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bleached vs. unbleached flour

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone! I just started baking the last year or so and I find it very relaxing and enjoyable. I have started to invest in a few books on baking regarding simple things like cupcakes and cookies, though I haven't attempted cakes from scratch yet.

 

As an amateur, I have a question regarding flour, as in bleached and unbleached. Last week, I made what were the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made, only to realize after that I used unbleached flour when the recipe called for bleached! I googled a few things about the two, and all I understood was that bleached flour is favored when it came to baking, primarily due to healthy reasons. Whereas, unbleached flour is processed. Am I correct?

 

However, is that it? Could someone help me understand a bit more?

post #2 of 2

when flour is freshly milled, its color is not "pure white" - to make it more visually appealing flour can be "artificially bleached" - although stored under proper conditions for sufficient time, flour will naturally bleach itself.

 

to make it bleach faster, chemicals are used.  one popular approach is "bromated" flour - which for example - has been banned in many European countries as bromine is thought to be cancer causing.

 

see:

http://www.qwhatis.com/what-is-bleached-flour

for a more detailed discussion of bleached flour.

 

I've been using unbleached flour for decades, and really can't say I've noticed differences, but do note I have little basis for comparison.

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