"Can I substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour?"
It's one of the most common questions people ask when making bread--especially beginners with a new bread machine.
Best Japanese Milk Bread Dinner Rolls made with Tangzhong and a Bread Machine (New! whole wheat variation)
Here are the facts...
- A blend of hard wheat and soft wheat
- 10-12% protein (average is 10-11%)
- Available in bleached (less gluten) or unbleached ( better for bread)
- Results in a softer, finer texture in bread
- When substituted for bread flour, requires less liquid
- Made from hard wheat (source of most protein)
- 12-16% (usually 14%) protein
- Turns out best when kneaded by machines
- Gluten absorbs more liquid creating a more elastic dough with a chewy and coarser texture
- Adds structure and strength (combine with wheat flour for a sturdier loaf)
Remember, the more protein in flour, the more gluten it contains.
So which flour is best? It depends. Ask yourself these questions.
- Do you want a soft texture or a chewy texture?
- Do you want a fine texture or a more coarse texture?
- Are you making a recipe that needs structure such as a free-from loaf?
Let's make it easy:
- If you want chewy bread for French bread, an artisan loaf, focaccia or pizza, choose bread flour.
- If you want soft and fluffy bread for dinner rolls or sandwich bread, all-purpose works great.
- If you want to incorporate whole grain flours, bread flour will help prop them up.
- Some recipes can go either way (like pizza dough). In other recipes, bread flour is essential, especially in bread that is free-formed and not baked in a pan.
Just this morning, I tried substituting the flour in my Tangzhong dinner roll recipe as seen above. I wanted to maintain their soft and fluffy texture while adding whole grains.
I chose the best all-purpose flour I have with 11.7 percent protein, (almost like bread flour). Then I substituted one cup of whole wheat flour for a cup of all-purpose flour. This ratio of 240 grams of AP flour + 120 grams of whole wheat flour preserved the texture but gave me more fiber along with a mild wheat flavor. Score!! (These would be delicious for a holiday meal.)
|Japanese Milk Bread Dinner Rolls|
I hope you find this helpful the next time you are considering a flour substitution. One thing for sure--when it comes to yeast bread, using a different flour than specified will change the final product, but it doesn't have to be bad if you make decisions based on knowledge.
Wishing all of you a Happy Easter and a Blessed Holiday. Thank you for your interest, kindness, and sharing.
With love and appreciation,