What is the best yeast bread flour?

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Answered by: Phyllis Joan, An Expert in the Yeast Breads Category
When baking yeast bread, flour is your most important ingredient and basic flour comes in a wide variety of colors and mills. The most versatile of the different types of flour is all-purpose flour. You want to look for a brand that has fine milling from winter wheat. For making a basic yeast bread nothing is better than unbleached all-purpose flour. It is high rising and for the most part foolproof. It is mellow and tender and has a moderate gluten content, and it produces a crunchy crust and airy inside. Make sure your oven is preheated and if possible use a baking stone to produce the best loaf.

Whole wheat flour produces a dark, robust loaf. It's high in fiber and nutrition but did you know that it also comes in a white flour? White whole wheat flour has a mild flavor and white coloring. It can be substituted in some yeast recipes for all-purpose flour. The flavor and texture will change but the results can be delicious. When substituting flour be sure your recipe can handle the change.

Of all the flour available for your bread making fun, bread flour is the highest rising. The high protein helps the rise of all yeast bread. Make sure your recipes calls for bread flour or can be mixed with the basic flour on the list. A loaf with bread flour only has a denser and chewier texture then all-purpose flour alone. Bread flour produces a beautiful loaf that can be crispy or soft as you like.

Then we have the artisan flour. Ryes, harvest grains, potato, French, Italian, Irish, the list of the different artisan flour is almost endless. There is a recipe and variety of flour for every taste. From a fancy braided French loaf to a tender soft sandwich bread, you can bake delicious and attractive bread that will dazzle your family and friends.

French style flour has a higher ash content and a rich flavor while Italian is lower in protein and mellow. Irish style flour will give you a courser brown loaf with complex flavoring. For rye flour try to find a brand that is blended with dark and light mills. It gives you a full flavor and a lighter texture to your finished loaf.

Mix potato flour with white or wheat for a delightful and different flavor to your basic recipes but make sure your mix the flour before you add it to the liquid called for in the recipe. Potato flour also makes the dough easier to handle and produces a softer and adds a delicate moisture to the loaf.

A baking stone helps make for crisper and crunchier bread. There should be no chemicals in your choice of stone and natural clays and quarry tiles can be found at your local home improvement store. All you need to do is line the bottom of your oven with the tiles but be sure to follow manufacturer recommendations when preparing your stone for baking. Give your stones a light spritzing with water for best results.

Wherever your tastes or recipes lead you in baking yeast bread flour is your key ingredient. It is best to weigh your flour if you can for the best results. It is also better to sift the flour when you measure it than scooping it right out of the package. It helps make your measure more accurate and will produce the best loaf.

Bread baking is fun and there is a flour and a recipe for every heart's desire.

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