What’s the Difference Between Cake Flour and Pastry Flour?
Simply put, choosing the right flour is all about the amount of gluten. So, the next question is “What is gluten?” It’s the protein in the flour that makes dough both firm and elastic. Think of well-kneaded bread dough and how it feels kind of like a rubber band. It’s stretchy and doesn’t crumble. Bread flour comes from a ‘hard’ flour, which has a higher protein content and as a result produces more gluten, making it the perfect choice for pizza, bread, or other doughs that need more elasticity.
Pastry flour is made with a ‘soft’ flour, which means it has far less protein and produces less gluten. Doughs that are made with pastry flour are more tender, flaky, and don’t hold together as firmly as bread flour. But that’s what you’re looking for. Cake flour has even less protein than pastry flour, but not by a drastic amount. It has just enough protein to give cakes a little structure, but not enough to make it tough.