The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

All Purpose Flour

vircabutar's picture

Central Milling Bread Flour

November 13, 2012 - 9:25pm -- vircabutar

Hello all,

I've seen old posts where folks would take a trip together and split bags of central milling flour. I was wondering if anyone has a good stock of bread flour (any kind would be great) and would be willing to share, or if anyone would like to take a trip together to Petaluma to get some flour sometimes soon/before the holiday season starts. 

Let me know! 


Thanks, Ray

Song Of The Baker's picture

Why Use All Purpose Flour??

September 2, 2012 - 6:32pm -- Song Of The Baker

I have a question for everyone.  Why do some recipes call for all purpose flour?  Isn't bread flour superior for all bread making?  I know what the difference is between AP and BF, but just don't understand why some recipes, such as the one below from JH calls for AP.  I used to think that it was used in recipes for people that don't have access to BF.  Now that I am seeing recipes from guys such as JH call for AP, I don't get it.

40% Rye Bread with Caraway
From Jeff Hamelman's-Bread

Rye Sour

Sheblom's picture


I haven't been able to bake any bread for a while as I have recently shifted house, and still in the process of unpacking. But I did have a quick go at the same simple recipe that can be found here.

The only difference with this loaf is that i managed to get some multi seed mix from the pick and mix at the local grocery store and added them in.

And here is how the loaf game out. Please let me know what you think.

Sheblom's picture

As stated in a past blog[LINK]. I am taking things back to basics. I am going to do the same simple recipe and try and take in what I have learned from each bake, and improve on my baking skills.

So, here I go. I have not added anything to this recipe like last time. This is just going to be a basic loaf.

The recipe is the same:

3 cups of all purpose flour

2 teaspoons of yeast

2 teaspoons of salt

1 1/8 cup water

This is how I went about making this loaf:

First off I need the essential tools

Measure out the flour

Wait for the water to reach optimum temperature

add yeast to the warm water and leave fro 5 min for the yeast to react

I then add a bit of the flour to the yeasty water to make a past

Then leave for 20min for the yeast to be come frothy

I then add in the rest of the water, flour and salt to make a rough dough ball. I then knead on a floured surface to it becomes a smooth texture

I then write down the time and tempreture of the dough, and leave to proof for 40min

After 40 min, I fold the dough and leave for a further 25min.

After the 25min, i punch down the dough and shape in to a boule for the final proof

I preheat the oven to 230c with Pizza stone and empty roasting dish.

Once the oven has come up to temp, I transfer the dough onto the pizza stone, slash and place in the oven. I also add half a cup hot water to steam the loaf.

After 10 min I turn the loaf and take out the roasting dish.

After another 10 - 15min I take out the loaf and leave to cool for an hour.

The loaf came out quite nicely, decent shape and good flavour. 

I am thinking next time to tighten up the boule a bit on the final proof and to bake for a bit longer as the crust was a bit thin and soft to me.

Enjoyed baking this loaf and learned alot.

Please let me know hat you think!

I also received a new book to read over

And a shot of some of the tomatoes from my garden

Sheblom's picture

After my go at the San Francisco Sourdough[Link], I though I would have another go with my sourdough but go in a more European recipe. I decided to go French and bake the Pain Au Levain, but the purist version, no commercial yeast used at all.

One thing I did fine with the san Fran loaf that it was not as sour as I would liked it to have been. So with this recipe, I decided to do the whole process over 4 day, the fourth day being the baking day. 

So here is my process, Day 01

On day one I mix the starter as started in the recipe

Day 02

Take the starter out of the fridge and allow to warm up

Get all my equipment ready

Add starter to the bowl and add the warm water and allow 5 minutes to soften the starter.

Just a quick shot of my new toy for the kitchen. Don't know how accurate it is, but least it will be handy

One the started has softened. I add the rest of the flour and salt and Mix until I get a rough dough ball. I then knead the dough for a short time. I then leave the dough for 5 min to rest.

I then use the stretch and fold technique as the dough is quite wet and sticky

Then let the dough rest for 10 min

I do this another three times, stretch and fold, rest, stretch and fold and rest, etc

I then shape it into a boule and leave it overnight to proof.

Day 03

This is the easiest day, just punch the dough down, stretch and fold and leave over night.

Day 04

Baking day! Now to see the result of all this work! 

I punch down the dough, shape into a tight boule and then leave to rise in my banneton

After 4 hours I pre-heat my oven and pizza stone to 230c, with a old roasting dish at the bottom as well.

One the oven has come up to tempresure. I transfer the dough to may baking stone and place in the oven. I also place half a cup pf hot water in the pan to create steam.

After 10 min, I remove the tray and turn the loaf.

After about 20min you really get a decent sourdough smell wafting through the house.

After about 35- 40 min for baking from intially instertion into the oven. The loaf has changed to a nice dark brown colour.

I take the loaf out of the oven and leave to cool for an hour.

I was very happy with how the loaf came out. It has a beautiful texture and chewy crust.

I do think I have to work on my proofing with a banneton and the transfer from the banneton to the baking stone. 

Please let me know waht you think!

Also here is a shot of some fresh ricotta cheese that me made last week as well!


Sheblom's picture

Hi Guys

Just wanted to pop and in show you a loaf I baked the other day. Its an enriched bread with raisin's and fresh rosmary added.

I should have let it proof a bit more but it came out quite well I think. The flavour is brilliant. What I would change is the amout of proofing it had and what tempreture that I will bake the laof at as the cumb is a bit soft, but this might be the result of using butter in the recipe or cutting the bread too soon.. 

Please let me know what you think and if anyone would like to have the recipe.




Best way to eat it:

Sheblom's picture


I am prettty new to baking, i have only been doing it since about January of this year. I am still learning the ins and outs and all the little secrets of making a decent loaf.

Please have a look at some of the loafs that I have here and let me know what you think. I am very open to feedback.



davidg618's picture

Eagle Mills' Un-bleached All-Purpose Flour: a critique

July 12, 2011 - 9:03am -- davidg618

Yesterday, shopping at the local supermarket, I was seduced by "Since 1856 Eagle Mills® has provided artisan bakers with the highest quality flour of the day....blended with Ultragrian®, ... with the clean taste... of white flour." Nothing unpronounceable, nor frightening appeared in the ingredients,  and $2.99 for a 5lb. bag wasn't a disincentive. I'd never heard nor read about Eagle Mills flour, and new on the shelves of an often visited market. I bought a bag.

mty917's picture

Wheat Futures

August 6, 2010 - 8:31am -- mty917

I would suggest that members think about stocking up on flour, soon.  If anyone has been looking at wheat futures, the price of wheat has surged worldwide, and I mean surged.  It has gained more in the last couple months than any commodity on the exchange. 

Get ready for sticker shock like you haven't seen before.

nicolesue's picture

All Purpose Flour vs Bread Flour - Pizza

July 6, 2010 - 7:35am -- nicolesue

What is the best flour to use for pizza? I tried Peter Reinhart's recipe using bread flour, and it was kind of eerr... chewy... while using all purpose flour yielded a softer nicer dough..... just wanna know, what do you guys use? Which is better, and why is bread flour so chewy? btw - i'm aiming for a thin crust pizza...thanks.



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