Bleached Flour vs All-Purpose Flour for Pizza (Why AP Flour is Better)

By: the PROs

Bleached Flour vs All-Purpose Flour for Pizza (Why AP Flour is Better)

Bleached Flour vs All-Purpose Flour for Pizza?

Do you want to know which flour to pick to make your pizza dough?

This article will guide you through finding the best flour for your pizza dough.

So let’s get a pizza for the action!

What is Bleached Flour?

Milled flour has a creamy yellow color; freshly milled flour is never completely white. That’s because it contains colors known as carotenoids.

Flour can be left to oxidize over time, making it lighter in color. However, this takes a long time.

bleached flour
Bleached Flour

To speed up the aging process, the flour is bleached. Bleaching is where chemicals strip the color out of the flour.

Two chemicals are typically used to bleach flour: acetone peroxide or benzoyl peroxide. The chemicals are added to the flour in a controlled way.

Bleached flour is banned in Australia and Europe, so you won’t need to worry about it if you are from any of those countries.

Bleached flour has a few benefits other than just the color being perfectly white. Bleached flour is also softer and perfect for baked goods and pastries.

The bleaching process removes some of the flour’s natural vitamins and minerals. Bleached flour is not ideal for baking bread since they are lighter and have less gluten.

What is All-Purpose Flour?

All-Purpose Flour is also known as Plain flour.

This is a general flour milled from the same grains as bleached flour. You can sift the flour to remove the more significant bits of grain.

However, after milling, there is no further processing that takes place. The flour is not bleached using any chemicals. Instead, it is left to oxidize, naturally making it lighter in color.

unbleached flour
Unbleached flour

All-purpose flour has no added raising agents; it just contains wheat flour. All-Purpose Flour will never be as white as bleached flour, but it is natural. As it has been processed less, it has more nutrients and minerals. 

All-Purpose flour is better suited for baking bread since it contains more gluten.

As the name suggests, all-purpose flour is a very versatile flour. It can be used for almost any purpose, including cakes, pastries, and bread.

All-purpose flour is generally white, although you can also buy different varieties of flour, including wholegrain or bread flour with extra gluten.

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Bleached Flour vs All-Purpose Flour

Bleached flour and all-purpose flour may start the same, but they are very different. Take a look at the differences below:

Bleached Flour:

  • Softer Texture
  • Lighter Color
  • Finer Grain size
  • Treated with chemicals
  • Sieved

All-Purpose Flour:

  • Denser Texture
  • Not treated with chemicals
  • Heavier flour
  • Slightly bigger grain size
  • Sieved

Bleached flour is good for anything that requires a lighter texture and would benefit from a paler color. Any recipes for pancakes, pastry, pie crust, and waffles can all be made with bleached flour.

The lighter texture is beneficial in these types of recipes.

Unbleached all-purpose flour has its benefits. It is denser in texture. It’s better for anything that requires a raising agent.

If you make bread with yeast or puff pastry, you will be better off using all-purpose flour. Bleached flour will be too light in texture for this.

If you have a very sharp taste, you might notice a slightly bitter taste when eating bleached flour.

However, few people would see it once it’s cooked and combined with everything else. Another disadvantage of bleached flour is the use of chemicals.

The safety of the chemicals used in bleached flour has been questioned a few times.

Some studies have suggested that they could affect anti-oxidant levels in your body, and others have shown that these chemicals could potentially build up in your body.

Can You Use All-purpose Flour Instead of Bleached Flour?

It cannot be apparent when standing in a grocery store trying to decide which flour to buy.

You’ve got many more important things to do, such as making and then eating your pizza. So you might want to know whether you can use any flour for any use.

If you are unsure about the type of flour you should buy, you should know that you will always be safe with all-purpose flour.

You can use all-purpose flour for pretty much everything. It’s ideally suited for thickening sauces, baking cakes, baking pastry, and making delicious soft pizza dough.

You can’t even buy bleached flour in Europe, including where pizza comes from in Italy. And they manage just fine to make pizza!

A simple rule when deciding which flour to buy – if in doubt, purchase all-purpose. As the name suggests, this flour can be used for almost everything. All-purpose flour is a great all-around flour.

So to sum this up. If a recipe asks for bleached flour, you will have no problem substituting all-purpose flour.

The only possible difference is that the finished baked foods might have a slightly heavier texture. The richer texture won’t usually be noticeable unless you’re really into your baking.

However, if the recipe calls for all-purpose flour, you should not use bleached flour instead. Bleached flour often won’t be suitable for these types of recipes.

So, for pizzas that require yeast, you should be using all-purpose plain flour every time. Never consider using bleached flour for pizzas.

Bleached Flour vs All-Purpose Flour for Pizza Dough

The crust is the most underrated and overlooked part of a pizza. While the toppings are essential, the crust is at least as important, if not more important.

Without the proper crust, the texture could be chewy or too hard. You may have been tempted to cut corners and buy frozen pizza dough or a pre-made pizza crust.

The thing is that these pre-made products cannot compare to good homemade pizza dough. It’s so easy to make that you’ll wonder why you didn’t start creating your pizza bases sooner.

The best type of flour for pizza bases is always all-purpose flour, also known as plain flour in the UK. This flour is slightly denser and will rise much better when adding yeast and other raising agents.

The texture of all-purpose flour is perfect for pizza dough. It will be able to create a soft, well-risen base that will showcase any of the toppings you choose perfectly.

For more, check out our article on the best pizza flour.

Here’s What the PROs at Homemade Pizza Pro Use and Recommend

King Arthur Flour, Organic All Purpose Flour, 32 oz

All-purpose flour is an essential ingredient for every baker yielding exceptional results. Unbleached and unbromated, this flour is milled to be versatile: strong enough for bread, and gentle enough for tender, delicate scones and cakes

Milled from the finest American wheat. This all-purpose flour is also 100% US hard red wheat grown on American farms.

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Making a Perfect Pizza Dough

Making the perfect pizza base is simple, and you only need a handful of ingredients. You will need:

  • 1 Pack of Instant Yeast
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour, preferably King Authur Flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup of slightly warm water

Follow the instructions on the yeast packet; some will need to be added to water, and others can be added directly to the flour.

Mix all the ingredients using a food processor and pulse until everything is blended and has become a dough. This is the easy part.

Now you need to get to know your dough. Knead it thoroughly until it is completely smooth.

Kneading is almost as crucial as choosing suitable flour. Kneading will help release the gluten, giving the pizza dough more elasticity and that lovely glossy finish.

Leave the dough in a warm place for the yeast to work for about an hour. After about an hour, the dough ball should have grown to twice its size.

Then punch the dough down. If you are not ready to make your pizza, you can keep the dough in an air-tight container for up to 24 hours in the fridge.

When ready, throw the dough onto your countertop and work on shaping it. Use a rolling pin to roll the ball into a flat disc shape.

Try to make this as round as possible, but if it’s slightly off-round, it’s not the end of the world.

You could even have a go spinning the dough and throwing it up in the air just like in a proper Italian pizzeria; watch you don’t throw it too high and end up sticking it on the ceiling.

Check Amazon’s Pizza-Making Must-Haves

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Antimo Caputo "00" Chefs Flour (Red)

The Chef's flour is a general-purpose, high gluten flour that works well for many recipes. "Tipo 00" refers to how refined the flour is. Chef's Flour is best for those who want to bake in their traditional home oven up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit! 

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The Last Slice

If you’ve read this guide about flour for pizzas, then you must love pizza.

Hopefully, it’s been helpful to you, and you now know that all-purpose flour is the top choice when choosing between all-purpose and bleached flour. Bleached flour won’t cut it.

Remember, though, that the crust is just the story’s start.

Now you get to have loads of fun with your pizza toppings. Go crazy, try all sorts of toppings, and enjoy making your delicious pizza at home.

If you’ve just skipped to the end of the guide hoping to find the secret, then let us help you: only buy the best all-purpose flour for your pizza dough.

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