It doesn’t get much simpler than bread. Bread is a staple in many diets and cultures. We think that makes bread flour worth a deep dive. Specifcally, we are going to explore the many surprising uses of brerad flour.
Some baseline info: Bread flour is milled from hard red wheat. The flour has high strength and a significant protein level, ranging between 12 and 14 percent. Bread flour is mainly used for baking yeast bread and the high protein contents into more gluten which helps the bread rise better and become chewier.
Now for the fun stuff! We think you’re going to be blown away when you see the breadth of uses of bread flour (see what we did there?).
What Can It Be Used for?
It’s possible to use bread flour in other recipes, but there are high chances that the differences will be huge, especially if the recipe requires finely milled white flour with low protein content. You can use bread flour in any of the following:
- Pizza dough: If you are making pizza for your family and need the crust to be chewier, you can use bread as it has a high protein content—the protein results in more gluten which allows the dough to rise, giving you a chewy crust. However, ensure that you knead your dough well to provide it with a system of gluten strands, giving it elasticity.
- Dinner rolls
- Cinnamon buns
- White bread
- Sourdough bread
Can it be used for anything?
You cannot use bread flour to bake things that require cake or pastry flour. This is because bread flour is made of hard red wheat and has a high protein content. On the other hand, cake and pastry flour are made from soft winter wheat. They are finely milled with low protein content, perfect for delicate baked goods like cakes, muffins, and other pastries. Therefore, please do not attempt to bake muffins, cakes, or pastries using bread flour as it will not give you light and tender desserts. Instead, they will have a rough texture and be hard to chew.
What are the Recommended Uses of Bread Flour?
You can use bread flour to bake different types of loaves of bread that require yeast. These include
- Banana bread
- Grain bread
- Artisan bread
Can You Use Bread Flour for Cookies?
Yes. You can use bread flour to bake cookies. Cookies need to be crispy and chewy. Since bread flour produces a high gluten content, it allows your dough to stretch, giving you perfect cookies. You can add chocolate chips to provide you with chewy and crispy cookies with notes of chocolate.
Can You Use Bread Flour for Biscuits?
Yes, but the results will not be the same as when you use cake or pastry flour. This is because bread flour has a lot of gluten which gives your biscuits too much elasticity. However, if you are making fluffy biscuits, bread flour would be perfect as it gives you chewy and crispy biscuits.
Can You Use Bread Flour for Pancakes?
Bread flour is much stronger than all-purpose flour, which most people use to make pancakes. So note that your batter may be too dry due to the high protein content, and as such, you will need to add more water, which may make your batter runny. It’s a fine line, people!
Can You Use Bread Flour for Pasta?
Yes. There are different bread flours, and a strong white bread flour can be ideal for making pasta. You can choose to add eggs but even without eggs, bread flour has enough gluten to hold the pasta together. Although eggs are not a must, they still enrich your pasta. Our call: add the eggs.
Can You Use Bread Flour for Pie Crusts?
No. Pies work best with flours whose low protein content ranges between 8 – 10 percent. But if you want to insist on making your pie crust with this flour, choose pies whose fillings are on the heavy side, such as pumpkin and pecan. Since bread flour has a lot of gluten, it gives you a decent amount of elasticity and strength, perfect for your pie crust.
Can You Use Bread Flour for Cakes?
Yes, but it will not give you quality results. Cakes work best with flour with low protein content and a fine structure. And since bread flour has too much protein and is not finely milled, it is less than ideal.
When you use bread flour, your cake will have a chewier texture; instead of the light and crumbly texture of cakes made with cake and pastry flour.
If you have no other choice but bread flour, ensure that you don’t mix the batter excessively because it increases the production of gluten. Be as light and gentle as possible when mixing the ingredients, and you have yourself an edible, but dense, cake. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Can You Use Bread Flour for Pizza Dough?
Yes. When making pizza dough, you have to consider the amount of gluten in the flour. Bread flour has a high protein content which provides more gluten, thus making it perfect for making thin, stretchy, and chewy pizza crust. When making pizza, you need to use flour whose dough doesn’t break, dropping your toppings. Therefore bread flour is perfect as it’s easier to handle, and the gluten allows it to stretch without tearing.
Note that since there is more gluten in bread flour, your pizza dough stretches and then reduces in shape after being baked. So to avoid having a disappointingly small pizza, pull your dough an inch longer so that when it’s placed in the oven, it bounces back to your ideal size.
Can You Use Bread Flour for Sourdough Starter?
Yes. You can use any grain-based flour as a sourdough starter. You can also use flour made from rice, einkorn, spelt, and rye. But the best amongst them all is the organic white bread flour. It is easier to knead and shape, and when placed in the oven, it rises and bounces back, making it a perfect choice for a sourdough starter.
Can You Use Bread Flour for Cinnamon Rolls?
Bread flour is perfect for making cinnamon rolls because it can absorb more water, giving you soft and moist rolls. It also helps them maintain a good structure. Good structure is critical in cinnamon rolls–how else can you hold up all of that yummy gooey frosting?
Make sure not to add too much sugar to the dough, as the cinnamon and frosting will be giving your rolls enough sweetness.
Can You Make Scones With Bread Flour?
Yes. Bread flour will do the trick if you want to make soft and tender scones. It has enough gluten to help your dough rise, but make sure not to knead it excessively as it produces more gluten. You will need milk, softened butter, eggs, salts, sugar, and baking powder.
Can You Make Banana Bread With Bread Flour?
No. Bread flour is not ideal for making banana bread; the best is cake flour or all-purpose flour. You may be wondering, but it’s bread, wouldn’t banana bread be one of the perfect uses of bread flour? It will give you dense and heavy banana bread, which you do not want. Banana bread is more like a cake, so it would be best to use cake flour.
Final Thoughts on Uses of Bread Flour
If you want to make bread, cinnamon rolls, or scones for breakfast, take out your bread flour and get to work. The good thing is you don’t have a lot to do as it’s easier to handle, and the results are yummy. Don’t let the name deceive you; bread flour can help you create lots more than just bread. Who’s hungry?