Bread Flour vs. All Purpose Flour

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Annually, I myself bake approximately 40 loaves of bread using a 6C recipe.  And one figures that a 'real' breadbaker bakes at least that much in two days makes me realize that I have a long, long way to go in achieving mastery at bread making.
 
Hey if you get good at it you can always start selling loaves to the neighbors.
 
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Joined Jan 27, 2010
I don't really know the exact difference of these two flour. It is like the full cream milk and the whipping cream.. :)
 
What are the main differences?

Are some breads made with APF?

Would there be any benefit to go half and half?

TIA
 
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As analogies go, HomeMade, that isn't a bad one, in that they are both rated based on the percentages of one component.

With cream it's the percentage of butterfat. Flour is rated based on the percentage of protein.
 
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If I remember my years working at the mill...

Flour breaks down into 3 classes

Patent, 1st clear & 2nd clear

Patent flour is the lightest = cake, pastry

1st & 2nd = bread

all 3 = straight four

all wheat spring and winter make all 3 classes after the 1930 and the smart scientist altered the genes through cross breed of the wheat. Bread flour needs water for the gluten to form and meld with the ash, yeast is the key to relax the gluten and soften the dough. This is way bread flour is not a good choice for cake unless it is a yeast rise cake or a baked product with heavy fruit. This aides in suspending the fruit in the cake. If you make large amounts of bread you will run test on the 30+tons of flour you buy by the train load to find the H2O percent for your bread formula.All flour is different and all flour has mill lots and all mill lots are different. Kansas wheat is the best, through breeding you now have states south and west of the rockies producing wheat not so good.  AP flour has additives that aide in this differential. I will say that AP flour make darn good cookie if shortening is used and it is not HR shortening. Most folks dont have SweetTex with is emulsifiers. AP flour is kinda a leftover using chemicals to make the constent product. As we all now age is the best whitener of flour.

If you want a great read try getting a hand on

A TREATISE ON CAKE MAKING its a textbook from standard brand copy right 1935 by Fleischmann group.

Good luck
 
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...I will say that AP flour make darn good cookie if shortening is used and it is not HR shortening. Most folks dont have SweetTex with is emulsifiers. AP flour is kinda a leftover using chemicals to make the constent product....Good luck
What is HR shortening?  The book entitled Artisan Baking Across America makes a good read, too, as far as flour types, techniques, recipes and photos are concerned.  A really entertaining boook for the general public and foodies who might like to delve into breadbaking.

 
 
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Hello, the HR short is made by adding emulsifiers is enables the fat to absorb and retain moisture which is need in cakes and icings due to the high sugar content. HR enables the batter to absorb the extra moisture from the addition sugar. Hope this clears up your R question.
 
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Cabot,

Where do you get, "AP flour is kinda a leftover using chemicals to make the constent product?"

AP flour is simply flour with a gluten content which is between "high gluten" (also known as "bread flour") and pastry flour.  (For completeness, there's a fourth category, "cake flour," with even less gluten than pastry flour.)  Chemicals are unnecessary.

For what it's worth, almost all bread baking -- commercial and residential -- is done with straight flour.  The patents and clears are mostly reserved for the low gluten, cake and pastry flours.  For instance, the really high quality cake flours like Swan's Down are made from patent.

For European type artisanal breads mixed and kneaded by hand, with ordinary residential mixers, or made with a no-knead technique, the sort of AP flour you find outside of the US south works extremely well.  Southern AP flour might be a little too soft.  On the other hand, if you bake in commercial quantities and/or use a very powerful machine  -- especially if you're trying to make a spongey white bread -- high gluten bread flour may be just the same thing.  

On the other hand, I find a mix of northern AP and cake flours mimics southern AP flour and produces outstandingly tender biscuits.   

Patent flour is not readily available in home quantities and is quite expensive. Flours which are ordinarily available aren't labled, graded, or sold as patent, clears or straights.  While the discussion of patents and clears is interesting, but since it's not sold that way it's not relevant to any but a very few home bakers.

Yes it is possible to buy patent flour as such, but in addition to being relatively pointless for most baking, it ain't easy.  As far as I know, the smallest available quantity is a 50 pound bag.

Finally, if your source is the 1935 text you suggest, it's either wrong or the outdated language confused you.

If you're interested, I suggest reading this short article (which I linked in another thread as well).

It may seem like I'm following you around just to disagree.  But, I assure that is not the case and hope we can be friends.  I recognize that you're a professional baker, and don't mean to be disagreeable, competitive, assert superiority (which I don't posess), or start a fight.  But you have several other things wrong in addition to the idea I quoted.  We can go through them if you like. 

BDL
 
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BDL,

No issues at all, I would recommend the NAMAMILLERS.org. They have all the information on milling, I guess my use of chemicals are the vitimins, and minerial added  to blends in the AP process. Please note the Patent, clears section. Great web site, you can get a tour at some mills its pretty awsome. And my 1935 textbook was a gift from and old lifelong candie/bread maker, my grandfather, and I can assue you its very acurate as it was writen by a major ingredident manufacture, Fleischmann and was used by many colleges as standard text the same company that printed, Standard Text.

Get Frosted:)
 
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Anything that says it’s for making bread. Those kinds of flours have to much gluten and can result in heavy, too-chewy cupcakes. Regular whole wheat flour is also to heavy and coarse for cupcakes (but great in muffins;). If you love self-rising flour then feel free to use it-just be sure to omit the baking soda and baking powder from the recipes.

SUGAR AND OTHER SWEETENERS:

Granulated sugar: Most vegan cupcake recipes use sugar, mostly because the flavor, consistency, low cost and ease of use can’t be beat when it comes to baking cupcakes. Where I say “sugar” I mean ordinary granulated sugar or evaporated cane juice interchangeably. In fact, any dry sweetener will do.

CONFECTIONERS’ SUGAR, OR POWDERED SUGAR as it’s known in some circles, is essential for making fluffy buttercream frosting. Rejoice in knowing that there are many great organic and vegan varieties of powdered sugar hitting the shelves every day. You can make your own by whirring granulated sugar in a food processor or blender till powdery. If you’re going to use it to make frosting, I recommend adding 1 teaspoon of cornstarch per cup of granulated sugar, as it will help thicken the final consistency of the frosting or icing.
 
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Cabot,
..Southern AP flour might be a little too soft.  ...
BDL
Not so, imho, based on my experience with White Lily flours.  I've made 6C loaves of bread using White Lily AP Flour as well as White Lily Bread Flour.  According to the label the former clocks in at 3g protein per serving whereas the latter at 4g.
 
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Koko,

It's been a couple of years since I last posted in this franken-thread, but I believe my larger point was along the same lines as yours.  That is, you don't need special "bread" flour to make the kind of artisanal, European-style loaves using the the same methods, equipment, and techniques which most of us use.  

Speaking of forever, it's been years and years and years since I've baked anything but pastry and biscuits with any kind of Southern flour at all.  If you get the same structure using the same methods, with White Lily AP and White Lily Bread flours, that's good to know.  I'm not sure where the rubber meets the road for the minimum percentage of protein to make open-structured loaves with ordinary kneading techniques; but I believe it's somewhere very close to that in the kind of soft flour which passes for AP in some parts of the south. 

The bottom line remains:  Whatever works.

BDL
 
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The article is nice as far as it goes, but sadly isn't much help for this discussion because it ignores regional differences:
  • Flours form local Southern mills tend tend to be softer than similarly labeled flours from local Northern mills;
Does not address the differences between certain national mills:
  • KA's flours, for instance, have a higher gluten content than similarly labeled flours from Pillsbury or Gold Label;
Does not recognize national differences:
  • Professional European bakers usually use softer flours for breads than their North-American counterparts; and,
Is not sufficiently specific, nor informative enough for the topic at hand:
  • I.e., which is the best flour for a given type of home-made bread made with a given set of techniques.  For instance, one of the more frequently asked questions here is whether someone who wants to bake European, "artisanal" style breads, and mixes and kneads by hand or with a home size (KA 600) mixer, should use AP or Bread. 
BDL
 
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King Arthur flours may, indeed, differ in their protein content but if you are in the Midwest, regular grocery store flours (Gold Medal, Pillsbury) do not. I've looked at the labels of the supposed "bread flours" sold in the grocery stores here and the protein content is the same as AP. The only real difference is that the so-called bread flours have an obnoxious yellow hue to them once they are baked into bread that has nothing to do with being unbleached.
 
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Yes, I've heard that French flours are of 'softer' wheat and that's why I prefer using the White Lily flour (even though it's bleached) in my breads here in Georgia.  I use 5C WL Bread Flour (4g protein) mixed with 1C KA Bread Flour (5g protein) - the former for softness in the crumb and the latter used for a greater degree of elasticity and therefore ovenspring and openness in the crumb.   Mixed in with that 6C of flour is 1/2 tsp diastatic malt/malted barley for a slightly faster rise and again, a taller spring.

The southern flour is used to achieve more softness in the crumb that northern flours just can't reach in my experience.  And also as stated, the KA BF for elasticity and the overall spring rise.
 
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