Can I Use Bread Flour To Bake Cookies? Know What to Expect

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Many recipes that I have used simply call for “flour.” For cookies, this typically refers to all-purpose flour, but sometimes you may not have that in your pantry. You may have leftover bread flour after making a big batch of bread, and we will discuss whether bread flour is ever an appropriate substitute when making cookies.

As a general rule, you can use bread flour to bake cookies. Using bread flour instead of all-purpose flour to bake cookies will not change the flavor of the cookies. Bread flour will change the texture of the cookies by making them chewier since it has a higher protein concentration.

However, not every cookie recipe is the same. The difference in whether you have an amazing cookie that you want to show off or a cookie that you would never share with anyone else can often be found in the variations of ingredients you use. One of the biggest differences that I have noticed when making cookies is the type of flour that I use for the recipe.

Can I Use Bread Flour Instead of Regular Flour for Cookies?

As a whole, you can use bread flour in place of regular flour for cookies, but it will not produce the same texture. Whether you decide to use bread flour or all-purpose flour for your cookies should depend on the type of texture you prefer in a cookie.

Cookies are the ultimate comfort food. Whether I’m craving a sweet treat in the middle of the afternoon or want to prepare an impressive dessert to share with my dinner guests, cookies are a quick and delicious recipe to have on hand.

Cookies are made from bread flour!

*By the way, if you’re looking for some new cookie sheets/baking pans to replace for your kitchen, I recently came across the Perfect Nonstick Cookie Sheets / Baking Sheets Set that I got for myself and they work great! You can check out these Nonstick Cookie Sheet Set on Amazon!

Bread Flour Alters the Texture of the Cookie

If you prefer a dense and chewy cookie, bread flour is a perfect substitute for regular flour when making cookies. Your cookies may also come out crispy if you use bread flour for cookies. You may also experience cookies that are too hard, especially if you are using granulated white sugar for your cookie.

If you prefer your cookies to be soft and fluffy, you will want to stick with all-purpose flour.

Tips to Ensure Your Bread Flour Dough Cookies Will Taste Amazing

Tips to ensure that your cookies will turn out well when you substitute in bread-flour for all-purpose flour:

  • Keep in mind that different types of fats used in your recipes will yield different types of results. For example, cold butter will result in less spread than room temperature butter, and this can impact the level of crispiness your cookie has.
  • If you want cookies that are less crispy, consider substituting honey or brown sugar instead of white sugar.
  • Using whole eggs result in eggs that are more moist, while egg whites alone will dry out the cookies and make them crisper.
  • The more fat you add, the more crisp your cookies will be, while less fat will produce softer cookies.

*Side Note: You might also be interested to know if it is possible to Bake Cookies On Aluminum Foil. I wrote an article explaining What to Expect When Baking Cookies On Aluminum Foil, which you can check out here!

Is Bread Flour The Same As All-Purpose Flour?

As a whole, bread flour and all-purpose flour are not the same. Although both bread flour and all-purpose flour are made from wheat, the major difference between them is the level of protein that each flour contains. The protein in the flour will make the baked good chewier in texture.

Bread flour and all-purpose flour similarities and differences:

Bread FlourAll-Purpose Flour
Protein Content11-13% Protein9-11% Protein
Cookie TextureSoft and FluffyChewy and Sturdy
Flour VarietiesWhite and Whole Wheat White and Whole Wheat

Protein Differences Between Bread Flour and All-Purpose Flour

Bread flour contains between 11 to 13 percent protein, while all-purpose flour contains 9 to 11 percent protein. The difference in protein alters the final product’s texture and taste.

Since bread flour has a higher protein content, products made with bread flour will have a higher gluten concentration.

This type of flour is used to make bread because having a higher gluten concentration will result in loaves of bread that are chewier, sturdier, and more likely to hold together.

All-purpose flour has a lower protein concentration, which results in a lower degree of gluten. Typically, all-purpose flour’s lower levels of gluten are more appropriate for baked products such as cookies and brownies.

Which flour should you use to bake cookies?

Similarities Between All-Purpose Flour and Bread Flour

Despite their differences, all-purpose flour and bread flour have some similarities. Both types of flour come in white and whole wheat varieties.

For both all-purpose and bread flour, the white flour version has been stripped of all of their bran and germ. The product that is left behind is the starchiest part of the wheat. The white version of both flours will be shelf-stable for a longer period of time.

The whole wheat varieties of bread flour and all-purpose flour are preferred by many cooks due to the fact the nutritional content of the bran and germ still remain.

The best tool that I’ve found to sift my flour is a Battery Operated Electric Flour Sifter For Baking. This wonderful tool automates all of my sifting needs in the kitchen! It has a 4-cup capacity and is washable. What else do you need in an automatic sifter? You can check out this Electric Flour Sifter on Amazon!

What Happens If You Bake With Bread Flour? What Does Bread Flour Do to Cookies?

A cookie’s texture is affected by the type of flour that is used. Replacing all-purpose flour with bread flour while baking cookies will either make the cookies very chewy or very crispy. The cookies will not have the soft crumbly nature that you expect out of a homemade cookie.

Baking Dishes You Should Not Use Bread Flour to Make

If you bake with bread flour, you will end up with a chewier end product than if you were to use all-purpose flour. In certain cases, the higher protein content of bread flour makes it a poor choice of flour. In the following instances, you should not choose to use bread flour:

  • Cakes
  • Pie crusts
  • Biscuits
  • Very delicate cookies

Using bread flour for these dishes can result in baked goods that are hard, brittle, and do not provide the texture you are expecting.

*Side Note: Reheating your cookies the right way is no simple task, If you’re looking to know if you can Reheat Your Cookies In An Air Fryer, I recently wrote an article that talks about What To Expect When Reheating Cookies in An Air Fryer, which you can check out here!

Which Flour Is Best for Cookies?

As a general rule, standard all-purpose flour is the best type of flour to use while baking cookies. All-purpose flour will create light cookie dough which will inflate. This type of cookie dough will provide an airy, soft texture to the cookies once baked.

Soft and fluffy cookies when you use all-purpose flour!

If you are only going to use one type of flour, the standard all-purpose flour is the best type of flour to use!

Using all-purpose flour will give you a more reliable dough to work with, and it is not as easy to end up with a cookie that is too chewy or too crispy.

While using bread flour as a replacement can be done if you are interested in making crispy or chewy cookies, doing so may result in a texture that is not palatable.

Try Combining Types of Flours

Instead of using entirely one type of flour, the best flour to use for cookies is one-half all-purpose flour and one-half bread flour.

The combination of flour reduces the chewy and crispy potential of the bread flour, while still making for a chewier cookie. You will be getting the best of both worlds by combining the two types of flour.

How Do Cake Flour and Pastry Flour Compare to Bread Flour When Making Cookies?

When making cookies out of wheat-based flour, bread flour and all-purpose flour are two of the most commonly used flours. They are the most common types of wheat flour that home cooks will have in their pantries. However, if you do a lot of dessert baking, you may also have cake flour or pantry flour to use.

*By the way, I recently wrote an article about How to Aerate & Measure Flour The Right Way. This article talks about all the things you need to know to make sure you properly use flour when baking. You can check out this article here!

How Does Pastry Flour Work for Cookies?

Pastry flour is a much lighter and finer flour than all-purpose flour. The finer texture comes from being milled more than all-purpose flour. Pastry flour is also typically made with softer wheat than all-purpose flour.

Pastry flour has a lower protein content than both all-purpose and bread flour. This makes pastry flour a wise choice for any cook wanting to make flaky and delicate baked goods. Typically, this refers to foods such as pie crusts.

While pastry flour should never be used for foods that need to be sturdy – such as pasta – it can make excellent cookies! Your cookies will be much more delicate, and may not be able to withstand add-ins, such as chocolate chips or nuts.

Can You Use Cake Flour for Cookies?

As a general rule, you can use cake flour to bake cookies. Using cake flour will change the texture of the cookies by making them tender and fluffy. Cake flour will prevent the cookies from becoming crispy by providing the cookie dough with a light and airy feel.

Cake flour has a low protein content, much like pastry flour. Like pastry flour, cake flour will greatly alter the texture of your cookies if you use it as a substitute in your cookie baking.

Cake flour will make your cookie have a texture that is closer to a cake than a traditional cookie. The cookies will be fluffy and tender, and the cookies made with cake flour may not crisp up the way cookies made with all-purpose or bread flour will.

*Side Note: You might also want to know How To Bake Cookies Without A Cookie Sheet. I recently wrote an article that talks about What Can You Use To Bake Cookies Without A Cookie Sheet, which you can check out here!

To Summarize…

You can make cookies with almost any type of flour. However, it strictly depends on the texture you are looking for in your cookies in order to determine which flour you would want to use.

Some people like cookies to be delicate and fluffy while other people like their cookies to be hard and crispy. Either way, you’ll have to choose your flour properly before making your delicious cookie dough.

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My name is Fainna! I've been baking desserts ever since I was 10 years old with my grandma passing her baking wisdom down to me with every passing day. I hope you find these tips and tricks helpful here at my little Baking Nook!

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