Boy howdy, did I just have a horrible experience with all-purpose flour. I'm not sure I just got a bad sack or if the flour was simply wrong for bread, or if I should have done something completely different.
The grocery where I made my last shopping run did not carry King Arthur bread flour, my default choice, so I picked up 5-lbs of White Lily AP. Tried to use it with Floyd's daily-bread recipe and it was a disaster. The poolish never developed more than teensy little air bubbles, and the dough absolutely refused to rise more than a little bit, even after 24 hours and a number of folds. The dough ended up as too stiff and too sticky at the same time, if you can picture that.
I soldiered on and shaped baguettes, baked them on the stone, and got almost no oven spring. They didn't even turn a good shade of brown, even though I left them in so long the crusts came out like iron.
I did everything the same I usually do with fine results -- from mixing to steaming up the oven. But what I ended up with is awful. This is the first batch that has turned out so badly I can't feed it to anyone but the birds -- if they'll take it.
Anybody else have this problem with White Lily? Or with AP in general? Most of the recipes I see here call for AP, or at least say it shouldn't make a big difference. There was no date on the flour, although it did seem so lumpy I had to sift it (which I rarely do when making bread). I just can't figure out what went so hideously wrong here.