Have you come across a recipe that specifies bread flour instead of all-purpose flour?
The Damsel has, and until she found out what bread flour really is, she always quickly rejected any such recipe. Things are cramped in the Damsel’s pantry. She can’t keep a zillion kinds of flour hanging around. She needs the room for other important items like chocolate chips and cheerios.
Bread flour is in fact flour with a high gluten content. And if you have one magic ingredient, you can make your own so easily, you won’t ever pay extra for the stuff again.
The magic ingredient: Come closer, and the Damsel will whisper it in your ear: Gluten flour, or vital wheat gluten. This stuff used to be sort of hard to find, but it’s becoming pretty common in the baking aisles these days. It’s often used in whole wheat recipes to make them turn out more bakery-like, instead of doorstop-like, by increasing the percentage of gluten.
The vital wheat gluten comes in a sort of small package, so you’ll sacrifice only a little pantry real estate in trade for having a pretty versatile and somewhat magical ingredient on hand.
It’s ridiculously easy to make all-purpose flour into bread flour. Just add 1 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten/gluten flour per cup of all-purpose flour to your recipe. You don’t have to mix it into the flour ahead of time or say any magic words. Just add it as part of the flour measurement.
That. Is. All.