Question: I notice that some recipes call for cake flour and regular flour. I can't seem to find cake flour anywhere. Can I substitute regular flour?
Answer: Cake flour is sold in two-pound boxes (rather than bags) and should be available in most Southland supermarkets. In an emergency, one cup minus two tablespoons all-purpose flour is equivalent to one cup cake flour. However, since all-purpose flour is made from a combination of hard and soft wheat, it will not produce quite the same texture as cake flour, milled entirely from soft wheat.
Q: I am interested in any information you have on Squaw bread. What ingredients qualify it as Squaw bread rather than wheat bread?
A: Recipes and ingredient listings we checked seem to agree that Squaw bread is made with whole-wheat flour, rye flour, all-purpose flour, yeast, honey, brown sugar or molasses, and raisins.
This recipe from "Breads" (HP Books: 1983, $7.95) by Sharon Tyler Herbst is typical.
2 (1/4-ounce) packages yeast
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 3/4 cups milk, at room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 cups rye flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose or bread flour
2 1/2 to 3 cups whole-wheat flour
Dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon honey in water in large bowl of electric mixer. Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Combine remaining 1/4 cup honey, raisins, brown sugar and 1/2 cup milk in blender or food processor fitted with metal blade. Process 30 to 45 seconds until raisins are ground.
To yeast mixture, add raisin mixture, remaining milk, butter, salt, 1 cup rye flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup whole-wheat flour. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer 2 minutes, or beat 200 vigorous strokes by hand.
Stir in remaining rye flour, remaining all-purpose flour and enough remaining whole-wheat flour to make soft dough. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead dough 10 to 12 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Place dough in greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover with slightly damp towel. Let rise in warm place, free from drafts, until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
Grease 2 (2-quart) souffle or casserole dishes or 2 large baking sheets. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal and set aside. Punch down dough and knead 30 seconds. Divide dough in half for 2 large loaves or in quarters for 4 small loaves.
Shape dough into round loaves. Place in prepared pans or on prepared baking sheets. Cover with dry towel. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Bake at 375 degrees 35 to 40 minutes for large loaves, 25 to 30 minutes for small loaves, or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans and cool on racks. Makes 2 large or 4 small loaves.
In response to the Jan. 28 You Asked About . . . column on finding coconut milk, galangal powder, fish sauce and lemon grass, M. Holmes suggests that those not wishing to order by mail can find the items in Thai and Vietnamese food markets around the Southland.