Flour: What is the difference between bread and all-purpose flour?

Sharon e-mailed the Kitchen Shrink to ask,” What is the difference between bread flour and all-purpose flour?” The difference is the percentage of protein (gluten) to starch in the flour and that is determined by the type of wheat the flour is made from. Bread flour is made from high-gluten hard wheat, pastry flour is made from high starch soft wheat, and all-purpose flour is made from a combination of the two. High-gluten bread flour provides the strength for bread dough to stretch and rise into a high loaf. High-starch pastry flour produces the tenderness and fine-grained texture of a perfect cake. All-purpose flour can do either, just not to the same degree, it won’t make as high a loaf of bread or as fine-grained a cake, but it is perfect for cookies, pancakes, muffins, quick breads, thickening sauces, or breading foods to be fried, and is an essential staple in any kitchen.

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2 Responses to Flour: What is the difference between bread and all-purpose flour?

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