Bread Flour vs All Purpose Flour – What’s the Deal

Bread Flour vs All Purpose Flour – What’s the deal?

So Many Flours, So Confusing!

Have you ever found yourself standing there in the baking aisle at the grocery store. Wondering what the real difference is between bread flour and all purpose flour? Today we’re going to see what the big deal is between bread flour vs all purpose flour. While flour is a common ingredient, not all flours are alike. Some flours are not made from grains at all and are made from different vegetables, seeds and nuts. Many flours have been created for making certain foods in particular. (i.e. – Italian type 00 flour was created for pizza dough and pastas) Bread flour, you guessed it, is typically used for baking bread. All purpose flour is ideal for a wide range of things like cakes, muffins and cookies. Let’s compare bread flour vs all purpose flour and see what makes each of these uniquely different.

Bread Flour

bread flour vs all purpose flourBread flour was designed to be used with yeast in order to produce the perfect loaf! The amount of protein in bread flour is specifically measured, which in turn produces more gluten. The gluten gives the desired rise in bread. Bread flour has a high protein level. This allows the bread flour to absorb a lot of liquid, which in-turn allows it to hold its shape and rise upwards instead of outwards. The gluten and protein work together, and the outcome is a sturdy flour which is ideal when baking a variety of different kinds of bread. The gluten also creates an elastic dough, which will yield a light and chewy bread.

All Purpose Flour

bread flour vs all purpose flour


All purpose flour works for just about every recipe that calls for flour! It’s all in the name! All purpose flour does contain a moderate amount of protein, but still not as much as bread flour. This helps the flour remain firm and hold it’s structure while still providing the perfect amount of crumbliness for baking cakes. All purpose flour was created to be, well, all purpose; and it does a pretty good job of it. Many specialty flours such as cake flour and bread flour may yield a better result than all-purpose flour, the differences between them are hardly noticeable, especially by those enjoying the goodies!

Bread Flour vs All Purpose Flour Conclusion

So when it comes down to it, flour is flour. There are minor differences between them all, and some are better for certain things. Although mixing up the two flours won’t ruin your breads and baked goods. It can affect your bread recipes slightly if you get them confused. When you’re in a pinch and only have all purpose flour, use it. Your recipe will typically still turn out okay. If you are entering your breads or baked goods into a contest or even putting them up for sale. Then I would suggest using the correct flour. But, if you are just making baked goods at home for your family and friends. Most people won’t even know or care what type of flour you used.

Concluding Thoughts

If you are making most baking items it is okay for you to use all purpose flour. But if you are going to be making bread in a bread machine, you will want to use bread flour. The main reason for this is that with a bread machine, everything is timed. The bread machine does not look inside itself and decide that the dough needs more time to rise. It’s programmed to start making the bread at certain intervals based off of lots of testing with certain ingredients. So for that reason, make sure you get the proper ingredients when utilizing a bread machine.


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