Ola Rokita

Hi! I am Ola and I want to share with you my simple baking recipes that can change your life and how you feel.
[Read more >>>]

Wheat Flour Types and Best Uses

Ola Rokita20 May 2019Comments (24)

 

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”

Click to buy

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”

Click to buy

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. Very similar to semolina in texture. 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. You can use it in a combination with “Tortowa” Type 450 to bake excellent pies and cookies. It’s also a great substitute when making Italian-style pasta.

 

 

 

                             ***

 

Wheat Flour Type 550 “Luksusowa”

Lubella flour

Click to buy

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

Chlebowa Flour type 750

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

Personally, for baking bread at home I like to use the 750 type. It has wonderfully wheat-like flavor and makes the bread light and airy.

 

***

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
recipe image
Recipe Name
Wheat flour for Poland and best uses in baking
Alex Rokita
Ola's Bakery
Average Rating
51star1star1star1star1star Based on 4 Review(s)

{ 24 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

Brian Cole December 24, 2020 at 17:01

Hi,, Are you familiar with Chlebowa flour?. It has a picture of a blonde lady wearing a crown on the package if that helps. Thanks

Brian,

Reply

Ola Rokita December 24, 2020 at 20:34

Hi Brian,

Thanks for reaching out. “Chlebowa” flour is flour specifically made for baking bread. It usually contains several flour varieties mixed together that add character and specific flavour to the bread. Chlebowa flour is usually a mixture of wholewheat, rye, and spelt flours.

My guess is that you’re either referring to the “Gdanskie Mlyny” wholewheat flour excellent for bread making or “Krolowa Kuchni” flour from Krakow, however this flour does not have the lady on the packaging, only the 390 type does, so I think you’re referring to the flour from Gdansk.

I have not used either of these, but the one in Gdansk uses local wheat suppliers which means that they use the wheat from Poland. They also appear to use high quality wheat so their product must be good.

Is this flour accessible in your area? If you’re baking bread with it, you’ll probably be pleased with the results if you’re looking to make a hearty bread.

Hope this helps.
Ola

Reply

Brian Cole December 24, 2020 at 21:09

Thanks for the reply, yes I saw it at a store near me called bell’s market near philly. I’m looking for a polish or european flour at least for pizza dough that’s a little healthier but not dense and if what you were thinking it is than I might get it next time. At the moment I’ve been using some flours from italy and one of them is a type 1 flour which is half whole wheat and I’ve been happy with the overall results (taste and digestion) but its would be cheaper and easier to get this. I took some pics that I created links for
https://1drv.ms/u/s!Agpm-kTBoUtrg74s1u4hUZG1XHGIsw
https://1drv.ms/u/s!Agpm-kTBoUtrg74uwMPkx8w3VyztsQ
https://1drv.ms/u/s!Agpm-kTBoUtrg74vulY3LHtfRoEjcg

Reply

Ola Rokita December 25, 2020 at 22:48

Brian,

When it comes to making an authentic pizza dough, the best flour is Italian 00. If you’re using the Polish one, “Tortowa” type 450 or “Poznanska” type 500 is great as well.

I agree with you that a healthier flour is wholewheat because it’s less processed and has many valuable nutrients. Italian type 1 flour is great for bread and it’s a lot denser, so the pizza dough might be less fluffy or delicate, but it will be healthier. 
Try the “Chlebowa” flour and see how it works out. As mentioned earlier, it probably has other flours mixed in it, so this type of flour might make the pizza dough a bit denser. Remember you can always use half a portion of the “Chlebowa” and half a portion of the lighter wheat flours I mentioned above to balance the texture.

In any case, try it out and let me know how it works out!

Happy baking!
Ola 

Reply

Rebecca Petersen January 1, 2021 at 04:56

Thanks so much for this post! I am an American living in Poland and want to make bagels. According to this article, the TYP 650 flour would be better than a TYP 450, correct?

After living here for a long time, I still don’t know exactly what the numbers are for – 450, 480, 500 or 550, 650. Is it the gluten content? And if so, how do you learn how to use it? I remember asking when we first arrived in Poland and the only answer I got was, “A good woman who bakes knows the difference” without explaining. To me, that wasn’t an explanation, esp. since at that time, I didn’t know Polish and was desperate to learn what type to use to make a good biscuit. I pretty much use 450 or 480 for everything as I tried 650 and my biscuits came out like lead. (American recipe). Will bagels work with the TYP 650 flour?

Reply

Ola Rokita January 1, 2021 at 19:17

Hello Rebecca,
Thank you for your note. Being an American in Poland can be a great experience, but I can also imagine how it can make you miss some of the American foods and local conveniences.
Sorry that some of the Polish folks weren’t helpful with answering your questions about flour. It must be frustrating communicating in a different language. 
When it comes to classifying flour in Poland, the numbers represent how much “ash” is left after burning a sample of the flour. The more ash is left over, the less the flour is processed or purified. 
If you’re baking biscuits, I would not use anything higher than 550, if you want your biscuits to be airy and fluffy. In fact, to bake biscuits, I would use type 450 or 500. That would ensure a good texture. It seems that you already discovered that 450 works for most of your baking. Type 500 is very similar to the all-purpose flour found in the states.
When I bake bagels, I use flour type 550. Type 650 is ok too, but it might make your bagels a little denser. However, this flour is less refined and therefore healthier. It’s a great flour for baking bread. 
Again, thanks for reaching out and if you have any more questions, please let me know. 
Ola

Reply

Joan March 16, 2021 at 13:55

I am so confused but I’m sure you can help me. I bought: “PZZ Krakow Wheat Flour maka pszenna Krupczatka”…that is what is on the front of the bag. Can I use this flour for baking bread? My go-to bread is buttermilk rye and was wondering if this flour can be used. I also make a lot of flax seed bread, so can I use this for flax seed bread also?

Reply

Ola Rokita March 16, 2021 at 23:59

Hi Joan!

Thanks for reaching out. The short answer is yes. You can bake bread out of Krupczatka wheat flour, but it’s not the ideal flour for baking bread and it’s tougher to use because it’s coarsely milled. Krupczatka wheat flour is good for making cookies and tarts. You can also use it to bake delicious biscuits. You might also find that you need a slightly larger portion of Krupczatka flour than you would normally need compared with all-purpose flour. Krupczatka wheat flour absorbs hydration differently than the finely milled types, like “Poznanska” or “Luksusowa”, so the consistency might be slightly off.
In any case, if that’s all you have on hand, try baking with it and see if you like the extra crumb in your bread’s texture.

Thanks,
Ola

Reply

Joan March 17, 2021 at 16:37

Hi Ola!! Thank you for your response. After reading your explanation, I chose to make shortbread cookies instead of trying to make bread with my Krupczatka flour. After working with this flour, I now understand why its consistency is NOT the best choice for breads. I needed to see the dough in action to appreciate its uses. You are right…bread wouldn’t be a failure but this flour can be used more beneficially in other recipes. However, it did make the best shortbread cookies I’ve ever made. Thank you again. Joan

Reply

Ola Rokita March 21, 2021 at 22:55

Joan,

So happy to know you found a good use for your Krupczatka flour. For certain recipes, it’s an ideal flour and certainly your shortbread cookies must have turned out fantastic and delightfully crispy.

Thanks for sharing your experience. Hopefully you’ll be able to try other Polish flour varieties to bake your bread. Flours 550 or higher are awesome. The darker and heartier the bread, the higher the type number 🙂

Happy Baking,
Ola

Reply

Deborah March 22, 2021 at 19:14

Thank you for this post! I have a question. I want to make a cake that calls for cake flour & I bought the Lubella flour type 450. Do you think this would be good to use? I know cake flour normally has a percentage range of 5-8% but this has 10% so I wasn’t so sure.

Reply

Ola Rokita March 22, 2021 at 21:57

Hi Deborah,

The Lubella flour type 450 or “Tortowa” is considered a cake flour in Poland and it’s ideal for making pastries and cakes. It’s my favorite flour to use for making spongecake. Even though the protein content is slightly higher, I think you’ll find that this flour will work very well for cakes. I say you try it out. I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Keep me posted on how it works out.

Ola

Reply

Deborah March 27, 2021 at 16:20

Hi!
You were 1000% right! I used it a few days ago and I can honestly say this was the best vanilla cake I’ve ever made (& ive made a lot in the past) it has a nice soft velvety crumb and even when I was mixing it the batter was so smooth. The flour really did make a difference, I don’t think I’ll be using any other flour now that I’ve discovered the Tortowa.

Thank you so much Ola!

Reply

Ola Rokita March 28, 2021 at 14:18

Hi Deborah!

Very happy to hear about your “Tortowa” flour success! Yes, the “Tortowa” flour is ideal for cakes. I even use it for pizza dough sometimes when I want that soft yet lightly crumbly crust similar to the one made out the Italian 00 flour.

Thank you for sharing 🙂

Ola

Reply

Mohit May 1, 2021 at 18:53

Hi, your article was very informative and helpful. I am from India and if I want flour for making chapati. Which forms from whole wheat grain flour. I hope if you had tatsed Indian cuisine then you know about it. I found that more the number of type like I used 1850, the more it resemble to our Chapati. So how high number can I get in market and from which stores??? And higher the number type is good for health???
Please reply

Reply

Ola Rokita May 2, 2021 at 07:58

Mohit,
Thank you for your note. Happy to know you found the information helpful. Yes, I very much like Indian cuisine. There is so much flavor and complexity in most of the Indian dishes I tried. I also appreciate the diverse dishes from the different regions across India. It’s an incredible cuisine!
As for the flour type from Poland, I assume you’re using wheat flour for making Chapati. The highest type, or number, of wheat flour I’m aware of is wholewheat flour type 2,000. As you mentioned, it’s a healthier type because the entire wheat kernel is ground retaining most of the nutrients. As for acquiring this flour type, it depends on where you live. In the US very few stores sell it, but you can buy the local organic wholewheat flour too and it’s fairly good. I’m hoping to eventually carry type 2,000 flour, but it’s been tough to get it into the US given the pandemic. Glad you’re baking your own bread, and I hope that you get to try baking with type 2,000 soon.

Thanks,
Ola

Reply

Melodie August 13, 2021 at 20:20

Thanks for this! I am trying to convert some recipes to local (US) ingredients and your column was the clearest I found. We have a local-ish mill that makes a wide variety but I couldn’t tell what was what till I found this.
I appreciate your hard work!

Reply

Ola Rokita September 24, 2021 at 22:41

Wow! Thank you Melodie 🙂

I’m very happy to learn you found my column clear and that it was helpful.

Thank you for your kind note.

Ola

Reply

Mandy October 6, 2021 at 16:31

Hi there 🙂

I’m from the UK and my husband is Polish. We’re in Poland at the moment and I want to make mamusia a cake with a recipe I have back home. It’s a blueberry and Lemon cake and usually I just use self raising flour as per the instructions. I have no idea which one I should be going for in the polish equivalent, please help?

Mandy 🙂

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: