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Protein Contents of Wheat Flours
U.S. and Canada
All-purpose flour (nationwide) 11-12%
All-purpose flour (Southern U.S.) 7.5-9.5%
Bread flour 12-13%
Whole wheat flour 11-15%
Pastry flour 8-9%
Cake flour 7-8%
Vital wheat gluten 70-85%
Italian soft wheat, Type 0 or 00 11-12%
French Type 55 (blend of hard and soft wheat) 9-10%
English plain flour 7-10%
About Vital Wheat Gluten
If you don't have the storage space or don't bake often enough to buy several different types of flour, you can buy a small bag of gluten flour.
- By adding about a tablespoon of gluten for every cup of flour in your recipe, you can make your all-purpose flour have the protein level and strength of bread flour (follow package instructions).
- It's expensive, but a little goes a long way. Gluten is available at health food stores and some supermarkets; brands to look for are Bob's Red Mill, Arrowhead Mills, and Hodgson Mill.
More Types of Flour
Allergies to gluten have become more commonly diagnosed; they're more often found in people of northern European and Scandinavian heritage. People with Celiac disease have trouble digesting the proteins found primarily in wheat flour but also in rye, oats, and barley. For more about gluten-free baking, see our articles and recipe collections.
The natural oils in flours, especially whole grain flours, can spoil and turn rancid. Flour should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer if you bake infrequently. It should smell and taste "wheaty," not musty or stale.