Learn how to make bread flour at home so you don't have to run to the store every time you see it in a recipe! Instead of paying for a specialty flour you probably won't use more than once, try making your own bread flour out of all-purpose flour! These simple instructions on how to make bread flour will have you baking in no time!
Why Would You Need DIY Bread Flour
Unless you are a very frequent baker, it may not be practical to keep specialty flours like bread flour on hand. It will likely sit on the shelf, taking up space until the once in a blue moon you actually need it.
So what do you do when you get the urge to do some baking and you see bread flour on the ingredient list? You learn how to make bread flour for yourself!
What Is Bread Flour?
Bread flour can be white or wheat and has a high protein percentage (12-14%) compared to other types of flour. The added protein helps produce extra gluten which leads to chewier bread with a better rise!
It is called 'bread flour' because high-protein flour is required by many yeast bread recipes so that enough gluten is produced to give the dough some elasticity.
In the United Kingdom they often refer to bread flour as 'strong flour' or 'strong bread flour'. These are alternate terms for the same thing, there is no true difference between strong flour and bread flour.
Bread Flour vs All-Purpose Flour
All-purpose flour is indeed versatile. However, its low protein percentage (8-11%) isn't high enough to produce the amount of gluten that bread dough needs to be light and stretchy.
While all-purpose flour can technically still make bread as well as other baked goods, sauces, and more, bread flour is basically just for making bread (really good bread).
Can I Use All-Purpose Flour In Place Of Bread Flour?
The short answer? Yes. The long answer? Also yes, but be aware that the density of your baked goods will be altered.
Your bread will still turn out delicious if made with all-purpose flour, it just may not have the intended texture and density. You can tell a difference, particularly if it's a recipe you make frequently.
An even better option would be to turn that all-purpose flour into bread flour!
How To Make Bread Flour At Home
The key ingredient to making bread flour from all-purpose flour is called vital wheat gluten. It's also occasionally called wheat gluten or wheat gluten flour.
The perfect ratio of vital wheat gluten to all-purpose flour has not been officially determined by the baking community, however I find that about 1 ½ teaspoons of wheat gluten per 1 cup of all-purpose flour works wonderfully.
- Combine. Measure 1 ½ teaspoons of vital wheat gluten into a 1 cup measuring cup. Top off the measuring cup with fluffed and spooned all-purpose flour and level your flour off using the back of knife.
- Whisk to combine. Transfer the flour and vital wheat gluten combo into a mixing bowl and mix until the vital wheat gluten is well distributed throughout your homemade bread flour.
- Use. Continue with your recipe, using the DIY bread flour just as you would any store-bought bread flour.
An airtight container or Ziplock bag is essential in slowing down the oxidation process of flour. Additionally, this will also keep out unpleasant odors.
Seal it tightly and store it in a cool, dry place for up to a year.
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How To Make Bread Flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon vital wheat gluten
- Measure 1 ½ teaspoons of vital wheat gluten into your 1 cup measuring cup. Top off the rest of the cup with all-purpose flour that has been fluffed and spooned into your measuring cup.1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoon vital wheat gluten
- Transfer the spoon and leveled cup of flour and vital wheat gluten combo into a bowl, then whisk until well combined.
- Use as you would store-bought bread flour.
- Vital wheat gluten can usually be found on the baking aisle at the grocery store.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!