Homemade Pastry Flour

You’re in a mood for some chocolate chip cookies, and you happen to have a great recipe. They are so easy to make and so tasty.

It looks like you have all ingredients at home. You already mixed the eggs with sugar added butter, and now, you need some pastry flour. Oh, gosh. It looks like you’re out of pastry flour again.

It happens to all of us. We usually make supplies of all-purpose flour because it’s so universal, but we forget to buy the less frequently used flours, such as pastry and cake flour.

If this is the case, don’t be upset because we have a solution to your problem.

With a few simple steps, you can make homemade pastry flour. You won’t need a water mill for this project. Let us take you through making pastry flour step by step.

What is Pastry Flour

Bread flour will be too heavy and robust for this assignment if you want to make tasty muffins or chewy cookies. You’ll need pastry flour.

Pastry flour has a low protein level (8-9%), and it’s designed for more delicate pastries. Whenever you want to get a tender, crumbly, light, or flaky texture, use this kind of flour, and you’ll get the best results.

Pastry flour is milled from soft white wheat that contains less protein than other types of grain. Protein amount is crucial because it directly impacts gluten development. More gluten equals more elasticity and a more substantial dough, which is excellent when making bread, but not so much if you want tender cookies.

Pastry flour is usually used with leavening agents – baking powder or baking soda (not yeast!).

This type of flour comes in two versions: bleached and unbleached. Bleached pastry flour is made with chemicals that cause a brighter white color, finer grain, and softer texture. Unbleached pastry flour is a bit darker (it usually has off-white color), is thicker, and has a more rigid surface.

If you’re shopping for some pastry flour and see the label “fine pastry flour” or “whole wheat pastry flour,” don’t be confused – it’s the one you’re looking for.

What Can You Make From Pastry Flour?

Pastry flour is designed for tender and light pastries and all baked goods that do not require a lot of gluten to hold them together. It’s great for cookies and scones, but it will also make a magnificent pie crust. Pastry flour is used in many classic desserts recipes, such as biscuits, muffins, cinnamon rolls, and all sorts of pancakes.

Pastry flour is an ideal choice for desserts and tender baked goods
Pastry flour is an ideal choice for desserts and tenders baked goods (shutterstock.com)

If you find that your pastries are not as moist and tender as you’d like and you’re using all-purpose flour to make them, the reason could be the high gluten content in your all-purpose flour. Pastry flour is lower in gluten, hence, the most suitable for these desserts.

Tip: Although pastry flour is versatile for desserts, we wouldn’t recommend using it for any dough made with yeast – bread dough, for example. These kinds of dough require a more significant protein due to gluten development, which ensures better rise and a more robust dough structure.

How Can You Make Pastry Flour at Home?

As mentioned earlier, if you’re out of pastry flour and forgot to buy it, we have tips and tricks on making it at home.

The easiest way to make pastry flour at home is to mix all-purpose flour with cake flour. The ratio is 1 part of cake flour and 2 parts of all-purpose flour. You can increase the amount of cake flour and reduce the amount of all-purpose flour. This way, you will reduce the amount of gluten.

Your pastry flour is ready to use (or you can store it in an airtight container for later usage). Mix it in a bowl and stir using a whisk. To get two cups (180 grams) of pastry flour, you’ll need 1 ⅓ cup (120 grams) of all-purpose flour and  ⅔ cups (60 grams) of cake flour.

If you bake regularly, you can make a more significant amount of pastry flour by combining 1 pound of cake flour with 2 pounds of all-purpose flour. You’ll get 3 pounds of excellent pastry flour.

The best substitute for pastry flour is cake flour because it contains a similar protein. For every cup of pastry flour you need, combine ½ cup of cake flour and ½ cup of all-purpose flour. You can also mix cake flour with all-purpose flour but in a 1:1 ratio.

If you’re out of cake flour too, don’t worry – you can use 2 tablespoons of cornstarch for every ⅞  cup of all-purpose flour.

Keep in mind that if you’re substituting clean all-purpose flour for pastry flour, the results won’t be quite the same. Baked goods could be more dense or challenging due to the higher protein content in all-purpose flour.

Tip: When combining two types of flour, always mix them well with a fork, whisk, or spatula.

Substitute For Pastry Flour

As mentioned, if you’re out of pastry flour, you can use substitutes for pastry flour. One is a mixture of cake flour and all-purpose flour or cornstarch with all-purpose flour. 

These are exact amounts you’ll need:

All-purpose flour and cake flour 1 cup of all-purpose flour mix with 1 cup of cake flour
All-purpose flour and cake flour 2 cups of all-purpose flour mix with 1 cup of cake flour
All-purpose flour and cornstarch⅞ all-purpose flour mix with ⅛ (two tablespoons) cornstarch
Substitutes for pastry flour

Tip: Don’t forget to mix the flours well before kneading!

Can You Mix Pastry Flour With Other Flours?

Yes, you can, as long as both types of flour are safe (haven’t passed their expiry date).

If you mix bread flour with pastry flour, you’ll get a protein mix that’s closest to all-purpose flour.

Pastry flour can replace all-purpose flour in a 1:1 ratio. You’ll get a bit lower protein level than in all-purpose flour if you mix them, but it’s still good to go. 

Pastry flour mixed with cake flour will have the lowest amount of protein. Use it for light desserts that don’t require strength and solid structure, such as delicate cakes and pastries.

Best Way to Store Pastry Flour

Most flours (all-purpose, cake, and pastry flour) will be just fine in an airtight container. Airtight containers will keep the air, dirt, and bugs far away from your flour. Airtight containers will also keep smells away, and that’s important because flour can absorb odors. Please keep it in a cold and dark place, and your pastry flour will have a shelf life of about a year.

A plastic bag with a ziplock will do if you don’t have an airtight container. Ensure it’s properly closed and store it in a cold and dark place.

If you have a more significant amount of pastry flour or you don’t bake often, you can freeze your pastry flour for two years. Please put it in a container or plastic bag, close it well, and put it in a freezer. Plastic or glass containers or a plastic bag will keep odors and liquid away from your flour.

Tip: When using frozen pastry flour, make sure it’s at room temperature before you start baking. For best results, all the ingredients from a recipe should be at room temperature.


  • https://www.bobsredmill.com/blog/recipes/what-is-it-wednesday-pastry-flour/#:~:text=Pastry%20flour%20is%20a%20low,excellent%20solution%20for%20pie%20crusts.
  • https://www.thespruceeats.com/pastry-flour-substitute-1388894
  • https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/16/dining/alternative-flours-coronavirus.html