I find not much difference in generic versus name brand. I work in a bakery and sometimes bring that flour home. Again, I don't notice much difference. I'd say get what's cheap or has worked for you in the past and stick with that =)
There is some diffrence. In gluten and softness.
Which won't effect your recipes unless you're using 'grandma' Southern recipes.
The blend for AP flour for the Southern market is much softer than generic, and a lower protein. "Gold Medal, White Lilly" have a different weight/cup. than USDA AP flour. Which is why some biscuit recipes fail using generic AP flour and why I failed making 'no kneed' bread using White Lilly AP flour.
(until I started weighing it and not going by 'cup').
Why is Soutgern AP flour softer? More cake and less bread baking?
Biscuits , cake, pancakes, quick breads, dumplings, Cobbler, coating for fried chicken and meats fried like chicken..etc..etc.
June is a trusted source on General Cooking.
I use Whole Foods 365 Organic Unbleached Flour for most baking. I find no difference between it and "the King" except price. I do use White Lily or Tenda Bake (from MidState Mills) for biscuits and pastry, and my whole wheat flour comes from a local farmer.
There are measurable differences among brands of flour, although they may not be important to you. Wheat, like any agricultural product, differs by variety, location, weather, and growing practices, among other things. Then, milling differs in the blend of wheat used and whether the flour is bleached or unbleached. The wheat used in one brand of flour sold in one part of the country will be different from that of the same brand sold in another part of the country. Consequently, the chemistry of the flour--to include protein content, ash, enzymes, absorption, and a host of other things that affect the flavor and texture of your final product--will be different. So, your bread may rise slightly more or less; your cookies may be slightly different texture; your pastry may be more or less flaky, etc.
The point is, I guess, that if you are using a flour and like the results, just be aware that a different brand may not give you precisely the same results. Here is one treatise focused on breadmaking that I came across years ago; it may be more than you need/want to know, but it does demonstrate some differences: http://www.theartisan.net... Also many years ago, Cooks Illustrated tested all-purpose flours and decided that King Arthur unbleached and Pillsbury unbleached gave the best results if you only wanted to keep one kind in your pantry.
Wow .. thanks for all the information! I did end up baking like 20 dozens of cookies today! I usually use Pillsbury unbleached flour but I also used the generic brand today. It is good to know that there are actually differences between the different flour types. Thanks again!
They have the same use, but they have difference at all, when we say branded expect that it is clean, safe and reliable, I am not saying that generic has a bad quality but most likely they have and that depends where those products are coming from. But regardless of brand name or not, when you are talking about reliability of every product we consume, http://eatmywords.com/ is an expert to this.
Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
All flours are not created equal, unfortunately. There is a lovely flour grown and milled here in Montana that I love to use for bread, but right after moving here, I learned the hard way that its label is very misleading. On the front of the bag it reads All Purpose Flour; on the back, however, it reads All purpose and High protein. You can't have it both ways. The former should have a protein content of about 10%, while the latter's should be way up in the range of 14%. I bought a bag and used it to make cookies to thank the many people who helped me in various ways while I was moving in and settling into my house. Let's just say they were definitely chewy. I checked the protein content, and it was 13%, higher even than bread flour (12%).
The moral of the story is that in all my classes where any type of flour is used, I teach people how to determine the protein content of flours. Look about halfway down the nutrition label, and fine the grams of protein per serving. If truly all-purpose flour, it should be 3. Divide that by the total grams per serving from the top line of the label; it is nearly always 30. 3 divided by 30 is 10%, so you know it is actually AP flour. If the protein number is higher - in the case of my Montana flour, it's 4 - without even doing the math, you know the protein content will be higher than 10%. 4 divided by 30 is 13.3%.
I always use King Arthur Flour. They have never let me down.
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