Bread flour vs All-purpose flour?

A bread recipe calls for 4 cups of all-purpose flour... i already have a bag of bread flour, why wouldn't I use the bread flour instead?

  • Posted by: saenyc
  • March 26, 2011


susan G. March 26, 2011
Since you are using whole grains which are heavier, an extra boost from the gluten in the bread flour should be beneficial.
Whiskie B. March 26, 2011
We actually just posted a link on differences between many different types of flour! It basically comes down to the gluten content in each. Bread flour typically has a higher percentage of gluten (11-15%) than all-purpose (11-12%). The higher gluten makes the bread "spongier" and more dense. Hope that helps!
Sam1148 March 26, 2011
One hint: Get a digital scale and measure by weight. They're cheap now..with a 'tear' function you can measure directly in the bowl--spooning in flour.

My baking improved a lot since using that. Google will reveal weights of different AP flours in grams. For example Gold Medal AP flour weighs in 130 g/cup. While other flours weigh in 125g/cup. It adds up and can be the diffrence between success and fail.
Madeline O. October 28, 2019
Agreed about GET A SCALE.
DISagree about "Google will reveal." All it reveals is a LOT of mis-information.
Looking at two bags of Gold Medal Flour - 1, AP and the other Bread Flour, they BOTH state that 1/4 cup = 30g. That means 1 Cup = 120 g (the amount specified by King Arthur).
Any other conversion amounts are NOT reading the packaging. Period.
saenyc March 26, 2011
thx guys! i'm making a Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread. beautiful pix Queen!
Queen O. March 26, 2011
I do understand that bread flour has stronger gluten for bread making. However, I've used A/P flour for many recipes over the last few years with delightful results. Just make sure you're doing to steps correctly (kneading, resting, rising) and with enough time to develop the glutens in the a/p flour.
boulangere March 26, 2011
Sorry, I just read the rest of your question. Duh, I see you're making bread. I find it extremely frustrating when a bread recipe calls for bread flour OR all-purpose flour, as if they're interchangeable. They aren't. Before I say use the bread flour, may I ask what kind of bread you're making?
boulangere March 26, 2011
What are you making? BF has a protein content of 12-12.5%. AP's is 10-10.5%. AP flour won't make a good bread, generally, and BF is way too strong for baked goods other than bread. Does that help!
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