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From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maida_flour

Maida has been linked with diabetes[10] and known to cause blood sugar imbalances, have negative influence on Insulin.[1] Consuming maida makes people become prone to kidney stone and heart disease.[11] Maida contains anti-nutrients which can affect the digestive process.

and

maida is popular in a white color, bleached with benzoyl peroxide,

It is not easy to find special cake flour where I live. Wheat flour contains gluten which will result in hard cakes.

Now, considering the fact that I won't mind a bit chewy cakes, what other flours other than Wheat have lowest gluten which can be used to make a bit chewy cakes?

UPDATE

I just saw a muffin in market whose ingredients contained "corn flour". That muffin was not extremely soft, it was just a bit chewy. So, corn flour can be used instead of maida? What else?

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What most scares me from the Wikipedia link is that "Maida is also a bane for people suffering with piles or anorectal abscess since it tends to constipate thus increasing pressure on the anal walls while excretion thereby worsening the condition." :-O –  J.A.I.L. Nov 8 '12 at 10:44
    
Related question: difference between maida and all purpose flour –  J.A.I.L. Nov 8 '12 at 11:31
    
why is close vote here? –  TheIndependentAquarius Nov 9 '12 at 0:57
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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Flour labeled as Cake flour usually is weak flour: low W value, or less formally "low protein" or "fewer gluten". This is somehow weird, as some cakes will require weak flour, whether others nedd strong flour (for yeasted dough cakes, if they add lots of fat/oil to the dough, if they add lots of sugar, pieces of fruits/nuts, etc).

I specifically don't know whether Maida is strong or weak flour, despite this answer and it's comments.

Wheat plants has been selected for several milleniums to get more productive varieties, and, yes, grains that give stronger flour.

Substitutes as weak flour

Trying to get flour from a more "primitive" variety of wheat, such as spelt, emmer or einkorn. These are expensive where I live, and usually sold as bio, but maybe spelt is easily found in India. As they have not been so "genetically selected", they still have less gluten than today's "normal" flour. They also tend to have more and better taste than "normal" flour.

Another flour with low gluten content is rye. It has a different taste than wheat, but I thing it fits really well with cakes. This grain grows better in colder climates, so I'm not very sure how hard will it be to get it where you live.

Other flours, as rice or corn / maize have no gluten. It means gas bubbles won't be trapped in, and will result in a much too dense crumb. You might search some gluten-free bread tricks to solve this.

Substitutes as strong flour

Any bread flour will probably work. Maybe it won't rise as much and you'll get a crumb with a denser consistency, more similar to a "chewing gum" than a "soft cake". But if you are ok with this, you can go on.


Note(Thank to @Anisha for the suggestion): Notice that different flours have different absorption, so some readjustment on hydration should probably be made to the original recipe.

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You're free to format how you like, of course, but I might suggest using italics or bold instead of code formatting for emphasis; it's a bit less jarring and it's a lot more conventional. (I'm also not exactly sure why you're emphasizing most of these things, but again, your style is your own.) –  Jefromi Nov 8 '12 at 21:33
    
You said: "Other flours, as rice or corn/maize have no gluten. It means gas bubbles won't be trapped in, and will result in a much too dense crumb." So, having "no gluten" is a plus point? Wheat flour contains gluten that's why we can't use it for cakes? –  TheIndependentAquarius Nov 9 '12 at 8:02
    
Secondly, do we have to add or subtract any other thing when using corn/rice flour? –  TheIndependentAquarius Nov 9 '12 at 8:05
    
@Jefromi: Thank you for your suggestion and your edition. I was doing it that way simply because I was used to from Stack Overflow. –  J.A.I.L. Nov 9 '12 at 10:04
    
@Anisha: Gluten helps trapping gas bubbles. Depending on the consistency you want your cake to have you'll want to trap a lot, or not. Italian Panettone or Hispanic Roscón de Reyes are cakes made with very strong flour, and have relatively big holes in their crumb. –  J.A.I.L. Nov 9 '12 at 10:30
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if you don't have maida, consider a packet of marie gold or any other hardly sweetened biscuits for your cake, powder the whole pack in a mixer and use it instead of maida. The cake will be better than that made up of maida.

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One option is to make cake flour yourself. The recipes I've found use US units, so I've provided translations.

For each cup of all-purpose flour (125 g) remove 2 TB (28.3 g) of the flour. Replace with an equal amount (2 TB/28.3 g) of pure starch, such as corn starch or potato starch. Sift a bunch of times to mix. (Food.com says to sift five to six times.)

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