All purpose flour

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All purpose flour

Postby Salmo » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:18 am

Hello & sorry if this has been asked before.
I have been watching Jim Layey's video on No knead bread,in which he uses "all purpose flour".
My question is - is American "all purpose flour" the same as "ordinary" flour in the UK?
I seem to recall that American flour is different from English flour in someway (protein?) & wanted to check before I have a go.
Many thanks
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Postby kimgary » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:21 pm

Hi

Typical USA all purpose flours are 10-12% protein.

Their King Arthur all purpose flour is 11.7%.

Allinson plain flour in uk is 10.3%.

For most bread recipes we would use a Strong bread Flour, having said that some types of bread such as french use a softer flour which allows larger holes to form in proving.

If you can explain type or name of bread it would be possible to advise you further.

Regards Gazza.
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Postby Salmo » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:43 pm

Many thanks Kimgarry
So it is the protein thats different?
The flour I have been using is 12.1% ,so I will have a go with that, as it's very close to the American figure of 10-12% you quote.

The bread in question is the "No knead bread" made famous by Jim Lahey.
I saw the video on You tube & thought I'd like to give it a try.
Despite trying various methods to get a good crust,such as steam & baking stones,my bread never has a good crunchy crust.
I'm hoping that the dutch oven method used in the video will make the difference,as the bread shown looks ideal.
Thanks again.
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Postby kimgary » Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:38 pm

Hi again,

For that bread I would use a Strong bread flour, somewhere aroung 13%, that said your flour should be ok.

When I tried a similar method, at my second attempt I put the dough into the lightly greased cold dutch oven to prove, I then preheated the oven and put the dutch oven in, to my mind this worked better and was easier to move the dough, the unexpected bonus was that I got a better oven spring on the bread, I would check the bread 10 mins before you expect it to be ready.
Regards Gazza.
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Postby crustyo44 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:38 pm

Hi,
I have made lots of this no-knead bread in a cast iron pot and used a variety of flours. Some just cheap plain flour and others more expensive and mixtures of wholemeal, rye, nuts and seeds included and only 1/4 tsp yeast.
They all came out the same way, just make sure that your mixture is a little bit on the wet side and leave it up to 24 hours to ferment, depending on the temperature of course.
You can't go wrong.
Good Luck.
Jan.
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Postby Salmo » Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:33 pm

Sorry for the late reply,for some reason I didn't get an e-mail notification & didn't know there were any more posts.
For info,the bread was a little disappointing-being a bit "heavy"
I've since found out that the You tube video I watched omitted a second rising & being a novice it didn't seem strange to me.

I recently bought a cast iron "dutch oven" & have made a couple of loaves of French bread that I have been really pleased with.
I let the Dutch oven get really hot before putting the dough in,baked at 200C for 30mins with the lid on & then removed the lid for 15mins.
Still can't get a good crust though-I suspect my oven's max temp of 200C just isn't hot enough?

Thanks again for the help.
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Teach a man to fish,and you won't see him again for the rest of the season.
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Postby crustyo44 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:13 pm

When you remove the lidm give the bread a short spray with plain water and cook the usual 15-20 minutes with lids off.
Good Luck,
Regards,
Jan.
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Postby Ruralidle » Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:19 pm

200C is a little on the cool side for good crust formation. 240C for the first 15 mins is better, then 220C. Even hotter for the notoriously difficult baguettes.
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Postby Salmo » Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:30 am

Thanks for the replys.
I'll give the water spray a try next time.
It's just occured to me that I may be able to get a better crust by moving the loaf up to the top of the oven & putting the grill on for a few minutes.
The grill has a max temp of 250C -----better keep my eye on it!!
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