The Unconventional Flour Alton Brown Uses For Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of those ingredients we often take for granted in the kitchen, flour serves a vital role in recipes with each type of flour having its own positive and negative attributes. All-purpose flour is probably the most common version called for in recipes and is exactly that — serving many different purposes: thickening gravy, coating fried foods like fish and chips, and of course baking up your go-to desserts. All-purpose flour has an "average amount of protein," per Michigan State University, which means its gluten content is just right to make it extremely versatile ... or you know, all-purpose. 

But it would be unwise to stop at all-purpose flour, as there are plenty of alternatives on the market these days made with ingredients like almonds, oats, and even quinoa that make it easier than ever to get creative with your flour choice (via Cleveland Clinic). You should be aware the swap will affect the outcome of your dish, but don't let that discourage you from getting adventurous and trying something other than standard all-purpose flour — like Alton Brown does with chocolate chip cookies.

Why Alton Brown uses bread flour in his cookie recipe

When it comes to taking the classic chocolate chip cookie down a slightly different path, Alton Brown shows us just how delicious it can be to switch things up in his Food Network recipe, aptly named "The Chewy." The recipe calls for 12 ounces of bread flour, which replaces the all-purpose flour that you most often find in chocolate chip cookie recipes. This swap is what adds the chewiness to Brown's cookie and is the recipe's namesake. It otherwise keeps with tried-and-true flavors of brown sugar, vanilla, and, of course, semi-sweet chocolate chips.

According to King Arthur Baking Company, bread flour won't change the flavor of your cookie but adds a more bendy, chewy texture that is a favorite characteristic for many cookie connoisseurs. But what is the main difference that causes this discrepancy between flours? It really comes down to the amount of protein, and therefore, the level of elasticity and strength of the dough. Bread flour has around 13% protein, whereas all-purpose flour is closer to 12%. So when it comes time to find your next favorite cookie recipe, if you're a fan of chewy cookies don't be afraid to think outside the all-purpose flour box.