Can I substitute bread flour for all-purpose in a baking recipe?



Spanky December 19, 2015
Hello all. Just Joined , Hoping I'm not breaking any rules with my first post. I'm in a bit of a hurry and wanted to share, what I have just found. If you go to King Arthur flour , under "Flour Matters". You will find What fours are best and why. Hope this helps someone. Just got Dough Hooks for my mixer, Off to bake some kind of bread:)
sonya August 10, 2015
In general, you can, as long as you're okay with the results changing a little. Bread flour has more protein than all-purpose flour, which makes it better able to develop gluten, which gives breads and pizza crust that nice chew. In cakes, it will be probably more chewy than you want (less fluffy/light), but technically you can do it. Same for any recipe. Also, bread flour will absorb more liquid than all-purpose, so your dough might be a little too dry and you might need to add a little more liquid. If you're not okay with the variability, I wouldn't do it, but if you like to experiment, then go for it and judge the results for yourself. (I'm more OCPD and always follow a recipe exactly, but I have friends who are the opposite and can't stand to follow recipes, OR they follow them but have to change at least one thing to personalize it). So as with flour, there is no one-size-fits all answer - lol. But understanding how it works should help you figure out if you're okay with substituting it. PS Sometimes I like to have different results, even for the same recipe. I'll make biscuits with cake or pastry flour sometimes to make them fall apart soft, and other times I like a more sturdy biscuit so I use all-purpose flour. Same recipe, different flours, and I get a very different result.
yellowbird July 6, 2015
I always add 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten for every cup of AP flour if I want bread flour!
PieceOfLayerCake July 4, 2015
The question is difficult to answer because it completely depends on what you're making. To add on to what everyone else has been saying, I would use this as an opportunity to make some good breads, pizza doughs, bagels.

There are a few recipes that I've seen bread flour in, that aren't bread, such as: But you're taking a gamble in general. I've subbed bread flour in some quick bread recipes like banana bread and cornbread, where I wanted a little more density. But I altered other ingredients to compensate. Its just not very seamless.
Angellica M. May 2, 2015
I would recommend using part bread and part cake. When trying to equal it out know that All-purpose flour has 12g of protein, Bread flour has 16g protein and Cake flour has 11g of protein per one cup(8oz). so you only need a small amount of bread flour to cake flour. In my experience I would use 7.5 ounces of Cake flour to 0.5 ounce of Bread flour. All-purpose Flour also has .2grams of fat in it per ounce and the others so not so I add 1/4 Tbs of unsalted butter, melting it and just using the foam(fat), the oil is not needed. or this step can be left out it would not make a noticeable difference
Leslie F. July 4, 2015
Can you believe I didn't know the answer to this question? Or perhaps I'm too lazy to go to the store for all-purpose flour—to make cake.

Hi, Angel. :-D
boulangere July 4, 2015
@Leslie Fuquinay Miller No one is either perfect or psychic. Perhaps that's why the Hotline exists.
RobertaJ February 28, 2011
Bread flour is really only suitable for bread, specifically chewy, crusty "artisan" type breads. I really wouldn't use it for anything else. It's higher protein, and will give you more gluten development, so your final product is going to be more chewy, tougher and less tender. Not a desireable quality in anything other than a hearty bread.
boulangere February 27, 2011
I agree with gt9, but to the nix on cake I would add pie dough, cookies, muffins, scones . . . it might be easier to make a trip to the store. Alternatively, make bread!
Leslie F. February 12, 2017
@boulangere, Angelica Menefee and I are friends, and I wasn't expecting to see her here. Also, I wrote a book about cake that was published in 2009. So it's not about being psychic or perfect. It was just funny (to me).
Abra B. February 27, 2011
Bread flour has a higher protein content, so whatever you make won't have as tender a crumb as if you were using AP flour. If you have some cake flour, you might try combining a bit of it with the bread flour, to more closely approximate the AP flour.
gt9 February 27, 2011
Yes, as long as you aren't making a cake.
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