Spare yourself a trip to the grocery store and learn to how to make bread flour at home! Why waste precious space when you can make everything you need from good old fashioned all-purpose flour?
While I love baking, I have a relatively small kitchen that’s severely lacking in storage space. I have to be very strategic about my purchases.
I go through a ton of all-purpose flour and sugar, so I buy those in 25-pound bulk bags. Stocking non-essentials like cake, bread, and self-rising flour just aren’t practical for me, as much as I wish I had more storage space.
The good news is that you can create all of these ingredients from good old fashioned all-purpose flour! For today’s post, let’s take a closer look at bread (high protein) flour. If you’re a regular around here, you may have noticed that many of my bread recipes use all-purpose flour.
Have you figured out why yet?
What is bread flour?
Bread flour is a high protein flour (12-14%) that’s often used in yeast breads. The extra protein produces more gluten, which often means a chewier bread and a better rise. Gluten gives bread dough its elasticity and stretch, trapping air bubbles.
Keep in mind that if a recipe calls for high protein flour, you can often still substitute all-purpose flour and get perfectly fine results.
Can I Use All-Purpose Flour Instead of Bread Flour?
You can absolutely use all-purpose flour instead of bread flour in recipes. You can follow the tutorial below to create bread flour substitute, or you can simply use all-purpose flour in its place. Bread flour is going to give you the best results, but I promise you’ll still get tasty bread with all-purpose flour.
How to make bread flour substitute
Skip to the end of the post for a condensed printable version.
Vital wheat gluten, also known as wheat gluten or wheat gluten flour, is a finely milled powder that can be purchased in the baking aisle at grocery stores and online. You can add it to all-purpose flour to increase the protein content, essentially creating a homemade bread flour.
Unfortunately, there’s no general consensus within the baking community about how much vital wheat gluten to add to all-purpose flour to convert recipes. I’ve seen everything from 1 teaspoon per cup to 1-3 tablespoons “per recipe.”
Technically, this is a trial and error process, but I’ve found that 1 1/2 teaspoons per cup gets the job done.
- Measure out 1 cup all-purpose flour (4 1/2 ounces or 129 grams).
- Remove 1 1/2 teaspoons (1/8 ounce or 4 grams).
- Add 1 1/2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten (1/8 ounce or 5 grams).
- Whisk or sift to combine.
1 cup all-purpose flour – 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour + 1 1/2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten = 1 cup bread flour substitute
Try using my flour substitute in these Perfect Chewy Pretzel Buns!
How to Store Flour
Take your newly purchased bag of flour and place it in a large, sealable plastic bag, or (even better) a large snap-top plastic container.
You want your flour storage solution to be as airtight as possible, because the less moisture and air allowed in, the slower the oxidation process will be. Additionally, storing flour in an airtight container helps keep it from absorbing any flavors or odors.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy my tutorials on how to make cake flour and how to make self-rising flour! I also have a tutorial on how to measure flour. King Arthur Flour also has this handy ingredient weight chart which is incredibly useful for baking with various flours!
Homemade Bread Flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (4 1/2 ounces or 129 grams)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten (1/8 ounce or 4 grams)
- Measure out the all-purpose flour into a medium bowl.
- Subtract 1 1/2 teaspoons flour and replace with 1 1/2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten (1/8 ounce or 5 grams).
- Whisk or sift to combine.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
For immediate help troubleshooting a recipe, please email me using the form on my contact page. I’ll try to respond to urgent questions as quickly as possible! For all general questions, please leave a comment here :)