Alton Brown's Flour Swap For Chocolate Chip Cookies Is A Must-Try

Is there anything better than a chocolate chip cookie still warm from the oven? Most people agree that when it comes to cookies, homemade is the way to go, even if it takes the baker multiple attempts to get the finished product just the way they want (per StudyFinds). No time to bake? Plenty of mass-market grocery store brands are available, some better than others, and many might benefit from heating up in a low-temperature oven at home for almost-homemade feels. 

It's no surprise that chocolate chip cookies are America's favorite — they're as American as apple pie. The New York Times reports that the chocolate-studded cookies, created by Toll House Inn owner Ruth Wakefield in the 1930s, have their own designated appreciation day each year (August 4, per National Today). Some bakers like to break with tradition and mix in an array of extras such as more chocolate or vanilla, orange zest, oatmeal, shredded coconut, dried fruit, and more (per Parade).

Thin and crispy, thick and chewy, crispy edges but soft in the middle: Everyone seems to have an opinion and sometimes a hack for making the best possible chocolate chip cookies. Alton Brown, the culinary scientist of food TV (per Food Network), believes the right flour is essential to chocolate chip cookies, and it's probably not the flour you've grown accustomed to using. 

Bread flour in chocolate chip cookies is an ingredient to chew on

How many times have you made the recipe for chocolate chip cookies on the back of the bag of Nestle Toll House semi-sweet chocolate morsels? For many of us, the iconic recipe on that familiar yellow package is the gateway to chocolate chip cookie goodness — and experimentation. Food TV personality, cookbook author, and culinary scientist, Alton Brown, is no exception. He uses the time-honored recipe created by Ruth Wakefield as a starting point for his Chewy Chocolate Chip cookies but tweaks it in a couple of different ways to take it in a slightly different direction (per Alton Brown).

The biggest change Brown makes is to substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour. All-purpose flour is generally recommended for cookies, but bread flour contains more protein and gluten than all-purpose flour (per Bob's Red Mill). More protein and more gluten combine to create doughs with more structure and stability — and therefore more chewy goodness.

Alton Brown may be the king of culinary hacks

We have to wonder: Does Alton Brown spend all of his waking moments playing with food and turning time-honored ways of making it on its head? Part chef, part entertainer, part food educator, and part innovator (per Food Network), Brown might as well be dubbed the king of culinary hacks. His long-running show "Good Eats” made him famous and cemented his reputation as a food and cooking savant. He slid over to the Cooking Channel for "Good Eats Reloaded,” where he rethinks and even repairs classic recipes from the original "Good Eats” (per Cooking Channel).

Brown once made the case in a blog post for cooking pasta in cold water. The celebrity chef's "weird trick,” it turns out, works well and might change your pasta-cooking ways, and 12 Tomatoes calls it a "borderline genius" move. And Brown's suggestion to add a spoonful of mayonnaise to scrambled eggs in his 2016 book "Everyday Cook” raised some eyebrows (not among Southerners, per Southern Living), but some Redditors claim that the tip for scrambled eggs is legit. In the words of one Reddit user: "If it's good enough for Alton Brown it's good enough for me.”