Last Updated on March 10, 2023 by Lori Walker
Flour is a staple ingredient in baked pastries but is also one of the most misunderstood ingredients.
You might think that this baking dust is just something added to make your cookie taste better or more tender, but we’re here to tell you that there’s much more to flour than meets the eye.
So, what does flour do in cookies? Let’s find out.
Flour’s Role in Cookies
Flour works as a stabilizer to keep baked goods from crumbling. They’re added to the dough to prevent drying out, which is why you see them listed on most baked pastries.
Stabilizers can also help maintain the structure of your cookie. If there isn’t a stabilizer, the fat molecules in butter will start breaking down and leaking into your batter.
It means that at some point during baking, you’ll end up with a crumbly mess instead of a perfect cookie.
Flour is also a thickener. It gives cookies a cake-like texture, providing a tender texture, depending on the amount of flour added to your cookie recipe.
It also adds volume to the dough, which means it will give you more cookies per batch than if you made them without it.
Gives Texture & Consistency
Flour provides texture and consistency, both essential for making cookies taste good.
It is ideal for bread making because it is high in protein, which can retain more air inside the batter and encourage it to rise more.
This results in a chewy texture, a bigger volume, and more open-crumb-perfect cookies.
“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.” – Alan D. Wolfelt, Author
Different Types of Flour to Use for Cookies
All Purpose Flour
The most often used type of flour is all-purpose. The flour most likely goes well with sugar and butter while baking cookies.
It gives cookies a fantastic flavor and chewy texture. Cookies can be crispy, mushy, or crunchy based on the amount of flour in your recipe.
But is it possible to mix bread flour and all-purpose flour?
Self Rising Flour
You can bake cookies with self-rising flour. However, some recipe modifications are necessary. If you’re baking with it, omit the salt and baking powder in the recipe.
In addition to reducing the ingredients such as salt, self-rising flour is excellent for baking extremely tall cookies.
Self-rising flour can be your key to success if you make towering cookies instead of the more conventional “flat circles.”
Find out the key differences between self-rising flour and cake flour here.
Almond flour is gluten-free. It can also be used in other cookie recipes, but because it is thicker than other cookie flour, more baking soda or powder must be added.
In your recipes, you can use almond dust in a 1:1 ratio instead of ordinary flour. It’s crucial to remember that almonds might need additional eggs to bond the flour and may add a nutty flavor.
Also Read: Does Almond Bark Get Bad?
Consider using cake flour in your recipes if you enjoy cookies that are so soft and fluffy that they almost crumble in your hands.
This flour produces the thinnest glutenous structure. Cookies made using it should be incredibly flaky and delicious.
Alter recipes with half all-purpose and half pastry flour if you’re concerned they’ll crumble. This will guarantee a delightfully fluffy outcome while still offering adequate structure.
Find out if you can bake muffins using bread flour here.
Whole Wheat Flour
Cookies may also be made with whole wheat unbleached flour. It produces a hearty yet delicate cookie. You must be cautious while using it in your recipe because it is denser flour.
This traditional wheat flour uses the entire wheat kernel. Therefore baked items made with it will be heavier and denser than those made with white flour. 
Bread flour could be an ingredient in your cookie recipes if you search for chewy and bend.
Avoid overworking the dough if you substitute it for all-purpose because more gluten may result in tougher cookies. 
Also Read: Can You Make Pancakes With Bread Flour?
What is the best way to measure flour when baking cookies?
The best way to measure flour in cookie recipes is to use a measuring cup because it has the accuracy per cup in what the recipe calls. Remember, too much flour or too little flour is terrible.
What happens if you don’t put enough flour in cookies?
Putting too little flour in cookies will not hold them up, resulting in flat cookies. At the same time, more flour may result in dry cookies.
Does flour make cookies hard?
Cookies become tough if you overdo the batter. Cookies turn tough also in too much flour.
Generally, flour serves as the stabilizer and thickener and gives texture and consistency to the dough as the cookie rises and while in the oven.
The type of flour use in baking cookies and cakes is also crucial because not all flours have the same component.
The best flour to use in cookies is all-purpose flour because it has all the necessary ingredients to make perfect cookies.
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