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Bread Recipes using AP Flour

Hi everyone!

I have a few free days, and I'm looking to make some bread (yeast based) but only have all-purpose flour. I don't have much experience making bread, so I don't have any recipes.

What are you favorite tried-and-true bread recipes using AP flour? Many of the recipes I find online require bread flour, and while I hope to get to the point where I'm regularly buying bread flour for homemade bread, I don't have any space in the pantry to store extra flour at the moment.

If anyone has some amazing, can't-pass-up quick bread recipes, I'm willing to hear those, too ;) I currently have instant yeast, and active rise yeast, so I'm ready to go!

I also have a KA stand mixer (and my hands, of course!) if that information helps. Thanks for any help.

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  1. Most of Rose Levy Beranbaum's recipes from the Bread Bible use AP flour. There are a couple here:

    http://www.cookstr.com/searches/new?b...

    The book has scores of recipes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jpc8015

      I will look for the book! Thank you for the link.

    2. Here is a very easy one:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5892...

      There are multiple CH threads on what is actually a single basic approach to "no knead" yeast bread: Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery, Bittman, Cooks Illustrated Almost No-Knead Bread 2.0

      2 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        Do you have a favorite no knead version? Or are they all basically the exact same?

        1. re: SarachkaInBrooklyn

          I've only done the CI version, which has a couple of refinements going for it - like using the parchment-lined pan to shape the loaf and transfer it into the Dutch oven.
          But as far as I know, they are all the same idea.

      2. For quick breads - I'm a big fan of banana bread. Here's the recipe I made for years, until I found a buttermilk banana bread recipe that's even better. Link to the buttermilk version
        http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/b...

        Banana Bread

        1/2 cup butter (or margarine, or butter blend), softened
        1 c. sugar
        2-3 very ripe bananas, mashed
        1 egg
        1 tsp. vanilla
        1 1/2 c. flour
        1 tsp. baking soda
        1/2 tsp. nutmeg
        1/4 tsp. cinnamon
        1/2 c. chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts
        ) Note - no added salt in this recipe
        Get out butter so it can soften. Get out all other ingredients. Preheat oven to 350 degree (F). Grease 5x9x3 bread pan, or muffin tin. Peel, slice and (using a fork) mash bananas in a medium bowl. Chop nuts.

        In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add mashed bananas, egg, vanilla. Mix. Add flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon. Mix. Fold in chopped nuts. Pour into bread pan or muffin tin.

        Bake 30 minutes (muffins) or 35-45 minutes (bread) in 350 degree (F) oven. Bread is done when top is browned, bread starts to pull away from side of pan, and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Tip out from pan and cool on wire rack. To serve, slice thinly (1/4 inch). Wrap in waxed paper to store. Freezes well. Great toasted.

        2 Replies
        1. re: MidwesternerTT

          Isn't the OP talking about *quick* recipes for YEAST bread?

          1. re: MidwesternerTT

            Thanks! Will put these recipes in my back pocket until I accumulate enough overripe bananas in the freezer!

          2. Go the library and borrow a copy of "Beard on Bread". There are a ton of excellent recipes. An easy thing to start with is English Muffin Bread because it's a batter bread and doesn't require kneading. Makes excellent toast and sandwiches.

            There's a recipe for a cheese bread in there. Make that one too. It will require kneading but you'll find that's part of the great pleasure of baking bread. Only thing is, double the amount of cheese. Then make some toast with it. The aroma alone will make you glad for all the time you put into it.

            Another easy tasty one is his Buttemilk Bread.

            I'm not sure if there's even one recipe in the whole book that will require bread flour. Even if there is one, you could make it with AP and get good results.

            If you can't get to a library search the net. I bet you'll find many of his bread recipes.

            Have fun!!!

            Look what I found: http://www.cookstr.com/cookbooks/bear...

            http://www.loulies.com/buttermilk_use...

            http://diaryofatomato.com/2013/02/15/...

            2 Replies
            1. re: rainey

              Thank you for the links! I'll see if I can get the entire book at my library.

              1. re: SarachkaInBrooklyn

                After you get comfortable with some of those recipes I recommend "Rustic European Breads from Your Bread Maker" by LInda West Eckhardt and Diana Collingwood Butts. It has a wonderful survey of breads from various traditions so you can sample a lot of bread making. And, most importantly, you'll learn about the importance of preferents for really great flavor and crusts.

                It isn't necessary in the least to have a bread maker. It's just a great bread book.

                After those 3 start reading Peter Reinhart's books. Any of them. They're all great! That's where you want to go when you're bread making. But the first 2 will get you some sea legs so you're ready to soar with Peter.

                It's a wonderful adventure and you're going to have some G-O-O-D eating along the way!

            2. You can use AP flour in just about any recipe calling for bread flour. In some instances, especially acidic doughs like sourdough you really kinda need bread flour because the acid denatures the gluten but you're not there yet.
              For starting I'd go with a regular sandwich loaf because more rustic styles require a wetter and stickier dough and as far as I'm concerned the hardest part of learning to bake bread is getting a feel for handling dough.

              1 Reply
              1. re: caganer

                This is a great tip, I had no idea. Thanks for letting me know!

              2. Check out the King Arthur Flour website (www.kingarthurflour.com). They have a huge recipe collection there. There are plenty of bread recipes that use AP flour. All of the recipes that I have tried from that website have worked very well. My suggestion would be to try one of their white bread recipes. The results will absolutely inspire you to keep on baking bread. Also, baking bread in a loaf pan is a great way to start out, since you avoid the extra steps (and possible pitfalls) that come with free-form loaves.

                9 Replies
                1. re: PinchOfSalt

                  Just a note about KAF - sure, their recipes call for AP flour, but it calls for KAF AP flour - which is really bread flour, at 11.7% protein. Northern brands such as Dakota Maid and Robin Hood also make "AP flours" that are really bread flours, running around 12% protein. So do not expect to be able to use Gold Medal AP flour in a King Arthur recipe and come up with something that looks like bread.

                  If the OP is really interested in making bread, seriously, go buy some bread flour. It'll be a LOT easier and the results will be so much better. Bread flour doesn't have to be expensive - Pillsbury's bread flour, which is my preference after KAF or the house brands at Costco or Sam's Club - is under $3 for a 5 lb bag every time I've looked at it lately. Probably can get it for less than that with coupons, double coupons, or store sales.

                  You can also try Moomie's Famous Bun recipe - I always make it with KAF AP flour or bread flour but it does call for AP flour. A lot of people make a loaf of it.

                  http://www.dillsalittlegoatfarm.com/r...

                  I stumbled around for years mucking about trying to make bread with regular AP flour and sometimes it sorta worked and sometimes it didn't - but when I gave it up and started using the right flour for the right purpose (and started weighing ingredients) it was a revelation. Save yourself a lot of trial and error, bite the bullet, and get yourself some bread flour. It's under $7 for a 25 lb bag at a Costco or Sam's club - you can't beat that price with a stick!

                  1. re: CookingForReal

                    While it is true that KA AP flour has more protein (gluten) than others, particularly flours milled for distribution in the southern US, breads made in loaf pans should be okay. In those recipes it is the pan that holds the shape of the bread, not the gluten.

                    1. re: CookingForReal

                      I made bread with AP flour for *decades* before I knew there was any such thing as bread flour or King Arthur. I still use AP as often as bread flour even though I have both in my pantry.

                      Really, AP is just fine for most general yeast recipes. When the OP wants to do more challenging things or start tweaking recipes to get something artisinal he/she will be ready to buy bread flour. But for experimenting with what's immediately available I PROMISE you can make *fine* bread with AP flour.

                      To illustrate that point, I invite anyone to see just how many bread recipes from whatever source specify bread flour. I have at least 100 bread recipes that I actually use. I doubt 10% of them specify bread flour. Often AP will make a preferable more tender crumb.

                      1. re: rainey

                        We'll have to agree to disagree. I've been baking for 50 years and until I started using the right flour for the right job, yeasted breads were mushy and squishy and really not very good. Yeah you can do it - but its an awful lot of trouble and the results were not worth it.

                        I don't get the idea of hanging on to trying to make bread with soft AP flour meant for cookies and pie crusts - even though I myself hung on to this delusion for decades. I'm very glad I finally got over it.

                        1. re: CookingForReal

                          learning to make yeasted breads means learning how the dough feels at various stages, and how the amount of kneading affects that texture.

                          No way would I ever suggest that someone start this process wtih bread flour -- it takes so much more kneading that you'd scare people off.

                          If the OP enjoys the KA white bread recipe, it's an easy step to blended flours, and eventually to bread flours.

                          It's a learning process, not an indictment.

                          Let others learn just like you did.

                          1. re: CookingForReal

                            "We'll have to agree to disagree. I've been baking for 50 years and until I started using the right flour for the right job, yeasted breads were mushy and squishy and really not very good. "

                            OK. You've got 5 years on me. So we'll just agree to disagree and move on. ;>

                            1. re: CookingForReal

                              The two different flours will indeed produce two different loaves from the same recipe. Many times, though, both loaves will be tasty.

                          2. re: CookingForReal

                            In my experience (though I'm admittedly only a journeyman with breads), heat, hydration, kneading, and resting time make a MUCH bigger difference to the end result than the difference between bread flour and AP flour. These things take time to develop a real sense for them - much longer than it takes to use up a bag of AP flour. I'd suggest the OP should jump right in, start learning, and not get too hung up on the sticking points of AP vs bread flour. If you're going to learn to bake breads well, you might as well take the long perspective.

                            1. re: CookingForReal

                              I just wanted to add I'd be much more concerned about making cookies or pie crust tough by using bread flour (tho I know there *are* cookies deliberately made of bread flour) than making bread with AP.

                          3. The sandwich bread recipe right on the side of the King Arthur AP flour bag comes out really well, and would be a great starting point to learn to make bread.

                            1. Here's a list I put together of U.S. retail wheat flour types and the best uses for them:
                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9302...

                              1. Agree with all the great suggestions. KAF does have some great recipes, and you will probably stumble across random ones in other cookbooks or on the internet that call specifically for AP over bread.

                                I'll add to the list--

                                You didn't specify what type of bread you're interested in baking. If you're simply wanting to get familiar with yeast doughs, perhaps you could try a sweet roll recipe (like cinnamon rolls). The doughs typically come together in a stand mixer with less "eyeballing" or "feeling" of the dough involved. Enriched doughs (with eggs and/or milk) are also often easier to handle and roll out--they are smooth and fluffy.

                                This is one of the first yeasted recipes I ever made, and I still make them on occasion with butter instead of margarine: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/ninety-m...

                                I also love this focaccia, which calls for bread flour but I've made it with all-purpose many times. It takes only 40 minutes to rise, requires minimal handling, and always tastes amazing: http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/201...

                                Lastly, this was my very favorite recipe for a quick yeasted dough for the first year I started doing homemade breads. I could put them together while prepping the rest of dinner. My boyfriend is in love with them and will literally skip the main dishes to eat several of these.

                                The dough is something like a pizza dough, and you can stuff them with anything you'd like. You can also leave them plain, but they won't puff up as much in the oven.

                                I like them stuffed with just cheese, or a combo of cheese, spinach, herbs, and sundried tomatoes. My boyfriend always requests shredded cheddar and cooked bacon in his.

                                QUICK CHEESE-STUFFED ROLLS

                                Makes 6

                                1/2 cup warm water
                                1 tablespoon sugar or honey
                                1 1/2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
                                1 tablespoon olive oil
                                1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
                                1/2 teaspoon salt

                                Whisk together water, sugar/honey, and yeast in a bowl and let sit until foamy, 5 minutes. (If yeast doesn't foam up, it is not "active;" discard and try again with a fresh packet of yeast).

                                Stir in olive oil, then 1 cup of the flour, and the salt. Continue adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup more flour just until dough comes together (dough should be slightly tacky, but not so sticky that you can't touch it without it sticking to your fingers).

                                Spread some flour on a work surface and lightly knead the dough for a few minutes. Cover with a damp towel and let rest 10 minutes; meanwhile, prep your filling ingredients and preheat oven to 400 F.

                                Fillings:
                                -Crumbled cooked bacon
                                -Chopped meats
                                -Shredded cheese (any kind
                                )-Chopped herbs
                                -Garlic
                                -Roasted peppers
                                -Sundried tomatoes
                                -Fresh spinach
                                Etc.
                                *You will use about 1 tablespoon of fillings per roll*

                                Punch down dough lightly and cut into 6 equal pieces.
                                Using your hands. stretch each piece into an oblong oval. Place a giant pinch of your filling in the center of each oval; gather edges around filling like a parcel and pinch tightly to seal.

                                Place rolls seam-side down on a baking sheet and brush tops with butter. Sprinkle with salt if desired.

                                Bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown on tops and bottoms.

                                 
                                 
                                 
                                1. I buy a bag of vital wheat gluten and add a few spoons to my AP flour to make a "homemade" bread flour.