may add more flavor to your homemade cookies than a box of store-bought ones, the soft and delicate texture will be quite similar.
However, one issue with this is that gluten does more than just lend texture to baked foods. Gluten is a protein that is required to help bind dough together.
Without enough gluten in your cookie dough, your cookies will crumble and break apart when they come out of the oven, no matter how well you time them.
A crumbly texture will not be an issue for some folks and may possibly be what you are searching for. People who are accustomed to traditional cookies baked with all-purpose flour may not like this modification.
Fortunately, there are methods for making your cookie dough stay together so that you may still get the cookies you desire with a more firm texture.
The secret will be to add a touch of cornstarch to your cookie batter. If you like cooking, you may be aware that cornstarch is often used to thicken liquids in various aspects of cuisine, not just baking.
The same idea applies here, but you’re not thickening a soup or cream, but rather making the cookie dough a little thicker so it holds its form when it comes out of the oven.
Using cornstarch in particular is key because it will modify the texture of the cookie without damaging the soft and pillowy feel that you are striving for by using cake flour.
It may take some effort to achieve the exact quantity of cornstarch required, but it will be well worth it when you do.
What About Other Flours?
So, now that you’ve made your first batch of cookies using cake flour as the primary flour in the recipe rather than all-purpose flour, you may be wondering whether you can make other types of cookies by combining different flours.
The answer is that you can, but some of the consequences may be lackluster or unattractive, or a mix of the two.
There are two things to bear in mind while studying various flours to utilize for your cookies. The first is that you must be accurate with the quantity of flour you use, since baking is a difficult process to begin with, and you should strive to locate a reputable recipe to guarantee you are using the appropriate quantities of flour.
The second thing to remember is that, as a general rule, the more gluten a certain kind of wheat has, the more chew you will have.
This raises the issue of how many distinct varieties of flours exist. There are many different varieties of flour that are designed to cook a certain cuisine extremely effectively.
There are even more flours to consider if you want to deal with non-wheat flour, but we’ll get to that later. To begin, think about the most common varieties of flours that are readily available.
All-purpose flour is already available. As a point of comparison, all-purpose flour typically contains 10% to 12% protein. Cake flour, as a comparison, has a protein concentration of roughly 5% to 8%.
Then there’s bread flour, which has a little greater protein concentration of 12% to 14% to give your cookies that chewy texture. Then there’s whole-wheat flour.
Because it employs the whole kernel of wheat rather than just a fraction, whole wheat flour is thicker and heavier than all-purpose flour.
This will be evident in a cookie, and when using whole-wheat flours, you should use half the quantity of flour specified for. Its protein level is typically approximately 13.5%.
What About Gluten-Free Flours?
There are several gluten-free flours available, but they all have the same caveat: no gluten.
This means that, although the flours and their properties vary significantly, the basic texture of the finished cookie will be the same since you will be utilizing the same binding agents to substitute gluten in most recipes. Cornstarch, xanthan gum, and other comparable binding agents may be used.
There are several varieties of gluten-free flour available. Buckwheat flour, which has no gluten despite its name, tapioca flour, potato flour, arrowroot powder, maize flour, nut flours, and so on.
If you can crush it into a fine powder, chances are someone has transformed it into a gluten-free flour mix that you can test.
When you combine the cookie dough with 100% cake flour, less gluten is created. After baking, the cookie consistency is delicate, softer, fluffier, and, well, cake-like. The hue may get lighter, and the edges may become less sharp. However, the taste should still be enjoyable.
Flour. All-purpose or pastry flour is used in most cookie recipes. If you use bread flour, which has a high gluten protein content, or cake flour, which is heavy in starch, your cookies will spread less when baked.
Because of this difference, you should use a little more cake flour to produce an exact alternative for all-purpose flour. To match the amount in 1 cup of all-purpose flour, add an additional 2 tablespoons per cup of cake flour.
For softer, chewier cookies, use less granulated sugar, slightly more brown sugar, and much less butter. When making cakey cookies, you’ll frequently use less butter and sugar.
Bread flour has more protein than all-purpose flour, therefore it will produce chewier cookies than all-purpose flour. Furthermore, the greater protein level may cause the dough to be a little dry, so you may need to add more liquid if you use bread flour.
What happens if I use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour?
Because of the lower protein level, cake flour has a lighter consistency, which is why it is often used in cakes to generate that airy feel. For the most part, these flours may be used interchangeably. So there may not be as much of a difference between cake flour and all-purpose flour as you believe.
When you use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour, your cookies will be lighter, more delicate, fluffier, more softer. When making soft cookies, some people use cake flour. This makes sense since it comes out more “cake-like” rather than thick or chewy.
“My golden rule for baking is to make it cold and bake it hot,” she explains.
Type 00 Flour (also known as Doppio Zero)
Type 00 flour is the classic Italian flour that is linked with excellence. Because it has no wheat bran, it is highly refined, very soft, and bright white in color.
For cookies, you may use either self-rising flour or regular flour (all-purpose flour). Self-rising flour, on the other hand, spreads less, resulting in taller cookies. When compared to regular flour, the texture may be fluffier and lighter.