Flour Differences

Ok, I know there’s a difference between bread flour and all purpose flour. Basically bread turns out better if you use Bread flour – learned that the hard way. But is there really a difference between all purpose flour and self rising flour? What are the uses for each of these?

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  1. Denise says

    YES. Self-rising flour has baking soda and baking powder added to it. If a recipe calls for self-rising flour and you do not have any on hand, you can make your own by adding 4 t. baking powder, 2 t. salt, and 1 t. baking soda to 4 cups of all purpose flour. I am on a low salt diet, so I reduce the salt to 1/4 t. and have not noticed a difference in the quick breads and biscuits I use self-rising flour for.

  2. Ellie says

    I use all-purpose flour for most everything, bread included. If I am mixing whole wheat and all-purpose for bread I usually add 2-4 tablespoons of wheat gluten to the flour. The gluten is the protein that is in a higher concentration in bread flour, you don’t want too much in your cookies or cake or they will be tough, but you need it in your bread to make it rise. Like Denise said, self-rising flour has the baking powder in it already. You can use it in most non-bread recipes, but you will need to leave out the baking powder or soda and the salt.

  3. says

    I have used unbleached flour in place of bread flour for years now, and it costs much less than bread flour. If you look at the contents of bread flour, it contains unbleached flour.

  4. Sue says

    I use all-purpose flour for my bread due to the expense of bread flour but yes there is a difference. Bread flour has more glutten in it and will give you a higher rise. The same effect cam be acheived with a bit more yeast if you want to experiment with it but be careful you don’t use too much. Some great bread and baking recipes can be obtained at: I got one the other day which makes a really big loaf with good grain.

  5. Dreama says

    A little bit of research helped me decide to begin grinding my own flour from wheat berries…don’t take my word – check it out yourself. One fact: even rats will not eat processed flour before the manufacturer ‘adds back in’ a few nutrients/vitamins….ugh!! Two: wheat berries (un-ground hard or soft wheat) stays good for way longer than it takes to use up a 50 lb (!) tub.
    The only drawback is buying a grinding mill or attachment…electric ones are quite pricey – maybe you could ask for one for your birthday!

    Good luck! Have a perfectly Blessed day,


  6. Joanne Peterson says

    All purpose flour is scientifically mixed so you get the same product each time. It has refined wheat flour, malted barley flour and to replace some of the lost nutrients in the refining process, some vitamins and minerals added back in. Both soft and hard wheat berries are used. Unbleached flour is just that, unbleached, bleached flour has bleach used to make the flour very white. Flour in different parts of the country have a different protein/gluten content. I know for instance that some of the flour from the south have a lower protein/gluten content. So some of the recipes tried to be replicated if you live in the north don’t turn out the same.

    Bread flour is typically hard red or white white wheat berries, which have a higher protein/gluten content. The higher gluten content makes for a stronger structure for the yeast to rise in bread. Some artisan bread uses a lower gluten content in their country of origin, such as true french bread. The wheat grown there is a lower protein/gluten content than what is grown her in the USA. You need very good soil in addition to the variety of seed to grow a high protein/gluten wheat berry. The french developed a bread that was successful using the resources they had available.

    I do grind my own wheat because I have found in the long run when ordering in bulk with many other families that I could make my own bread cheaper that what I could purchase healthy bread at the store. I also found that at the time I bought my grain mill I had the mill paid for in less than a year with the cost savings. In addition, the bread is very healthy because all of the nutrition and fiber is still there from the whole berry.

    I found several websites that offers very good information for comparison between the different grain mills. Several websites are quite competitive with each other for pricing. But, this is an investment well worth cost.

    No a person can’t make all purpose flour from self rising flour. Sometimes, I’m sure this would be quite helpful to be able to do this, but unfortunately a person can’t do this.

    Hope this helps.



  7. Joanne Peterson says

    Sorry, I forgot to add, that bread flour is used for anything needing a lot of structure. All purpose flour is used for almost anything including bread, pastries, quick breads. Self rising flour is often used for small breads such as biscuits, scones, muffins, etc sometimes for tea breads. I typically don’t used self rising flour because I want to control the amount of leavening and salt for each recipe I use.

    One category not mentioned is cake flour, pastry flour. It has a lower protein/gluten content to make very tender and light cakes, pastries, pie crusts, etc. You can mix all purpose flour with cornstarch to make something similar as cake flour, or use typically less flour such as two tablespoons less flour per cup of all purpose flour when making cakes. This works for some cakes. Off hand I don’t remember the amount of cornstarch and all purpose flour proportions to make an equivalent cake flour.



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