Last month I wanted to bake cookies on Christmas Eve with one of my siblings when I realized I had two different bags of flour. I had a little bit of of bread flour in one bag and a fresh bag of All-Purpose in another. I’ve made cookies (and bread) for years but I don’t think I’ve ever really paid attention to which I was using. Well, okay I have always used “bread flour” when making bread but not for cookies.
I can recall how I have had different looking cookies. Some fluffy like pancakes and others that spread like bakery-style cookies. I always thought it was because of using melted butter vs room temperature soft butter. So.. I decided to finally google the answer.
Bread flour has more protein content than all-purpose, which helps with gluten development. Some recipes call for it when an especially chewy and elastic crumb is desired.
Oh and self-rising flour? It’s a “soft” all-purpose flour that has had baking powder and salt added to it already so you can eliminate it from your recipe.