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Is All Purpose Flour the Same as Plain Flour

  • 12 min read

All-purpose flour is a great multipurpose ingredient to have in your pantry. It can be used for everything from pancakes and pie crusts to dredge chicken for frying. But, is all purpose flour the same as plain flour?. Continue reading to get an answer.

All-purpose flour is a blend of various flours, typically containing some wheat, rye, or barley. On the other hand, plain flour is ground from hard winter wheat with a higher gluten content than other grains and a high protein percentage. 

Although it’s unnecessary to buy plain flour if you want all-purpose flour, you can substitute 1 cup of all-purpose flour for 1 cup of plain flour plus ¾ cup additional white, wheat, or rye flour.

Moreso, Plain flour is higher in gluten than all-purpose flour, making it perfect for baking bread or yeast doughs that need some structure. All-purpose has less gluten, and so is a better choice if you’re trying to make something tender like biscuits or a cake.

What Is All-Purpose Flour?

What Is All-Purpose Flour Pancake Batter Mix is a gluten-free, all-purpose flour substitute for pancakes with the taste and texture of wheat flour pancakes. It is made with sorghum flour and rice flour, with no artificial flavors or colors. This gluten-free pancake mix can be used to make sweet or savory pancakes.

All-purpose flour is a hard and soft wheat blend used for cakes, cookies, pizza dough, pie crust, and other baked goods. It contains 10 grams of protein per one-cup serving.

While all-purpose flour can be used in virtually any recipe, it is not an optimal choice for many of them because its protein content is higher than most other types of flour. It can be tough to work with when making tender pastries and biscuits.

What Is All Purpose Flour Good For?

All-purpose flour makes the best biscuits and is ideal for making pancakes or any quick bread dish. Blend all-purpose flour with a little bit of sugar to add a sweet element to your favorite recipes.

It is a multipurpose baking ingredient. It’s perfect for baking biscuits, cakes, and pies. If your recipe needs self-rising flour, you can substitute 3/4 cup all-purpose flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and two tablespoons vegetable oil.

Additionally, it’s used to make bread, pastries, and pizza dough, as a thickener for sauces and gravies, and as a coating for fried food.

What is Plain Flour?

What is Plain Flour Plain flour is a type of flour milled from hard wheat and contains no added malted barley – a key ingredient is a self-rising flour. 

The lack of this added ingredient makes it ideal for use with baking powder and yeast and other leavening low-carbohydrate ingredients. 

It also has a lower protein content (approximately 9 to 11 percent) than all-purpose flour (approximately 12 to 14 percent).

Some people use all Purpose Flour interchangeably with Plain Flour in baking recipes; this is not common practice. 

Plain flour has less gluten than all-purpose flour, which causes baked goods to be lighter but significantly less dense than those made with all-purpose flour.

What Is Plain Flour Used For?

Plain flour is suitable for general-purpose cooking and thickening and is an acceptable substitute for self-raising flour in most cases. You can also use it alone in many recipes to thicken dishes.

Baking can coat foods with breading to ensure complete coverage and help prevent runs in egg-wash and glazes. 

Plain flour keeps well on the shelf, even after being opened. It can be stored indefinitely without any noticeable effect on its flavor, aroma, or consistency.

Although there are different types of plain flour depending on the wheat flours, they are milled from.

When using plain flour, only sift it if you add eggs, butter, or other tender ingredients to the recipe. Use a whisk when mixing plain flour, as it can get lumpy when stirred on its own

Similarities Between All Purpose Flour and Plain Flour

All-purpose flour and plain flour are made from the same essential ingredients. They contain wheat flour, water, and sometimes a little salt. 

All-purpose and plain flours can be used to make everything from flatbreads to pastries to dessert toppings, but if you’re baking an incredibly delicate dessert, plain will be your best bet. It’s also ideal for hearty bread recipes like loaves of bread or pizza dough. 

Differences Between All-Purpose Flour and Plain Flour

Differences Between All-Purpose Flour and Plain Flour All-purpose flour comprises hard and soft wheat ground fine, resulting in a product used for most cooking applications. Plain flour is a finely milled, bleached white flour with a coarser grind. 

Additionally, Plain flour is milled from only the endosperm (the part of the wheat grain that remains after bran and germ have been removed), while all-purpose flour is made from both the endosperm and bran.

Plain flour has less protein than all-purpose flour, so it doesn’t expand as much during baking.

All-purpose flour is a good flour to start with when you are learning to bake because it has no gluten to build up, so the finished product will be tender and not have a chewy consistency. 

Plain flour is milled under stringent standards to limit its gluten content and produce a high-quality, fine-textured flour. All-purpose flour is milled with fewer limits on gluten content so that it retains more of the wheat germ’s natural oils, which makes it easier to handle and knead.

Plan flour contains 13% more protein than all-purpose flour and makes a firmer dough as all-purpose flour contains only 9% more protein and a coarser grind.

While plain flour will add chewiness to your items and more flavor as it contains wheat germ that has been ground into the flour.

Plain flour is not bromated and is made from softer wheat than all-purpose flour. 

Is All Purpose Flour the Same as Plain White Flour?

All-purpose flour and Plain Flour are 2 of the best choices in the grocery aisle when baking needs arise. Both are made from wheat, but they have some different traits that make them well-suited to different situations in a recipe. 

However, all purpose flour and plain flour are not the same. The difference between all purpose flour and plain flour is that all purpose flour has added gluten for strength and elasticity. 

All-purpose flour is commonly used when a recipe calls for strong structure and soft texture, such as cookies, cakes, or pie crusts. 

Plain flour has less gluten, so it’s not the best choice for tender recipes like scones or biscuits. Plain Flour from Better Batter is the perfect dough enhancer.

Is All Purpose Flour and Wheat Flour the Same?

Is All Purpose Flour and Wheat Flour the Same All-purpose flour and wheat flour are the same. All-purpose flour comprises hard and soft wheat. It is often used in recipes that require a tender and baked good or baked item as it has less gluten than all-whole-wheat flours. All-purpose flour, sometimes called APF or AP flour, comprises a blend of hard red winter wheat and white spring wheat.

However, wheat and all purpose flour are made from hard wheat; whole wheat flour is made from soft wheat. Therefore, not only are they ground differently, but all purpose flour is also a blend of flour that can contain up to 100% of the type of grain it came from. For example, some all purpose flours contain 50% soft wheat and 50% hard wheat.

Is All Purpose Flour the Same as Bread Flour?

All-purpose flour and bread flour are both made from wheat, but each has different properties due to the mills. Flour is milled to be easier for the baker to tolerate and work with. Bread flour is milled only to have the kernel’s endosperm and has a higher protein content than all purpose flour.

Though all-purpose flour will work just fine in most recipes that call for bread flour, it will not have the higher protein content of bread flour, making the dough more elastic and stretchy, so it rises higher and has an open texture.

All-purpose flour is not recommended for yeast bread because its proteins are less elastic than those in bread flour, and the dough wouldn’t rise as well. 

Can You Use Plain Flour Instead of All-Purpose Flour?

Can You Use Plain Flour Instead of All-Purpose Flour It depends on how the recipe was developed. In recipes designed for plain flour, it has been substituted for all-purpose flour without any problems. In recipes that have been developed for cake flour, however, plain flour will yield a product with a heavier texture and slightly easier to chew.

Although, if you’re substituting plain flour for all-purpose, the amount of flour needed in the recipe may vary; it should work well as long as the texture of the dough stays intact.

Note: If you use all-purpose flour in a recipe that calls for plain flour, expect a denser, heavier product. All-purpose flour is more likely to be used in cakes, cookies, and other pastries where desired lighter texture. 

All-Purpose Flour Substitute for Frying

You can substitute all-purpose flour for frying with cake flour; it is light and fine and produces a delicate crispy coating. Cake flour has a tiny amount of protein than regular flour (8% compared with 12%-14% for all-purpose), and it has more starch than all-purpose or whole wheat flour. You can substitute cake flour for up to half of the all-purpose flour called for in recipes for pancakes, waffles, and French toast.

In deep frying, use cake flour instead of all-purpose 2:1 in recipes that call for dredging meat or seafood in seasoned flour before frying. Cake flour enhances both the texture and appearance of the finished product.

All-Purpose Flour Substitute for Frying

For many recipes, you can use either coconut flour or tapioca starch flour in place of all-purpose flour. If you can’t use those two ingredients for some reason, it may be easier to go ahead and substitute with gluten-free, organic all-purpose flour, which hopefully should work in place of regular all-purpose.

Sometimes, recipes call for cornstarch as a flour replacement. Other times, you may want to make a lower-calorie version of a favorite treat. Use Arrowhead Mills Corn Flour with Baking in these recipes.

All-Purpose Flour Substitute for Cookies

A good cookie starts with great dough, but sometimes you don’t have all-purpose flour. That’s when Better Batter comes to the rescue. This all-purpose flour substitute and gluten replacer are perfect for cookies that taste light and chewy every time.

Additionally, replace each cup of all-purpose flour with a cup of bean flour, quinoa flour, or amaranth flour for reduced cholesterol and add more protein. Alternative flour may cause baked goods to be brown too much, so adjust the amount of baking powder (¼ teaspoon per cup) or bicarbonate soda (3/4 teaspoon per cup) to compensate. Customize cookies by substituting other nuts, seeds, or dried fruits for the chocolate chips.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I substitute plain flour for all-purpose flour?

You can substitute plain flour for all-purpose flour in a recipe. However, the texture and flavor can change. The finished product’s taste may not be as bright or have the same texture as with all-purpose flour. Also, you’ll need to add 1 teaspoon of baking powder for every cup of plain flour in your recipe to keep its volume.

Is all-purpose flour the same as plain flour or self-raising flour?

For baking, the difference between all-purpose flour and self-rising or plain flour can be confusing, mainly due to their name similarities. While they are both made with wheat, they’re distinctly different. They both have different uses and different ingredients and additional ingredients in self-rising flour that make it especially suitable for baking a variety of recipes.

What is the difference between all-purpose flour and plain?

All-purpose flour and plain flour are fine-textured and can be used for general purposes. They are milled from soft wheat, making them ideal for pastries and cakes. But their main difference is in the amount of protein they contain.

However, all-purpose flour is created from the grinding of wheat, with a higher percentage of gluten in the mixture. Gluten is a specific protein found in wheat responsible for the elastic properties that give the dough its ability to rise. 

Conclusion

All-purpose and plain flour are identical in terms of their nutrition and functionality. All-purpose flour has about a 2% higher calorie content, and 5% lower protein content than plain flour, which means if you’re using it for baking something that needs your full attention like a cake or cookies, then all-purpose is the way to go. The difference between them comes into play when you have something more straightforward like biscuits or pancakes – something that you can microwave or pop in the oven right away. Plain flour will make these things more fluffy and soft than an all purpose batch would. The question on all purpose Flour the Same as Plain Flour has been fully and adequately answered.