Author Topic: Why does bread flour do this?  (Read 1524 times)

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Zilla

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Why does bread flour do this?
« on: September 30, 2007, 05:50:29 PM »
I once used bread flour to make bread and it was super hard to knead.  It stiffened up so much that it was really difficult to even roll out and shape.  I couldn't fix it for anything.

I use regular flour before and after the above incident with no problems.  Dough is soft and elastic.

I decided to buy bread flour again and use with the exact same recipe. I am using my kitchen aid dough attachment this time, the same thing is happening.  Dough is stiff and hard.  Not dry or crumbly.  But just a very stiff dough.  I am leaving it in the kitchen aid to see if it will "soften" it up.

What am I doing wrong?  What is different about bread flour?

wheeitsme

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Re: Why does bread flour do this?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2007, 06:36:41 PM »
The bread flour you were using probably had more gluten.

VorFemme

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Re: Why does bread flour do this?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2007, 06:47:02 PM »
Bread flour is hard wheat - more gluten.  Cake flour is soft wheat with less gluten for a softer "crumb".  All purpose flour is a mix of the two kinds of wheat so that there aren't two or more kinds of flour to be kept around (I used to have bread flour, whole wheat flour, and all purpose flour in my kitchen MOST of the time when I was more serious about baking - now I just have better for bread).  The whole wheat got tossed this week due to weevils - I am so glad I had it sealed in a see through plastic cannister so that nothing else got infested..........
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Lady Vavasour

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Re: Why does bread flour do this?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2007, 11:11:51 PM »
I'm impressed that you are kneading your own bread (bread machine devotee here)!

VorFemme

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Re: Why does bread flour do this?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2007, 11:18:57 PM »
I'm impressed that you are kneading your own bread (bread machine devotee here)!

When DD (Ambroisia Hino) was preschool (now married) I did almost all my own baking.  I was in my thirties and enjoyed it.

In my forties, DeHubby bought me a bread machine because he likes to wake up to the smell of baking bread and I refuse to get up at 4 am to start a loaf baking.............the machine has no such issues (I am SO not a morning person).

With a recent medical diet and reducing my carbs - I need to get more whole grain flour if I am going to continue baking bread.  It is SOOOOO good when warm!

And so hard to stop eating..........so I'd have to limit how often I made it..........

I was informed (by a woman who'd followed her petroleum engineer spouse to various countries over his career) that a baseball bat does a wonderful job of kneading bread (tiny lady - barely five feet) when you don't have the weight to lean into it..........develops that gluten!  Not to mention comes in handy if someone tries to come into your house when they weren't invited.............
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Sophia

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Re: Why does bread flour do this?
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2007, 11:42:39 PM »
...I was informed (by a woman who'd followed her petroleum engineer spouse to various countries over his career) that a baseball bat does a wonderful job of kneading bread (tiny lady - barely five feet) when you don't have the weight to lean into it..........develops that gluten!  Not to mention comes in handy if someone tries to come into your house when they weren't invited.............

Seems like a sturdy wooden rolling pin would be easier to aim one handed. 

VorFemme

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Re: Why does bread flour do this?
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2007, 11:49:08 PM »
...I was informed (by a woman who'd followed her petroleum engineer spouse to various countries over his career) that a baseball bat does a wonderful job of kneading bread (tiny lady - barely five feet) when you don't have the weight to lean into it..........develops that gluten!  Not to mention comes in handy if someone tries to come into your house when they weren't invited.............

Seems like a sturdy wooden rolling pin would be easier to aim one handed. 


She mentioned that she had two sons - there were several baseball bats around the house..........and she mentioned making BIG batches of bread - it might have been too big for a rolling pin small enough for her to handle (did I mention little bitty lady barely five feet tall?).
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Zilla

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Re: Why does bread flour do this?
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2007, 10:50:49 AM »
Well the dough was still tough but it was smooth when you stretched it.  So I let it rise and it was a tiny bit softer to handle and shape it.

I made Pita bread with it and the texture on the pita was perfect.  It really did make great pita bread.  Today I am going to bake up some sandwich bread and see how it goes.

Elle

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Re: Why does bread flour do this?
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2007, 04:34:58 PM »
Bread flour has a lot more gluten (protein) than all purpose flour. (I assume this is your regular flour?). The more protein a flour has the tougher and heartier the finished product will be.

In terms of least to most gluten
- Pastry Flour (light and fluffy)
- Cake Flour
- All Purpose Flour
- Bread Flour (heavy and hearty)

cicero

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Re: Why does bread flour do this?
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2007, 11:13:46 AM »
different flours react differently. I usually make breads/rolls wtih a mixture of white and whole wheat. i take the amount of flour the recipe calls for and add about half of it to the mixture and start kneading. I add the rest of the flour bit by bit. and make sure to knead it really well

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Zilla

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Re: Why does bread flour do this?
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2007, 12:11:11 PM »
Only problem I have with kneading by hand is that my counters are high and it is uncomfortable to knead more than a few minutes.  My kitchen aid works phenomonal with the dough hook attachment.

I told dh when we buy a house, I want to replace a section of the counters in the kitchen with solid marble and make them lower than the usual counter height.  That way I can do all my baking and chocolate work there.  I had something like that at my previous house but with granite.  I loved it!

GlindaBunny

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Re: Why does bread flour do this?
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2007, 12:25:47 PM »
If it gets too stiff, simply let it rest for awhile.  The gluten strands will relax and the dough will be nice, smooth, and elastic.

Easy.

cicero

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Re: Why does bread flour do this?
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2007, 01:22:58 PM »
Only problem I have with kneading by hand is that my counters are high and it is uncomfortable to knead more than a few minutes.  My kitchen aid works phenomonal with the dough hook attachment.

I told dh when we buy a house, I want to replace a section of the counters in the kitchen with solid marble and make them lower than the usual counter height.  That way I can do all my baking and chocolate work there.  I had something like that at my previous house but with granite.  I loved it!

ha ha i have the opposite problem - my counters are too low (and also I don't have enuf counter space!). i knead sitting down at the  dining room table 

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Shoo

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Re: Why does bread flour do this?
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2007, 01:23:58 PM »
I use a bread machine, and it solves all my (kneading) problems!  :)