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If you’re all out of regular flour for your cookies, or are simply wondering what would happen if you used bread flour in cookies instead of regular flour, then your guide is here!
Can you use bread flour in cookies?
Will it ruin the batch?
Will it improve your cookies?
What the heck is bread flour anyway?
As we go through this, do remember that the exact result of you using bread flour in your cookies will rely on the actual recipe used, type of bread flour, and your oven’s specific temperature and recipe time, but we can talk more generally about the properties of bread flour in cookies.
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The definition of bread flour
Let’s talk about what bread flour actually is and why it differs from all-purpose flour.
You’ve probably heard of all-purpose flour, and you may have heard of cake flour, but there is also bread flour, which is usually used in things like pizza doughs, and, well, bread.
Bread flour basically helps create more gluten than other flours – and gluten helps hold your dough together and make it a bit “tougher.”
This is important in bread as it gives a strength to the dough and allows it to rise.
The actual gluten creation is caused because of the high protein content in bread flour, whereas other flours are “low protein” flours, milled from a different kind of wheat.
So can you use bread flour in your other baking?
Is it possible to use bread flour in cookies?
Technically, yes, you could add bread flour to your cookies.
But just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
Really the only time to add bread flour to your cookies are going to be if you’re looking for a chewier cookie.
Otherwise, we don’t suggest adding bread flour into your cookies unless you have absolutely no other options and really, really want to make those cookies.
Nothing tragic is going to happen, but the texture will change quite a bit and leave you with a tougher cookie.
What does bread flour do to cookies?
If you do use bread flour in your cookies, you should end up with a chewier cookie (due to to that high gluten creation), but your cookie will also end up being a lot tougher and not as easy to bite through.
Think about bread and how much more difficult it is to pull apart than a cookie (not that you can’t pull bread apart, but ripping apart a loaf of sourdough is a lot different than crumbling a chocolate chip cookie in your hands).
Now, you might be enticed by the idea of having chewier cookies, so is it possible to use bread flour to make your cookies chewier without making them tough?
Yes, in fact, there is!
Some bakers do use some bread flour in their recipes for this exact reason, but you need to be aware of measurements and do it correctly rather than just completely dumping all of the bread flour in.
Exactly how to use bread flour in cookies
If you like the sound of the chewiness, but don’t want to mess up your cookies, then there are a couple things you can do.
First, the biggest no-no is to completely swap out bread flour for all-purpose flour in your recipe. Don’t do that unless you want your cookies to come out tough.
The one caveat to this is if you’re using a recipe that is specifically formulated to only use bread flour (there are a few, actually).
These are much better to use if you only have bread flour, as the recipes have already been formulated with different ratios to account for the bread flour, so you’ll end up with a much nicer product than if you just swap out bread flour for all-purpose flour in a recipe that wants all-purpose flour.
For better results, start off by substituting the full amount of all-purpose flour with 3/4 of that as all-purpose flour and 1/4 of that as bread flour.
If you like those results, you can keep going on your next batch to do a 1/2 to 1/2 swap, and then finally to use 3/4 bread flour to 1/4 all-purpose flour.
This will give you more control over your cookies and baking experience.
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