Bread Flour Versus All-Purpose Flour — 44 Comments

  1. Can wheat free, gluten free flour with correct amount of guar gum and other essential ingridients be used in a bread machine?

  2. I read on another site that using 1 tsp of wheat gluten per cup of all purpose or wheat flour is okay. Bread flour is pretty expensive where I live and I don’t have a Costco conveniently located. Does this measurement sound right to you? Also, I wanted to tell you that I LOVE your website. I’ve copied down many of your recipes. I do have the new Zojiruishi and am thrilled with it. It really is the “cadillac” of bread machines and worth every penny!

    • Deborah, Thanks so much for the kind words about my site. And I’m so happy that you like your Zojirushi. I adore mine!!!

      I’ve read that adding one tablespoon of of gluten to one cup of regular whole wheat flour will make it better for bread machines. I’ve never tried it myself though. If you try this please let us know how it works.

      • In our area (Nebraska), there is a noticeable difference in price between general purpose and bread flour. I have always used a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten per cup of gp flour for bread. Also, if the flour is a little older or otherwise less reactive, I add a teaspoon of baking soda to the batch. I also use nothing but Zojiruishi – just got the ‘mini’ version as we are moving into a 5th wheel camper for some full time adventures.

  3. My regular Costco went for a period without having their normal bread flour, in its place was Chapati. The nutritional anaylsis (protein) was impressive; it is also high in gluten so it can be stretched til very thin. I have been experimenting with it in my bread machine. I mix it about 50/50 with bread flour. It imparts some bitterness so I have been changing the ratios of sugar and yeast . Has anyone used Chapati flour to make a loaf of bread instead of more traditional flat breads?

  4. I actually prefer all purpose flour on some bread machine recipes if I want a lighter bread, and as someone already said, bread flour is more expensive. Still experimenting with either of the two and I have even tried making gluten free bread which uses a totally different kind of flour.

  5. Newbie here, family baker. I feel bread flour is smoother texture. Wondering if corn starch or eggs might improve protein ratio or lift when I run out and use APF…

    • I haven’t done it myself, but I’ve heard that adding vital wheat gluten to all purpose flour does the trick. Add one half to one teaspoon per cup of APF. If you do try this let me know how it goes.

  6. would like a response as to when the bread is rising before the cook cycle (the last 60 minutes). The dough rises very nicely, and just after the cook cycle starts, the top of the bread slowly falls a little. What does this mean?

  7. So Im confused….aren’t we striving for a lighter bread? If gluten in higher in bread flour and makes for a heavier bread, then why not use AP? I think I misunderstand here lol

    • I think I may go back and tweak the article because it does sound confusing. The gluten also helps to make the bread stronger, not just heavier. This allows the bread to rise higher and better.

    • I get the best results using multiple flours. I typically use half bread flour and 1/4 all purpose and 1/4 wheat. All my flours are organic and come from King Arthur.

      But what makes the most difference is using duck eggs in my bread. I put 2 eggs in the regular recipes by adding them to the water (so you end up with the same volume of liquid).

      They make the bread rise and so amazing that I started having to reduce the other ingredients so the bread doesn’t touch the top of the bread machine.

      I have a Zojirushi BB-PAC20 and love it. Searching for a recipe to make hamburger buns using that bread machine is how I found this site.

    • Hi Geri – I haven’t done it myself, but I’ve heard that adding vital wheat gluten to all purpose flour does the trick. Add one half to one teaspoon per cup of APF. If you do try this let me know how it goes.

      • I use strictly AP flour in my bread machine. I do not add gluten, instead I mix together the water (or milk), sugar and yeast and let it start to work before adding the flour salt and other ingredients. It usually takes about 10 minutes or so for the yeast mixture to start foaming. I know it is ready for the flour at that point. The bread is a little heavier…more like a french bread, but I prefer mine that way.

  8. At anytime after the initial dough is taken from the bread machine, do you let the dough rise again? Or just use it straight from the bread machine?

    I have to make dough at home and bring it to a school to finish the pizza. Can I freeze it?

    • Hi Bonnie, You’ll need to look at the individual recipes to see about how to handle the dough after the it comes out of the machine. I know of people that have frozen dough, but I haven’t done it myself. It’s on my to-do list though. I’ll blog about it when I’ve done it.

  9. I have an older Zojirushi bread machine and want to make corn bread, mine only has basic, mixed, wheat, but no cake. what can i do for the proper setting?

    • Mark, Thanks so much for writing. Do you have the model number of your Zo? I did a quick search on the Internet and couldn’t find anything that matches its description.

  10. I made yeast rolls with bread flour but they turned out heavy like buiscits
    What did I do wrong
    I’ve made them in bread machine with all purpose and they were lighter but I still would like a soft outer crust

  11. Absolutely love your site, and so glad I found it. I too love my Zo… i’ve had others over the years (my first was a Hitachi that made really good vertical loaves, but when it died I went through a real ordeal to find something decent… and then I found my Zo).

    Nice to see a site that’s both dedicated to bread machine usage and in many cases the Zo line of breadmakers themselves. I like mine so much I purchased a second pan and set of blades so I can batch loads one behind the other. You need to give it a little time to cool down between loaves (so you don’t overhead during the mix and rise, or potentially kill off the yeast), but it gives me more flexibility. The added bonus is that you can be mixing one batch of dough for manual loaf forming, and while working that loaf into shape, you can have a second batch of dough being prepared.

  12. I have used all purpose flour instead of bread flour. I found I had to use about 15% more ingrediants and about 25% more yeast to get a full size loaf. The bread was denser, but very good.

  13. Would mixing bread flour with APF make less dense bread? Has anyone done this? I love the taste of the bread ( I have the Zoj Pac,,,just got it and have made 3 loaves of the quick bake regular bread)…but it is heavy. Would like to know about less dense bread…thanks!

  14. Just got a used bread machine. I appreciate your web site and also your users questions. Your answers are helpful and it is very nice that if you don’t know the answer, you tell us. I have yet to use the machine but when I do I will return to this website for sure!

  15. I have struck gold! I found this site out of sheer desperation. Thank you so much for this website full of tips and advice. I live in South Africa and you guys just don’t realise how lucky you are to have such a big variety of flours to choose from.
    I have been baking bread in the same bread machine for 15 years (nothing like I see on your site) and since moving to another province (higher altitude and drier climate) my bread has this big valley with a top that crumbles and a heavy bottom. I have tried using warm or cold tap water, room temperature or cold butter, white or brown sugar, honey or molasses, different oils and yeasts but still the valley prevails. Fortunately I live alone (no critique) and eat the bread anyway but would like to solve the problem.
    Thank you for this most interesting site.

  16. I have found a big difference in wheat also. Soft white wheat flour is better for bisquits but hard to find 100% soft wheat. Most flour is made from hard wheat berries.

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