Baking from scratch has really taken off over the past couple of years. From sourdough bread to bagels, home cooks have really embraced the art of baking bread. If you’re in the middle of your favorite recipe and find that you’re out of bread flour, you’ll be happy to know that there are some easy substitutes to use in its place.
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What Is Bread Flour?
Compared to other types of flour, bread flour has a higher amount of protein. The protein in flour helps to make the dough strong, and in turn, the bread to rise. Bread flour also absorbs more liquid, making the dough more solid and stiff, and works well in recipes that use yeast.
What’s the Best Bread Flour Substitute?
The easiest and most convenient substitute for bread flour is regular all-purpose flour. Use it at a ratio of 1:1. You may notice that the product you’re baking is slightly less chewy, and instead of rising straight up, the bread may mushroom over the sides of the pan. The taste and texture of the bread should not be affected.
The Difference Between Bread Flour and All-Purpose Flour
Bread flour has about 12-14 percent protein, while all-purpose flour has 10-12 percent. All-purpose flour can be used in just about any baked product with excellent results. Because of the higher protein content in bread flour, it is the best flour to use when making bread and other baked goods that need a stiff or sturdy dough. Unlike all-purpose flour, vitamin C and barley flour are added to bread flour.
How to Substitute Bread Flour with All-Purpose Flour
All-purpose flour is an easy swap for bread flour. Here’s what you need to do:
- Measure 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- Remove 1 1/2 teaspoons of the flour
- Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of vital wheat gluten
- Whisk to combine well
Use this mixture at a ratio of 1:1 in your recipe.
What’s the Difference Between Bread Flour and Cake Flour?
Bread flour has a high amount of protein and absorbs more liquid. This flour is strong and will rise well when making bread, it is best used in recipes that require yeast. Whereas cake flour is low in protein, and has a finer consistency and less gluten. Cake flour is perfect for making cakes and cupcakes.
Can I Use Plain Flour Instead Of Bread Flour?
Regular all-purpose flour without the addition of vital wheat gluten described above can be used to replace bread flour. Note that the end result may not be exactly the same. The bread may not rise as well and it may not be as chewy.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Self Raising Flour for Bread
Self-raising flour is not a good substitute for bread flour. It accelerates the proofing period of the dough, causing the yeast to fail.
How to Store Bread Flour
Bread flour is best stored in an air-tight container away from heat sources and direct light.
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Easy Homemade Bread Flour Substitute Recipe
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ vital wheat gluten
- In a mixing bowl, add all-purpose flour.
- Remove 1 ½ teaspoons of the flour
- Add vital wheat gluten. Whisk to combine well