Can I use bread flour for cookies? Well, sure you can! And trust me, the result is chewy and crispy cookies that everybody will love forever. It is indeed beyond compare if you use it. Substituting bread flour for all-purpose flour will not modify the taste of the cookies at all. Instead, the substitution will change the texture of the final product of the cookies. As a result, you will get a chewier version than using all-purpose flour.
Why Should You Use Bread Flour?
Bread flour comes in a variety of whole and white wheat. In addition to that, its protein content is higher than all-purpose flour. That is why most bread usually uses it since it produces large amounts of gluten.
Essentially, gluten is the stringy strands that provide bread dough its elasticity—likewise, the bread’s distinctive chewiness. Moreover, kneading dough produces gluten strands that do not release air quickly. As a result, it creates plenty of bread loaves’ airy holes.
The main reason why bread flour makes chewier cookies than other flours is the distinctive factor among various kinds of flour: protein content. For this reason, every type of flour has a certain amount of protein. That is why it plays a vital part, especially during baking.
Moreover, there is better development in the water when the flour has a high protein content. As a result, the dough becomes stronger since there is much development of gluten. In addition to that, there is excellent absorption of liquid in flours with high protein content compared to those with less protein. Because of this, they produce more steam which puffs cookies more.
How Bread Flour’s Protein Content Affects Cookies
Essentially, different protein levels are appropriate for certain kinds of baking. That is why there are various kinds of flours. For this reason, all-purpose flour contains approximately 11.7 percent of protein content. On the other hand, cake flour has a low protein content of 10 percent. Since cake flour does not have that much gluten development, it results in lighter and more tender baked goods than any other type of flour. Meanwhile, bread flour contains a 12.7 percent protein content.
Additionally, flour brands can differ from one another. Thus, several flour brands can have a broad protein content fluctuation among similar kinds of flour. In other words, a single bag of bread flour may have a protein content that varies from a similar brand bag. For instance, if you use two bread flours on the same shelf, you might get slightly mixed results in your baked goods. Hence, there are no set standards for protein content in flour varieties.
Moreover, the quantity of protein in flour significantly affects the browning of cookies. For example, cookies made with cake flour or all-purpose flour are less brown than those with bread flour. In addition to that, protein content affects a cookie’s height.
Find more tips for baking the best cookies here:
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Tips and Tricks to Make Cookies with Bread Flour
Besides using bread flour, you can add an extra chew using brown sugar in the cookie dough. Also, whenever you have a dry dough, put about one to two teaspoons of additional liquid for each flour cup. Also, dry doughs are usually the cause of extra liquid absorption.
You can stiffen the dough with more bread flour if your dough is still too slack or wet. Afterward, make sure to bake the dough in a loaf pan. Likewise, ensure to develop the gluten strength in the dough through techniques like folding and stretching. In addition to that, gluten strength develops over time. For instance, when a dough’s bulk fermentation is long, the dough can develop strength independently, with some or even no folding and stretching rounds. In contrast, when the dough’s bulk fermentation is short, the dough usually requires more rounds of folding and testing of other effective methods of active gluten development.
With that, folding and stretching during the start of the bulk fermentation is ideal for gluten strength. However, you can still work your dough batter if you intend not to do this. On the other hand, whenever you feel that dough is floppy at the pre-shape stage, you can stretch it into a big rectangle before rolling it uptight. Then, depending on how the dough feels, shape it twice in a row to develop sufficient tension that does not splay outward after the bench rest.
Also, an imprecise measurement of flour can result in a crumbly and dry texture rather than a delectable and chewy one. For instance, shortbread or biscotti requires more flour to the liquid since it needs to effectively hold the shape.