From Grain to Desired Flour Type- Part 2

Different steps have to take place during the milling process, because the hull particles and the endosperm have to be carefully separated from each other during flour extraction. The so-called grain furrow prevents this from happening in a direct way. This is only possible in stages over many grinding steps (passages). The principle of milling consists of chopping the grain into many coarse pieces while protecting the cohesion of the husk, and gradually detaching the flour parts from these pieces by further chopping them up and separating them by sieving until finally there is flour on side and hull particles on the other.

After milling, the type of flour is determined depending on the degree of milling. Flour types are names for certain graduated flours. The determination is made by defining the mineral content (ash content), which depends on the proportion of mineral-rich hull particles

Flour Types

Determination of flour types:

The flour samples (100 g) are incinerated in a furnace at 900°C for 2 hours. The remaining ash residue gives the type number. Example: If approx. 480mg of minerals remain as ash after burning 100g of flour, this is called flour type 480. All flours with a lower type number consist of the endosperm without the germ. In contrast to flours with high type numbers (including wholemeal flours and coarse meal) which contain the bran and the germ. These are high-grade and should therefore be used up quickly.

Type Designations:

Austrian Flour:

  • Wheat flour Type 480
  • Wheat flour Type  700
  • Wheat flour Type 1600
  • Wholegrain flour
  • Rye flour Type 500 (First clear)
  • Rye flour Type 960 (Bread flour)
  • Rye flour Type 2500 (Dark rye)
  • Wholegrain rye flour
  • Spelt flour Type 630/700
  • Spelt flour Type 812
  • Spelt flour Type 1050

German Flour:

  • Wheat flour Type 405 (Austrian – W/480)
  • Wheat flour Type 550
  • Wheat flour Type 630
  • Wheat flour Type 812 (Austrian – W/700)
  • Wheat flour Type 1050 (Austrian – W/1600)
  • Wheat flour Type 1600 (Austrian – wholegrain flour)
  • Rye flour Type 815 (Austrian – R/500)
  • Rye flour Type 997 (Austrian – light R/960)
  • Rye flour Type 1150 (Austrian – R/960)
  • Rye flour Type 1370
  • Rye flour Type 1800 (wholegrain rye flour)

Swiss Flour:

  • White flour Type 400 (Austrian – W480)
  • White flour Type 550
  • Half white flour Type 720 (Austrian – W700)
  • Ruchmehl Type 1100 (Austrian – W1600)
  • Whole wheat Type 1900 (Austrian – whole wheat)
  • Rye flour light Type 720 (Austrian -R/500)
  • Rye flour dark Type 1100 (Austrian -R/960)
  • Wholegrain rye Type 1900 (Austrian -wholegrain rye)

(In Swiss recipes, the flours used are often described as White, Half-White, or Ruchmehl.)

French Flour:

  • Farine T-45 (Austrian – W480)
  • Farine T-55
  • Farine T-65 (Austrian – W700)
  • Farine T-80 (Austrian – W1600)
  • Farine T-110
  • Farine T-150 (Austrian – whole wheat)
  • Farine de seigle T-70 (Austrian – R500)
  • Farine de seigle T-130 (Austrian – R960)
  • Farine de seigle T-170 (Austrian – wholegrain rye)

Italian Flour:

  • Farina di grano tenero tipo 00  (Austrian – W480)
  • Farina di grano tenero tipo 0
  • Farina di grano tenero tipo 1 (Austrian – W700)
  • Farina di grano tenero tipo 2 (Austrian – W1600)
  • Farina intergrale die grano tenero (Austrian – Wholegrain flour)

American Flour:

  • pastry cake flour  8,5-9,5% protein (Austrian – W480)
  • all purpose flour   10,5-11,5% protein (Austrian – W700)
  • bread flour   11-12,5% protein
  • high gluten flour/Strong bread  12-14% protein
  • first clear flour 13-15% protein (Austrian – W1600)
  • white whole grain 13,8% protein (Austrian – wholegrain)
  • rye flour/Rye flour
  • white rye  6,5-7,5% protein (Austrian – R500)
  • White rye flour  7-8% protein (Austrian – R960)
  • White rye flour 8-9% protein (Austrian – R960)
  • medium rye flour  9-10% protein (Austrian – R960+R2500/4:1)
  • whole grain rye  9-10,5% protein (Austrian – Vollkornmehl)
  • Rye meal 11-12% protein (Austrian – R2500)

(The Austrian flours in parentheses are given only as a guide but are not a direct exchange!)

Specialty Flours

Specialty flours differ from baking flours either in their composition or in their intended use.


They are the coarsest endosperm particles. A distinction is made between coarse, medium and fine grist. Grist has a sandy texture.

Coarse grained flour:

The fineness is between flour and grist. It is very terse. 


Koppen are particles of endosperm with hull attached. They are fed through the grist machines.


Bran is the collective term for all parts of the grain that are separated out during milling. Because of its contents, bran is a high-quality animal feed

Graham flour:

Among the specialty wholemeal flours, graham flour is the most common type, which is also used in various specialty breads in different amounts and granulations (fine, medium, coarse).

Meal flour:

Wheat and rye meals are used in different granulations and are mainly as wholemeal flour for multi-grain and dark specialty breads. If a bread volume that is not too large is desired, then coarse meal should be used. However, if a larger volume and a softer crumb are desired, meals with a high proportion of fine meal or whole grain flour should be used.

Overview of Wholemeal and Baking Meal:   

Cracked grain (coarse chopped grain)

Requirements: if possible, no whole grain pieces, no small grain particles, no flour particles

Extra coarse (chopped or minimally cracked grain particles)

Requirements: Few grain pieces, the grains should chopped, few small grain pieces

Coarse (more or less cracked or chopped grains)

Requirements: few small or whole grain pieces, intact grain content under 10%, no sharply split grains, no fine flour or small grain particles

Medium (Uniform medium grain particles)

Requirements: no intact grains, no large grain pieces, few small grain pieces

Fine (uniform fine grain particles)

Requirements: no intact grains, no coarse or medium grain pieces

Extra fine (floury fine meal, with very fine grain pieces)

Requirements: no intact or large grain particles, high content of coarse flour particles

Rolled or Flaked Grains

Note: Fine and soft meals have a large surface area due to the stronger crushing of the grain. Therefore, fine and soft meals bind more water than coarse and sharp meals! Finer grains lead to faster dough development and shorter swelling.

Flour Storage

When the grain breaks up during the milling process, biochemical processes set in, and depending on the level of milling, the temperature and humidity of the ground product and the presence of oxygen, all of which have different effects on the final baking properties.

Storage conditions:

  • Cool (15-20°C) and dry, avoid temperature fluctuations (risk of moisture)
  • Away from light (light changes the color of the flour)
  • Free from foreign odors (flour takes on foreign smells)

Storage duration:

  • Light flours not longer than 12-15 weeks
  • Dark flours not longer than 8-10 weeks (can become rancid)

The baking properties of flour change with increased storage time:

  • Higher water absorption due to moisture loss
  • Stronger gluten quality during the maturity phase
  • Shorter dough structure in darker flours

Freshly milled flour from a conventional mill often shows inadequate baking properties after grinding (the dough pieces weaken and spread). The reason for this is that the gluten structure is still inadequate. The addition of ascorbic acid accelerates flour ripening.

Although the doughs are immediately bakeable due to the treatment with ascorbic acid, the gluten structure changes with increasing storage time. The result is tough and stodgy dough.

Flour quality though laboratory tests


The Farinogram provides information about the water absorption capacity (hydration/TA) of the flour and the kneading and dough behavior. The measuring device is a “Farinograph” and the chart recorded is called a “Farinogram”. Measuring units BE (Brabender unit)

  • Water absorption 500 BE – Consistency corresponds to that of a roll
  • Water absorption 360 BE – Corresponds to a normal bread

The Farinogram delivers the following values:

  • Water absorption capacity of the flour (TA)
  • Dough development time (kneading duration and required intensity)
  • Dough stability 
  • Dough resistance (kneading tolerance)
  • Dough weakness (breakdown of the dough)

Average water absorption:

  • Wheat flour Type 480 60-65%
  • Wheat flour Type 700 66-68%
  • Rye flour Type 960    72-75%
  • Spelt flour Type 630 55-63%


The extensogram characterizes the gluten structure of the dough. Dough strands are stretched until they tear by means of a special device after varying lengths of time of 45, 90 and 135 minutes. The stretching resistance in the dough is measured and referred to as an “extensogram”. With the help of the diagram, statements can be made about the gluten quality, processing properties, fermentation stability and fermentation tolerance of the dough, as well as about the breadth of the baked goods (baking volume).

High numbers indicate strong gluten

  • Over-treatment of the flour with vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
  • Adding dry gluten
  • Overlay of the flour


  • tough, short dough texture (the dough tends to contract)
  • sensitive to additional dough acidification (pre-dough, long proofing)
  • poor oven spring (small volume)
  • short, elastic crumb structure


  • Intensive kneading of the dough
  • Shorter dough processing
  • Don’t stretch the dough
  • Slightly reduce the oven temperature
  • Addition of 5% rye or spelt flour

Low numbers indicate weak gluten


  • Insufficient water absorption
  • Significant weakening of the dough (doughs become soft during processing)
  • Low fermentation tolerance (does not tolerate full fermentation)
  • Bread bakes flat
  • Compact volume (small bread and rolls)


  • Gentler kneading of the dough (knead longer on a slow speed)
  • Cooler dough proof (reduce the dough temperature)
  • Add soured element to the dough (pre-dough, sourdough)


The amylogram shows the gelatinization properties of the starch and enables conclusions to be drawn about the dough’s growth behavior and the crumb structure of the baked goods. The chart recorded is called an “amylogram”. Flour and water are slurried and heated in a rotating measuring pot at 1.5 ° C per minute to 95 ° C (the simulated baking process). The flour starch swells and gelatinizes. The gelatinization begins at 55-70 ° C and reaches its maximum between 80-90 ° C. 

Start of gelatinization:

  • Rye starch ca. 55-60°C
  • Wheat starch     ca. 60-65°C

High gelatinization: 


  • inhibited ability to rise (little formation/volume)
  • pale, matte bread color
  • coarse, dry crumb (the crumb tends to crumble)
  • rapid drying of the crumb
  • slow proof
  • bland taste


  • Add liquid malt
  • Weaker, warm dough (promotes enzyme activity)
  • Longer dough rest (intensive starch degradation)
  • Higher baking temperature

Low starch gelatinization: (flours with outgrowth damage)


  • Strong ability to rise (large volume)
  • Sagging and sticky doughs
  • Tendency to spread
  • Strong crust color
  • Sticky / moist crumb structure
  • Quick proof
  • Inelastic crumb


  • Firmer, cooler dough
  • Increase dough souring
  • Shorter, direct rise process
  • Milder baking temperature 

Finally, I would like to thank the Forstner family very much. I am both happy and proud to have such a flour supplier as a partner for our daily bread and pastries.

Thank you, Dietmar