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Old 02-18-2006, 10:13 AM   #1
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Bread vs AP Flour Questions

I think one of the reason's my bread doesn't turn out, hard, and crispy, and soft on the outside, is maybe I use AP flour. ALot of recipe's call for Bread Flour. Now does a Dominick's, or Jewel sell bread Flour? (Please tell me it's not 10$ lol).

And how do you compare taste, rising, texture, etc. With BF vs AP?

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Old 02-18-2006, 11:07 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago Sicilian
I think one of the reason's my bread doesn't turn out, hard, and crispy, and soft on the outside, is maybe I use AP flour. ALot of recipe's call for Bread Flour. Now does a Dominick's, or Jewel sell bread Flour? (Please tell me it's not 10$ lol).

And how do you compare taste, rising, texture, etc. With BF vs AP?
I found this article.. it might help you:

Bread flour is a high-gluten flour that has very small amounts of malted barley flour and vitamin C or potassium bromate added. The barley flour helps the yeast work, and the other additive increases the elasticity of the gluten and its ability to retain gas as the dough rises and bakes. Bread flour is called for in many bread and pizza crust recipes where you want the loftiness or chewiness that the extra gluten provides. It is especially useful as a component in rye, barley and other mixed-grain breads, where the added lift of the bread flour is necessary to boost the other grains.

All-purpose flour is made from a blend of high- and low-gluten wheats, and has a bit less protein than bread flour 11% or 12% vs. 13% or 14%. You can always substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour, although your results may not be as glorious as you had hoped. There are many recipes, however, where the use of bread flour in place of all-purpose will produce a tough, chewy, disappointing result. Cakes, for instance, are often made with all-purpose flour, but would not be nearly as good made with bread flour.
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Old 02-18-2006, 02:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago Sicilian
I think one of the reason's my bread doesn't turn out, hard, and crispy, and soft on the outside, is maybe I use AP flour. ALot of recipe's call for Bread Flour. Now does a Dominick's, or Jewel sell bread Flour? (Please tell me it's not 10$ lol).

And how do you compare taste, rising, texture, etc. With BF vs AP?
I'm not quite sure just what you are looking for, but, If you want a crisp out side, you can try a 1/2-c. water with 1-tea. cornstarch, stirring til it boils, then cool slightly and brush on the bread with it as you put in oven, bake the bread at 400 for 10 min and then rebrush with cornstarch mixture. I found my crust already crisp when I went to do the second brush. I also have a hearth kit in my oven so I take a spray bottle and spray the oven and bread 3 times during the first 10 min of baking,. If you have a stone put it in and place bread pan on it and spritz as well as using the wash. My french bread comes out really crisp and crusty this way.Hope this might help. As to the two flours, I use what is recommended in each recipe. That way I don't go wrong.

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Old 02-19-2006, 05:20 AM   #4
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I'm going to assume this relates to your other post ISO Best Italian Bread Recipe so will attempt to address it from that standpoint.

Bread and AP flour generally cost about the same, per brand. For example my Alberton's store brand (which would be your Jewel-Osco) is about $1/5-lb bag - the same as their AP. Pillsbury is $1.69, slightly less than their AP, and Gold Medal "Better for Bread" is $2.29 (same as their AP), and King Arthur runs about $3.69 for a 3/lb bag. So you're looking at between about 20-cents to $1.25 per pound depending on brand.

The follow links are from a very informative site: The Artisan (lots of info and recipes) - but below are from their Bread Basics section.

Yes, the flour does make a difference - but that's something you may have to experiment with and work around. AP flours vary greatly from region to region - and producer to producer, by region. Same with bread flours, but not as much as AP flours since they are not blends. It's a simple question that doesn't have a simple answer. Check out The Flour Test so see what I'm talking about. The theory that the greater the protein % the better the bread fell apart here. The Flour Treatise is also interesting reading.

Getting a thick crispy "cut the inside of your mouth to shreds" crust is probably less to do with the flour than with the oven environment and a "wash/glaze". While the flour will greatly influence the inside - the baking environment is going to largly dictate the outcome of the crust. You might check Oven Humidity & Simulation of a Professional Oven to get some ideas.

I hope subfuscpersona and Goodweed see this and add their experienced views.
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Old 02-20-2006, 07:34 AM   #5
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Much like the distinction between semi sweet and bittersweet chocolate, I find that the distinction between all purpose and bread flour is generally meaningless. Bread flour is only different in degree, not in kind. Typically, a bread flour will have more gluten than all purpose, but one brand's all purpose can be another's bread, and vice versa.

Bo Friberg gives the following numbers, for what it's worth:

Cake Flour: 4-6% gluten
Pastry Flour: 6-8% gluten
All Purpose Flour: 8-10% gluten
Bread Flour: 10-12% gluten
High Gluten Flour: 12-13%

Friberg's numbers are a little low for me. For example, I have never seen a cake flour with less than 7% gluten. To my knowledge, this does not even exist, or if it does, it isn't available to the general public. I have seen All Purpose flours at 13%, and Bread Flours at 10%.

When it comes to baking soft fluffy breads like crescent roles and brioche, I try to go as low gluten as possible, preferably in the 10% or less range. At the opposite extreme, bagels benefit from as high gluten flour as possible, preferably in the 14% range. For most other breads, anything between 10 and 13% works fine; ****ed if I can tell you what the difference is. Heck, speaking honestly, while I do think the flour you choose is very important for bagels, I somehow doubt it makes a whole lot of difference for anything else. The books say one thing, but my experience does not reveal any difference, one way or another. I doubt I could tell the difference between crescent rolls made with 10% AP versus 13% bread.
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Old 02-21-2006, 06:51 AM   #6
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I have to agree with you guys as far as type of flour used- I also make sure I use a stone to bake the bread on which is preheated for at least 30 mins prior to baking. A bread peel works well when moving free form breads ( round loaves, etc.). I also have a loaf pan that is made of the same material as the stone-it definately affects the cust making it nice and crisp. Nothing beats the smell of fresh baked bread
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