Maida - all purpose flour

@allknowing (70503)
India
March 3, 2013 10:42pm CST
The all purpose flour which we in India call as maida is now considered to be a health hazard. It is used in almost all bakery products and several other food items. It is no longer a joy to relish these items which have become a part of any household. Maida has been used from time immemorial and now we have to think twice before using it. I am toying with the idea of replacing it with whole wheat flour. My next experiment will be baking my favourite date and walnut cake using whole wheat flour. Who knows it may taste equally good. Your views please.
2 people like this
11 responses
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
4 Mar 13
I am sure it will taste equally good.My trial with whole wheat flour [for biscuits] was fine.But, don't worry too much about this 'maida'.You are not going to polish off one full cake on a single day.Have it instead of rice one time.If not, have it in the afternoon or evening and ensure that you do some exercise after that.
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@allknowing (70503)
• India
4 Mar 13
Drops make an ocean kala. It is the collective effect. There will be the cake, pancakes, biscuits, chocolates all consumed in one day and continued for days on end - these are my favourites.
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@kalav56 (11502)
• India
4 Mar 13
Is your weight under control?Are you diabetic or do you have high cholestrol?
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@allknowing (70503)
• India
4 Mar 13
I am not a diabetic - a low sugar candidate in fact but all the same we need to take prophylactic measures as the main culprit is our diet. My cholesterol levels are a bit haywire. Is it not better kala that we eat healthy and not wait for sickness to visit us?
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@owlwings (39871)
• Cambridge, England
4 Mar 13
Maida flour is made from the endosperm (the starchy white part) of wheat. The bran and the germ are removed. It is also bleached using a chemical which is banned in China and the EU. If you can find unbleached maida (which is slightly yellowish) it would be healthier but it would be still better to use whole wheat flour because the bran (the light brown skin of the wheat kernel) is a good source of fibre and the germ contains many valuable nutrients.
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@allknowing (70503)
• India
4 Mar 13
I use wheat flour for chapatis. I get the wheat and send it to a flour mill close by but I have never used wheat flour where the recipes mention maida. In all these years of my spending time in the kitchen it has always been maida. My cooking includes recipes from far and near and almost every country has maida in their recipes. The Chinese however I notice use corn flour. I shall try my date and walnut cake one of these days using wheat flour and see the difference.
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@owlwings (39871)
• Cambridge, England
4 Mar 13
Flour is usually graded and very often treated with various chemicals and goes by different names in different countries. Maida is approximately equivalent to 'plain flour' in the UK and either 'all-purpose' or 'cake flour' (which is finer and has less protein) in the US. It is made from a soft wheat which has little gluten. What we in the UK and US know as 'bread flour' is what you call 'atta', I believe. It is made from a different wheat variety which has more gluten, which is what holds the gas bubbles and develops the spongy texture characteristic of bread. If you buy wheat yourself and send it to the mill - something we haven't been able to do here in the UK since the end of the 19th Century, you are likely to get a fairly coarse, wholewheat flour (depending on the the milling process and whether they use stones or metal rollers) which is ungraded. The type of flour will depend on the type and quality of the wheat you buy. Whole wheat flour should be quite suitable for a date and walnut cake because it will enhance the sweet and nutty flavours very well.
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@allknowing (70503)
• India
4 Mar 13
After the song and dance about maida I have settled for wheat flour made from the wheat I buy. The best wheat is known in India as Kandwa which is not available where I live. It is quite long and the chapatis prepared from that wheat puff up double.I have not had a good look at the mill as I send my staff for the job. As the chapatis are getting fried I dab them with pure ghee made at home and sometimes I just eat the plain chapatis dunked in tea. Whole wheat flour is also sold in the market under different brands but I am not sure if the flour contains the bran. We also get whole wheat bread which is drier than the normal bread. Of late they have come out with an all grain flour too.
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@Archie0 (4669)
4 Mar 13
I am not a baking expert but i can say there is no harm in trying with the whole wheat. I have a friend who bakes wonderful chocolate brownies using whole wheat flour. All purpose flour is basically not harmful or hazardous to health. As per what my doctor told me, when i asked her if i can eat things made out of this flour; The flour has no other nutrients in them other than fiber. That is why it is not recommended mostly for people on diet or weight watchers. Fiber should be taken only in required amount to keep the system running. Otherwise it is not needed in large amounts, and that is what an all purpose flour has in them.
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@allknowing (70503)
• India
4 Mar 13
The concept of using wheat flour for cakes and stuff is pretty new as so much is being said about maida. Even chemicals are used to get it to that level.
@GardenGerty (103898)
• United States
4 Mar 13
It is the same in the US. I have white, enriched flour, all purpose type and bread flour type, and I have known for years that it is not the healthiest food, so for years, I have added things to it, or used half white, half whole wheat. I like a variety of flours. I also will add things like wheat germ, or bran, or oat flour, or flax seed meal to my white flour items. My family is used to it, and really like it.I do not know if whole wheat is light enough for a cake, but it sounds like a date and walnut cake would be delicious with whole grain flour. I would eat it for sure.
@allknowing (70503)
• India
4 Mar 13
I have this tendency to follow recipes to the 't' but now with the exposure to the Internet we get to read so much about the havoc maida creates. I shall gradually switch over to the loyal wheat flour and I am sure whatever is made will taste equally good. You seem to have taken the cue early in life - good for you.
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@Hatley (164471)
• Garden Grove, California
4 Mar 13
HI all knowing white flour has had the healthy part taken out to make it white. Whole wheat is the best of the two but here in the US I think most bakeries still use white flour instead of the good whole wheat flour.I think most baked goods tastes just as good made with whole wheat flour too. I here in Gold Crest can no longer bake but do hope that they use whole wheat flour more than white.
@allknowing (70503)
• India
4 Mar 13
I am sure if you just walk into the kitchen and talk about what you know, and I am sure you know more, they will pay attention and you will soon have everything made from wheat flour!
@pergammano (7755)
• Canada
4 Mar 13
Flours...of all kinds and grinds have been on my "hit list" lately...and you will see one of my FEW discussions was about flour, and the added chemical Potassium Bromate (extender, flavour enhancer,speeds up baking time)..and it is banned in a lot of countries in the world, EU, China, Japan,Canada. Maida (maitha)flour has basically NO protein, and a very low gluten content, and sadly it has one more chemical component...BENZOYLE PEROXIDE used in the bleaching process...and it is banned in the EU, China and Canada. Can you not opt for "unbleached" flour?
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@allknowing (70503)
• India
4 Mar 13
Too late to consider your recommendation perga! I have settled for wheat flour made from wheat bought by me and sent to the flour mill. I am planning on baking my favourite date and walnut cake using wheat flour with bran and all and see how it turns out!
• Canada
4 Mar 13
I guess my lack of sleep...is really rendering my brain a "mush cake"....I don't see what I recommended! If I were to recommend anything...it would be what I am recommending for myself...and that is a MASSIVE decrease in FLOUR of any form being consumed! I will word my question differently...is "unbleached flour" available to YOU? Now I will go back to sleep!
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@allknowing (70503)
• India
4 Mar 13
Some companies are swearing about their flour being pure with bran and all but I am happy with what I have.
@roshigo58 (4871)
• Pune, India
7 Mar 13
Hi, You are right. maida is used in almost every tasty items. But it is hazard to health. Wheat flour is a good substitute for maida. In Diwali festival in our Maharashtra many food items are made up from maida. And they are very delicious. But we should cut the use of maida so that our health would not affected badly.
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@allknowing (70503)
• India
7 Mar 13
Try and use wheat flour and that too wheat flour from wheat which you buy and then send it to the flour mill. I have started on this and intend to use it for all eatables replacing maida.
@salonga (27955)
• Philippines
6 Mar 13
Yes all-purpose flour is a health hazard because as I've learned, it goes through a bleaching process which is not good. It means when you eat any thing made out of bleached flour, you also consume the bleaching agent. As for me, I've long junked using bleached flour and never eat white breads. I stick to whole wheat bread and if ever I'd use white flour I buy one that did not go through bleaching. They are available in Health Stores.
@allknowing (70503)
• India
6 Mar 13
Nice to hear that you can find all purpose flour which has not gone through the bleaching process!
@checkmail (2042)
• India
4 Mar 13
Hello allknowing this is checkmail and this news seems to be new to me, all purpose flour is dangerous in eating.Wouls xhwxk on to its facts soon, anyways whole wheat flour can replace Maida but won't replace its taste you might have to add few flavors to it.But how could maida be dangerous when its form prehistoric time food.
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@allknowing (70503)
• India
5 Mar 13
Maida is refined and so much of what full grain wheat has is removed. Chemicals are used for refining it and so is not healthy.
• India
4 Mar 13
Wheat flour is the correct substitute for Maida as well as it is good for our health too. Good to know that you are interested in preparing a recipe using wheat flour instead of maida. Wisht you to get success in your effort.
1 person likes this
@allknowing (70503)
• India
4 Mar 13
When one hears from all quarters about the havoc maida causes there is no choice but to replace it with wheat flour which is considered to be good for health. And if wheat flour can produce the same effect, nothing like trying it out.
@mariaperalta (19094)
• Mexico
4 Mar 13
I cook with flour here almost everyday in cafe. As I cook may times of breads and cookies. Ive never heard its health problems here.
@allknowing (70503)
• India
5 Mar 13
I do not know about the flour that you get there but the maida that we use her is refined flour which takes away the bran and stuff and to refine it chemicals are used.