Flour Substitution Guide

Ever want to make a recipe and find it uses some kind of Speciality Flour? And all you have is All Purpose. Don’t despair … This Flour Substitution Guide will show you your options.

Can I Substitute All Purpose Flour for Bread Flour?

Yes. You can substitute All Purpose flour for Bread Flour on a one to one basis. Here is what will be different though.

Bread flour has higher protein level: 12 – 14% vs all purpose at 8-11%. Bread flour will give you a higher rise.

Bread Flour also produces more gluten which makes for a denser crumb.

So substituting All Purpose for Bread flour will give you less rise and a lighter crumb. Substituting Bread flour for All Purpose will give you a denser, chewier final product.

Can I Substitute All Purpose Flour for Whole Wheat Flour?

Whole Wheat Flour has the highest protein level at about 13-14%. Tradition suggest that a 50/50 blend of all purpose and whole wheat flours will work seamlessly in most recipes. If you are totally substituting All purpose for Whole Wheat your dough will be wetter than if you had used the whole wheat. You will want to reduce the liquid by about 2 teaspoons per cup of flour used.

Conversely if you are substituting whole wheat flour for all purpose you will want to add about two teaspoons of liquid per cup of whole wheat flour used.

Can I Substitute All Purpose Flour for Cake Flour?

Cake flour has less protein, 7-8% and is a finer grind than all purpose flour. It is also bleached using chlorination so fat adheres to it better and air bubbles are more evenly dispersed. All that adds up to a finer, lighter crumb in your baking.

Cake flour is also lighter in weight than all purpose flour so if you are measuring by weight all purpose flour is about 12% heavier than cake flour.

If you want to substitute all purpose flour for cake flour:

  • for each cup of cake flour take 1 cup of all purpose flour and replace 2 Tbsp of the all purpose flour with 2 Tbsps of corn starch.

or

If you want to substitute cake flour for all purpose flour:

  • for each cup of all purpose flour called for use 1 cup + 2 Tbsps of cake flour.

Can I Substitute All Purpose Flour for Pastry Flour

Pastry Flour is also on the lighter end of the protein scale at about 9 %. You can use Cake Flour since they are close. To substitute All Purpose flour use the same guidelines as for Cake Flour substitution.

  • for each cup of pastry  flour take 1 cup of all purpose flour and replace 2 Tbsp of the all purpose flour with 2 Tbsps of corn starch.

or

If you want to substitute pastry flour for all purpose flour:

  • for each cup of all purpose flour called for use 1 cup + 2 Tbsps of pastry flour

Can I Substitute All Purpose Flour for Semolina

Semolina Flour has a high protein level at about 13% so it is closer to Bread and Whole Wheat flours. They make the best substitute but you can use All Purpose on a 1:1 basis. If making pasta, semolina is the standard flour. If you substitute All Purpose your pasta will be softer and may not freeze or dry as well. Some pastries or crusts call for a small portion of semolina along with other flours to give it more structure. There is no problem to substitute another flour but your crust will be a little softer.

Flour Substitution Guide

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