Flour Types and How to Substitute

by , June 30, 2017
Diana Rattray

General Flour Facts

  1. Bread Flour is higher in protein.
  2. Cake and pastry flours are low in protein.
  3. Cake flour is softer than pastry flour.
  4. All-purpose flour is milled from a combination of hard and soft flours.
  5. Flours from the southern US are softer than those from the northern US and Canada.
  6. Flours can vary in their ability to absorb moisture by as much as 20%.
  7. Hard flour absorbs more water than soft flour.
  8. Since flour absorbs moisture from the air, it might be necessary to add less liquid on humid days.
  9. Store flour in an airtight container to keep it from absorbing moisture.
  10. Self-rising flours are generally milled from softer wheat.

Flour Substitutions

  1. Substitute all-purpose for self-rising flour: Add 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to each cup of all-purpose flour.
  2. Substitute self-rising for all-purpose flour: Decrease baking powder by 1 teaspoon for each cup of flour, and decrease the salt by 1/4 teaspoon for each cup.
  3. Substitute all-purpose for bread flour: Add 1 tablespoon more all-purpose flour for each 1 cup of bread flour called for in a recipe.
  4. Substitute bread flour for all-purpose: Decrease bread flour by 1 tablespoon for each 1 cup of all-purpose flour called for in a recipe.
  5. Substitute all-purpose for cake or pastry flour: Decrease all-purpose flour by 1 tablespoon for each 1 cup of cake of pastry flour called for in a recipe.
  6. Substitute cake or pastry flour for all-purpose flour: Increase cake or pastry flour by 1 tablespoon for each 1 cup of all-purpose flour called foor in a recipe.


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