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Baker’s Flour vs. Plain Flour: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 14, 2024
Baker's flour, higher in protein, is ideal for yeast breads; plain flour, with less protein, is versatile for general baking.

Key Differences

Baker's flour is specially formulated with a higher protein content, typically around 12-14%, making it excellent for bread-making where gluten development is key. Plain flour, with a protein content of 8-11%, lacks this extra protein, resulting in softer baked goods suitable for cakes, cookies, and pastries.
The gluten strength in baker's flour is ideal for the structure and rise in yeast breads, providing elasticity and chewiness. Plain flour, on the other hand, produces a tenderer crumb due to its lower gluten content, making it preferable for tender baked products.
Baker's flour often undergoes a bleaching and maturing process, enhancing its gluten-forming potential. Plain flour can be either bleached or unbleached, but its primary distinction lies in its suitability for a wider range of baking needs beyond bread.
In recipes requiring significant structural support, such as yeast breads, baker's flour is the go-to option. Plain flour, due to its versatility, is the standard choice for recipes not needing the robust structure provided by higher protein levels.
Baker's flour, due to its specific characteristics, may not be as readily available in all grocery stores as plain flour, which is a staple in most kitchens, highlighting its universal applicability in a variety of baking and cooking recipes.

Comparison Chart

Protein Content

Higher (12-14%) for better gluten development
Lower (8-11%), leading to softer texture

Best Used For

Yeast breads, requiring elasticity and chewiness
General baking, like cakes, cookies, and pastries

Gluten Strength

Stronger, provides structure and rise in bread
Weaker, results in tender baked products


Might be less available than plain flour
Widely available, a staple in most kitchens


Primarily for bread-making
Versatile for a range of baking needs

Baker's Flour and Plain Flour Definitions

Baker's Flour

Flour often used in professional baking for its consistency.
Baker's flour is preferred in bakeries for its reliable quality in bread products.

Plain Flour

Flour suitable for a wide range of cooking and baking needs.
From pancakes to gravy, plain flour is my kitchen staple.

Baker's Flour

Flour designed for yeast-leavened baked goods.
Baker's flour gives my pizza dough the ideal rise and texture.

Plain Flour

A standard flour with a balance of softness and strength.
Plain flour is perfect for my cake recipes, providing a tender crumb.

Baker's Flour

A high-protein flour ideal for bread-making.
I use baker's flour for my homemade sourdough to get that perfect chewy texture.

Plain Flour

The go-to flour for non-yeast baked goods.
For my quick breads and muffins, I always reach for plain flour.

Baker's Flour

Specialized flour for baked goods requiring structure.
My baguettes require baker's flour to maintain their shape and airy interior.

Plain Flour

Commonly used flour in everyday home baking.
Plain flour is essential for my weekend baking sessions, from scones to pies.

Baker's Flour

A type of flour with strong gluten-forming potential.
For artisan breads, baker's flour is my go-to for a robust crumb.

Plain Flour

A versatile, all-purpose baking flour with a moderate protein content.
I always use plain flour for my chocolate chip cookies to keep them soft and chewy.


Can I use plain flour instead of baker's flour for bread?

Yes, but the bread may not have as strong a structure or chewiness.

Is baker's flour the same as bread flour?

Yes, baker's flour is often another term for bread flour.

Is baker's flour bleached?

It can be, but it depends on the brand and type.

What’s the protein content of plain flour?

Plain flour typically has a protein content of 8-11%.

Can I use baker's flour for cakes?

You can, but it might make the cake too chewy or dense.

Is plain flour good for frying?

Yes, its texture is suitable for breading and frying.

Does baker's flour produce more gluten?

Yes, its higher protein content aids in more gluten formation.

Can I use plain flour for bread?

It's possible, but the bread might lack the desired texture and rise.

What is baker's flour?

Baker's flour is a high-protein flour ideal for yeast-leavened breads.

What is plain flour best used for?

Plain flour is versatile, suitable for cakes, cookies, and general baking.

Can I use plain flour for pizza dough?

Yes, but the dough may not be as chewy as with baker's flour.

Can I substitute plain flour for baker's flour in a recipe?

Yes, but expect changes in texture and structure of the baked good.

Is plain flour better for quick breads?

Yes, it provides the right balance of softness and structure.

Can I make pasta with baker's flour?

It's possible, but it might result in a chewier texture.

Is baker's flour more expensive?

It can be, due to its specialized nature.

Why is baker's flour better for yeast bread?

Its high protein content helps with gluten development essential for yeast bread.

How does plain flour affect cookie texture?

It provides a softer, tender texture ideal for cookies.

Does baker's flour have a longer shelf life?

Its shelf life is similar to plain flour, but storage conditions matter.

Does baker's flour work for thickening sauces?

It can, but plain flour is typically preferred for its finer texture.

How do I store plain flour?

In a cool, dry place, preferably in an airtight container.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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