General Question

meagan's avatar

Can I replace all purpose flour with bread flour?

Asked by meagan (4665points) July 24th, 2010

I’m making an angel food cake tonight and only have about ¼ cup of “regular” flour. However, I’ve got enough bread flour for the recipe.

Is it an okay substitute? Or will this ruin my cake?
Thanks!

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25 Answers

Ame_Evil's avatar

Bread flour is a high-gluten flour that has very small amounts of malted barley flour and vitamin C or potassium bromate added. The barley flour helps the yeast work, and the other additive increases the elasticity of the gluten and its ability to retain gas as the dough rises and bakes. Bread flour is called for in many bread and pizza crust recipes where you want the loftiness or chewiness that the extra gluten provides. It is especially useful as a component in rye, barley and other mixed-grain breads, where the added lift of the bread flour is necessary to boost the other grains.

All-purpose flour is made from a blend of high- and low-gluten wheats, and has a bit less protein than bread flour — 11% or 12% vs. 13% or 14%. You can always substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour, although your results may not be as glorious as you had hoped. There are many recipes, however, where the use of bread flour in place of all-purpose will produce a tough, chewy, disappointing result. Cakes, for instance, are often made with all-purpose flour, but would not be nearly as good made with bread flour.

lifted from Yahoo answers

gailcalled's avatar

I haven’t baked in a long time but I know that angel food cake is supposed to be fluffy. Don’t most recipes call for whipping 11 egg whites and folding them into the batter? I think that substituting flour will be frustrating and disappointing, due to the labor-intensive prep (not to mention all those eggs).

Seek's avatar

I’ve never tried it, but my guess is it might go flat on you. Angel food cake requires the flour to be light – it doesn’t actually rise, it depends on the merengue to hold it up. High-gluten flour may be too heavy.

llewis's avatar

Bread flour WILL ruin your angel food cake. Worth a quick trip to the local grocery store – better than wasting all the eggs that you will be using!

meagan's avatar

Alright, well its almost in the oven. So I guess this is a science experiment that I won’t put a lot of faith into. haha

gailcalled's avatar

Well, now you can make custard with all those yolks. (meringue)

meagan's avatar

Or a terrible angel food cake.
We’ll see what comes out of the oven in 40 minutes :P

Will it effect the taste, the cake being “heavy”?

Seek's avatar

In my imagination, it’ll taste more like shortcake… or a Twinkie without the cream. Chewy, mostly.

Let me know.

meagan's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Ohhh. I wouldn’t mind that. haha

meagan's avatar

LOL. So the instructions say… if its springs to the touch, the cake is done.
My cake has a thin, hard layer on the top that cracks.

This entire project is cracking me up

meagan's avatar

It tastes like the marshmallows in lucky charms. Incredibly sweet.

Seek's avatar

Blllargh! Yuck!

meagan's avatar

Yeah, it was pretty bad.
but i was also short on egg whites… sooo.. :P

Seek's avatar

So… no cake flour, and short on egg whites… and “angel food cake!” was what sprung to mind? Why not… I don’t know… brownies? or peanut butter cookies? Or anything that didn’t depend entirely on egg whites and cake flour? I’m confused.

meagan's avatar

I’m a very spur of the moment kind of person ;)

gailcalled's avatar

@meagan: You can still be spontaneous and make chocolate chip cookies with the chips.

meagan's avatar

@gailcalled I don’t really call making a twenty minute drive one way to the store at 9pm a good way to spend my evening :P

gailcalled's avatar

I agree, but why pick the one sure-fire recipe that will fail?

Seek's avatar

Because if I’m going to spend an hour waiting for something to come out of the oven, I want it to be yummy.

Ooh, know what you could have made? Cinnamon buns. Bread flour, a few eggs, some yeast, butter, a little salt, and cinnamon sugar. Heaven on a cookie sheet.

llewis's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr – MMM! I want some! :)

gailcalled's avatar

@meagan: Time, money, effort, results….all down the drain. It does seem, although I might not be thinking clearly, counterproductive.

meagan's avatar

@gailcalled Nope. Just nagging without reason.

meagan's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Eh. An hour isn’t anything that I wasted. I figure I at least got some experience peaking eggs.

gailcalled's avatar

@meagan: You’re correct. We all get to choose our own hobbies.

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