The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello everyone - and a question

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mistylady's picture

Hello everyone - and a question

I heard about your from a friend who recommended it!  So here I am!  I have never baked bread in my life!  I just ordered a country living mill and I will make a good loaf of bread!  First I'm going to use premade flour though!  I saw that there are all kinds of flour in the store.  Can't I use regular wheat flour or plain old flour like I use for cookies?  And any REALLY simple recipes would be appreciated!  Thank you so much!

pmccool's picture

Welcome to The Fresh Loaf.  And to the fun/addiction of baking bread.

Yes, you can use "regular wheat or plain old flour" for your bread, assuming you are referring to an All Purpose variety.  You'll see people using AP as an abbreviation for All Purpose on this site quite a lot.  Some breads do best with AP, others benefit from using "bread flour".  The only real difference is that AP has a slightly lower (around 11%) gluten content than bread flour (around 13%).  Those values can vary from one brand to another, so don't worry about it for the time being.  Don't use cake flour for your bread, since it's gluten content is too low to make a good loaf of bread.

You can also use whole wheat flour, or rye flour, when you want to branch out from a basic white bread.  You'll probably see references here to spelt, or oat, or rice, or kamut, or other flours, too, since different grains and seeds can be milled into flour.  When you use your new mill, you will be producing whole-grain flours, rather than a white flour.

For simple recipes, I'd suggest that you scroll down the main page of the site to the lessons section.  Floyd Mann, the creator of the Fresh Loaf, has posted some very helpful lessons that will let you gain experience with simple recipes and skills and then branch out to more complicated breads.  Repeat the bread in the first lesson until you feel that you have a good grasp of why and how things work, then move on to the next lesson.  It beats any homework you had to do in school, because you have good bread to eat at the end of the lesson.

Spend some time poking around the site.  You'll probably find answers to a lot of the questions that you will have as you get further along.  The search function is very helpful, too.

Happy baking!


mistylady's picture

Thank you so much for the help!  :)  I'm looking forward to baking some bread and making the house smell good!