Bread baking question: bread flour/regular flour

So, I got my bread machine out of storage, and bought some yeast, thinking I could make some bread with my good old Gold Medal flour, but all the recipes I find on the net call for bread flour. Will it be a disaster if I use regular flour?

Moving to Cafe Society from GQ.

General Questions Moderator

Thanks, I meant to post it in CS, don’t know what came over me. :slight_smile:

No, you can use regular flour, but it may not rise as much and the little holes that give bread texture may not be as uniform.

Thanks! The bread is in the machine now, I’ll post on how it turns out.

Used this recipe:


Used butter for the shortening. It rising right now.

I doubt you will notice the difference. You can buy gluten to add to regular flour if you find you need it. Added gluten is more important when you add grains without gluten or their flours.

Yes, gluten is the important thing in bread - bread flours are from wheat with higher gluten levels, or with gluten added. All purpose flour still has gluten, enough for a very tasty, edible piece of bread. Some people notice the difference, most do not.

Agreed. Basic bread should come out OK with regular flour, though maybe not quite as high. When you start loading it down with other stuff, you might need the higher gluten in bread flour.
(But never use pastry flour for bread).

This is the key. Basic bread is one thing. Pepperoni-Cheese Bread with Peppers is another. Any time I make something fancy, I use King Arthur Bread flour.

Yes, it came out fine, thanks for the help.

Would “other stuff” mean flours other than white wheat? Or just chunks o’ stuff as silenus mentioned? (Considering experimenting with multigrain breads.)

Multi-grain comes out better the more gluten you have, so use bread flour. I’ve made bread using spent grains from a home-brew mash. Sweet and delicious, but not as lofty as I would have liked until I switched to bread flour.

Wheat contains the most gluten, with rye having some but a much reduced amount. Other flours don’t have significant (for bread purposes) gluten unless you add gluten.

My rule (with which I’ve had fairly good success) is that bread should be at least 1/2 wheat flour. If you have less than that, you may need to add gluten to the mix to get the texture you want. Having half wheat and half something else for flour is an instance where using bread flour may make a significant difference.

(I don’t know what is done for gluten-free bread - such exists, but it’s expensive and I don’t know much about it, other than it exists)


[Baking Nazi]
Yes of course it makes a difference! Mmm…bread flour makes the final product have that strength of structure, making it a chewier, more hearty mouthfeel. If you have the time, try baking two identical loaves, one with your regular bleached all-purpose and one with a high quality bread flour (I use King Arthur). Take critical notes; I can definitely tell the difference.
[/Baking Nazi]

Well, sure, I don’t think anyone is denying there is a difference, but bread made with regular flour is perfectly edible. It will work. As with many things, the higher the quality of the ingredients the better the result, but I’ve yet to have anyone refuse fresh-baked bread made of all-purpose flour.

It’s made with non-gluten grains like rice, teff, corn, and sorghum. At best, it’s heavy and dense. At worst, it’s a handy murder weapon.


I miss bread.