What Is Hong Kong Flour? (What It Is, What It’s For, Substitutes + More)

Flour is a common ingredient used in many recipes, but not all flour is made the same. Different types of flour serve different purposes, such as Hong Kong flour.

If you have never heard of Hong Kong flour before, you may be curious as to what Hong Kong flour is. I did the research, and this is what I discovered!

What Is Hong Kong Flour?

Hong Kong flour is a type of all-purpose flour that is highly bleached with a moderate gluten level. Typically, Hong Kong flour is used to create bread-like recipes, such as steamed buns and steamed cakes. Hong Kong flour is said to be similar to cake flour, which is why some people use them interchangeably.

Do you want to learn how much gluten is in Hong Kong flour, if Hong Kong flour is keto-friendly, and what you can substitute for Hong Kong flour? Keep reading!

What Is Hong Kong Flour Made Of?

Generally, Hong Kong flour is made of highly bleached all-purpose flour, which is usually made from wheat.

What Is Hong Kong Flour Good For?

Typically, Hong Kong flour is good for Asian recipes that require very white and soft textures.

Normally, Hong Kong flour is ideal for Asian recipes like steamed buns because of how bleached Hong Kong flour is, meaning Hong Kong flour will give the food a whiter color.

Moreover, highly bleached flour like Hong Kong flour tends to be softer, which is ideal for dishes like steamed cakes and steamed buns.

Is Hong Kong Flour Top Flour?

Technically, Hong Kong flour can be considered top flour because top flour is flour that creates a very fine crumb and soft texture, such as cake flour.

However, cake flour is better considered as top flour since cake flour creates a finer crumb than Hong Kong flour.

Is Hong Kong Flour The Same As Cake Flour?

Hong Kong flour is not the same as cake flour but they have similar properties, which is why some people will use them interchangeably in some recipes.

For instance, Hong Kong flour has roughly 8-10% gluten because Hong Kong flour is used to make somewhat firmer bread-like recipes.

On the other hand, cake flour has slightly less gluten because cake flour has around 7-9% gluten to create soft and tender cakes.

While it may seem like a small difference in gluten, Hong Kong flour creates slightly chewier results than cake flour.

However, Hong Kong flour and cake flour are both bleached flour, but Hong Kong flour is usually more bleached than cake flour.

Can I Substitute Hong Kong Flour For Cake Flour?

Can I Substitute Hong Kong Flour For Cake Flour?

In some cases, you may use Hong Kong flour to replace cake flour since Hong Kong flour creates tender results.

However, Hong Kong flour has slightly more gluten than cake flour, so expect your recipe to be a bit chewy.

Moreover, your recipe may appear much whiter than expected because Hong Kong flour is very bleached whereas cake flour has a slightly yellow tinge.

Does Hong Kong Flour Have Gluten?

Hong Kong flour does have gluten because Hong Kong flour is all-purpose flour with moderate gluten levels.

Therefore, people who have Celiac disease or wheat sensitivity should avoid consuming Hong Kong flour.

Is Hong Kong Flour The Same As Bread Flour?

Hong Kong flour is not the same as bread flour because they have vastly different gluten levels since bread flour has 12-15% gluten whereas Hong Kong flour only has 8-10% gluten.

If you were to use bread flour instead of Hong Kong flour, you would get a very dense and chewy texture.

Moreover, not all bread flour will be bleached depending on the manufacturer while all Hong Kong flour is highly bleached.

Is Hong Kong Flour Keto-Friendly?

Hong Kong flour is not keto-friendly because 100 grams of Hong Kong flour can contain over 70 grams of carbohydrates.

Generally, most keto diets only allow people to consume 20-50 grams of carbohydrates, so Hong Kong flour can easily make people go over the allotted amount of carbs.

What Can I Substitute For Hong Kong Flour?

Typically, cake flour is the best substitute for Hong Kong flour because cake flour has a similar texture and gluten level to Hong Kong flour.

However, if you are making a recipe like steamed buns, your steamed buns may be slightly yellow hue with a much softer and loose crumb.

Additionally, one flour that is almost synonymous with Hong Kong flour is pau flour but pau flour normally has yeast and is a pre-mixed flour whereas Hong kong flour is plain flour.

Similar to Hong Kong flour, pau flour is highly bleached to create a pale white color, but pau flour has somewhat lower gluten levels than Hong Kong flour.

Moreover, pau flour is usually finer than Hong Kong flour, so you may get much softer results with pau flour.

If you want a gluten-free alternative to Hong Kong flour, you can mix brown rice flour and oat flour with potato starch and tapioca starch.

Starches will be essential when using gluten-free flour substitutes for Hong Kong flour because you want a little rise in your recipes, which is what the starch will provide.

If you wish to learn what Carbalose flour is, what cauliflower flour is, and what cashew flour is, read our other articles.


Hong Kong flour refers to all-purpose flour that is highly bleached, and Hong Kong flour usually has a moderate gluten level of 8-10% gluten.

Typically, Hong Kong flour is meant for Asian bread recipes, such as steamed buns. However, other types of flour like cake flour may be used to replace Hong Kong flour, but you may not get the same texture.

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