- February 16, 2006 at 10:06 pm #236228
Here’s how “The Bread Machine Cookbook” by Donna Rathmell German defines the
“All Purpose Flour: A blend of hard and soft weats that may be used for a
variety of baking needs including breads and cakes. All purpose loses many
of its natural vitamins and nutrients during the milling process. Hence, it
is usually “enriched” by replacing 4 of those nutrients: iron, thiamine,
riboflavin and niacin.
Bleached all purpose flour is chemically whitened
while unbleached flour is allowed to whiten naturally.
Bread Flour: The recommended flour for most of the recipes in this book.
It is derived from hard wheat, meaning it is higher both in protein and
gluten. You will find that bread flour will give you a finer grain bread.
You may also hear this bread referred to as bromated, which is a dough
conditioner used to enchance the gluten’s development.”
Here’s what it said about gluten. “While making yeast breads, you normally
use a wheat flour base which, when kneaded, develops gluten. The gluten
forms an elastic substance which traps the carbon dioxide released from the
yeast. This is the key ingredient in the wheat which makes the dough rise.
Other flours with less gluten must be mixed with wheat flour to a maximum
ratio of 1 to 1.
The higher the non- or low-gluten flour amount, the
smaller and denser in texture your bread will be.”
OK, so there’s the “science” behind it. Very simply, I was taught that
bread flour has gluten in it, which makes your dough rise better and gives
you a better texture. Some recipes I have call for gluten specifically,
never more than 2 tablespoons.
If you don’t want to buy bread flour, I
would think (again, I’m no expert) that you could just add some gluten to
your machine with regular flour and get the same results. I’d add 1
tablespoon at first and increase it or decrease it the next time as
You can buy gluten at any health food store. I found it a couple of years
ago at Wal Mart, and I still have the same box. (I use bread flour, so I
don’t need gluten often.) It’s less than $3 a box, but I can’t remember
exactly how much.
Hope this helps.
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