Q&A Types of White Flour, Their Weights and How Much Water to Use

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Q: I want to use a white flour with higher protein, how do I adjust the recipe?

A: We wrote the original white-flour Master Recipe for The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day with typical all-purpose white flour (such as Gold Medal), which has a protein content of about 9.8-10.5%. The following flours have a greater protein content and will require you to add more water to dough that is entirely made from these white flours.  You don’t need all that extra water if white flour only part of the loaf’s flour mixture.

King Arthur All-Purpose, 11.7% protein (add approximately 1/4 cup extra water to the full recipe).

Dakota Maid All-Purpose:  add approximately 1/4 cup extra water to the full recipe

Canadian all-purpose flour, most brands:  add approximately 1/4 cup extra water to the full recipe

Gold Medal Better for Bread 12.5% protein: add approximately 1/3 cup extra water to the full recipe

King Arthur Bread Flour 12.7% protein (add approximately 1/3 cup extra water to the full recipe)

Any “bread” flour: Most flour labeled as “bread flour” is 12-13% protein (add approximately 1/3 cup extra water to the full recipe).  In Europe, this flour is labeled as “strong flour.”  If a flour is labeled as “high-gluten” it’s probably 14-15% protein (add approximately 1/2 cup extra water to the full recipe).

Q: What is the weight of the flour that you use?

A: We wrote the book with measures because we find that most people are still using cup measures when baking. We have been pleasantly surprised at the number of our readers that are scaling their recipes. Here are the weight equivalents to the flour that we use:

1 cup all-purpose flour = 5oz

6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (master recipe) = 2 pounds

1 cup whole wheat = 4 1/2 oz

1 cup of rye = 4 1/4 oz

Q: What should the “hydration” of the dough be?

A: Again, we tried to avoid confusing professional language in the book, but several people have asked about bakers percentages and hydration levels for white flour. The hydration needed for dough storage will vary with to the type of flour you are using.  “Hydration,” when the term is used by professional bakers, means the ratio of the water weight to the flour weight, expresed as a percentage.  High protein flours absorb much more water and will require you to add more water. Here are the hydration levels we’ve used, but remember, this applies to dough made from white flours (whole grain is a different story, requiring higher levels of hydration):

When using most all-purpose flours (eg., Gold Medal):  75% hydration

When using Gold Medal Better for Bread:  83% hydration

When using King Arthur all-purpose:  81% hydration

When using King Arthur bread flour:  83% hydration

When using most bread flours:  83% hydration

When using most high-gluten flours:  85% hydration

More in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and our other books. If you use vital wheat gluten to get an airier crumb with whole grains loaves, you need even more hydration–see The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

We recommend that you follow the Master Recipes in our books as we have written them until you get a feel for the proper consistency. Once you know what it should feel like then it is wonderful to play with other flours.

Click here if you want to understand baker’s percentages.

Note: BreadIn5.com is reader supported. When you buy through links on the site, BreadIn5 LLC earns commissions.

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648 thoughts to “Q&A Types of White Flour, Their Weights and How Much Water to Use”

    1. Hi Jennie,

      You may need to add a bit more water, but start with a straight swap and see if your dough is too dry.

      Thanks, Zoë

  1. I agree that amount of water in the dough vary with different kinds of flour. Many times people send me queries about how much water should they add to the dough. You have placed detailed information about the hydratation, I,m not that good. I will read more carefully your posts to gain some info, Jacek

  2. I usually make my bread dough and then let it rise for around 15 hours or so and then bake it. I decided to make the bread dough that you put in the fridge. However, I let the bread dough rise overnight and then put in fridge. I made the 2 lb. loaf. 6 1/2 cups flour and 3 cups water. Somit was in the fridge around 18 hours. I baked the bread in my enamel covered bakeware for 45 minutes and then took the lid off and baked it another 35 minutes. I put a thermometer through the center and it displayed over 200 degrees. However, I let the bread sit out overnight and it feels moist and somewhat dense. What did I do wrong? Thanks

    1. Hi Gerri,

      What kind of flour did you use?

      How long did you let the loaf rest after you shaped it and before you baked it?

      Thank you, Zoë

  3. I’m in Canada and I love making the master recipe from the New Artisan book. However, when I follow the weight measurements with Five Roses flour I end up with a dough that is unbelievably sticky. No amount of dusting seems to be enough to handle it without becoming a mess. Am I doing something wrong? The book suggests more water for Canadian flour but that sounds like it would be even stickier.

    1. Yes- our assumption may not hold for all Canadian flours, and who knows, Five Roses may be lower in protein than our typical flour (US-grown Gold Medal). Just decrease the water a bit. 1/8-cup? 1/4-cup?

  4. Do these amounts apply for enriched breads also? (specifically the brioche)

    (also thanks! This page is really helpful!)

    1. Yes and no. If there’s a different total amount of white flour in a recipe, you have to proportionalize the adjustment.

      1. Jeff,
        On page 11 (newer edition), you say “don’t try to substitute it 1:1 for all purpose or you’ll get a dry, dense dough that won’t store well at all”.

        I use whole hard white wheat almost exclusively. If I don’t mix it with all purpose flour, how do I compensate and get less dense bread? #2: Also, if I do mix with all-purpose flour, what ratio should I use; whole white wheat/all purpose flour?

        Thanks Bob

      2. Much more on this in our whole wheat book, The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (on Amazon at https://amzn.to/1NdVkgj). But basically, you need more water for 100% whole grain. You can use any combination you like, from 0% to 100% whole grain. 1/4-cup more water with 100%?

        And it works lighter with vital wheat gluten, more on that in the NewHealthy book. Optional though.

  5. Hi,

    I have been using the Master Recipe for about a year now with great success.

    The past two batches, however, the dough has ended up very wet and hard to handle when cloaking. Before this, the dough never was like this.

    I always weigh my ingredients and use the same exact flour and procedures. The only difference that I can think of is that now it is winter, and maybe the humidity is the culprit.

    Could the different humidity level cause that much of a change in the dough? The result is still great but it’s much harder to handle.

    I don’t mind adjusting the amount of water or just using a little more flour when cloaking, but I wanted to see if I could find out why this was happening!


    1. Hi Jay,

      Yes, the humidity can have an effect, but usually in the winter the flour is dry and the dough as well. Another issue is that the protein content in flour can fluctuate slightly from batch to batch, so even a flour you have used often can sometimes be slightly higher or lower in protein. If all else is the same and you are having different results, I think it may just be the batch of flour you bought.

      To counter this, you can add more flour to the dough or just use more when shaping the loaf.

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. I made your Artisan Bread for the first time three days ago and it was amazing. I have never been able to make bread until now. I have not been able to get the book yet but I wanted to know how to add flavor to the dough in the fridge before I make another loaf. Can you please give me some pointers?

    1. While you’re waiting for the book to arrive, explore all the free content here on the website. Best place to start is on our “FAQs” tab above.

  7. Would it be okay to sub in some buckwheat flour into the Master Recipe? Would I need to adjust the quantities of other ingredients?

    1. Well, so long as you keep it low-percentage, it’s pretty easy. Swapping one cup won’t make much difference, but prob have to increase the water a couple tablespoons (a guess). Which book do you have, some have buckwheat in the books?

      1. Thanks Jeff! I don’t actually have any of your books yet, but am keen to look into getting a copy. Would you mind letting me know what books include buckwheat recipes? I live in an area that has an abundance of buckwheat!

      2. Hi Mel,

        We have buckwheat recipe in our Healthy Bread book, but you can replace up to 3/4 cup of the all-purpose flour with buckwheat in any of our doughs without changing anything else.

        Thanks, Zoë

  8. Hi Zoë and Jeff,

    In love with the book and the site.

    I’m having some trouble though. Using the ABin5 Master Recipe. My dough comes out very wet, and I mean really wet.

    I’m using Bacheldre Watermill – Organic Stoneground Strong Unbleached White flour (https://www.bacheldremill.co.uk/shop/details/?q=2)

    Since its a strong flour, I use a ⅓cup of water extra.

    I spoke to the mill today, and they say it averages about 14% protein. Which seems like I should really be using ½cup, which would be even wetter.

    I’m a little confused.

    Any suggestions?

    Many thanks,

    1. But you’re in the UK, and in Europe, I believe you use “anhydrous” measurement of protein, which means after all the water is heated off, so the numbers (for protein) are higher. My guess is that you simply need to drop the extra water and you should be fine. North American flours are particularly strong, esp in Canada.

      May take some experimentation…

      1. I have seen a couple of questions on the page about European flour. I live in the Netherlands and I order my flour from a mill rather than purchase it in the store. I typically have 2 types of flour on hand, what they sell as American AP flour and a French bread flour “T65 Red Label”. The strange thing is that on their website they say the protein level of the American AP flour is 13% and the protein of the T65 Red Label flour is 11%. I would have thought it would be reversed. I will call the mill on Wednesday to verify this, but if the T65 Red Label flour has less protein should I try that flour first (and if so, how much additional water to I add for a flour with 11% protein)? Otherwise do I need to ask him which flour is about 10%? I’m interested in making both an artisan type bread but also an enriched bread so that I can make cinnamon rolls, etc, so if I can somehow use one of these 2 types of flours for all of the recipes that would be my preference. Also because these 2 types of flour I use mostly in other recipes as well.

      2. Not surprised, US flours typically have more protein. And baguettes are made with “softer” flour for a more tender, less chewy crumb. One problem is that European flours are often measured a different way, so all bets might be off. Ask him which flour is closest to American AP– but clearly, he’s going to say the American AP. I’d try that first. There’s confusion between when they measure “anhydrously” (after all the water is driven off with heat) versus not.

      3. Thanks Jeff.
        There is a lot of information about this on the web but it seems that Raymond Cavel in his book “The Taste of Bread” has looked at this in a lot of detail. If I may link to an external site, it is very technical but may help others: https://www.theartisan.net/Flours_One.htm where I found the below information: Ash and Protein Comparisons: The United States and France, “The following is a technical note about ash and protein percentages in flour of the United States and of France. The figures below, originally found in Professor Calvel’s text, “The Taste of Bread”(*), are expressed as a percentage of dry matter, which is customary in France. In the United States and Canada, figures are calculated on a basis of 14% flour humidity. This means that a fairly normal seeming 11.5% protein French flour would in fact have a 9.5% protein content in North American terms, and that a high-seeming .62% ash would be .525 in North American terms.” So this seems to indicate that when looking at the protein content in European flour vs. American flour you reduce European flour by 2 points due to way of measuring. In the link above there is also a table indicating the same and to give a guide as comparison. This seems to indicate that my 13% American type AP flour would be 11% in American measurement. Do you think that I should start without adding extra water first, since the percentage is perhaps so close that it might be just right (since it is mentioned the flour that you use typically has a range of 9.8 – 10.5%)?

  9. Hello!
    I’m using French T55 flour from Moulin d’Auguste and was wondering how the master recipe would need to be changed (if at all) to use this flour?

    1. Which of our recipes are you using—which book, what page number? There are many “Master” recipes and we have 5 books out there.

  10. Have you guys found that organic flours act differently than non-organic flours? Is there an organic brand that you recommend or any water adjustments that would need to be made? I have The New Artisan Bread in 5 and am still working on the Master Recipe on p. 53. Just mixed my second batch and finished off my flour (regular supermarket brand unbleached all-purpose) and would like to try organic next.

    1. Hi Lauren,

      The difference doesn’t tend to be that it is organic, but how it is ground. If you are using a large scale commercial brand, like Gold Medal (who did have an organic line at one point, maybe still do?) the flour will act just as the non-organic does. If it is a smaller producer, their grinders don’t tend to get the flour as fine and that effects the gluten development in the dough. If the dough seems to lack structure, you will likely need to decrease the water or add a bit of vital wheat gluten to the dough.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Hi Lauren,

        I haven’t experimented with the Bob’s all-purpose flour. But, I just looked on their website and the flour has a fairly high protein content, so you will need to add more water. You may need up to a 1/4 cup more water.

        Let me know how it goes! Zoë

  11. If I use Organic flour in the master recipe does the water content change? Or do I base it on for example King Arthur’s additional water recommended in their regular flour. Do you have an organic flour you recommend?are protein percentages marked on the flour packages.
    Thank you! Love your books and I am not skilled in the kitchen and you make me look like a pro!

    1. I use an organic co-op product from Arrowhead Mills, an organic white all-purpose, purchased in bulk so there’s no package. I make no adjustments when I do that (we are talking about white flour, I assume)–it measures (and absorbs water) the same as Gold Medal AP (which is different than KAF). Here’s their packaged version: https://www.arrowheadmills.com/product/enriched-unbleached-white-flour (it’s not cheap).

      In general though, organics aren’t standardized, more so for the whole wheat.

  12. Hello Zoe & Jeff,
    I want to make soft pretzels (pg 204) using the bagel dough recipe on page 198 of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I also plan to use the dough to make bagels as well. What brand of bread flour do you recommend that will achieve the best results? Thank you for writing this wonderfully enjoyable book! I’m branching out beyond the Master recipe. Woo-Hoo!

    1. I’ve used Gold Medal Bread Flour, but I’m not sure it makes all that much difference. Thanks for the kind words.

  13. I made the the bread as in recipe and it turned out perfectly but I was just wondering if I want to add in flavoring such as caramelized onion or such at what stage do I add that to the dough?

  14. I follow the master recipe for bread in 5. I usually form the dough right after the 2 to 3 hour rise. I will divide the entire batch into 3 loaves and form them into oblong shaped loaves more like a traditional loaf than a circle. I have 2 rectagular stones in the oven and bake all three loaves at once. This approach used to result in 3 gorgeous loaves. However in the last 6 months I’ve been having problems. I don’t think I’m doing anything different but after forming, while rising, the gluten cloak or skin of the loaf starts separating and the formed loaf is unable to take shape and is flat. After forming the loaf looks good. I thought I needed to add flour to make a drier dough but I’m having the same results. Do I need to spend more time forming the loaf? I’m using the same generic store brand unbleached all purpose flour and I use a scale to measure all the ingredients. I live north of Dallas so it’s warmer and more humid. That’s all the variables I can think of. So why won’t my doughball hold its shape?

    1. Hi Larry,

      If the weather is different, warmer and more humid, the dough will be slacker and will rise faster, so it may be over proofing. The wheat may also be slightly different from one season to the next, so this wheat may have less protein than what you started using and therefore won’t have the exact same structure. Your instinct to add more flour is a good one, for the humid weather, but you may need to let it rest slightly less after shaping.

      Here is a video, so you can see if your dough balls are tight enough: https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2017/04/16/new-video-shaping-the-ball-from-a-very-wet-dough/

      Thanks, Zoë

  15. how much is your all purpose flour, bread flour, amd water in gram? i’m confused because every site has different conversion and in here we rarely use cups. please help me thanks

    1. Hi Kemala,

      All of our books do have the recipes in grams, so I am not sure which recipe you are referring to?

      Thank you, Zoë

  16. I can’t find all purpose flour right now, but have plenty of bread flour. Is there any way to mix bread flour with another kind of flour to reduce the protein levels as just bread flour seems too dense for my taste.

    1. Well, pastry flour is lower than AP, so that’d be the answer. But I’m guessing you won’t find that either.

  17. I purchased flour from sunrise mill from a post you had during this pandemic.
    I’ve been making the master recipe these last few weeks with great success – all out of my bread flour and King Arthur AP. I purchased the heritage white AP and the pizza flour – they were out of bread flour – my question is can I replace the pizza flour for the bread flour in the master recipe. I’ve been using half AP and half bread – the last one I did 1/3 AP, 1/3 Bread and 1/3 white whole wheat. Thanks Kathleen

    1. Depends on the protein content in the pizza flour. If it’s low (as I suspect it is, though I don’t see Sunrise posting their protein content on their website ), then…
      1) you need less water or else it’ll be too “loose” of a dough and won’t be great for high domed loaves. 5% less water? 10%? 15%?
      2) it won’t rise as high regardless of how perfectly you adjust the hydration, and the resulting dough may be better for flatbread and pizza.

      But this is going to take experimentation.

      1. Thanks love the master recipe. Could I play around and add some sourdough starter to it when making a loaf – then how would I proceed?

  18. I made sourdough dough and did the bulk rise overnight in the refrigerator and now I am going to shape it and proof it, I made enough for two loaves but don’t want to bake both tonight, what can I do with the extra dough?
    Or what should I have done if it is now too late?

    1. Hi Myiram,

      Did you use our dough recipe for the loaves? If so, you just store it in the container.

      Thanks, Zoe

  19. Can you make this bread with a gluten free flour like Bob’s Red Mill? Would it require more water, than the 3 cups?

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      We have many gluten-free recipes here on the website and an entire book dedicated to it. Unfortunately, none of them worked well with commercial gluten-free flour blends, so we created our own. The came out much too gummy with the mixes.

      Thanks, Zoë

  20. I’m using King Arthur all purpose flour. I added the extra water now I have soup. So I added about 1/4 C + 2 tablespoons more flour. Now I have day-old gravy consistency. Can this be fixed? How do I fix it In that case? Thanks! I’m at sea level if that makes a difference.

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      Just keep adding more flour until you have the consistency of the dough in our videos, which you can find on our Breadin5 Youtube channel. How were you measuring the flour, this may make a difference in why your dough came out so wet.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Hi Zoe,
        Thanks for your response! Funnily enough in the past I would spoon flour into the measuring cups. This time I tried the dipping method. I’ve had trouble with the dough turning grey in the past. So this time it isn’t grey but it is runny. Today it has big bubbles in it. I’ll add more flour and see what happens.

  21. Hi All … I am situated in Jakarta/Indonesia. Here the unit measurements are in metric, i.e. grams, liter, etc.
    But in any case, still able to do the conversions and continue to have the baking fun regardless.

    I am struggling with final bread outcome of too tough and hard. Lucky my teeth haven’t come loose or off…
    Taste of sourness and aroma has been achieved, but texture wise isn’t there yet.
    Is it the high protein flour I am using or maybe the hydration percentage. Maybe my leaky oven glass door may not be helping either …

    1. Hi. If you are using a high protein flour, then you will need to increase the amount of water to achieve the right hydration in the dough, otherwise, the bread will be quite dense.

      If your oven isn’t sealed well, it may be helpful to bake in a Dutch Oven or Cloche, to trap the steam to get a nice crust on the bread.

      Enjoy, Zoë

    1. Not sure I understand the question, but in my recipes you need less bread flour if you swap it in for AP. But the way I do that is by increasing the water a bit, which is what’s discussed here

  22. In the new artisan book on p. 53, master recipe, I use King Arthur unbleached flour where 1 cup is 120g. You state 6.5 cups or 920g. Why not 800 g? Which should I go buy?

    1. The way we do it in the book is correct. If you do the scoop and sweep method. Are you measuring by cup-measures, or weight? If you’re doing it by weight, this all becomes irrelevant

  23. Hello! I, too, live in Minnesota, so know about the snow and cold! I purchased your amazing bread book (as an amateur) and am looking forward to not only baking, but tasting many crusty breads. Following the Master Recipe, I was confused at the conversion of cups of water and flour to grams, I did some checking and found 1 cup of flour equals 125 grams, so 6-1/2 cups of flour would be 812.5 grams, but you show 910 grams. I was also confused about the water conversion…1 cup of water equals 236 grams, so 3 cups of water would be 708 grams, but you show 680 grams. I’m sure there is a logical/scientific explanation, so thank you for your time, and look forward to hearing from you.

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