Pastry flour is a particular type of flour that is low in protein, making it ideal for baking light and delicate pastries. It’s great for creating tender baked goods, chewy cookies, and pie crusts that are simply perfect.
Whatever you are baking, no need to freak out if you do not have any pastry flour on hand. Plenty of substitutes are available for pastry flour catering to different dietary needs and budgets. Heck, you can even make your own pastry flour if you have the right ingredients! Let’s delve in.
- All-purpose flour + cake flour
- All-purpose flour
- Whole wheat pastry flour
- Whole wheat flour
- Gluten-free all-purpose + GF cornstarch + dry milk powder
- Green banana flour
- Coconut flour
Best All-Around Pastry Flour Substitute: All-Purpose Flour + Cake Flour
The protein content in pastry flour ranges from 8-10%, which is slightly lower than all-purpose flour, with a protein content of around 10-12%. This lower protein content produces a more tender and delicate crumb in your baked goods.
If you don’t have pastry flour on hand, don’t worry! You can easily make your own at home using just two simple ingredients: all-purpose flour and cake flour. All you need to do is mix these two types of flour in a 2:1 ratio, with two parts all-purpose flour to one part cake flour. Use a whisk or a fork to thoroughly combine the two flours until they’re evenly mixed. Then, sift the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to ensure there are no clumps and that the two ingredients are well incorporated.
This mixture will imitate pastry flour’s protein content and texture almost perfectly.
Best Budget-Friendly Pastry Flour Substitute: All-Purpose Flour
When it comes to budget-friendly substitutes for pastry flour, all-purpose flour takes the cake. It’s also the most neutral flavored. Pastry flour can be as low as 80 cents per pound for a 5lb bag or even cheaper if you buy in bulk. However, all-purpose flour can be even more cost-effective, costing as low as 43 cents per pound in bulk.
One thing to note is that pastry flour absorbs less liquid than all-purpose flour. So, if you’re substituting all-purpose flour for pastry flour in a recipe, you may need to adjust the liquid quantities accordingly.
Best Easy-to-Bake-With Pastry Flour Substitute: All-Purpose Flour + Cake Flour
All-purpose flour and cake flour are not only budget-friendly substitutes for pastry flour, but they’re also easy to bake with. All-purpose flour is a blend of hard and soft wheat varieties and has a higher protein content than pastry flour, making it versatile and suitable for a wide range of baking applications. Cake flour has a protein content of around 7-8%, slightly lower than pastry flour, resulting in an even lighter texture and a more tender crumb.
Mixed as directed above, they make a perfect pastry flour substitute, or you can use them separately to bake different things.
Flour Closest in Flavor to Pastry Flour: All-Purpose Flour + Cake Flour
When it comes to flavor, a blend of all-purpose flour and cake flour is closest to that of pastry flour. Pastry flour, made from milling soft wheat berries, has a neutral flavor and is incredibly versatile, as is the blend of all-purpose and cake flour.
Best Healthy Substitute for Pastry Flour: Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
If you’re looking for a healthier substitute for pastry flour, whole wheat pastry flour is a great choice. It’s made from finely ground soft whole wheat and is ideal for making baked goods like cakes, cookies, and pastries.
It has a nutty flavor and higher fiber and nutrient content than all-purpose flour or regular cake flour and contains more vitamins and minerals as it incorporates more of the whole wheat grain.
Best High-Fiber Substitute for Pastry Flour: Whole Wheat Flour
Whole wheat flour can be used instead of pastry flour if you want to increase the fiber content of your bake. Pastry flour hardly has fiber, whereas whole wheat flour has around 5 grams per ¼ cup. It will give your baked goods a more intense whole wheat flavor but holds up pretty well as a healthier alternative!
Best Gluten-Free Alternative to Pastry Flour: Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour + GF Cornstarch + Dry Milk Powder
For those following a gluten-free diet, a blend of gluten-free all-purpose flour, gluten-free cornstarch, and dry milk powder can serve as an alternative to pastry flour. This blend mimics the properties of pastry flour, with the all-purpose gluten-free flour providing a versatile base, the cornstarch adding texture and moisture retention, and the dry milk powder increasing the protein content to improve the structure of the bake.
The recipe? Try this one:
- 224 g all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (80% of total)
- 28 grams of cornstarch, 10% of the total (and make sure it is gluten-free cornstarch)
- 28 grams of dry milk powder, 10% of total
Or you can do an 8:1:1 ratio, though this does not come as highly recommended as doing it by weight.
Best Lower Calorie Substitute for Pastry Flour: Green Banana Flour
Green banana flour is a super interesting low-calorie substitute for pastry flour. Made from unripe bananas, this flour is not only naturally gluten-free, but it’s also paleo-friendly. Its finer texture might differ from your typical flour, but it’s a healthy change. Just make sure you get green banana flour made from unripe bananas. If you get ripe banana flour, it can be high-calorie instead of low-calorie!
It’s worth noting that baked goods made with green banana flour may turn out denser than those made with traditional flour. It’s commonly used in baked goods such as pancakes, waffles, banana bread, muffins, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and bars.
Best High Protein Substitute for Pastry Flour: Whole Wheat Flour
As a high-protein substitute for pastry flour (up to 6 grams per ¼ cup), whole wheat flour includes the entire wheat kernel, making it more nutritious than regular flour. It has a coarser texture and a nuttier, earthier flavor than other flours, adding a unique twist to your recipes.
Best Keto/Paleo/Whole30 Substitute for Pastry Flour: Coconut Flour
Coconut flour is popular for those following a keto, paleo, or Whole30 diet. This dense, heavy, and gluten-free flour provides a unique texture and flavor to your baked goods. However, because of its dense nature, coconut flour requires more liquid and binding agents in recipes and cannot be substituted 1:1 with all-purpose flour.
Despite these adjustments, It’s a great way to keep your treats tasty and satisfying while adhering to dietary restrictions. Keep in mind coconut flour alone won’t work for all kinds of pastry due to its texture and baking properties. For example, it would not make a good croissant!
Pastry flour is a type of flour that’s slightly lower in protein and gluten than all-purpose flour. This gives it an extra fine texture, which helps it create flaky dough for pastries and other baked goods.
No, they are not the same. 00 is an Italian flour with an even lower protein content than pastry flour, making it extra fine and perfect for pizza doughs. It’s a common ingredient in Italy, and most Italian specialty stores carry this flour.
All flours have the potential to go bad, especially if you don’t store them properly. Pastry flour usually lasts 6 – 8 months.