Is all purpose flour the same as plain flour in UK?-2021 Best guide

Is all purpose flour the same as plain flour? The straight answer is Yes. Curious to know why? read more.

is all purpose flour same as plain flour
is all purpose flour same as plain flour

As a chef or a food enthusiast, we all come across the requirement of flours. which make the baseline of our certain dishes.

Though the recipe of that particular dish urge for plain flour but in reality we do interchange it with self-raising flour.

And we expect to have a dish exactly as described in the recipe. Haha, are you kidding me?

Plain flour and self-raising floor are the base of certain dishes and plays the major role on the outcomes of your dish’s taste and texture.

Don’t be ashamed of this fact. We all have done it once in our life. The main confusion arises due to the varity of flour flooded in the grocery market. This get the first in hand chef into the confusion “Are all purpose flour the same as plain flour or not?”

Though based on my experience and the knowledge gained from different sources, I present you this piece of content for a better understanding regarding flours.

Is all purpose flour the same as plain flour & flour types


All purpose flour

All purpose flour is the most common type of easily available flour present in the market. It is also known by another name the plain flour. Hope you are clear now, there is no difference between the so called all purpose flour and plain flour. In short both are exactly the same.

For justification, Is all purpose flour the same as plain flour?………….Yes it is.

Also, according to the locals, they also holds special names like cream flour and pastry flour due to its usage in the cream and pastry industry mostly.

On the terms of its preparation, it arises from the soft wheat flour varieties and identical to get used in pastry industries due to its low contains of both protein as well as sugar.

Your first choice should always be towards the all purpose flour infact you willing to have both crumply and break apart texture.


All purpose flour are usually used in these purposes:

Pastry, Pancakes, Fried Chicken, Biscuits, Sauces

Protein contain in all purpose flour

The rise in variety in the types of flours, the market also get flooded with the variety of flour brands and plain flour are not a part of any exception. The protein content depends on the brand of the flour mostly, still you can have an average idea of 10-12% protein around.

Self Raising flour

Did you noticed what makes the products in bakery to raise such beautifully?

If you are unfamiliar with this fact, let me inform you its the acts of raising agents present in the self raising flour. That is why the bakery owner always prefer self raising flour and in return it offer such raise and fluffyness.

This flour also eliminate the use of popular raising agents including baking power and baking soda, thus reducing both cost and texture loss.

Eventually, the content of protein in self-raising flour are comparatively low as it comes from milled wheat of both nature, soft and hard.

Moreover, this make this flour easy to produce even if you in your kitchen. You will just need plain flour and baking power. That’s it and your self-raising flour will be ready. Maintain the proportion such that 2 spoon of baking power get added to 100 gram of plain flour.


It is implemented in manufacture of Pastry, cakes, Brownies, sponges, etc.

Content of protein in this flour

Depending on the type of brand you are choosing, your self-raising flour may contain protein around 8.5-9 %

Bread Flour

Bread flour is known to be the only flour which contain the highest amount of gluten( as per my knowledge, I may be wrong). It is therefore, sometimes also termed as “strong flour”.

The milled hard wheat gives the outcomes as bread flour which in result gives higher protein content in it. This flour also gives high rise in breads which is inferred by the amount of gluten available in it. These gluten infact arises due to high protein content in it.


It is commonly used in the production of bread, Filox pastry, Yeasted Bakes, bagels, etc.

Amount of Protein Content

Since, this bread flour already has a high protein content, still the amount vary from brand to brand with a average range of minimum 11% to maximum 13% protein.

Cake Flour

Extremely soft, milled wheat give birth to this loving cake flour. That is why it contains a smooth texture and is the most suitable flour for baking delicious cakes.

Moreover, this flour is bleached, which gives a bonus point to the chef to take it in their ingredients list of baking cakes. The fats and starches present in this flour are being altered and result in giving more acidic Ph due to the bleaching process.

The higher the acidity a cake will have the higher it will raise and forget to collapse in the process of baking. The fluffyness and delicateness of the baked out cake easily adapt with the affection and make you forget about its low content of protein.


It is a part in the production of Muffins, Cakes, Cupcakes, etc.

Protein content

Though the average content of protein in cake flour is around 9%. but it still varies from brand to brand.

Whole meal Flour

Many of you might be familiar with this whole meal flour by the name of whole wheat flour as well. For you information, let me tell you what makes a wheat call it as a “whole wheat”.

The basis requirement for a wheat to be termed by the name of “whole wheat” it must contain 3 essential kernel parts including fibre-dense bran, the germ which is rich in nutrients and the endosperm full of starch.

The main difference between whole wheat flour and white flour is that, a white flour contains only endosperm whereas on the other hand whole wheat contains all the 3 parts.


It is usually used in brown bread, wholemeal scones or wholemeal loaves.

Protein content

Similarly, the actual protein content will depend on your chosen brand, whereas for a estimated idea, this flour contains protein of 9-10% only.

Semolina Flour

With a high content in protein this flour arises from the hard wheat durum with a yellow colored texture in it. This is why(high protein) it is an ideal choice for making pasta. The outer layer appear to be silky and is perfect for it.


Semolina flours are being used in Porridge, pasta etc.

Protein Content:

As mentioned earlier, this flour has high protein contain and it is around 13% irrespective of the brand you choose.

Gluten Free flour

As suggested from its name, it is completely free from from gluten. If you are on the action to make use of this gluten free flour make sure to add Xanthum Gum or Guar Gum as a substitute in your dish. This will provide you with the lacking thickening for your dishes you gonna bake.


Its uses can be found in coating of meats or thickening of sauces or even in flatbreads.


The protein content will depend on the type of flour you have used.

Oat Flour

The Oat flour takes birth from the porridge oats mainly and is quite easy to produce even if you try it at your home. This serves as the great alternatives of plain flour and additionally provide you with much effective nutrients.

If you wish for a gluten free bakes products, you can go for choosing an oats free of gluten at first. Thereafter, a food processor can make your day easy.


It is commonly used in home made cookies, banana bred and pancakes.

Protein Content

This flour contain the highest amount of protein which is around 17% on an average.

Hope these guide helped you to get additional knowledge about flours and clear your doubt regarding “Is all purpose flour the same as plain flour”. If you still have any doubt please feel free to comment down.

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  1. English Plain flour is NOT the same as US all purpose flour .. try making yorkshire pudding with the same amount of flour and you will see