After studying all weekend in preparation for class, I did a home project. How does AP (all purpose) flour differ in baking bread compared to bread flour?
AP flour is found readily at the grocery store and in most homes, but is not used for commercial baking products. Bread flour has a high protein content and therefore is used for bread baking for gluten development. In comparison AP flour has about 11% protein content to bread flours almost 13%. Will this make a noticeable difference?
I used the straight dough method, in where all the ingredients are mixed together. I allowed both doughs to ferment 4 hours and then I placed them in the fridge to retard the doughs. Today I baked them off.
After forming the boules (round shaped bread) I noticed the difference right away. the bread flour loaf was light, fluffy and soft. It almost felt delicate to work. The AP dough was firm and more stiff. After shaping the dough was benched for 40 minutes.
Can you see a difference? They both came out of the oven beautiful. The difference was in the crumb, the texture of the bread. I was surprised to find that the bread flour loaf was more dense after baking and more chewy than the AP dough loaf. The crust on the AP loaf was harder and the crumb was also drier that the bread flour loaf. I was surprised by the end result. I had a feeling there would be a difference and I would like the bread flour dough more, but I actually preferred the AP loaf.
Tomorrow night I will be making Vienna loaf bread. I am excited to see how baking in the commercial kitchen varies from the home kitchen. I am sure there will be more projects and test comparisons to come!