Bread Flour

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Gonna Smoke

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Sep 19, 2018
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Well my wife is really getting into this bread making thing and trying different things with the same recipe from my mother that I previously posted. Problem now is her recipe calls for Pillsbury Bread Flour and to not use a substitute as the recipe states and she's having trouble finding it. Not that I would go against my mother's advice, but any suggestions on another brand of bread flour that's generally available at a grocery store?
 
King Arthur, Gold Medal, I'd think bread flours would all be similar enough Charles, just don't use AP. Never know, might be even better. I use KA when I have the choice. RAY

Edit: After checking there's about a .3% difference between KA and GM, the KA is the higher of the two.
 
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I use King Arthur bread flour. It has a protein of 12.7. Not sure what Pillsbury has but the KA is very good bread flour.
So I'm not a baker and don't really understand the importance of the protein percentage, had to do some interwebbing to educate myself some. The King Arthur does have a higher protein percentage than the Pillsbury, 12.7% vs 12%. I'm sure that back in the day when my mother wrote her recipe, the options were very limited. Thanks Brian...
 
King Arthur, Gold Medal, I'd think bread flours would all be similar enough Charles, just don't use AP. Never know, might be even better. I use KA when I have the choice. RAY

Edit: After checking there's about a .3% difference between KA and GM, the KA is the higher of the two.
She says that she can find the King Arthur. Thanks Ray...
 
I think that if she sticks with this bread making thing, I'll order her a 25 lb. bag off of the interweb somewhere...
 
I think it was pretty common that if a recipe came from a flour mill, like Pillsbury, they would warn housewives not to use anything else. Use what you want. I too, use King Arthur.
 
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I use KA exclusively. It is consistent. KA AP flour is 11.7% gluten-forming protein. KA bread flour is 12.7% gluten-forming protein. KA whole wheat is 13.6% to 13.7%.

Protein is what gives bread its structure.

KA is only wheat and malted barley. Always unbleached. Most other flours have a shopping list of ingredients and preservatives. Many avoid publishing their protein levels.

I use KA bread flour when I want a chewy crumb. I use KA AP when I want a softer crumb. I add KA whole wheat as a flavor enhancer. I often mix two or three, but that comes later with experience.

I weigh my flours instead of volume measure, but I also use Baker's Math to determine hydration levels. Once she progresses to that level, you can literally create a new recipe on the fly.

Her bread journey has begun. Mine started with my Italian grandmother's bread recipe and progressed from there.
 
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I found this on a flour comparison website.

BREAD FLOUR - 12 to 13.3% protein
Best Use: traditional yeast breads, bread machine, pizza crusts, pasta.
-Gold Medal Better For Bread, 12%
-King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour, 12.7%
-Pillsbury Best Bread Flour, 12.9%
-White Lily Unbleached Bread Flour, 11.7%

Yep. There shouldn't be much difference in performance between Pillsbury and King Arthur Bread flours.

Good to know.
 
For a while I could not find KA bread flour. The bulk section at Winco had something called ADM Premium Baker's Flour. Protein content was listed at 12.5%. I don't remember if it was bleached or not, but it did have the additions of preservatives and vitamins, one of which causes me all kinds of skin problems: niacin, a B vitamin, which is why I avoid the flours with additions.

I resolved the issue by learning that 115g of KA AP flour mixed with 5g vital wheat gluten (80% flour protein) gives basically the same protein content as bread flour.
 
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You can order directly from King Arthur Baking. Great place to visit, it's in Norwich VT if you get up this way.
 
I have tried regular flour and bread flour for making bread. I find not much difference between the two. Bread flour tends to rise a litlte faster IMHO.
I'm lucky enough to have a buddy who owns a stone mill just up the road from me. Not saying its any better but its organic.
 
I grew up not knowing any difference in flours. My mother and grandmother only used AP flour, the cheapest they could find. All their recipes, from bread to holiday treats started with "5 lb bag of flour." They kneaded 5 lbs with water, salt and yeast by hand.

Once I started food shopping for myself at uni, decades before the Internet, I saw the different flours at the store (AP, bread, self-rising, pastry) but had no idea how one was different from others. I bought AP. I used AP even if the recipe I was following called for bread flour. No one ever complained. I rarely baked bread but I did make my own pizza doughs.

Then comes SMF, lock down, supply-chain issues, etc. The first time I saw a $2.50 loaf of bread climb beyond $5, I started baking my own every week. For $5 in flour I could bake 5 loaves of bread.

Baking my own meant I had to learn about the differences in flour. I keep AP, bread, whole wheat, and cake flour on hand. If you haven't fried or oven-fried chicken dipped in cake flour, egg, and seasoned cake flour, you're missing out on a new level of crunch.

I'll be starting a sourdough ciabatta faux baguette later today, using bread flour with a little whole wheat. My mouth is already watering.

Starter fermenting on countertop.
20230510_150931.jpg
 
I grew up not knowing any difference in flours. My mother and grandmother only used AP flour, the cheapest they could find. All their recipes, from bread to holiday treats started with "5 lb bag of flour." They kneaded 5 lbs with water, salt and yeast by hand.

Once I started food shopping for myself at uni, decades before the Internet, I saw the different flours at the store (AP, bread, self-rising, pastry) but had no idea how one was different from others. I bought AP. I used AP even if the recipe I was following called for bread flour. No one ever complained. I rarely baked bread but I did make my own pizza doughs.

Then comes SMF, lock down, supply-chain issues, etc. The first time I saw a $2.50 loaf of bread climb beyond $5, I started baking my own every week. For $5 in flour I could bake 5 loaves of bread.

Baking my own meant I had to learn about the differences in flour. I keep AP, bread, whole wheat, and cake flour on hand. If you haven't fried or oven-fried chicken dipped in cake flour, egg, and seasoned cake flour, you're missing out on a new level of crunch.

I'll be starting a sourdough ciabatta faux baguette later today, using bread flour with a little whole wheat. My mouth is already watering.

Starter fermenting on countertop.
View attachment 665189
No boundries great looking starter. I bake alot of different breads, but when i made a starter it never started lol not sure what I did wrong. Ciabatta is excellent I Make it as well but with instant yeast.
 
Absolutely. I used it for about a year. The weights per 1/4 cup are all different, though. Too much math. KA is all the same WT PER CUP.
I bought a nice kitchen scale for not too many pennies, and weighing all my ingredients has made a BIG difference. No more adding a little more flour, or trying to incorporate a bit more water. I was amazed at what a difference the scale/weighing made.
 
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