I have not been happy with the flour I'm presently using. King Arthur's unbleached is what it is. What brand do you prefer?
What is available and what I can afford is either Pillsbury Unbleached A-P flour or Gold Medal unbleached a-p flour. I think both are very good for my purposes, breadmaking, a cake now and then, cookies sometimes, etc.
I have used White Lily for many years. However, I am not a prolific baker, just biscuits, a few cakes and cookies.
I use White Lily Bread Flour for yeast breads and other baked goods that require kneading of the dough.
King arthur seems to have higher protein%. Infact their website has yeast bread recipes that use their AP flour instead of the bread flour.
What all-purpose flour you use should be determined by what you want to make with it and how much protein/gluten you need.
Southern All-Purpose Flour (White Lily, Martha White, Gladiola, Red Band) - 9 g. protein - milled from soft wheat varieties - work best for baked goods where you don't want a lot of gluten development, such as pie crusts, biscuits, quick breads, muffins
National Brand All-Purpose Flour (Gold Medal, Pillsbury) - 11 g. protein - milled from a blend of hard and soft wheat. A little too much protein for best pie crusts, quick breads, muffins, or pancakes; too little protein to make outstanding yeast breads. As the name indicates - all purposes - but it's not the optimal flour for most things we make with it.
Northern All-Purpose flour (Robin Hood, Hecker's) - 11-12 g. protein. Use for yeast breads, cream puffs, puff pastry.
King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour - 13 g. protein. Use for yeast breads, cream puffs, puff pastry, pasta, pizza.
We are fortunate enough to have some good flour mills here in Kansas and I would suggest Hudson Cream (milled in Stafford Co., KS) and W-R Flour milled in McPherson, KS, which have excellent flour products (similar to National Brands), if you happen to have those available to you.
I use King Arthur's almost exclusively, and I bake a lot. I use their AP for cakes and cookies, their bread flour for bread (duh!), and cake flour for biscuits. What do you not like about KA's?
I don't think there is really an "all purpose" flour. I have a variety of flours - White Lilly, King Arthur AP, King Arthur white whole wheat, Irish Macroom extra coarse stoneground whole wheat flour - the coarsest flour I've ever seen, there may actually be pieces of stone in it , as well as Gold Medal. I use most of them for a variety of different baking products, and to some extent, interchangeably. Though the White Lilly is great for biscuits, and the Macrooms makes an amazing soda bread, and I've added it to my regular bread and it adds such a wonderful flavor.
White Lily Self Rising and either White Lily or King Arthur AP. Trying not to eat bread, and that's hard, but not using any bread flour at the moment. Loosely following the Mediterranean way of eating. Was doing well, had lost about 10 or 12 lbs., then along came the holidays.-(
Good for you Jude! Although you look great to me.
like Cheryl, I use King Arthur all purpose almost exclusively for baking. I use it for breads, cakes, pastry crust, cookies, muffins, pancakes, scones and biscuits. I do think that a softer wheat flour like White Lily makes better biscuits but everything else comes out fine.
I use King Arthur whole wheat for bread and the white whole wheat in brownies and pancakes/waffles. King Arthur all purpose for bread, I never buy bread flour.
In my small grocery they have Robin Hood, Gold Medal and Pillsbury. Occasionally I'll buy any of those three and use them pretty much interchangeably, depending on what's on sale and what's available, as I have to drive to a neighboring town to get King Arthur.
Another vote for KA all purpose flour.