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Can all-purpose, cake and bread flour be used interchangeably?

Maria - from Indianapolis, IN

All-purpose, cake and bread flour each contain differing amounts of protein, which makes it good for one type of recipe (bread for example) but not another (a tender pie crust). It's always best to use the type of flour called for in your recipe.

All-purpose flour is a blend of hard and soft wheat flours, with more and tougher gluten. The end result is a somewhat elastic dough that's the perfect texture for cookies and most cake batters.

Cake flour is made with soft wheat, and produces less gluten when mixed, so your cake will be more delicate, with a slightly crumbly texture.

Bread flour has the highest amount of gluten-forming protein. The dough it produces is very elastic; ideal for bread making.


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The Public Television cake decorating show providing easy projects for special celebrations. Not intended to replace instructional classes.