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I've seen some recipes that call for AP flour and bread flour. What's the point of that?

Assume AP flour has 10.5% protein and bread flour has 11.5% protein. If a recipe calls for equal amounts of AP flour and bread flour, you'll end up with a mixture that is 11% protein. Why not just find 11% protein flour in the first place?

Also, since the protein amount of flour vastly differs by brand, region, etc. -- how can a recipe make any assumptions about the final protein amount in the flour mixture.

  • Your assumption that AP flour has 10.5% protein is incorrect, that's on the high side, it's often much lower. – GdD Mar 25 at 14:26
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It could be as simple as a bare pantry shelf and an adventurous cook who combined them when there wasn't enough bread flour for her recipe. King Arthur Flour went above and beyond! Testing loaf after loaf to compare crust, crumb, and texture with a variety of flours. Are there differences? Certainly, but perhaps not as dramatic as we might think.

How to Substitute Bread Flour for All-Purpose Flour

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So, you are correct in both of your criticisms: the recipe author is making unwarranted assumptions about the protein content of the flour you're using, and that it would make more sense to just specify a desired protein content for your flour.

If you look at this table of popular US flour brands, you'll see that AP flour ranges from 10% to 11.7%, and that bread flour ranges from 12% to 13%, which means that a half-and-half mixture could be anywhere from 11% to 12.3%.

For the particular recipe you're using, your best bet is to see if the author recommends any particular brand of flour and go by that. Alternately, you can just use King Arthur or Heckers AP flour, which are almost at the midpoint of that 11-12.3% range.

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