How To Substitute Bread Flour For All-Purpose Flour

Monday, 31-Aug-2020 |

How to substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour

Do you love eating cakes, pastries, yummy bread, and all other baked items? Well, who doesn’t? Most often people also love baking it at home and enjoy it with tea or coffee. If you love baking, you would be familiar with the fact that each item needs different flour for instance for making cakes and pastries you need cake flour. You cannot bake a delicious cake out of bread flour.

Irrespective of the situation, you end-up with bread-flour on your kitchen shelf. Now, what can you actually do with bread flour? How to substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour?

First of all, you need to know the difference between bread flour and all-purpose flour.

What Is The Major Difference Between Bread Flour And All-Purpose Flour?

The most important aspect that distinguishes bread flour from all-purpose flour is the amount of protein present in them. Generally, all-purpose flour contains about 8 to 10% of the protein whereas bread flour contains 13 to 15 % of protein. The presence of extra protein in the flour helps in increasing the fluffiness of the bread loaf. Moreover, the presence of gluten in the bread flour makes it very chewier.

What Do You Mean By An All-Purpose Flour?

Well, as you can understand from the name, if you do not have any other flour in the kitchen pantry, All-purpose flour can help you out easily. During the grinding process, the bran and germ are easily stripped out with the endosperm getting turned into the flour. Due to this reason, all-purpose flour does not get bad or stale. The oil that makes the flour go rancid is removed. All-Purpose Flour falls in the mid-range of protein levels, which makes it an appropriate choice for most baked goods like cookies, muffins, and pie crust. But what if you do not have all-purpose flour and have to bake these things with bread flour?

Well, yes, you can easily substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour but in certain situations only. Let’s check out what are those scenarios when you can easily substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour.

Substitute Bread Flour For All Purpose Flour – Sandwich Bread/ Cookies/ Biscuits:

Generally, while baking sandwich bread or cookies or biscuits, all-purpose flour is used, but you can also make use of bread flour to make it more fluffy and chewy.

If you compare the bread loaf of all-purpose flour to that of bread flour, you would find that there wouldn’t be any change in the appearance but a loaf of bread flour would be a bit stiffer. This happens due to the fact that the bread flour dough absorbs more liquid. Similarly, the loaf of bread prepared from all-purpose flour is tender and not stiff.

Point of Concern! Before you start using the bread flour, it is essential to understand that the bread flour and all-purpose flour weigh differently, so while substituting, you need to be careful.

• Bread Flour: 1 cup (140 grams or 5 ounces)
• All-purpose Flour: 1 sifted cup (125 grams or 4½ ounces)

What If You Want To Make The Bread A Bit Soft?

Well, even in such times, you can make use of bread flour. Just remember to add a small portion of cake or pastry flour to the bread flour. It will reduce the protein amount in the dough and the end result would be that you would be getting a soft loaf of bread. The bread won’t be stiff anymore.


Although bread flour could be substituted for all-purpose flour, it is always advised to be very specific about the flour if you want to get optimum results. In different flour, the protein proportion is different and due to this, they are used for different purposes. The protein level would decide the hydration required by the dough, as well as how high the loaf will rise.

But in a pinch, it’s totally OK to substitute. Use bread flour if you want a tighter crumb and a loaf that holds its shape, or choose all-purpose if you’re looking for a slightly more open texture and a bit more tenderness. So try out your recipes with bread flour and observe the difference between the two on your own.