Can I Replace Wheat Flour with All-Purpose Flour in Yeast Bread?

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Substituting all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour in your yeast bread recipe is easy to do. While both flours have different properties that will behave differently while making bread, you can substitute some or all of the wheat flour in your recipe with all-purpose white flour with a few simple adjustments.

Flour Substitution Technique

  • It's very simple to substitute all-purpose flour for wheat flour in your recipe. You can simply add the same amount of all-purpose flour and incorporate it in the same way you would the wheat flour. If you'd like to only substitute a portion, simply reduce the wheat flour by the amount of all-purpose flour you use.

Less Liquid, More Flour

  • Once you make your flour substitution, observe the moisture content of your dough carefully as you combine it. White flour will absorb less liquid than wheat, so reserve approximately 1/4 cup of the liquid in the recipe and add it only a tablespoon at a time as you combine your dough. You may not need to use all of the liquid at all if your dough comes together and feels well-hydrated. Alternatively, if you add all of your liquid from the outset, keep extra flour handy to add by a tablespoon at a time if your dough is too moist and sticky.

Other Adjustments for White Bread

  • The only other major change you should expect in the process of making bread with all-purpose flour rather than wheat is that it may rise more rapidly. Check your dough halfway or three quarters of the way through the recommended rise time to see if it has doubled in size due to the lighter density of white flour.

A Lighter Loaf

  • After you've made your bread, you will find that the white loaf is quite different than a wheat loaf -- depending, of course, on how much flour you substituted. A white loaf will have a lighter crumb with more air pockets inside. It will also lack the nutty flavor that wheat bread is known for, allowing the yeasty flavor to shine through a bit more strongly.

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