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How to Substitute All-Purpose Flour for Bread Flour

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The feeling you get when perusing the baking area of the supermarket may range from thrilling to nerve-wracking, depending on how much you know about different types of baked goods and the whole baking process. There are many different types of flour available, such as all-purpose flour, cake flour, bread flour, and pastry flour. However, what distinguishes bread flour from all-purpose flour, and how can you choose which kind of flour would best suit the purpose you have in mind for your baked goods recipes?

Both kinds of flour, including the fundamental distinctions between them and the commonalities they share, as well as the sorts of baked goods that are best suited to each type of flour, are discussed in this article. In addition to these points, it is a wonderful idea to familiarize oneself with the ways in which it is feasible to utilize one kind of flour rather than the other in order to obtain the greatest outcomes.

The information that we have assembled in this post should assist you in appropriately substituting all-purpose flour in its place in baked recipes that call for bread flour in the event that you do not have bread flour on hand. Therefore, take a seat and get ready to increase your knowledge of the two different kinds of flour, as well as how to appropriately combine and benefit from them in the recipes you use to create the completed goods with the greatest flavor.

All-Purpose Flour Vs. Bread Flour

Bread flour’s protein profile is distinctive in comparison to that of other types of flour, which is one of the primary reasons why bread flour is so distinctive. Because it contains protein, flour has the ability to make dough more robust and to assist in the rise of bread. Bread flour normally has a high protein content, ranging anywhere from 12 to 14 percent, making it an excellent choice for recipes that ask for a firm dough and texture as well as a significant amount of elastic gluten production.

The protein in bread flour is able to absorb more moisture than the protein in other types of flour, which is what causes bread dough to be so tough. It works very well to give breads like loaves and buns, as well as pizza dough and other types of baked foods, greater height, firmness, and flexibility.

On the other hand, all-purpose flour may be used for any kind of baking project, and it normally contains anywhere between 10 and 12 percent protein. White flour is considered to be the industry standard for all-purpose flour. This kind of wheat has had the bran and germ removed during the processing and grinding stages, leaving just the starchy endosperm.

Unfortunately, this indicates that a significant portion of its nutritional advantages, as well as a significant portion of its taste in its natural form, have been lost. However, one of the benefits of using all-purpose flour in baking is that it produces uniform results every time. Additionally, as implied by its name, all-purpose flour has a wider range of applications than bread flour does.

Substituting All-Purpose Flour and Other Options for Bread Flour in Recipes

In most circumstances, you may substitute all-purpose flour with any other kind of flour. It will do, even if the consistency may not be nearly as excellent as the original. In a great many of the recipes, bread flour may be substituted for all-purpose flour without any noticeable difference in the end product.

In addition to all-purpose flour, there are other types of flour that may be used successfully in the baking process, including bread flour. Several of them are elaborated on in the following list:

All-Purpose Flour

Because it has the second-highest amount of protein and a healthy mix of both hard and soft glutens, all-purpose flour is a good replacement to use in its place. However, in the event that you do not have access to bread flour, this might be regarded the greatest alternative to utilize. This is an excellent alternative for a substitution since it is probably already in your pantry, making it a wonderful choice in terms of both accessibility and capacity.

The result is going to be determined by the kind of bread that you are attempting to bake. For instance, in order for bread flour to be able to support the weight of the grains in mixed-grain bread like rye and barley, the rising capacity of bread flour has to be unusually robust.

Because bread flour is heavier than all-purpose flour, you may use the same amount of bread flour even though you will need to adjust the way you measure out the all-purpose flour. If you want the end result to be lighter and airier, it is essential to let the dough sit undisturbed for some time before you knead it.

Rye Flour

Rye is a kind of grain that thrives in cooler climates compared to wheat, which is one reason why it is used more often in the cuisine of northern nations. For instance, you can buy rye flour in a variety of grades, ranging from whole grain dark rye, which contains all sections of the grain and produces delicious dark bread with a chewy texture, to first clear flour, which is used to produce lighter deli rye. You can also buy rye flour in a variety of other grades, such as medium rye flour, which is used to produce rye bread with a

Because the protein structure of rye is not identical to that of wheat, the gluten network that rye produces is not as robust as that produced by wheat. Rye bread that is made entirely from rye is heavier and has more of a chewy texture than wheat bread. For the greatest results when using rye flour as a replacement for bread flour, use a mixture of fifty percent (50%) rye flour and fifty percent (50%) whole wheat flour.

This method of replacement results in a bread that is very tender and moist, and it keeps these qualities even after being stored for many days.

Bob’s Red Mill, Organic Pastry Flour, Whole Wheat

Because it only contains around 8% protein, pastry flour is perfect for making delicate pastries, but it cannot be used to make yeast bread. Bread is able to keep its structure as it rises because to the presence of gluten, which is a protein found in wheat. The lower the protein level of any wheat, the less gluten it is able to produce.

In this regard, using Pastry Flour Blend, which is pastry flour with a protein level (10.3%) high enough to maintain a certain degree of the high-rising structure while still remaining low enough to generate delicate pastries, can be of assistance. Pastry Flour Blend is a pastry flour that is strong enough to sustain a certain degree of the high-rising structure. If you have a bag of pastry flour mix stashed away and assume that it can only be used for making cookies and pie crust, you should rethink that assumption since this fine flour can also be used to make amazing pull-apart pan bread.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I substitute regular flour for bread flour in the bread machine?

Even if it does not contain a sufficient amount of gluten, it is OK to use all-purpose flour in the bread machine. Your bread may not rise as much as it would if it were baked using bread flour, but that is the worst thing that can happen.

Can you substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour in sourdough bread?

Yes, but there is no guarantee that it will be a fair transaction. If you use all-purpose flour instead of bread flour, you will need to reduce the total quantity of water in a recipe that calls for bread flour; otherwise, the dough will be too sticky to work with. Bread flour absorbs less water than all-purpose flour does.

What flour is best for sourdough bread?

Because the bacteria get their energy from sugar, a sourdough starter may be made from any flour that also contains starch. Flour made from cereal grains, such as einkorn, rye, and wheat, performs well in this application.

Can I use all-purpose flour instead of bread flour?

Bread flour may be substituted with all-purpose flour, however since all-purpose flour has a lower protein level, the resulting dough or batter may be somewhat more moist. Bread flour can be used instead.

What can I use if I don’t have bread flour?

Simply replace the bread flour with the same amount of all-purpose flour to get a very identical result. You won’t even be able to tell the difference if your dessert, pizza crust, bread, or any other delicious endeavor turns out a little less chewy than you expected it to.

How do you make bread flour with cornstarch and all-purpose flour?

First, measure out one cup of flour, and then take off two tablespoons from that total. This will give you the correct ratio. To ensure that everything is well combined, add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and sift it together several times. You may create as many cups as you need using this method, or you can prepare a huge quantity and put some of it away for later use.

Can I use all-purpose flour instead of bread flour for sourdough?

Even while you may use all-purpose flour to bake sourdough bread, you shouldn’t necessarily expect to get the greatest possible outcome from doing so. What is this, exactly? Bread flour has a larger protein level than all-purpose flour does, and because of this, bread made with bread flour will have a stronger gluten network and better oven spring than bread made with all-purpose flour.


If you don’t have any bread flour on hand but need it for a recipe, you may use an equivalent quantity of all-purpose flour in its stead and save yourself a trip to the store as well as a few bucks.

People are wary about using baking replacements since they could not provide the same outcome. However, the changes that are brought about are not significant. Nothing should stop you from investigating the many alternatives to bread flour that are available to use in your recipes. It’s possible that the new flavor may become your favorite.