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Ask a cook: Can I mix flours?

8:46 PM, Dec. 27, 2012
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Q: I'm trying to get the best texture in my favorite pound cake. Can I mix cake flour and all-purpose flour?

A: The biggest difference between flours is the amount of protein, which leads to the development of gluten, the stretchy bands that join molecules. For strong, crusty bread, you want lots of gluten. For tender biscuits, you don't want much. For cakes, you need something in the middle.

Bread flour is highest in protein, at 12 percent to 13 percent. All-purpose flour is next, at 10 percent to 12 percent protein. Pastry flour is a little lower, at 8.5 ...

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

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