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Why does bread flour do this?

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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?

The bread flour you were using probably had more gluten.

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..........

Lady Vavasour:
I'm impressed that you are kneading your own bread (bread machine devotee here)!


--- Quote from: Lady Vavasour on September 30, 2007, 10:11:51 PM ---I'm impressed that you are kneading your own bread (bread machine devotee here)!

--- End quote ---

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 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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