How to Substitute Bread Flour for All-Purpose Flour

“I want to make a bread recipe that calls for all-purpose flour, and all I have on my shelf right now is bread flour. Is it okay to substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour?”

There are countless reasons you may end up with a distinctive blue bag of King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour on your pantry shelf. Maybe someone else did the grocery shopping and didn’t know there was a difference between bread flour and all-purpose. Or perhaps there’s a big snowstorm coming, and bread flour was all that was left in the supermarket.

Or maybe there was just something enticing about the blue bag that called to you, promising you lofty loaves of homemade bread.

Regardless of how it gets there, once bread flour is in your pantry you might wonder about its potential – what can you actually do with bread flour? How can you substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour?

You can always check the back of the bag, where you’ll find the number to our Baker’s Hotline, 855-371-BAKE(2253). We’re here whenever you find yourself stumped in the kitchen. Like when you only have bread flour in the house, but the recipe you’ve been dying to make calls for all-purpose flour. Can you reach for the blue bag? Give us a call! We’re happy to help.

And while we love hearing your baking conundrums on the hotline, we also want to give you the tools you need to make informed decisions on your own. That way when there’s a sudden need for fresh bread (which happens often in my family), you’ll be ready to go – no need to pick up the phone.

Bread flour via @kingarthurflour

“How is bread flour different from all-purpose flour?”

It’s a question we hear almost every day on the hotline.

One answer is protein content.

Bread flour is milled from hard spring wheat, which has a higher protein content than the hard winter wheat used in all-purpose flour. Protein adds strength to dough and enables loaves of bread to rise high. Our bread flour checks in at 12.7% protein, while our all-purpose flour is at 11.7%.

“So can I use bread flour in a recipe that calls for all-purpose flour?”

That’s the next logical question eager callers ask.

Before responding with a resounding “Yes,” a few of us hotline bakers thought some testing was in order. So I headed to the test kitchen to see exactly what would happen when I substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour in some of our favorite bread recipes.

Sandwich bread

There’s no better place to start than our Classic Sandwich Bread. It’s the kind of bread that makes your toes curl under (in a good way!) when you butter up a slice.

This buxom loaf calls for all-purpose flour. But say you’ve got half a bag of bread flour to use up. (Plus, you might want a little more chew to make those BLTs you’ve been dreaming about.)

I tried the recipe with both all-purpose and bread flour to see what would happen.

Bread Flour via @kingarthurflour

Our Classic Sandwich Bread recipe made with all-purpose flour on the left; the same recipe made with bread flour on the right.

These two beautiful loaves came out of the oven. They rose about the same amount, but you can see the all-purpose version mushroomed a bit over the sides of the pan.

The bread flour loaf, on the other hand, held its shape. This is because dough made with bread flour absorbs slightly more liquid (due to the flour’s higher protein level), so it’s stiffer; the resulting loaf rises upwards rather than outwards.

Don’t worry, the difference in absorption isn’t enough to cause textural problems or hinder the rise of your loaf. As you can see, both of these loaves are worthy of making a perfect BLT.

Now you might be wondering if there were any surprises inside of these loaves…

Classic Sandwich Bread via @kingarthurflour

…but nope, no surprises!

If you look closely at the crumb (the small holes that create the structure of the bread), you might see that the bread flour loaf on the right has slightly smaller holes, or what we call a “tighter crumb.” Granted, the difference was quite small.

Both versions were perfect candidates for thick slices of toast slathered with butter and jam. So go ahead and use bread flour in the recipe, same amount as all-purpose. (Remember to fluff and sprinkle your flour or use a scale to measure by weight.) 

Whole wheat bread

Oftentimes bread flour or all-purpose flour is substituted for some of the whole wheat flour to help give whole grain loaves a boost. The bran in whole wheat flour impairs the gluten, so using a flour with more gluten can benefit the loaf’s structure and rise.

We wanted to see if there was a difference between using bread flour and all-purpose flour to strengthen the rise in a whole wheat loaf. So we decided to test it in our Classic 100% Whole Wheat Bread, using 50/50 whole wheat and all-purpose flour in one loaf, and 50/50 whole wheat and bread flour in the other.

We wondered if the slight difference we saw in the two sandwich loaves would be more pronounced when the flour was given the task of improving the performance of whole grains.

Classic Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread via @kingarthurflour

Classic 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread made with half all-purpose flour on the left and half bread flour on the right.

The result? The all-purpose loaf was wider across the top (more “mushroomed”) than the bread flour loaf, just like we saw with the Classic Sandwich Bread recipe. But other than the all-purpose loaf being slightly more tender, there was little difference between the two.

Bread Flour-11

Half all-purpose flour version on the left, half bread flour on the right. Slicing into the loaves revealed insides that were almost identical.

Rise, structure, crust, crumb? Very similar.

So, can you substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour? The answer is –

We answer with a confident “Yes” when callers ask if they can use bread flour in place of all-purpose (or vice versa) in their bread recipes – in a pinch.

For the very best loaf, we always advise bakers to use the type of flour called for in the recipe: bread, or all-purpose. After all, if a flour is specified, the recipe was developed to provide optimum results when you use the designated flour. These recipes carefully match the flour’s protein level to the amount of liquid called for, creating the ideal hydration – and a perfectly risen loaf.

But in a pinch, it’s totally OK to substitute. The consistency of the dough and the structure of the bread may vary, but you’ll still be rewarded with a wonderful homemade loaf regardless of whether you use bread flour or all-purpose flour.

So go forth, and bake! That old recipe of Grandma’s you’ve been too nervous to try because it calls for simply “flour” is waiting for you – give it a shot! 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.

I like to remind the people I chat with on the hotline that yeast dough is a living, breathing thing, and it’s your job as the baker to give it what it needs.You don’t want a stiff dough, nor a slack dough, but something that feels perfectly right.

Add a little water if the dough seems dry, or a sprinkle of flour if it feels too wet. Visualize the adhesive strip on a sticky note – that slightly tacky feeling is what you’re shooting for.

Classic Sandwich Bread via @kingarthurflour

Once you’ve got that blue bag of bread flour in your pantry, the possibilities are endless. Substitute it into a favorite recipe to see how it lifts your loaf, or use it in a recipe calling for bread flour to really see what it can do.

Japanese Milk Bread Rolls, Oatmeal Toasting & Sandwich Bread, Soft Cinnamon Rolls, and 12-Grain Cinnamon Bread are just a few of the tempting recipes that await. I promise they’ll make you thankful you picked up a bag of bread flour.

Note: The information in this post pertains to King Arthur Flours only. Other national brands tend to mill lower-protein wheat, and produce lower-protein flour. So substituting, say, our King Arthur Bread Flour for another company’s all-purpose flour may mean a protein swing of 2 to 3 points – which could create a significant difference in your bread’s rise and texture.

If you love using bread flour and have favorite ways to use it, we hope you’ll share your experiences in the comments, below.

Kye Ameden
About

Kye Ameden grew up in Fairlee, Vermont and has always had a love of food, farms, and family. After graduating from St. Lawrence University, she became an employee-owner at King Arthur Flour and is a proud member of the Digital Engagement Team.

comments

  1. Maggie

    Nice job! I enjoyed seeing the difference (or lack there of) between these two flours in these comparisons. I always love posts where you compare head to head. Must be the scientist in me.

    Reply
  2. VIVIAN SIMPKINS

    My question is usually the opposite. I have a recipe that calls for bread flour, but all I have is AP. Should I add vital wheat gluten? How much? 🙂 So many of KAF’s recipes use AP, so I rarely have bread flour around any more.

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Thanks for asking Vivian. All of the same things apply when it comes to making the substitution the other way around: all-purpose flour for bread flour. You can expect that the rise won’t be quite as strong with all-purpose flour, and the crumb will be slightly more open. There’s no need to add vital wheat gluten; save that for your whole wheat bread baking. Just be prepared to adjust the dough with slightly more all-purpose flour if the dough feels slack. Otherwise, go ahead and make the swap. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  3. Pizzelle Princess

    I fell in love with bread flour since following Suzanne Lenzer and Mark Bittman’s pizza dough recipe & method in their cookbook entitled: Truly Madly Pizza: One Incredibly Easy Crust, Countless Inspired…. I never thought of using bread flour in a flat baked good before, but their pizza is awesome!

    Reply
    1. Elie

      FYI, the ideal pizza flour is called “00 flour” or “first clear flour.” It is ground finer than standard flour.

  4. Jon Goeke

    My problem is that I buy 50 lbs at a time. I also generally buy bakers flour and we use it for everything from baking to making gravy. I have thought about any differences, but no one to ask so quit worrying about it. It is kinda cool to see these posts and know that there is a place to ask now. So is there a big difference between bakers flour and bread flour. I am thinking they are the same.
    I also have to pay attention to protein levels for a medical reason. My wife has had a digestive bypass and has to eat as much protein as possible when she eats as she is only able to eat very little at a time. So any info on getting protein into all my baking would be a great question also. Looking forward to seeing that info.
    Great article. Thanks

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Sounds like you do quite a lot of baking, Jon! We’d be happy to help answer your question, but we’re not sure what you mean by “bakers flour.” We sell lots of kinds of flour but none by that name. If you’d like to call our Baker’s Hotline (855-371-BAKE) and give us a bit more information, we’d be happy to help you make the comparison to bread flour.

      As for the protein level in flours, it’s important to note that the type of gluten-forming protein in flour is not the same thing as the kind of protein one would get from eating meat, for example. It can be confusing since they are both called “protein,” but they really are two entirely different entities. You can try boosting the digestive protein in your baking by doing things like using milk instead of water and adding eggs to dough. I hope that helps and we look forward to your call! Kye@KAF

    2. Dorothy McDonald

      A suggestion for Jon Goeke: I make goat cheese and yogurt. You can strain regular plain yogurt, homemade or from the store, to make thicker, “greek” yogurt, and the liquid that strains out is whey, which is high-protein liquid. The liquid which strains out from cheese making is also high-protein whey. Use this for liquid in your bread making to increase the protein level. It works well, and doesn’t change the flavor or texture of the bread at all.

      If you have more than you need for bread making, you can freeze whey and use it later.

  5. Patricia Dinkins

    I use bread flour to bake my pound cakes. Makes them raise good and the flavor is better than plain flour. They are less crumbles and it holds together better.

    Reply
  6. Homer Arment

    Do not substitute bread flour for all purpose flour in pie crusts though, unless you are interested in a crust that is quite hard and tough. Been there done that!

    Reply
    1. Louise

      Just did that. I grabbed the bread flour to make Jamaican meat pies. The consistency is very different. The pies are not flakey. The crust tastes like a crispy pizza crust. It is OK. It is not great. AP is best for pie dough. Luckily I have meat mixture left over and a car to buy some AP flour.
      Off I go.

  7. Barbara N

    Great post! Thank you for taking the time (and pictures) to compare the two flours. KA All Purpose Flour, KA Bread Flour and KA White Whole Wheat Flour are staples in our home simply because I’ve never found a better brand of flour.

    Reply
    1. Mellie Sharon

      My grandmother always used Southern Biscuit flours.. not all. Stores carry..but Martha White is close..

    2. Kim Applegate

      As far as I’m concerned there is no better flour . I’ve never had the results that I get with any other flour like KAF , yay . Our store ran a sale last week on all purpose ,buy 4 it was $ 1.99 for a 5 lb bag . Quite a price for Krogers , and of course it’s back up as of today to its normal price . Time to buy the 10 lb bags on line 😃

  8. Norma Linza

    I used bread flour, 3 cups, and rye flour, 2 cups as the recipe called for 5 cups all purpose flour
    The rise was normal, yes tall and not very mushroomed.
    I didn’t like the consistency. Very Chewey and a little dry. Needed more moisture in the recipe. I cut 2 slices and gave the rest to my chickens.
    I won’t be using bread flour with rye flour again

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Sorry to hear you didn’t have a great first experience using bread flour and rye flour together, Norma. You’re thinking was right on: rye bread recipes often call for bread flour because the dough benefits from the extra protein boost in bread flour (similar to whole wheat loaves). The downfall may have been a lack of hydration. These are thirsty flours, so it’s important to give them all the water they need in order to make a soft, tender dough. I think you’ll have better luck if you use a recipe that adjusted for these flours. If you’re feeling bold and want to try making rye bread again, try our Sandwich Rye Bread recipe. It uses pumpernickel (whole rye) and bread flour to make just the right texture. Perfect for a grilled cheese! Kye@KAF

  9. Cheryl Ramsey

    I use bread flour when I make cookies – I make cookies for my grandchildren twice a week for their lunches – so I make a lot of cookies and they taste better with bread flour and I always use KAF bread flour

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      One of my favorite recipes, snickerdoodles, calls for bread flour. It gives the cookies a little extra chew, which is delightful. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    2. Deb

      Thank you for posting this as I am trying to make cookies and all I have is bread flour. I will try it.

  10. Sandi

    Thank you for covering yeasted dough. Would quick breads not have a fine crumb if I used bread flour rather than AP flour since there seems to be more gluten…think zucchini or banana bread.

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Hi Sandi,
      Great question. I didn’t do any testing with quick breads, but we have tested cake recipes with bread flour. The result is a less tender, slightly drier, tighter crumb. It might be helpful in a very wet recipe that has a lot of mix-ins, something like a loaded zucchini bread or pumpkin bread. But the take-away is that if the recipe calls for all-purpose flour, you’ll get the best results with that kind of flour. I hope that helps! Kye@KAF

  11. Dorothy Herron

    That tip about comparing the desired ‘tackiness’ of the dough to the stickiness on the back of a post-it note is the best answer I’ve every gotten to a question that has puzzled me!

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      It’s an analogy I like to use often when chatting with bakers on the hotline. “Virtual baking” can be difficult, but coming up with tactile examples like this can really help. Thanks for reading! Kye@KAF

  12. Victoria Olson

    Excellent article! I have a compliment and a question.

    Thank you, Kye, for your great research and resulting info, the pix are also very ‘telling’. My experience with KA’s bread flour has always been positive. I’ve recommended it to several friends/relatives who hesitate to try baking yeast-raised bread. KA bread flour gives one an ‘edge’, I’m glad it’s available.

    I have never tried it in cakes, however. In fact, even with a nearly full bag of bread flour, I bought a bag of KA ap flour to make a cake last week.

    This article leads me to think KA bread flour might give successful results in cakes, too, unless the higher protein content is irrelevant with chemical leavening?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Victoria, we’re thrilled to hear you’re a loyal King Arthur baker and have been pleased with the results of using our flour. One of my fellow baker specialists, JoAnn, experimented with just the thing you’re asking about–using bread flour to make cakes. Our taste testers found the cakes to be drier, less tender, and they didn’t have as pleasant of a mouth-feel. JoAnn’s a pastry chef by trade, so she’s takes more of an extreme stance but she said, “I’d never use bread flour to make a cake!”

      That being said, it probably would be okay in a pinch. Most people are so excited to eat a homemade cake, textural nuances don’t hinder their experience. Stick with AP for now, but let us know if you have different results! Kye@KAF

    2. Juli

      I have used bread flour for bundt / pound type cakes with excellent results. These cakes tend to be denser anyway, so the bread flour didn’t take away from the texture. I have also found that for bundt cakes that are in an intricate pan, the bread flour actually gives them a tad more structure so there is less chance of breakage when you turn them out of the pan.

  13. Sue Wilson

    By mistake I used bread flour in my chocolate chip cookies, everyone wanted to know my secret. Of course I said KA bread flour, didn’t tell them it was a mistake.

    Reply
  14. Clara Coffey

    I found this article most interesting. I’m an old cook who likes to experiment and I did not know about the protein content. Also the difference in the brands. My store only carries King Arthur all purpose and I have been using another brand bread flour. I usually have to add more liquid to my recipe. You have solved my mystery. Thanks. I am going to see if I can find the blue bag elsewhere .

    Reply
  15. Nick Billows

    I am using KA bread flour for my sourdough bread. I have noticed it can be quite dense. Should I be using KA AP flour? Also, with no-knead sourdough, I am not getting a final proofed dough ready for the oven anywhere as lightly tacky as a sticky note. The dough is much more slack, again contributing to a moist, dense loaf .

    I weigh everything and have tried doughs between 70% to 80% hydration to get a good rise and less moisture and density. Any idea where I am going astray? Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Hi Nick,
      It is important to think about what kind of flour you’re using, but in the case of sourdough it’s also important to think about the state of your starter. If you’re getting a dense loaf, you may consider feeding your starter differently (more frequently) and on a different time frame than what you’ve been using in the past. Try feeding your starter 2x a day for 2 days before baking, and be sure to feed it about 2-4 hours before you start the recipe. It’s worth a try to swap in all-purpose flour and see it if gives you the more open crumb you’re looking for. You can also use a 50/50 blend of bread flour and all-purpose for a nice overall texture and rise.

      For additional sourdough baking tips, check out our full Sourdough Baking Guide. It might unlock even more secrets for you! Kye@KAF

  16. Betty

    I usually bake breads with bread flour and sometimes French bread flour for European bread or artisan bread (the popular term now) as I normally follow European and Japanese recipes. The idea of baking bread with All-purpose flour has recently come to me after looking up recipes developed in North America.

    My understanding of French bread flour is the protein of French flour isn’t as high as normal bread flour, and I wonder if All-purpose flour is somewhat similar to French flour in terms of level of protein and gluten, as well as the performance?

    Thanks a lot. betty

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Betty. European Flours are classified differently, so it can be challenging to find an exact match. Our French Style Flour Type has a protein content of 11.5% and .7 ash — similar protein content to All-Purpose Flour but higher in ash, which indicates that the flour is higher in minerals (since it’s milled closer to the bran), and which gives this flour a deeper flavor than all-purpose. Hope this helps! Mollie@KAF

  17. Cathy Amundsen

    I am learning to make sour dough bread and wonder if using bread flour would help with the rise. So far I have done best with putting the sour dough in a bread pan rather than free form. In the pan the dough is “forced to go up” rather than just spread out. I am doing a long fermentation process rather than just using yeast with the starter. I need to have the carbohydrate in the wheat eaten up by fermentation since that is the part of the wheat I am reacting to. I LOVE the KA products and all the help you are so willing to give.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Cathy, because bread flour has a higher protein content it usually yields a taller rise in bread loaves. Give it a try! Bryanna@KAF

  18. Anna Johnson

    I didn’t know you should use bread flour unless the recipe specifies other wise. Thank you I will use the correct flour from now on. I never worried about it because all purpose flour has less gluten in it and I live at 5K feet. Does this apply to high altitudes and do you have advice on high altitude bread baking? I use all your flours.

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Hi Anna,
      Dough made at high-altitude may benefit from the higher protein content of bread flour. It will help maintain the structure and boost the rise, so you should give it a try the next time you make a loaf of bread. Keep in mind that usually recipes require more liquid at higher elevations because of higher temperatures and evaporation rates. These factors, plus the addition of bread flour, mean that you’ll likely need to add 3-4 tablespoons of extra water. For additional tips, check our our High-Altitude Baking Guide. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  19. Ella Jensen

    I use an electric stove. Do no have a proof button on it. Can someone tell me what temperature (heat) in the oven I should have to proof my bread, rolls, etc.
    Can I close the door on the oven with the dough in the oven to be proofed?
    Thanks
    Ella J

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Ella,
      We don’t recommend turning on the oven to proof, it’s actually too hot for the yeast to survive. Instead, put the bowl in the oven and turn the light on only, then close the door. The light provides enough heat to make a great proof box for your bread. ~ MJ

  20. Laurie

    One day I used it instead in my pizza dough and believe it or not, it tasted better with the bread flour.

    Reply
  21. linda

    Can the two flours be combined in a recipe calling for bread flour? The recipe calls for 3 cups BF but I have just 2 cups left. Can’t run out to the store today!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Absolutely, Linda. As we found with this testing, the differences in the consistency of the dough and the structure of the bread will be slight. Bake away! Mollie@KAF

  22. Don Hilliker

    As always, well researched and written. Read the article just to see how it compared with my own experience using the mix. I have used bread flour for most of my breads for many years (along with a mix of home sprouted, dried and ground whole wheat and ancient grains), with the choice being made for a bit more chew in most breads. I go with ap when I want a softer feel (buns for a cook out for example), but like the results for most bread products. For pizza (which I am moving into professional levels now) I prefer a mix of Sir Lancolot and bread flour which makes a nice thin NY style crust when cooked at high heat on a stone or in a brick oven. For pizza I recommend a bit of research into inexpensive high heat grill options to get the taste and texture for the average weekend cook, which provide results very close to what my wood fired brick oven provides. The advantage I have with the brick oven is breads in the morning as I am warming it up getting ready to serve a line of hungry campers later in the day. For the record I have used only KAF for many years and recommend the product line as go to best quality.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for being such a loyal customer, Don, and for sharing your baking words of wisdom. Mollie@KAF

  23. Timaree

    The biggest difference I find in using all purpose instead of bread flour is in the keeping quality. I find the bread flour loaves stay softer for a longer time. Not much but enough for me to prefer it.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Interesting observation, Timaree. We haven’t seen a noticeable difference in shelf life between breads made with AP and Bread flour ourselves – any chance it might have to do with the kinds of breads you’re making with one or the other? Incorporating sourdough, for example, can definitely make a difference… Mollie@KAF

    2. Christopher Smith

      Wait, your bread lasts long enough for that to be a problem? If I have any left after a day or two, I start wondering where everyone went. lol

  24. Lorraine Brelsford

    Because I have IBS-C I use Unbleached AP flour for my bread because it has less gluten and no preservatives. I make 3 or 4 loaves at a time and pre-slice it before I freeze it. My grandmother taught me how to make bread 40 years ago and I honestly don’t remember if she used bread flour. I used it myself for years until the IBS began, not I use the AP Unbleached.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Lorraine, we suppose you could in a pinch, but for a truly blue-ribbon worthy pie, we wouldn’t recommend it for just the reason you suggest. Mollie@KAF

  25. David Alexander

    I’ve made KAF White Bread 101 innumerable times with KAF all purpose flour and with KAF bread flour and the results are virtually the same, except possibly a slightly higher rise with the bread flour, but they do seem interchangeable. I think the difference is barely discernible. As for the keeping qualities others have mentioned, the small amount of potato flour in White Bread 101 helps with the shelf life of the bread, as does using milk or potato water for the liquid in the bread. Older bread bakers knew this.

    Reply
  26. Stacey Lancaster

    The question that was asked is what happens when you substitute bread flour for all purpose flour, but the answer was what happens when you use all purpose instead of bread flour. Would be nice to know the answer to the effect on recipes calling for all purpose when bread flour is used.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sorry for any confusion, Stacey. The recipe used as an example in this blog (our Classic Sandwich Bread) is one that calls for All-Purpose that was successfully replicated with Bread Flour instead. Hope this helps to clarify! Mollie@KAF

  27. Jo Skarin

    A very lovely young lady recently gifted me with a beautiful blue bag of bread flour, and as I began to assemble my weekly sourdough loaves I thought I’d double check with you experts at KAF to make sure it was an even swap with AP. This outstanding post answered all my questions and inspired me to even try reshaping one loaf into burger buns. They’re rising at this very moment! Thanks so much for this informative post.

    Reply
  28. Paula Rice

    Alton Brown recently posted a Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that calls for bread flour. They are sooooo good! Check it out!

    Reply
  29. Cindi

    Even if it’s not completely necessary, could you add something like protein whey isolate to compensate for the protein loss to AP flour or is this too different of a protein difference?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Cindi, we understand where you’re coming from, but the protein in powder and the protein found in flour are different, so adding it like this wouldn’t help.
      Bryanna@KAF

  30. Larisa

    My doughter has an allergy to wheat. I would like to make my bread by my self at my bread machine. What kind of flour would you recomend me? She doesn’t have problem with gluten, only wheat.

    Reply
  31. Kelly

    Can bread flour be used instead of all purpose in brownies? In bread they look alike, but a brownie recipe calls for all purpose and all I have is bread flour.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Bread flour will make your brownies slightly more chewy and dry. If you’re looking for a tender, moist brownie, then you’ll want to be sure you’re using all-purpose flour. If you go ahead with the bread flour, use slightly less flour than what the recipe calls for. Happy brownie baking! Kye@KAF

  32. Lynn

    I am having trouble, as are many of my friends, finding a good recipe for no or low sodium bread. Can you work your magic with that for those who need to make low-sodium a priority for medical reasons, please? I could post it, via link, in relevant Facebook groups. There are many people who could benefit.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for checking, Lynn. In addition to flavor, salt in bread dough plays an important role in tightening the gluten structure, retarding yeast activity/fermentation, preserving the color and flavor of flour, and indirectly in crust coloration. While we’ve found that you can often successfully halve the salt called for in a bread recipe, drastically reducing or eliminating the salt called for in a recipe can get tricky. If you’re interested in learning more about the functions salt plays, this page can help: http://bit.ly/2bfNiH5 All this being said, we do have a couple of recipes for bread without salt, including our Tuscan Style Bread with Herbs: http://bit.ly/1XhUF2F and Tuscan Bread (Pane Toscano): http://bit.ly/2betl6B that just might do the trick! Hope this helps. Mollie@KAF

  33. Judith Goldman

    I have been experimenting with my 2-day sourdough loaf — trying to achieve both a more open crumb and a thicker crust. I just made a loaf using AP, along with 50g each of High Gluten, WW, and Dark Rye flours (also, have been autolysing and folding, baking in dutch oven after spraying the loaf for steam). Nice, complex flavor, crumb was open and irregular, and crust was thicker. But I’d like even more holes and a little more height. Does it make sense to substitute half of the AP flour I’m using with bread flour? Anything else I can do to get a higher rise? Thanks for any thoughts.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Judith, sounds like you’re making some tasty artisan bread! Your question is a difficult one because typically large holes come from using all-purpose flour in a high-hydration dough (more water). However the more water you add, the more slack the dough becomes. This results in the dough spreading outwards as it rises and bakes rather than upwards. You may consider using bread flour and plus a bit more water to see if you can achieve the best of both worlds. Good luck! Kye@KAF

  34. Renee Balenda

    I am glad I stumbled on your website. Thank you for answering my question on difference between all purpose flour and bread flour. Making bread today.

    Reply
  35. Chun

    I have bought Bread Flour by mistake. My question is I am going to make Zuccini bread and scones. Will that be all right to use bread flour instead of unbleached flour which I have used before?

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      Chun, you may find the scones are a bit tough; try not to handle the dough too much, and consider adding an additional tablespoon of whatever liquid the recipe calls for. I suspect the zucchini bread will be fine. Good luck — PJH

  36. Elie

    I used AP flour in an eggless and little sugar challah recipe because I didn’t have enough bread flour this week. I made the same recipe last week with only bread flour.
    Comparison?
    AP was doughier and didn’t rise as well, noticeable only by me.
    What is the point of using AP?
    If I’m making bread, use bread flour.
    If I’m making cake, cake flour, etc.
    All KA flours, BTW.
    It made me consider why I ever go halfsies by buying a flour that is neither here nor there.
    Thoughts?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We take your point, Elie, and some bakers do choose to bake primarily with specialty flours. In our view, All-Purpose Flour isn’t only versatile, it also strikes an ideal balance in many cases — when we’re looking to make a baguette with a more open crumb structure, a pie crust that’s delicate but also sturdy enough to handle easily or when simply tackling cookies or muffins. For these reasons (and because All-Purpose is the most easily accessible flour), we tend to write most of our recipes for it. That being said, we encourage you to follow your baker’s instinct and go with what’s right for you! Mollie@KAF

  37. Deb

    I usually make a couple of “million dollar pound cakes” each Christmas. I have lots of bread flour. If I use it instead of AP, how will it change my cakes? I compared KAF bread, AP and cake flour at the store today and they all had the same (either 12 or 13, I can’t remember which) grams of protein per serving. I don’t want to disappoint those folks that look forward to it every year. Another strange thing about these cakes is that sometimes they bake very level and pretty and other times they crack and have a “hump” in the middle. Any ideas on why that might be? Thanks for your input.

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Hi Deb,
      I’m happy to clarify. The protein per grams that you see on the nutrition label isn’t the name as the gluten-forming proteins that create the structure of baked goods, so those numbers you see aren’t helpful in making your decision. The numbers you need to know are: 12.7% protein level for bread flour, 11.7% for all-purpose flour, and 10.8% for cake flour.

      This means that if you use bread flour to make your pound cakes, they will be slightly less tender and moist than if you use a lower protein content flour. All-purpose flour might be your best bet, as it gives the cakes structure (more than cake flour will) while still being soft and light.

      As for your cakes peaking in the oven, this tends to happen if the batter is too dry, the batter is over-mixed, of the over temperature is too high. Try tweaking these things slightly to see if that helps. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  38. Laura

    I bake a lot of bread. I use King Arthur unbleached AP flour. When a recipe calls for bread flour, how much gluten should I add? In other words, what is the formula for below?

    1 cup AP flour + X gluten = 1 cup bread flour

    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Laura, while vital wheat gluten can help improve the rise of whole grain breads, we’ve found that adding it to all-purpose flour isn’t an effective way to recreate bread flour. You’re welcome to try adding a small amount (about 1 teaspoons of vital wheat gluten per cup of all-purpose flour) to see how you like the results, but you won’t experience the chewiness and true rising power of bread flour with this method. For best results, you’ll want to use bread flour or adjust the liquid (use slightly less) when using all-purpose flour. Kye@KAF

  39. Laura

    Thank you for your response. I asked, because I had difficulty making the Naturally Sweet Wheat Bread on p. 190 of King Arthur Flour’s Whole Grain Baking. In addition to 1 1/2 cups bread flour, this recipe uses whole wheat (1 1/4 c) and rye (3/4 c) flours.

    The first time a made the bread, it took hours to rise. I did not leave out any ingredients. I didn’t have bread flour, so I used King Arthur AP plus 1 tbsp of gluten. My house was 74 degrees. When I baked it, there was no oven spring. The loaf was tasty, but dense.

    I tried it again with 2 tbsp of gluten. I had only slightly better results with the rise time. Again, there was no oven spring. I have been baking bread for many years, and I never had such difficulty with a bread using whole grains.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Laura, with the raisins, brown sugar and honey in this recipe, the sugar content is relatively high, which makes a more challenging environment for bread to rise. You might want to try making this recipe with our SAF Gold instant yeast, which is geared for sweeter doughs. It may also be helpful to mix all the ingredients until everything is fully moistened and there are no dry pockets of flour, and then cover the bowl and allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes before beginning the kneading process. This pause allows the bran in the whole grain flour to fully hydrate and will lead to a more productive kneading process and a better rise. Barb@KAF

  40. Constance

    If I only have bread and cake flour on hand, how much cake flour should I add to the bread flour for a pie crust? I’m thinking maybe a teaspoon but am hoping someone can answer more definitively.

    Also, thanks everyone for your posts about your experiences with bread vs AP flour. I learned I have more flexibility than I thought.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Constance, while Bread Flour wouldn’t be our first choice for pie-crust because of its high protein-content, we’re not sure that the starch in cake flour will help the situation much. If you really want to use what you have on hand, we’d suggest just using Bread Flour and taking care not to mix any more than you really need to in order to bring the ingredients together into a shaggy dough. This gentle mix will help ensure that you don’t develop the gluten too much, which is what could result in a tougher crust. Mollie@KAF

  41. Jack

    I substituted King Arthur Bread Flour for same amount of all-purpose flour. Followed recipe for all other ingredients, i.e., salt, yeast. and water. The end result the dough was very wet. Is there a formula for hydration amounts when substituting bread for all-purpose flour?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Wow, we’re surprised to about hear your results, Jack. What you experienced is the opposite of what’s expected, as bread flour has a higher protein content and therefore more readily absorbs liquid. If your dough turned out quite wet, then it might mean that the recipe was designed to be like this (a.k.a. it would have also been wet if you used all-purpose flour). If you know that it isn’t supposed to produce a slack dough, then it might mean there was a measuring error and it’s worth looking at again. Good luck! Kye@KAF

  42. Bluesky

    I want to make oatmeal wheat bread that calls for whole wheat flour and unbleached all purpose flour. The only thing I have is
    unbleached white bread flour and whole wheat pastry flour.
    Would these two work together, did read your site.
    Very informative site.
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      That’s an interesting question. Pastry flour isn’t typically used in bread because its low protein content doesn’t add much chew or rising power. However, if you use about 3 parts bread flour and 1 part whole wheat pastry flour, you might still get good results. Give it a shot knowing that if the loaf doesn’t rise quite as high as you would like, it will be worth it to use the kind of flour called for in the recipe next time. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  43. Carmela

    Hi There!!! So 2 things, I have a recipe for chocolate chip cookies and it requires bread flour but all I have on hand is KA white whole wheat flour. Can I substitute this for the same amount or should I follow the recipe and go buy the bread flour?
    Also, I have a recipe from a relative in italy and her flour says 00 .. what’s the American type of this flour – if there is any?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Carmela, for best results, we’d recommend using the White Whole Wheat for up to 50% of the white flour called for in this recipe. While cookies are fairly forgiving, and you can likely get away with a full substitution, you’re more likely to notice the darker, heartier results with a full substitution. If you’re ok with that, by all means experiment, just beware that it will change your final product a bit. Mollie@KAF

  44. Donna

    Can bread flour be used instead of all purpose flour in other recipes like homemade pasta, gravy, sauces, etc.?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It sure can, Donna. It recipes where the flour is serving as a thickener, it will behave similar to all-purpose flour. You might notice that it’s just slightly more absorbent, but you probably won’t be able to tell the difference. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  45. Liana

    I can’t say enough about your whole wheat flour. Oh my gosh is it so good!! I make a Chicago Style Deep Dish butter crust pizza that’s a clone to Lou Malnati’s that I got from my ATK cookbook!! I use whole wheat in my baking because my fiance has fiancé has hereditary type 2 diabetes and his physician told him that his body can best process whole wheat flour so I use it whenever I can. It’s awesome in the pizza, awesome in some ATK cookbook chocolate chip cookies and just plain fantastic. I would skip using it in Cinnamon Rolls thought, they were a bit hard and dry, but that could just be me as I went to Culinary School not baking and pastry school and I messed it up. I was silly 2 weeks ago at the grocery store and decided to save $0.50 and bought another brand of whole wheat flower. Never again!! I will always buy KAT flour, I learned my lesson.

    Thanks for the superior flours!!

    Reply
  46. Marcia Beck

    Have you experimented with gluten free flours in combination with all purpose wheat flours in making nut rolls for Easter? I recently made nut rolls and baked them in 10 inch long rolls and they spread and split. I was wondering if a combination of AP flour and gluten free flour such as rice, tapioca, or potato would alleviate this splitting in the nut rolls? what do you suggest as a sollution?

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      HI Marcia,
      We haven’t tried mixing the two, as most folks who use the gluten free flours and starches need to avoid wheat altogether. I’d suggest sending an email to our bakers hotline team with details about the recipe and what happened with the splitting and they can get back to you with some suggestions. ~ MJ

  47. Karina

    Hello,
    I recently purchased organic king Arthur bread flour for 9.99 at wholefoods vs like 4.99 for all purpose flour of same brand. Was shocked by how expensive it is. I know I can probably get the same cheaper elsewhere, but bought it there because it was closest.
    I understand it has higher protein, but isn’t 9.99 way too high?.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Karina, thanks for sharing this experience with us. Stores are responsible for setting their own prices, so they may decide to make one type of flour less expensive than another based on a variety of factors. If you’re unhappy with the price of bread flour at your local grocery store, remember you can always order it directly from us here. (It’s sold for $4.95 for a 5 lb. bag on our website.) We hope this helps, and happy baking! Kye@KAF

  48. Craig Whitley

    Well after a “never to be repeated” purchase of a 50lb bag of X brand 13% protein flour from a restaurant supply house I have noticed two things vs my go to King Arthur flour.

    The rise was much greater however the no knead, French Country loaf, Bagels and numerous other recipes all seem to be excessively moist, almost appearing to be under baked even with a 200-210 internal temperature. Seems I cannot bake this moisture out.

    Is this to be expected with such a high protein flour?

    One would think with the greater rise the bread would be less dense but exactly the opposite. Everything I have tried has been too dense, IMO and again too wet after baking.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Craig, thanks for switching to King Arthur Flour, and we’re glad to hear you’ve experienced such a great rise in your baking. The excessive moisture you describe isn’t typical of a high protein flour. It’s true that sometimes additional liquid needs to be added in order to properly hydrate higher protein flour, and the texture of your baked goods might change a bit with this adjustment. What you might want to try is using slightly less of the high protein flour, so that the hydration levels remain about the same as what you were previously experiencing. We recommend measuring your flour using a scale or fluffing and sprinkling it into the measuring cup (like this). If you’re already doing this, reducing the flour by about 5-10% might be just the tweak you need to improve both the denseness and moisture content of your baked goods. Good luck! Kye@KAF

  49. Tom

    Can you tell me how to knead your flour to a smooth dough? I tried using your flour and I had a hard time to make it smooth.

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Hi Tom, the key to making your dough nice and smooth is using just the right amount of flour. If your dough stays lumpy and craggly, there might be a bit too much flour in the dough. To ensure you’re using the right amount, we recommend either measuring your flour using a scale or using this fluff and sprinkle technique. This way each cup of flour will weigh about 4 1/4 ounces, and the dough should become smooth after a few minutes of kneading. Another tip? Be gentle with the dough. When you press too hard and tear the slightly floured skin of the dough, the sticky inside becomes exposed and it becomes messy to work with. Check out this video for a visual example of how gentle kneading can bring the dough together. We hope this helps! Kye@KAF

  50. ChrissyTX

    I just tried substituting bread flour for the AP flour in the Herb & Garlic Bubble Loaf (featured on the cover of the July catalog). I added 2 Tbsp of extra water since our humidity is low with the air conditioning running. The dough kneaded into a very smooth pillow that rose wonderfully and baked up quite well. I definitely recommend that recipe … delish!!

    Reply
  51. Karen

    I can’t eat wheat flour and I have a bread recipe that calls for it. What can I use in place if it?
    It’s a Cream Cheese Banana Bread.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Karen, if your recipe doesn’t call for yeast and you’re hoping to make it gluten-free, you can use our Measure for Measure Flour to replace the wheat flour. Yeast recipes require a little bit more love when trying to replace wheat flour, but in all other instances, Measure for Measure can be your go-to ingredient of choice. No other adjustments need to be made. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  52. Devi

    i want to make sausage bread and the recipe calls for bread flour. But I almost run of bread flour. So can I use half bread flour and half AP flour? Can you tell me if it’s possible?

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid

      Devi, if you’re using our All-Purpose, yes, go right ahead. You may need an extra tablespoon or two of flour, but it should work out fine. Susan

  53. Kulin

    In India majority of the breads consumed are made from All Purpose Flour. We do not get the variety of flours for bread baking as available in the US. Pity i don’t get King Arthur’s flour in my city in India. Since i prefer home made breads as a healthy option, i grind wheat at home and use Whole Wheat Flour only. i have never come across the concept of Bread Flour in India. i follow Paul Hollywood’s recipe and the only change i make is the replacement of all purpose flour with whole wheat flour. The bread turns out to be real soft, yet, the only hitch, as mentioned by Craig above, it becomes too dense. Probably, because of the usage of Olive Oil and the higher protein contents in the whole wheat flour. How can i make it less dense inspite of using whole wheat flour? i do not wish to make use of All Purpose Flour. i use scale for measuring the flour. Am also planning to experiment with Josey Baker and James Morton’s recipes and would be replacing the APF with WWF. i might face the same problem. Kindly advice. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Kulin, baking with whole wheat flour almost always means the final product will be slightly more dense, especially if it is used 100% to replace the all-purpose flour. If you’re not willing to use some white flour to lighten up your bread, the best things you can do is add sufficient liquid to properly hydrate the flour, and to let the flour and water sit for about 15-20 minutes before you begin kneading. This will help hydrate the grains and soften the bran, which can otherwise shred the gluten that helps the bread stay light and risen. Keep working with your recipes and flour, trying different ratios until you find the right one, knowing all the while that whole wheat bread will be a bit dense. But it still tastes delicious and is packed with whole grains! Kye@KAF

  54. Craig Whitley

    I must live in opposite-ville

    Been using a no-knead Peasant Bread recipe with very high hydration.

    Baked 4 loafs 3 days apart 2 loafs with KAF-AP and the 2nd 2 loafs with KAF Bread Flour

    The AP dough was slack but quite close to what the video for the recipe showed.

    The Bread Flour dough was very, very, very slack and I could barely pick it up using the bowl scraper I used on the AP loafs.

    The holes in the AP were tighter than the Bread Flour. Again opposite.

    Both tasted great but again opposite of what I have read here on how the 2 flours absorb water and their crumb development.

    Could it be because I am left handed and everything is opposite.

    I see KAF’s conversion of 1 cup of flour = 120 grams while the USDA show 1 cup = 125 and GM, which I do not use, flour 1 cup = 130 [quite a large difference]

    512 grams of flour [original called for AP flour] I always weigh the flour.
    2 cups water
    2 tsb sugar
    2 tsp Kosher Salt
    2 tsb yeast. SAF-Red

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Craig, despite being left-handed, we’d assume that your results would reflect the fact that bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour. The higher protein content means that bread flour will absorb more water and the dough should feel tighter. It might be worth trying the experiment again, being sure to measure carefully and keep track of the dough batches of dough. As for your note about the flour weight, the difference is strictly in how different people measure flour by volume; some pack it into the cup, some sprinkle it in gently. We measure our flour by fluffing and sprinkling it into the cup like this, which yields a lighter cup that weighs 120 grams. For all our recipes, you should use this amount. We hope that helps clarify. Kye@KAF

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