Bread baking growing pains and other questions
I am still in the beginning stages of learning to bake bread. I've been at it since October when I got my KitchenAid mixer as a birthday gift. I do all my kneading in the KitchenAid.
I've been trying to perfect the sandwich loaf before moving onto crusty breads. I have little kids and they like a softer loaf. Most of the loaves I've been successful with have incorporated oatmeal in them.
My least successful loaves have been fine at the heels, but crumbling and unsliceable in the middle.
Trying to find recipes can be tricky. I love the King Arthur Flour books, but they always call for butter as the fat. Is butter the best fat or oil? I seem to have better luck with recipes that call for vegetable oil. Another book I like, "The Bread Bible" by BetsyOppenneer calls for oil, but the book is older and doesn't really talk about some of the newer stuff available (heavy duty mixers, instant yeast, etc.)
Second ?: If a recipe calls for all-purpose flour, can I use bread flour?
Third ?: I've asked this before, but let me again. If a recipe calls for active dry yeast, but I want to use rapid rise, how much do I decrease the yeast?\