My favorite recipe book is a handwritten notebook passed down to me from my Grandmother. I use and reuse many of the recipes. Others I have tried to convert from English (my homeland) to American weights and measures but they are not the same, and some simply don't work.
In all recipes I substitute U.S. 'All Purpose Flour' when 'Plain Flour' is the listed ingredient; but after years of failure I'm wondering if the products are the same, or equal? U.S. All Purpose seems heavier and results confirm my instincts.
Does anyone know? Is there a difference between U.S. All Purpose and U.K . Plain ? If so, what is it and what is the solution?
I'm from Canada, and our flour is different from both american and english flours, but i did some research and discovered that Flour in the UK tends to be moister than flour in America.
Maybe you need to slightly increase your recipes liquids to account for it?
There's some interesting information about the differences between american and british flours here: http://www.practicallyedible.com/edib...
LukesBride, thank you!
The link you provided is so interesting, providing all the information I hoped to find. I am truly grateful for your contribution!
Give me a few weeks and I'll send you a recipe. My Grandmother served as Head Housekeeper for a rather large English estate. Her recipes are more of an heirloom than a hand-me-down; and certainly a treasure to me!
Thank you again!
How about posting one of the recipes that has given you problems. Based on experience with other recipes, and a sense of correct proportions, other cooks might be able to identify one or more problems.
Are you talking about breads, or cakes? Cakes using baking powder or self rising flour? Or cakes that depend entirely on beaten eggs? Are the cakes just too heavy? Are you sifting?
I like to make a Yorkshire style ginger bread that is quite heavy, but that because it uses half oats, and a lot of molasses.
I'm talking about light sponge cakes and heavy fruit cakes, Yorkshire puddings and plum puddings. The recipes cover the spectrum but they all include "Plain" flour. The closest equivalent in the US is All Purpose. None have self raising flour and eggs are not the problem.
I have been baking/cooking for more than 40 years. I understand the chemistry of cooking, quantity relationships and imperial /metric conversions. I really thought it was the flour, but perhaps not? After reading your response and the previous post from Pikawicca it just dawned on me, the problem may be altitude!
I'll keep you posted. Thanks for your help!
There are plenty of recipes for sponge cakes and Yorkshire pudding using American flour. I have no idea whether the proportions are different. I make the sweet equivalent of a Yorkshire pudding (Dutch Baby) regularly, and have had a total flop once - when we forgot to add the flour! I think most problems with Yorkshire puddings (and popovers) have more to do with oven heat and pan, than with flour.
Plum pudding, if using suet, shouldn't depend much on the flour characteristics. It's porosity is the result of melting fat.