All-purpose flour is a great ingredient to have in your kitchen as you can use it instead of almost any other type of flour. This flour can save you from a lot of situations but what to do if you don’t have it handy?
There is no need to panic as we put together a guide you can apply if you need to replace all-purpose flour in your recipe.
You can use bread flour, whole wheat flour, or even cake flour to replace your all-purpose flour. However, let’s take a look at different substitutes that you can use in order to end up with a delicious recipe even if you don’t have all-purpose flour in your kitchen.
Best All-Purpose Flour Substitutes
You can use the following all-purpose flour substitutes in almost any type of dish as long as you do it correctly. The taste of your dish will stay similar, even if you will notice slight changes in terms of texture and possibly color.
1. Bread flour
Bread flour of all kinds is one of the most common substitutes for all-purpose flour. You can use it in a wide variety of recipes. The main quality of bread flour is that it will not alter the taste of your dish.
There might be some small differences in terms of texture but the taste and flavor will stay fairly the same. This flour is richer in gluten and protein as it is made of a harder type of wheat.
You can use the same quantity of bread flour instead of all-purpose flour. Expect your dish to have a more chewy texture but a similar flavor.
2. Cake flour
Unlike bread flour, cake flour is made of a softer type of wheat. Therefore, it will not provide a dough that is chewy. You can use this flour in the same ratio as all-purpose flour and the taste will remain the same.
Even if cake flour is perfect for desserts, you can use it for other types of recipes as well. Cake flour has all-purpose flour in its ingredients already, which makes it even more suitable as a substitute.
Prepare your dish as you normally would, according to the recipe, even if you replace all-purpose flour with cake flour.
3. Whole-wheat flour
Whole wheat flour is similar to bread flour but it is a lot more fibrous and it requires more liquid such as water. So, you can use the same quantity of whole wheat flour as all-purpose flour. But expect to increase the quantity of water you add to your dish.
Ideally, you can use half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour in your dish, unless you are totally out of the all-purpose flour.
At the same time, if you use whole wheat flour, you will have to give it more time to rest compared to the all-purpose flour. If you take these aspects into account, you can replace all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour in all types of recipes.
4. Almond flour
Almond flour is a less traditional type of flour. However, it can complement your recipes successfully. You can use almond flour instead of all-purpose flour mostly in desserts but it can offer an interesting flavor to all your dishes as long as you use it correctly.
Keep in mind that almond flour as well as any other type of nut flour comes with more calories so your final dish will be a lot more consistent. In spite of the high-calorie content, this flour is overall healthier than other types of wheat flour.
5. Chickpea flour
Chickpea flour is perfect for many recipes. You can use it in both dessert and bread recipes. It is one of the most flexible types of flour and it can complete dishes such as curries and complex Indian or Asian dishes.
When you replace all-purpose flour with chickpeas flour, you can use the same ratio. Some dishes such as bread might require more flour than others, so keep that in mind.
You will eventually determine the amount of flour to use as you mix it with plain water. And you can see how it incorporates with the other ingredients.
6. Soy flour
Soy flour can be just as good as any other type of flour when you look for a substitute for all-purpose flour. It has a neutral taste so you will not have to worry about altering the flavor of your food.
But, you will need to add a double quantity of flour because it tends to be finer in texture. You can use it in desserts and other types of dishes and most likely you will love the outcome.
7. Coconut flour
Coconut flour can be a great substitute for all-purpose flour. However, you will have to love the flavor if you choose this alternative.
This flour comes with a strong coconut flavor that not everyone likes. Thus, if you are not a fan of this taste, you might want to look at other substitutes on this list.
In terms of cooking, coconut flour is softer in texture. However, it can be used similar to all-purpose flour. Use it in the same quantity but be ready to add a cup or two more if you prepare a complex cake.
Your recipe might require more coconut flour because this type of flour also tales in more water than all-purpose flour.
8. Rice flour
Rice flour can be looked at as a rather unusual type of flour. But it can actually replace all-purpose flour in a wide range of recipes. This flour has no taste and it can even be considered bland but this is actually an advantage.
Thanks to its neutral taste, you can use rice flour in most recipes. Both white and brown rice flour are great all-purpose flour substitutes. You can even keep the same ratio according to your recipe so you will not have to modify the cooking process at all.
9. Gluten-free flour
Gluten-free flour is ideal for people who are intolerant to gluten or just want to avoid this ingredient. You can count on this flour for all recipes from desserts to main dishes.
However, keep in mind that your dough will not be as chewy as it is if you use all-purpose flour. Or any other flour with gluten.
10. Buckwheat flour
Buckwheat flour is not so popular compared to other types of flour in this guide. But you will be impressed at its ability to replace all-purpose flour in any type of recipe.
Use the same amount of buckwheat flour as you would use all-purpose flour and cook your dish according to the recipe. You can use this substitute in pancakes or muffins. But ultimately, it is a suitable alternative for all types of dishes.
11. Pastry flour
Pastry flour is a great substitute for all-purpose flour in many pastries. It gives the dough a finer and more delicate texture than you might even prefer to all-purpose flour.
Pastry flour is also easy to find at your local grocery store. Meaning, you will most likely find it handy if you don’t find all-purpose flour. If you want to bake a lovely pie crust, this flour might actually be a much better choice than the traditional all-purpose flour.
12. Self-rising flour
This flour is regular flour with baking powder that helps to speed up the rising process. It also contains some salt and the level of protein in the wheat is around 8 or 9.
You will even save time on the rising part as this flour is made to rise quicker than other types of flour. It is important though, to watch the amount of salt you add to your dishes if you use this substitute as self-rising flour contains salt already.
It is also not the best choice for baked dishes due to its way of rising which is different than all-purpose flour. You can use it successfully in pancakes, biscuits, or scones.
How do you make all-purpose flour?
Another way to save your recipe if you are missing the all-purpose flour ingredient is to make it yourself. Luckily, making all-purpose flour at home is a walk in the park.
First, choose the type of grain you want to use for your flour. Most all-purpose flour is made of wheat grain but you can use oat or barley just as well.
You will have to use a grinder to grind the grains. You don’t need a complicated grinder for the best results. All-purpose flour of great quality can be obtained by using a coffee grinder or a basic food processor.
You will need a very fine sieve to obtain all-purpose flour from the grounded grains. Pour a cup of flour at a time into the sieve and sift it slowly.
Depending on the grinder you used, you might need to sift your flour 2-3 times. Ultimately, how fine you want your flour to be is up to you so don’t be afraid to use your gut in this matter.
What can I use instead of all-purpose flour UK?
The UK offers you all kinds of substitutes for all-purpose flour but the most common one is bread flour. You will be able to find bread flour easily and you can use it in any type of recipe that requires all-purpose flour. You can even maintain the same ratio. Also, you will not have to alter your recipe or cooking time at all.
All-purpose flour is suitable for all types of dishes and it is easy to use as well. However, if you do not have it on hand, there is no need to panic or cancel your recipe altogether. You can use some of the substitutes in this guide or even prepare your own all-purpose flour with no hassle.