What is bread flour? Our Artisan Bread Flour is milled from high-protein US-grown red wheat and mixed with just the right amount of malted barley flour, which helps breads rise. The high protein content is great for gluten development, which is especially desirable for chewy baguettes, pizza crusts, dinner rolls, sandwich loaves, pretzels, bagels and more.
How much protein does Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour contain? Our bread flour averages 12-14% protein.
Why does protein (gluten) matter? The protein in wheat flour (aka gluten) gives baked goods structure and elasticity. For chewy breads and pizza crusts, you want to use a higher protein flour.
Gluten is sticky and stretchy (think of a balloon). When leavening reacts and produces gasses in your baked good, gluten creates pockets that expand around these gasses, causing your baked good to rise. More gluten and high-power leavening (yeast) will make beautiful artisan breads with lovely air pockets. Less gluten and tamer leavening (baking soda, baking powder), make smaller bubbles and smaller air pockets. When you’re striving to create a rustic artisan loaf of bread, you want big air pockets, making bread flour an ideal choice.
How is it different from all purpose flour? Bread flour simply contains a higher amount of protein than all purpose flour. All purpose flour is designed to make fine cakes and chewy breads. Bread flour is made with bread baking specifically in mind. Using it will yield crusty loaves of bread and chewy pizza crusts.
Why would you use this instead of all purpose flour? Because you can. When you want to make the most perfect, rustic loaves of bread, the real question is why wouldn’t you want to use special ingredients? After all, fresh baked bread is just another way of saying “I love you.” In all seriousness, though, bread flour produces a chewier texture, better rise and crisper crust than all purpose flour.
Is bread flour gluten free? No. Bread flour is made from wheat and has a higher proportion of gluten than many other wheat flours, so it is definitely not suitable for a gluten free diet.
Is Bob’s Red Mill bread flour organic? No.
Is Bob’s Red Mill bread flour enriched? Yes, we enrich our bread flour to government standards. This includes adding malted barley flour (to improve the rise), niacin, iron, thiamin, riboflavin and folic acid.
Is Bob’s Red Mill bread flour whole grain? Nope. If you want a whole grain bread flour, we recommend our traditional Whole Wheat Flour or our Ivory Wheat Flour. Both are high in protein and made with 100% whole grain wheat.
Is there a substitute for bread flour? No, but you can replicate bread flour by using an all purpose flour and adding extra gluten to increase the protein content. We recommend an extra tablespoon of gluten per cup of flour.
Some of our favorite recipes using bread flour:
- No Knead Artisan Bread
- Amish White Bread
- Roberta’s Pizza Dough from the New York Times (Note: This is my go-to pizza recipe at home now. I use the bread flour in place of both the 00 flour and all purpose flour- works like a dream!)
- Real Homemade Bagels
- Ultimate Dinner Rolls from Handle the Heat
- Pretzel Buns from Smitten Kitchen
- Focaccia Bread with Herbs from Cook with Manali