Ola Rokita

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Wheat Flour Types and Best Uses

Ola Rokita20 May 2019Comments (5)

 

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.

 

Summary
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Recipe Name
Wheat flour for Poland and best uses in baking
Alex Rokita
Ola's Bakery
Average Rating
51star1star1star1star1star Based on 1 Review(s)

{ 5 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

Barbara Coleman September 22, 2020 at 22:51

Dear Ola:
Three years ago, I took my whole family to visit relatives in Poland. We all fell in love with Polish food, especially pierogi. I tried making pierogi with American flour but they came out tough and chewy, unlike Polish pierogi, light and fluffy. I live in Southern California, near Santa Barbara. I called several European/Polish stores asking, if they carried Polish wheat flour Type 500 or 550 and no one carries the flour. Can you recommend a store that would be willing to ship the flour to me.
Respectfully your,
Barbara Coleman

Reply

Ola Rokita September 23, 2020 at 11:28

Hi Barbara!

Thank you for visiting my site. I am very happy to learn that your visit to Poland has left such a positive impression on you. I love Polish food and miss it very much now that I live in the U.S.

My kids love making pierogi because it’s fun for them to play with the dough and create their own fillings. I grew up eating lots of pierogis and often helped my grandmother make them.

You’re absolutely right! The pierogi dough needs to be tender and delicate rather than thick and chewy like you described. I agree with you that the type of flour you use to make pierogis plays a key role. The best flour for pierogi is known as “Poznanska” flour and the type is 500. I have not seen online stores selling it in the U.S., but I am happy to send you a kilo so you can test it out. Let me know if you would like that by sending me an email directly.

Thanks again for your note.

Ola

Reply

Eric October 19, 2020 at 19:09

Ola and Barbara,

It is hard to find in the United States. There are several Polish and multi-ethnic grocers in and around Chicago that carry Polish flour (I just stocked up while visiting Chicago). There are a couple of Polish grocers in Western Massachusetts that probably carry it, but haven’t had a chance to check them out yet.

I really like the recipe for pierogi dough on the Lubella brand. I took the suggestion on the label and added a tablespoon of vegetable oil. The dough was so silky and rolled out much more easily than dough made with American all purpose flour.

I haven’t tried it yet, but King Arthur started making an Italian type 00 flour that can be mail ordered. It might be a good substitute if you can’t the Polish flours online or near you.

Reply

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