Cooking Corner: Substitutions & Baking Flour

The following Family & Consumer Sciences article printed in the 2021 Spring edition of the Oldham County Extension Newsletter.

Cooking Corner


measuring cup

Recipe Substitutions

If you don’t have…Then use…
1 cup self-rising flour1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cake flour1 cup sifted all-purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons
1 cup all-purpose flour1 cup cake flour plus 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cornstarch2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup yogurt1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup sour cream
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice plus milk to equal 1 cup
1 cup milk1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder mixed in water to make 1 cup

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baking flour

Types of Flour Used in Baking

The use of different flours will result in varied textures, flavors, and nutritional value. Some flours will produce a heavy, compact bread, while others will produce a lighter bread. Some flours may cause a fullbodied or bitter flavor while others present a nutty, woodsy flavor. Follow your recipe for best results. With practice you can begin to substitute flours with good success.

  • All-purpose flour is a blend of hard and soft wheat.
  • Self-rising flour is simply all-purpose flour pre-blended with baking powder and salt.
  • Bread flour is made from hard wheat, which has a high protein content. It is the preferred flour for making bread.
  • Enriched flour has the B-vitamins and iron, that are lost during milling, added back to the flour.
  • Whole-wheat flour is milled from the whole kernel. When used alone, whole-wheat flour produces a heavy, compact, dark bread. The germ and bran cut the developing gluten strands.
  • Whole-wheat bread flour is ground from hard wheat and has a higher gluten content. To create your own whole wheat bread flour, add one tablespoon gluten to each cup of whole-wheat flour.
  • Graham flour resembles whole wheat flour in taste but has less protein.
  • Durum flour is made from the hardest of wheats. A bread made entirely from durum wheat is inedible.
  • Semolina flour is durum flour minus the bran and wheat germ. It is usually used as a pasta flour but can be used in breads.
  • Kamut flour is a relative of durum wheat. It is high in protein but low in gluten, so it must be combined with a higher gluten flour to produce an acceptable bread.

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Source: Sandra Bastin, PhD, RD, LD, CCE; Extension Specialist for Food and Nutrition

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