Did you know that you could make your bread flour at home? All you need are just a few ingredients and about five minutes. Afterward, you’ll go to fluffy, soft dough loaves and deliciously chewy bagels. The DIY bread flour recipe is easy to make quickly, so you don’t have to make the last-minute grocery shop again!
Baking is an amazing pleasure. It’s truly exciting that a lump of sticky matter can be transformed into a delicious mound of soft, fluffy sourdough bread. Seeing the fruits we have made with our hands is an absolute pleasure, and there appears to be no greater satisfaction than the feeling of creating our own homemade bread.
The people of a previous era may be less enthusiastic about bread making; however, our abundance within North America has us adopting traditional techniques to bring back a sense of nostalgia and joy. It’s something about using your hands to create something that makes you feel deeply connected.
WHAT IS BREAD FLOUR?
Bread flour is very high protein flour (12-14 percent) which is often utilized in yeast bread.
The additional protein creates more gluten. This usually results in a more chewy bread and a more pronounced rise. Gluten makes bread dough elastic and stretch and also traps air bubbles.
Remember that even if the recipe requires gluten-free flour with high protein levels, you could use all-purpose flour to achieve excellent results.
Strong Bread Flour is Higher in Protein
“strong bread flour” is an alternative name for bread flour. The major difference between bread flour as well as other varieties of flour is the protein quantity. The flour made for strong bread is constructed of “hard” wheat varieties and is rich in protein, between 13 to 14 percent. This results in more rise and structural strength within the dough, which allows the finished product to rise and maintain its shape. This also gives it a chewy texture and more browning of the crust.
Plain flour usually has less than 10 to 12 percent protein. This results in a lighter texture, which is great for cakes, cookies, and other baking items which don’t require the need to expand and increase in height.
The Difference Between Bread Flour and All-Purpose Flour
The main thing is the protein. All-purpose flour contains between 8 to 11 percent protein, and bread flour has between 12 and 14 percent.1 The extra protein found in bread flour leads to an increase in the rise of bread, but you’ll still be able to get a remarkable surge from all-purpose flour. Bread flour also creates greater gluten.2 It makes the bread slightly chewier and denser.
If you’re attempting a recipe for the first time and cannot find the bread flour needed, consider making the recipe using all-purpose flour if you can determine that the formula is worth keeping. You can decide whether it’s worth purchasing bread flour for future batches. What’s the chance? You may be happy with how your recipe is made using all-purpose flour. Certain brands of bread flour may cost you a dollar or greater than all-purpose flour; therefore, if you believe you can make it with it, you might skip it and save money.
HOW TO MAKE BREAD FLOUR FROM ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
To create it, all we have to do is to add the vital gluten from wheat to AP flour. It will boost the protein content and gluten present in AP flour.
The gluten from wheat is simple to locate. It’s typically next to the AP flour. This is where special flours such as coconut flour are available.
To make bread flour from scratch, measure 1 cup of all-purpose flour and then remove one teaspoon. Then add one teaspoon of wheat flour, and sift it to mix.
If you do not have wheat, gluten could easily substitute with AP flour in 1:1. However, if you bake bread is not possible, as the texture is less chewy, and the bread will be a little rise.
What’s the distinction between bread flour and all-purpose flour?
The major difference between bread and all-purpose flour is their protein, with about 1% greater protein found in bread than in all-purpose flour.
Bread flour is also loaded with nutrients that are not naturally found in flours, such as Vitamin C and barley flour.
The extra bread flour protein helps to form more intricate gluten nets in the dough. This is beneficial because gluten acts as a binder and provides more flexibility. After that, the dough will trap air within the gluten nets, resulting in the bread’s soft, cloudy, slightly chewy texture.
This is the reason bread flour is much better for making bread than all-purpose flour. However, the good thing is that even if you do not have any bread flour, you can easily replace plain all-purpose flour with bread flour, as explained further in this post.
If you have all the ingredients, you could also make bread flour yourself! Just scroll down to learn how.
How to Store Flour
Do you have an empty bag of flour stored inside your cupboard? Same. However, that’s not the ideal method to prolong its shelf time. The USDA believes that flour is as non-perishable and shelf-stable. Although fine flours (white flours such as bread, AP cake, self-rising) are expected to remain at the highest quality for 1 to 2 years, the effects of air and sunlight will accelerate the time frame at which they expire.
Any refined flour is best kept in an airtight container and stored in a dark, cool location. Make sure you use a container with an airtight seal constructed from an opaque material that protects against light, such as stainless steel or plastic. Suppose you don’t know what time the bag of flour was in your pantry. In that case, it is possible to put it in a freezer for two days to get rid of any weevils (those tiny pests that lurk in the pantry) or eggs that may be in the bag before transferring them into an appropriate container. It will be obvious that the flour is on the bad side if you notice it smells bad or is sour.
Whole-grain flours may oxidize quicker due to their higher content of natural oils. So, always keep them in the fridge for up to 6 months or store them in the freezer for up to one year.
What’s the Best Bread Flour Substitute?
For a nearly effortless bread flour substitute, you can substitute the all-purpose flour 1:1. While your pizza dough, loaf, or other tasty creations might be slightly chewier, you’ll barely notice any change. If you’re making loaves of bread with all-purpose flour, it could result in the crust of your bread appearing to rise in the pan rather than rising straight. It will taste identical and will have the same size. The crumb (aka tiny holes inside the bread slices) will be similar, too.
What is the best way to use yeast?
It can be challenging to prove yeast initially; however, once you know how to prove it, you’ll be prepared. The important thing to do is ensure the water stays cool. Make sure you stay within 110 degrees.
How do you prepare bread for kneading?
Making bread is easy. Make sure your work surface is sprayed with flour. Then, push in, squeeze and stretch your dough till it’s smooth and nice. Once properly kneaded, the dough should be elastic and soft.
The three top alternatives to bread flour are semolina, all-purpose flour, and self-rising flour.
Each of these flours can provide a distinct flavor and texture to baked goods, so make sure to select the one most suitable for your requirements.
Think about the recipe you’re creating and the taste and texture you’re looking for before making your final decision.
If you do a little trial and trial to locate the ideal flour to complete your baking projects.