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QUESTION: What is the difference in all-purpose, self-rising and bread flour?

I have just gotten my first bread maker and I was trying to locate some good recipes, especially egg bread, but as I read many of them, they called for "bread flour". What's the difference between all purpose or self-rising flour and this kind? Thanks.

ANSWER:

All-purpose flour (also known as plain flour in many countries) is the most common called for flour in recipes. It is a blend of hard and soft wheat.

Self-rising flour, sometimes referred to as phosphated flour, is a low-protein flour with salt and leavening already added. 1 cup of self-rising flour contains 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. It can be used instead of all-purpose flour in a recipe by reducing the salt and baking powder according to these proportions.

Bread flour is unbleached white flour made from hard, high-protein wheats. It has more gluten strength and protein content than all-purpose flour and absorbs more water. It also contains a small amount of malted barley flour (to improve yeast activity) and vitamin C or potassium bromate (to increase the gluten's elasticity and the dough's gas retention). It is an ideal flour for yeast breads.

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