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Oct 2, 2006 07:42 PM

The Bread Bible--why does she tell you to use bleached all-purpose flour?

This Sunday, I decided to make "Quintessential Corn Muffins" from Rose Levy Bernbaum's "The Bread Bible," only the second time I've used this cookbook. She called for bleached all-purpose flour, specifying only Pillsbury or Gold Ribbon (?). I almost always buy unbleached, since that's what every other cookbook writer seems to call for, and I couldn't find an explanation in her cookbook. Anyway, I didn't have bleached, or either of the recommended brands, and the corn muffins turned out great. Is she just being overly didactic, or is there a reason to use bleached over unbleached? This cookbook was a gift, and I'm starting to find her tone annoying.

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  1. Something happens to the flour when it becomes 'bleached', IIRC it takes away some of the protien. Of course you could use unbleached AP flour, but there will be a difference, a little more tooth. Especially if you use King Artuhur.

    I just kinda resigned to the fact that I'll have several flours on hand for picky people (Like CI) recipes....


    1. I'll keep a few flours on hand but regular old AP will do the trick for just about anything. Hence the name.


      1. RLB usually cites the reasons for her choices in this regard. It may be explained elsewhere in the book, but I am sure there is an explanation about why bleached APF of a reliable protein level (King Arthuer is too high, White Lily is too low) is specified for certain uses. If you want to assess the merit of her recipe, you should at least once do it she directs (this rule being true for any recipe, of course).

          1. Nancy Berry eloquently channels RLB on this earlier thread discussing flour: