US vs UK flour

Curious observation from my mother's recent 3 months in the USA, she says she is unable to bake well when she was in the USA. Now, given mum is a pretty amazing baker on this side of the pond,  I am wondering why that might happen ?

I wondered if  its "American flour", as opposed to "UK flour" - the recipe, would be the same kind of things, memorised over the years, like a simple scone, fairycakes, pastry.  Her main complaint was that items didn't brown, even at the same oven temperatures as she uses here, and after repeated experiments with the same recipes.

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CharlotteS5111 months ago

Flour from different countries has different characteristics due to the type of wheat planted (In the US the same brand actually can vary by region and/or season), soil nutrients, and the wheat's protein content. Also, the bleaching process can be different. Some brands use aging and some use chemical bleaching. Protein count and bleaching impacts moisture absorption which could impact browning. Protein counts on US flour is generally rounded up so at a 1/4 cup the counts look nearly the same but are not...Also, it could be the fat she used...the moisture content could be different. Also convection ovens heat a bit differently than a lot of US ovens. Therein could be the culprit as well. This guy has a great explanation.

Each country grows, mills, bleaches, and labels things a bit differently and it can make a big taste difference.

British Flour has baking powder it in. American all-purpose flour does not. It you get American Self-Raising flour, it will have baking powder in it but it also has salt.

To make an equivalent of British flour in the US, use all-purpose flour and add ~2 tsp of Baking powder for every 150g (140g=1cup) of flour.

Hope this helps!

We have Plain flour - all-purpose, and self-raising (rising), just like you, though ours lacks the salt.

steveastrouk (author) 4 years ago
So many useful ideas !
Thanks to everyone whose posted them.
maewert4 years ago
Maybe differences in the milk also? I understand US milk must be pasteurized and A and D fortified, etc. which effects our cheeses as well. Probably wouldn't affect the browning but possibly the flavor.
steveastrouk (author)  maewert4 years ago
Ours is pasteurized too, but I wonder if the fat content is modified ?
Was butter a component of the recipe? 
We also have 3-4% fat regular whole milk, 2% skim milk, low-fat milk, buttermilk, etc.
And possibly the water. One of the mysterious reasons why you can't get a good bagel outside of New York City.
Ninzerbean4 years ago
It's the humidity where she was, when I was in Florida I had to decrease the amount of water in anything I baked - especially bread. I don't know where you mum was but I suspect that was the problem.
steveastrouk (author)  Ninzerbean4 years ago
Could well be - she was in Port Charlotte.
I shall mention that one !
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