Difference Between Bread Flour and All Purpose Flour

The main difference between bread flour and all purpose flour is their protein content. Bread flour has a higher protein content (12-14%) than all purpose flour (10-12%).

Bread flour and all purpose flour are two types of flour we use for various types of dishes. Due to its high protein content, bread flour has a light and elastic texture, compared to all purpose flour. Moreover, all purpose flour is used in a variety of recipes while bread flour is mainly used in baking bread.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Bread Flour 
     – Definition, Content
2. What is All Purpose Flour
     – Definition, Nature, Uses
3. What is the Difference Between Bread Flour and All Purpose Flour
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

All Purpose Flour, Bread Flour, Dough, FlourDifference Between Bread Flour and All Purpose Flour - Comparison Summary

What is Bread Flour?

Bread flour is a high-protein flour that contains around 12 and 14% protein. As its name suggests, bread flour is used for baking yeasted breads. You can use it to make bread, diner rolls, bagels, cinnamon rolls, etc. Due to its high protein content, it has more gluten. More gluten makes the dough lighter and more elastic, giving baked products an airy and chewy texture. When compared to other types of flours, bread flour needs more kneading, which also gives the bread an airy and chewy texture.

Difference Between Bread Flour and All Purpose Flour

Moreover, strong flour is another name for since bread flour is made from hard wheat varieties. It is difficult to find a substitute for bread flour since most other types of flour do not have adequate protein content. But adding wheat gluten to all purpose flour may help you to create a good texture for bread.

What is All Purpose Flour

All purpose flour, usually simply known as flour, is made from wheat grains after removing their brown covering. Unlike whole-wheat flour, which is grainy, all purpose flour is white and powdery. However, all purpose flour is not as healthy as whole wheat flour since it doesn’t contain the nutritious bran and germ components. Moreover, it contains a protein content between 10-12%.Main Difference - Bread Flour vs All Purpose Flour

All-purpose flour comes in two basic forms: bleached and unbleached. Bleached flour is the plain flour that has been treated with bleaching materials. But these two types can be used interchangeably. You can use plain flour to bake cakes, pastries, pies, and many other desserts. It can also make many types of Indian bread. You can also use all purpose flour as a thickening agent.

Difference Between Bread Flour and All Purpose Flour

Definition

Bread flour is a high protein flour used in baking bread while all purpose flour is a flour made from wheat grains after removing their brown covering.

Protein Content

Moreover, bread flour has a higher protein content (12-14%) than all purpose flour (10-12%)

Gluten Content

When compared to bread flour, all purpose flour has a lower gluten content.

Texture

Doughs made with bread flour have a light and elastic texture; doughs made with all purpose flour are not as light or elastic.

Use

All purpose flour is used in a variety of recipes while bread flour is mainly used in baking breads.

Conclusion

The main difference between bread flour and all purpose flour is their protein content. Bread flour has a higher protein content, resulting in high gluten content. This high gluten gives bread flour dough a light and elastic texture. If you want to use all purpose flour as a substitute for bread flour, you have to add a pinch of wheat gluten to the all purpose flour.

Reference:

1. “All Purpose Flour.” NDTV Food, 21 Nov. 2014, Available here.
2. Traylor, Richard. “What Is Bread Flour?” WebstaurantStore, 18 Feb. 2019, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Bake Bakery Bread Free Photo” (CC0) via Needpix.com
2. “All-Purpose Flour (4107895947)” By Veganbaking.net from USA – All-Purpose Flour (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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