Monday, December 12, 2016

This weekend's baking

I recently read on Frugal girls's website, that she uses AP flour for her bread baking. I recently used up my bread flour and was intrigued as it is significantly more expensive than AP flour and only comes in a bleached version, while I prefer unbleached flour. She is a talented, yeast bread baker and referenced that her white sandwich bread recipe comes from a 1970's Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Bread cookbook that  I actually own. Certainly worth a try, especially as we were out of bread, a storm was approaching and I am really watching my pennies at the moment. DD also needed some more GF bread.

 To the left is the BH & G sandwich bread recipe that I made. Came out really nice, good rise, softer texture, much like a loaf of Arnold's bread that I grew up eating. To the right is another flat loaf of GF bread. I am using newly purchased yeast, and as evidenced by the loaf to the left, I do know how to make bread! GF bread, however, is a frustration. This recipe (GF)is acceptable by DD, I preslice and freeze it for her. Cheaper than purchasing it outright. I continue to work on this.
 The aforementioned sandwich bread practically disappeared, so Sunday found me making another loaf as well as trying  another recipe from a different BH & G cook book, which also uses regular AP flour over bread flour. This last recipe makes 2 loaves of Cornmeal herb bread, using AP flour, corn meal and wheat flour. It does call for poppy and sesame seeds-neither of which I have, so I substituted dried, minced onion both inside the dough (poppy seeds) as well as on top of the brushed on egg wash (sesame seed). I currently have 4, 5 lb bags of AP flour that I paid 99/bag for vs $3.29 if I am lucky! for bread flour. There are significant savings to be had here.
Besides bread, I also baked a batch of Aldi's box mix of brownies.


Lili said...

Carol, I've never bought "bread" flour, but always used all-purpose flour.

From what I understand, American AP flour is roughly between 75% hard wheat, 25% soft, and 50% hard, 50% soft, whereas Canadian AP flour is 100% hard. Hard wheat has a high amount of protein (gluten) and soft wheat, has starch. Because what we buy in the US can vary in amount of hard wheat, YMMV when baking bread with AP flour. I think that's why a lot of US bread bakers are so specific when it comes to their flour, for making bread.

If you happen to buy a different brand of AP flour and your bread doesn't have the rise you like, you can add gluten to the rest of that flour used in baking bread, or just set that flour aside for quick breads, biscuits, cookies and cakes.

American "bread" flour is said to be equivalent to Canadian AP flour. And, Canadian "bread" flour is said to be exceptionally high in gluten (compared to US "bread" flour, which is just high in gluten), and is mostly used by commercial bakeries in Canada. Here's a page with all kinds of for comparing flour from Canada, US and UK:

CTMOM said...

Lili, thanks for the suggestions. I am thrilled to find some bread recipes that just use AP flour. The loaves rose well, so I am happy!

Carole said...

I have been baking gluten free items for 20 years by necessity. I can tell you that round items rise better than the typical bread pan loaves. There is a scientific reason which I don't remember. In other words something shaped like a hamburger bun, crumpet or bagel does better. I have made English muffins many times or buy hamburger buns and slice them in two and use as bread slices. Also if heated at the time of use, they taste better. Some people use tart pans to bake their dough in. I have belonged to a support group for people with celiac disease for years and learned these things.

Marcia in rural WNY said...

I know in budget mode you want to use the AP flour you already have, but I think I pay $6 something for a 25# bag of bread flour at Sam's Club. Prior to deciding to become a member, a co-worker was willing to buy me a bag on her membership several times so I could decide whether I wanted to join or not. I try not to run out, but when I do, I sub AP flour for all or part of the bread flour. We don't have Costco in this area but do have BJ's. I have not checked their prices lately for flour. I only go to Sam's every 2-3 months and I limit the items I buy, sticking pretty closely to my list, as it's too easy to run up the bill in that place. The items that I save on, are considerable savings, but many things are comparable to supermarket sale prices, so you have to have some will power and determination, and work out the real price per unit. I know you can do all of those! I buy my AP flour there as well, for about the same price right now--varies over time but is on the low side now. 3 or 7 dozen egg containers are usually a good price and so are many of their otc drug/toiletry products. My year's supply of baby aspirin (for heart disease) is under $3--two small bottles for one price. I do feel I save enough to justify the yearly fee but of course, that depends on what particular items you buy. I love their bath towels for under $8 each as I prefer moderately thick to super plush. Just a thought if you have a warehouse club nearby, and the prices are justified for your now smaller family. (We are only 2 people but I do cook from scratch almost as much as you do.) We eat out once a week as "entertainment."