Cooking & Baking Expat Forum - Flour - my brain hurts!

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emtopp
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From: Germany
2/7/2004 13:22    
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Question -

You know how an American baking recipe will call for a cup of flour?

Should I sift my German flour and then take a cup of that for an equivalent? Or should I figure out how much a cup of American flour weighs and then use the same weight of sifted German flour?

Or does none of this really matter?

I need a food scientist!!

Thanks, Em

ll121440
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From: Germany
2/8/2004 21:58    
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Hi Em!

The most success I have had is (1) sift (2) measure in USA measuring devices (3) SCANT or short the flour.

I have read (been told) German flour does NOT absorb moisture as USA flour does. The science? I have no clue. I have even shorted a 1 1/2 cup recipe by 1/4th cup and it seems to work....almost.

While I LOVE German kuchen, it is NOT fluffy as Betty Crocker airy. Or at least I've NOT found THAT kind of kuchen yet and think I've been through most of them.

I know they weigh here. And perhaps WITH a German recipe it is the best way to go, but I've never seen an American recipe that says 8 oz of flour.

Or is pint's a pound the world around right? Never done it.

One of the URL's posted here...some time ago...had "hints," including subbing corn starch for portion of flour. I asked: where does one find corn starch in Germany. Never got an answer!

I do now have a box of Argo Corn Starch mailed from states. Haven't tried the sub yet.

NOW have YOU tried to make a fluffy pie crust with German flour? Frankly since I've not yet met a German who even knows what a pie is, for them the fluffy isn't too much an issue. :-)

Kerstin
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From: China
2/9/2004 02:52    
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Corn Starch:
-----------------

You should be able to find in any German supermarket.
It's called "Speisestaerke" and made from corn (German "Mais", that's why some people call it as well "Maisstaerke").
I think the main common brands are Maizena and Mondamin. Some even use the "Maizena" brand name as synonym for corn starch.
This should help you to find it in any supermarket -even if the assistant has no clue of baking and cooking.

Kerstin

ll121440
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From: Germany
2/9/2004 12:00    
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Thanks Kerstin,

Rattled off these names to a German friend who indicated that the first Speisestaerke was used by his grandmother to iron with and Mondamin for sauces.

Have you used both for cooking? Just curious.

Thanks

Deme
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From: Germany
2/10/2004 11:59    
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I got so sick of converting cups to grams that I had my mom send a measuring cup and spoons from the States. I measure a cup of flour and then sift it. It works fine for me. I also have made a really good pie crust- tender and flaky - for an apple pie and it was delicious. I can put it on the recipe section. I also use Speisestarke when a recipe calls for corn starch. I bought a digital cooking scale and sometimes weigh ingredients but it's a big pain converting cups and ounces to grams, liters and kilograms. Mondamin is the company that makes Speisestarke and this other stuff I use to thicken sauces called Sossenbinder. They both work really well for me.

emtopp
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From: Germany
2/10/2004 15:38    
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Oh yeah, Deme, you'd better believe that I brought all of my measuring cups and spoons with me when I moved here, LOL!!

Good, I measure and then sift too. I would love if you could post that recipe for pie crust. I could use a good one.

Do you lighten your flour with cornstarch? I read in my Berlin AWC book that this is one reason why American flour is less dense - there's up to 10% buckwheat flour in it, which lightens it, and you can do the same thing with cornstarch apparently....

Em

Kerstin
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From: China
2/11/2004 02:23    
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Corn starch

I use "Maisstaerke" for baking and sauces.
If a recipe calls for corn starch its what I take, but even if it's not mentioned you can substitute the flour with it. Depending on the cake you want to make it can be as much as 30 to 50% (eg half/ half I use for bisquit - it makes the dough much lighter and finer).

The "Speisestaerke" I use for sauces I usually desolve in water first this way you avoid lumps.
For the "lazy" cooking I as well use the "other Mondamin stuff" , which is called "Fix Sossenbinder" and you can get it for dark and white sauces.
It contains starch, but milksugar, riceflour and Maltodextrin are in it as well.
Mondamin Sossenbinder can be added to the soupstock - cooked for just a minute and is ready -without lumps (that's apparently what the addtives are for).

Em,
if you want to try to make your own "buckwheat flour" you can try to mix it with German "Buchweizenmehl". It was very common to make cakes with it in Germany ages ago - but it became a bit unfashionable. The result is that not every supermarket has it on stock - but you might be lucky or you will find it in one of the Biolaeden in your neighbourhood.

Looking forward to the pie crust recipe!

Kerstin

emtopp
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From: Germany
2/11/2004 11:42    
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Thanks, Kerstin, that's interesting about the buckwheat flour...I'm definitely going to try to cornstarch/flour mix if it really makes that much of a difference!

Em

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