Flour Power - Bread (part 4)

Bread Flour
Bread flour, also referred to as high gluten flour, has the highest percentage of protein - ranging from 12% - 14%. The extra protein creates a chewier texture in baked goods. Bread flour is often used with yeasted baked goods, as the yeast helps the dough to rise, while keeping the extra chewiness added by the higher protein content. Without the yeast, items made with bread flour will turn out much denser than those made with a lower-protein flour. The additional protein also causes more water to be absorbed by the flour, which gives it better structural integrity.

The amount of vital wheat gluten to add to a bread flour substitution isn't a set amount. There are a variety of factors that can influence the amount that is needed - from the amount of gluten in the specific brand of all purpose flour that is being used, to personal preference. This is why a range is given. For substitutions calling for vial wheat gluten, there should be a minimum of one teaspoon per cup of flour, up to a maximum of one tablespoon. 

To determine the best ratio, it is useful to know the gluten content of the specific brand of all purpose flour that is being used. As stated in Part 1 of the Flour Power series, all purpose flour has a very wide range of gluten levels - from 8%-11%. If the flour that is being used is on the lower end, a one tablespoon substitution will be more beneficial, while if the gluten is in the 11% range, while a small addition of gluten could be added, it is not necessary.


Substitution option:


  • Option 1 - Full Bread Flour substitution using All Purpose Flour

To create a substitute for one cup of bread flour, use one cup of all purpose flour and add between one teaspoon to one tablespoon of vital wheat gluten. For texture and flavor, up to a teaspoon of whole wheat flour can also be added to each cup. 


  • Option 2 - Full Bread Flour substitution using All Purpose Flour

To create a substitute for one cup of bread flour, use one cup of all  purpose flour, however, the lower gluten will result in a less chewy result. This substitution produces the best result when an all purpose flour on the higher end of the gluten percentage range is used (10% - 11%).


  • Option 3 - Full Whole Wheat Bread Flour substitution using All Purpose Flour & Whole Wheat

To create a substitute for one cup of whole wheat bread flour, use 1/2 cup of all  purpose flour, 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour, and add between one teaspoon to one tablespoon of vital wheat gluten. 


This is the fourth part of the Flour Power series, where we are examining the differences between flours and establishing multiple substitution options that can be used in a baking crisis. Once the selected parts are released, the complete course will be posted in our MGM online cooking school, complete with consolidated information, additional flour analysis, tips, substitutions and printable quick reference sheets.


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