Wheat Flour Substitutes

Since specialty wheat flour is hard to find, here are some substitutes using all-purpose (AP) flour.

AP flour is a roughly even blend of what’s called hard and soft flours, which means high or low protein. So it’s generally good for anything and can substitute 1:1 without these additions, but these help the products come out better.

Don’t be afraid to use foreign brands if they say all-purpose on them, the ratio is pretty close to ours.


Bread Flour
(which is a hard flour with high protein, which helps gluten form, creating the rise and chew that yeast bread and pizza crusts are known for)

  • 1-1.5 tsp vital wheat gluten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour minus the 1-1.5 tsp gluten you’re adding
  • 1/2 tsp whole wheat flour, for binding (optional)

Pastry/Cake Flour
(a soft flour with low protein, creating a tender crumb)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour minus 2 Tbsp
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch

Self-Rising Flour

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Whole Wheat Flour

This is a trickier one because whole wheat flour not only has higher gluten (like bread flour), but it also soaks up a lot more moisture, so replacing it with AP flour 1:1 will result in a soggier dough. Adding 1/4 cup oat flour, buckwheat flour, spelt flour, or similar whole grain can help.

You can also try using just bread flour, you may need to add extra to get the moisture level right.

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