Flour refers to any powder form, produced by grinding cereal grains or roots. We have been using flour since time immemorial. In fact, it is used as a staple food in many regions of the world. Nutrition wise, flour is enriched with high amounts of natural starches and gluten (wheat protein). Food items made from flour include bread, pastries, cakes, and other bakery products. Depending upon the source, there are various types of flour such as wheat flour (atta flour), amaranth flour, buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, and corn flour.
Wheat flour is the most versatile flour type which is used in a wide range of products. The bakery products of European and American countries are primarily based on wheat flour. According to the variety of wheat or part of the grain used for producing flour, there are several subtypes like all-purpose flour, bread flour, and cake flour. Let's take a look at the distinctions and benefits of an all-purpose flour vs. bread flour.
Difference Between All-purpose Flour and Bread Flour
Both, all-purpose flour and bread flour are sub-types of wheat flour. The difference lies in the source material, production, and nutritional value. Accordingly, the usage of both types of flour varies.
All-purpose flour is a blended product, made by grinding a combination of low and high gluten wheat varieties. On the other hand, bread flour is produced from hard wheat type, which is basically the hard spring crop. At times, other grains like rye and barley are added in producing bread flour.
Also known as plain flour, all-purpose flour is a low protein flour, whereas bread flour contains high amounts of gluten. One of the all-purpose flour nutrition facts is that the gluten content is not more than 12 percent. Some brands of all-purpose flour contain only 9 percent gluten, while in case of bread flour, the gluten content can be more, upto 13 percent.
All-purpose flour is used in household baking recipes like crusty breads, rolls, and pizza dough, whereas bread flour is the ideal choice for all yeast bread baking and pizza crust recipes. After baking, recipes prepared by using bread flour retains the desired shape and texture, which is not so in case of all-purpose flour.
As stated earlier, the gluten content in all-purpose flour is low (9-12 percent) in comparison to that of bread flour (13-14 percent). So, it is obvious that all-purpose flour is less expensive than bread flour.
Based on the purpose of using, each of these flour types are equally valuable in baking bakery products. In some cake recipes, using bread flour will produce a tough and dissatisfying product. Or else, substitute bread flour with all-purpose flour and you may not get a good result. Thus, apply your culinary skills and use these types of flour correctly in different recipes to get spectacular and delicious products.