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Many recipe for a hot water crust I have seen calls for something like 15%-20% of the flour to be bread flour? Is going AP flour fine, or do I need to do more/something else to make the substitute?

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    I've seen tons of recipes with only all-purpose flour. To confirm just now, I searched for "hot water crust recipe" on Google and in the top ten results, there were seven unique recipes (two pages were article/recipe versions of the same thing, two were general articles), of which six used only all-purpose flour, and only one used a combination like you describe. I think you still have a really good question - what does the bread flour do, what happens if you replace it? - but the assertion about "basically every recipe" is an awkward starting place. – Cascabel Dec 15 '17 at 0:20
  • Adjusted, so far I've seen about 5 different recipes, all were using bread flour in varying amounts – Skyler Dec 15 '17 at 0:58
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The hot water method is all about making gluten (flour strength) ineffective, so using bread flour has very doubtful merit. A recipe insisting on its use might have other problems (baking too hot or too long, having too high or too uneven thickness (use a rolling pin, period), or using too little fat) that it tries to compensate by using strong flour. Note that fat content is essential - medieval style hot water crusts that used little or no fat were intended as a food preserving shell, not as an edible part of the dish.

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