Ola Rokita

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Wheat Flour Types and Best Uses

Ola Rokita20 May 2019Comments (2)

 

Not all wheat flour types
are the same

If I were to compare wheat flour types in Poland, the closest that comes to mind is wine and grape varieties. Just like wine, some complement fish dishes better, while others are ideal for sipping with filet mignon.

European vs. North American Flour

There are big differences between European flour and North American flour. Not only based on the type of wheat that readily grows on each continent, but also the environment in which it grows and how the wheat is cultivated.

Cake vs. Bread Flour

Depending on how the wheat is processed, some wheat flours are better for bread making, whereas others are better for cakes.

What’s the meaning of “type”
when classifying flours in Poland?

Although in North America most recipes call for All-Purpose flour, in Poland we distinguish flours for different uses based on “type”. Type relates to the amount of “ash” that remains after a flour sample is burned. The more ash, the richer the flour is in minerals important for our health. So, for example, if you burn a sample of a fairly processed flour like the 500 type, only about 0.50% of ash remains. In less processed flours like 1,850 or 2,000,  the ash content is about 1.85% or 2%.

Using All-Purpose flour
instead of specific flour type

Although the All-Purpose flour has many applications and it’s very similar to the 500 type and 550 type flour used in Poland, the settle differences between the flour used for yeast baking versus pastas, can impact your results. Especially if you’re trying to make your recipes as authentic as possible.

Below is a quick guide of wheat flour from Poland types, gluten, protein content, and their best applications:

***

Wheat Flour Type 450 “Tortowa”

Tortowa

Very delicate flour, contains about 18% of gluten, 9% to 10% of protein, and it’s very refined. It also means it has fewer minerals beneficial to health since only the core of the wheat grain is used. However, it will make your cakes tender and lighter.

Can also be used in recipes requiring pastry flour. The Tortowa flour is excellent for spongecakes, certain pie crusts, and cakes.

 

                                 ***

Wheat Flour Type 500, or “Wroclawska”

Wroclawska

Heavier flour than “Tortowa”, contains about 25% of gluten and 10% of protein. This flour is ideal for making crepes, waffles, or pancakes.

Can also be used in recipes calling for all-purpose flour.

 

 

                              ***

Wheat Flour Type 500, or “Poznanska”

poznanska

Ideal flour for making pierogi, dumplings, pastas, or pizzas. Contains about 11% of protein, slightly more than “Wroclawska”, and even though they are similar, I find that this flour has an edge over other flours for making pastas and pierogis.

 

If you’re making pizza and you don’t have access to Italian pizza flour type “00”, Poznanska flour is a good substitute. Of course, to make an authentic pizza dough, flour type “00” is the ideal pizza flour, but I find this one to be delicate enough to make excellent pizza.

***

Wheat Flour Type 500 “Krupczatka”

Krupczatka

Coarsely milled flour. Contains at least 25% gluten and 10% to 11% of protein.

This flour is my favorite to use for cookies, shortbread or pie crusts, especially apple crumble. It adds a nice crispiness to baked pastries and makes pie crusts crispier rather than chewy.

 

 

 

                             ***

 

Wheat Flour Type 550 “Luksusowa”

Lubella flour

Excellent flour for yeast-based baking or fried pastry, such as donuts, challah, pizza dough, or dinner rolls. It contains at least 25% of gluten and 12% of protein.

I also use it as a substitute for recipes that require all-purpose flour.

***

Wheat Flour Type 650 and above

Anything over 650 is good for bread baking. It’s denser, but also has more nutrients and fiber.

 

***

Whole Wheat Flour Type 2,000 

type 2,000 flour

Excellent flour for making wholemeal bread. This type of flour is wholegrain, which means that the husk is not removed during the processing and the flour is richer in many beneficial nutrients, ranging from fiber, folic acid, iron, to vitamin B6.

Using this type of flour makes the bread denser and darker. You can use it instead of regular all-purpose flour to make your next bread, or at least replace half the portion of the flour in your recipe.

This wholewheat flour contains at least 15% of protein.

 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

rosie bruno May 15, 2020 at 13:55

Hi Ola,

I am assuming that all of these Polish flours are unbleached? Seems you use only the finest ingredients, so I would think so. I need some unbleached flour to add to a sourdough starter to make pizza and the corner store has many of these Polish varieties, but I can’t read Polish!

Thank you!
Rosie

Reply

Ola Rokita May 15, 2020 at 21:56

Hi Rosie!

Correct, Polish flour is unbleached and not enriched, this is why I am a big fan of using it in my baking. For your starter try wholegrain flour type 2,000 or “Pelne Ziarno” in Polish and then use type 500 or 550 to make the dough for your pizza.

Reply

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