Home Bread-Bakers v096.n050.11

flours and fat-free breads

Sun, 20 Oct 1996 18:31:34 -0400 (EDT)
In response to a plea in the digest I just received:

> Please forgive a silly newbie (to this bread-making business) for asking,
> but what's the difference between bread flour and all-purpose flour? I've

Various types of flour are made from mixtures of different types of
wheat ground in different ways and blended in various proportions.
All-purpose flour is such a blend that works out well for breads as well
as cakes and pastries. More specialized flours such as bread or cake
flours are designed for those specific items and may not work well for
general-purpose usage.

I've been making bread at home for nearly 20 years now, always by hand,
and have never even had a bread flour--I always use an all-purpose
flour.  But WHICH all-purpose flour? They are NOT all created equal. The
first rule is to avoid like the plague those cheap bleached (or
bromated, which means the same thing) all-purpose flours. If you care
about the bread you're baking spend a little extra and get a good
unbleached flour--you'll find it was worth the expense.

If King Arthur flours can be had in your area you can't go wrong there--
they are always excellent flours. However, since my middle name is
cheap, I purchase my flour from a bakery wholesale supplier (some may
not all be willing to sell a bag or two at a time but this one is) where
I get a General Mills product named "Rex Royal". While I think that King
ARthur's white is nicer, Rex Royal is vastly better than the cheap
bleached all-purpose flours, and it's noticeably less expensive than
is King Arthur at the grocery store.

> only got all-purpose flour, and bread flour is hard to get. Can I use it
> instead? And also, I've once baked a loaf (okay, it was more like a bun) of
> fat-free bread, and it came out inedible. It was greyish in colour and much
> too tough... :( But the crust was already brown so I couldn't bake it any
> more. I really want my bread fat-free so adding fat is not an option I can
> choose... The recipe I used was one for basic bread - it consisted of
> flour, water and salt. I've also tried making pastry, pancakes and burger

No yeast? (or other leavening?) If so, that's why it was inedible. Imagine
taking the white schoolroom paste we had as kids and baking that.

Fat-free breads are as easy to make as any other bread, but they stale
much faster and aren't as moist even when fresh. When fresh, though, they
have a unique texture and 'bite' to them that you just don't find in 
breads with even a little bit of fat.

You can make a fat-free white bread by taking any good white bread
recipe and just leaving out the fat. Some years ago my wife was on a
fat-free diet for a few months and I did just that, and the breads
were exquisite (as long as they weren't more than about two days old,
due to the quicker staling of fat-free breads).

> patties, but _always_ the centre is not cooked yet it is almost burnt on
> the outside. Does anybody have a fat-free solution they can share?

If they are unleavened (see my theory above) the center won't cook well,
but if I'm mistaken and they ARE leavened, this implies that you're cooking
at too high a temperature and/or WAY too moist a dough.

Good luck, and may you become a wonderful bread maker! (All it takes
is practice :-)

 .----    Fred Smith    /                        Office: fred@computrition.com 
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