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When and How To Use Different Types of Flour

Last Modified: 12/23/11
First Published: 11/17/07
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Views: 4069

There are many types of flour cooks can use to bake with to achieve very different results.flour

Main Types of Flour

  • All-Purpose
  • Cake
  • Bread

One of the main differences between these types of flour are the protein content. All-purpose is essentially an equal mix of cake and bread flour. Cake has the least protein and bread has the most.

Cake flour has a protein content of 5-8% and is used primarily for cakes (angel food, yellow cake). This flour is finer and lighter.

All-purpose has a protein content of 10-11% and is used for a variety of items (cookies, biscuits, cup cakes, roux, white sauce, pie crust)

Bread flour has a protein content of 11-13% and is used when you want your result to be chewy (bread, pizza dough).

These three types of flour are not really interchangeable. Their protein content are so different and it does really matter what type of flour you use. You could not make angel food cake as light and fluffy without cake flour as all-purpose and bread flour would make it much heavier.

The flours that works best to interchange are all-purpose and bread flour (depending on what your're making) For example, you could make pizza utilizing all-purpose flour or a mix between all-purpose and bread flour, but it would not be recommended to use cake flour for this purpose. Basically cake flour would not form a stretchy dough because it lacks the ability to form gluten.