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I'm baking tonight and I'm out of All purpose flour. I'm lazy to run out to the grocery store. Can I replace All purpose flour with Maida (Maida is better known to Asian Indians - we use it for making Naans and such)

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6 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Maida is wheat flour - all-purpose is usually a mix of wheat and barley flour. You can use it as all purpose flour for bread and cakes, as well as chapatis, parathas and puris!

You might find that bread and cakes made with maida don't keep as well as the same things made with all-purpose flour, but home baking never stays around for more than a day in my experience.

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When you say home baking never "stays around", do you mean that it gets finished off quickly or that it doesn't last? I hope it's the former, because most home-baked goods should have no trouble lasting almost as long as those from bakeries. –  Aaronut May 15 '11 at 16:50
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"it gets finished off quickly" is exactly what I mean. OTOH with a strong flour like maida, breads taste better than with barley flour but do go stale quickly, which is why the French and Italians make a point of buying their bread on a daily basis. In those countries, they buy wholemeal bread (pain entiere, pane integrale) if they want something that lasts for more than a day. The Indian habit of making unleavened breads when needed is just another way around the keeping problem. –  klypos May 15 '11 at 21:51
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Thanks all! The scones came out okay - not great. And it tasted better the day it was made(than the next) –  Narmatha Balasundaram May 16 '11 at 14:41
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This is completely incorrect. All purpose flour is not a mix of wheat and barley flour. It is 100% wheat flour, chosen from varieties that will yield a moderate protein content. –  SAJ14SAJ Feb 27 at 13:54
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Have used maida for making cakes/pastries/pizza/cookies/pasta/used as substitute for APF-all my life-no complaints ever! Dont know a shop that sells APF in India.

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Using all-purpose flour is better than using maida, in cakes.

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Why do you say so? –  Mien Mar 7 at 12:11
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Can you elaborate? –  rfusca Mar 7 at 18:28
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Making pizza dough with maida is not a good idea, as it makes the dough very hard. One can even make cricket bat with it, so to speak.

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Maida is a bread flour, and I would be very surprised if you can't make pizza dough with it. Maybe you used a wrong recipe with too little water? It can need more water than softer flours. –  rumtscho Feb 2 at 12:02
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Well, I've made naan with all-purpose flour, and it worked just fine. So you should be able to do the reverse as well.

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It doesn't quite work that way; AP flour sits in middle range of gluten strength, so you can use it for either pastries or breads; from what I understand, Maida has about the same strength as cake flour, so you'd have a hard time using it to make Western-style bread. –  Aaronut May 15 '11 at 16:53
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naan is a word that means different things in different places. If you were making a Kashmiri naan (with egg) to cook in a tandoor, it would work satisfactorily with either flour, but taste better with maida. A Bangladeshi naan is like a thick chapati, try that with all purpose flour and it is so heavy that it is barely edible. For Western-style bread, the French make their baguettes with a very strong flour, and maida works fine. Use maida to make an English style loaf, and it will be great to eat but will not be anything like as good the next day. –  klypos May 15 '11 at 22:05
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Maida is essentially very strong white flour. I have used it in the past to make bread, but not cakes - I'd give it a try and see what happens!

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Scratch my last comment - according to Wikipedia it has almost no protein, implying a very low gluten strength, so it should be fine for cakes (although the taste might be a little weird). –  Aaronut May 15 '11 at 16:51
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The point about maida is that it does not include the husk or bran. It comes from the centre of wheat grain - like white rice has the husk removed, maida is made from wheat with the husk removed. –  James Barrie May 15 '11 at 22:15
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