The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

High-extraction flour,,,

zpobes's picture

High-extraction flour,,,

Hello all, kudos on the great site here.  I love the fact that there are so many like minded people that have gathered together in an effort to spread the knowledge about bread.  I am new here and I have noticed on several posts that "high-extraction flour" is being recommended to be used or was used.  I was wondering what that is.  Is it a special blend of flours, a certain grind, or is it a variety all in its own.  Any help in the matter would be greatly appreciated as I am always looking for ways to make mine more delicious. 

rockfish42's picture

High extraction flours remove most of the bran and leave most of the germ in the flour. Good examples are Heartland Mill's Golden Buffalo and Giusto's Old Mill. Several members who home mill sieve out the bran to obtain something similar.

zpobes's picture

I do appreciate the very fast response.  Are there any benefits towards using the High-extraction flour?  Taste?  Texture?

hansjoakim's picture


A great and interesting thread!

I recently got hold of some stoneground wheat flour with 85% extraction rate. I want to use it for a miche "project" sometime soon, but in the meantime, I've used it as ordinary bread flour in two of my standard loaves. I noticed that the flour seemed very "weak". I kneaded the dough as usual and got a nice windowpane before putting it in a bowl for bulk fermentation. During shaping, however, I noticed that the dough seemed a lot stretchier than what I am used to. It would stretch very easily, and did not offer much resistance when I gently stretched it. Is this an expected dough property from high extraction flour, or is it perhaps something related to the specific flour I got hold of? I'll have a look at the flour specs. on the bag when I get home. My bet is that the flour should be somewhat similar to a mix of French T80 and some T110. I was just surprised, because the dough seemed so much easier to stretch than doughs made of my usual bread flour (roughly 75% extraction) or my whole wheat flour.

proth5's picture

I mill my own high extraction flour. It is milled from hard white wheat.

My flour in my hands is a nice "strong" flour.  It requires perhaps a little more development than an all purpose flour, but not much.  I bake both lean and enriched breads that are essentially 100% high extraction and they have a good texture and flavor (in my opinion).  It handles more like a white flour than a whole wheat (in my hands) although I usually make the high extraction dough at a higher hydration.

I also add about 10-15% of it to bagels and pizza dough - with no change in handling, but a change in taste.

Although there are methods for approximating real high extraction flour such as mixing white with whole wheat, these do not exactly duplicate real high extraction flour.  Even sifting whole wheat may or mayt not produce high extraction flour depending on how the flour was ground and the sifting methods applied.

I work pretty hard to mill high extraction, so I guess that I appreciate its qualities.  (Whole wheat would be much easier to mill.)

As always, the quality of the wheat and skill of the miller mean something, but I have heard good things about Golden Buffalo.

Hope this helps.

ahhoefel's picture

I use a high extraction flour from Speerville mill in New Brunswick, Canada (which is fairly local for me). They market it as "whole wheat white" just to confuse you. I find doughs make from this flour to have the opposite quality; they're really elastic and tricky to knead in small quantities because of it. After just a few folds, you can really feel the dough tighten up. I guess it is just the particular type and milling of the flour.

I have cut it will both white or whole wheat depending on what I'm making. I find it to be much more homogeneous than whole wheat flour.

I tried using it in a soaker, which didn't work out so well. My whole wheat soakers smelled much sweeter when it came time to use it.

I also have also make 100% high-extraction flour pizza dough; the hydration seems best near white flour levels 70% than whole wheat levels 78%.

Happy baking.