What is the biggest difference between bleached and unbleached all purpose flour? Will they bake and taste the same? Is the any type of food in which you should use one and not the other? Thanks for the help!
I don't care if there is a difference in the outcome. No chlorine in my flour, thank you very much.
I always buy King Arthur unbleached flours, as the depth of flavor and color is so much better.
Aside from the obvious differences of chemicals and color, unbleached all-purpose flour has a higher gluten content than does the bleached. That means bleached flour makes a more tender, cakey texture. The difference is NOT significant enough to justify using bleached flour, IMHO. Of course for breads, you'd want that higher gluten content.
However, for the very lightest, most tender cakes, bleached cake flour is the way to go. Unfortunately.
Flour is bleached to simulate the aging process that would produce the same result over time. Bleached flour is less dense than unbleached and has better baking qualities as a result. In the bad old days flour was left for a few months to age naturally but producers discovered that bleaching produces the same result much quicker. That leads to faster turn arounf time and more $$$.
Unbleached flour has more flavor than bleached and I for one will happily live with slightly less baking efficiency than consume the chlorine in bleached flour.
Cake flour is always bleached because the color of the final product is important to cake bakers as is the rising qualities of the flour.