Pros: It’s good enough for me when it goes on sale.
Cons: It may cause illnesses due to the chemicals used to bleach it.
According to the Gold Medal website, GOLD MEDAL ALL-PURPOSE BLEACHED, ENRICHED, PRE-SIFTED FLOUR is excellent for all types of baking. It is a blend of selected hard and soft wheats.
Frankly, I have done a lot of baking in my time and I haven’t noticed any big differences between bleached, enriched, pre-sifted flour and regular all-purpose flour other than the color of the flour. Some white flours are whiter and some are more of a cream color. I’ve used the more expensive brands and I’ve used the brand of my supermarket, Meijer, for baking. They all produce a product that tastes good to me. Maybe if I did a comparison test of each flour and tasted the results side by side I would notice a difference but who has the time for that?
Once I did a taste-test of tomato sauces between Dei Fratelli, Hunts, and Red Gold. All I had to do was open the cans. Dei Fratelli won. It tasted better so I used it from then on. Now, however we consumers and food product manufacturers have become more aware of all the sodium in our foods. Many manufacturers have either reduced sodium in their products or produce a product line with lowered sodium. So, I’ve switched to either puree tomato sauces or straight whole or diced tomatoes which have little or no sodium. We have also been warned about corn syrup, high fructose syrup, palm oil, MSG, trans fats, and the list keeps getting longer. I have to remind myself to READ THE LABELS.
There is no sodium or any of the above warnings in any flour product UNLESS you buy a mix such as a brownie mix or cake mix where all you have to add are eggs and milk or water. This is why I prefer to use straight flour and bake from scratch: so I can have more control of the ingredients.
But White flour has fallen out of favor too with the experts. I say HOLD ON A MINUTE! Haven’t people used white flour for eons? Let’s be rational. Everything in moderation.
I use white flour, whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, bread flour, semolina flour, corn meal, corn masa, and if I could get it at my supermarket, I would use chick pea flour, buckwheat flour and who knows what else. Variety is the spice of life!
BLEACHED, ENRICHED, PRE-SIFTED FLOUR
According to the Joy of Baking website (http://www.joyofbaking.com/flour.html): “Pre-sifted flour was sifted before packaging but it compacts during shipping and handling and therefore is no longer sifted by the time you get it home. So if your recipe calls for sifted flour make sure you sift it again. (If your recipe calls for 1 cup sifted flour this means you sift the flour before measuring. However, if the recipe calls for 1 cup flour, sifted this means you sift the flour after measuring.) Sifting flour removes lumps and aerates it so that when liquid is added the dry ingredients will be fully moistened.”
TO SIFT, TO PRE-SIFT PERCHANCE TO DRIFT
I’m sorry. I just can’t get into the sifting thing. My mind drifts off.
Critics of bleached, pre-sifted flours say the bleaching removes vitamins from the flour so that it has to be enriched. Food manufacturers bleach flour to make it more eye-appealing to the consumer. Studies show that alloxan, the chemical that makes white flour look "clean" destroys the beta cells of the pancreas. Critics say you may be putting yourself at risk for diabetes.
While I would prefer unbleached flour, I buy bleached flour when it goes on sale. Often, I mix it with whole wheat flour or rye flour to get the benefits of whole grains.
One or more recipes are often found on the back of a bag of GOLD MEDAL FLOUR. This bag had two:
BEST-EVER BANANA BREAD (makes 2 loaves) and ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (makes 4 dozen cookies). I won’t be making either of those. I will be using GOLD MEDAL ALL-PURPOSE BLEACHED, ENRICHED, PRE-SIFTED FLOUR for pizza, English muffins, thickening stews, breading foods, making Italian breads and whole wheat breads.
THE IT’S GOOD FOR YOU – IT’S BAD FOR YOU PHENOMENON
Years ago the experts said that cranberry sauce causes cancer. Now cranberry juice is the health drink for all women to avoid urinary infections. A few years ago eggs were bad for you and caused high cholesterol. Now it’s OK to eat an egg a day (unless it’s part of the salmonella recall scare of late). A few months ago we were told to eat more fish. Now we’re told we can only eat certain types of fish and in limited amounts. What’s a person to think? You decide.
For more information and recipes, visit: www.goldmedalflour.com