The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

high extraction flour

tony's picture

high extraction flour

Does anyone know where to obtain high extraction wheat flour? I've made my own from flour I've milled myself, and it's too much work with the rudimentary tools I have. So far, Google hasn't found me a source. Another question is Does anyone know of a bolting machine or other sifting device for making high extraction flour that is appropriate for home use?

Yet another question is Does adding white flour to whole wheat produce a flour close enough to high extraction flour to make the search for the real thing unnecessary?



bwraith's picture

Hi Tony,

There are definitely some mills that provide sifted flours, organic flours, and so on.

I've had good success with: (golden buffalo flour) (sifted red and white whole wheat flours)

also have heard good things about:

Giusto's (you could google this)

I have searched on things like:
"sifted whole wheat flour"
"organic flour"
"grist mill sifted whole wheat"
"stone ground flour"

I wonder if there are some other good search terms that anyone would suggest.

As far as knowing the extraction rate, methods, etc., it's tough to figure out from the internet, and my own knowledge is somewhat limited at this point, since I just started using the above flours.

I did get a great result from the flours above (added some spelt flour too), although I had to use the auto-lyse and folding techniques (like in Hamelman's "Bread") to get it to rise properly in the oven, whereas when I've used 50/50 mix of bread flour and red whole wheat (as in KA whole wheat flour) I was able to get a reasonably light, open crumb and good oven spring with just a simple kneading, one long bulk ferment, and one long final proof. I think JMonkey and floydm also had some nice instructions and pictures on handling higher hydration whole wheat dough using the autolyse and folding techniques. It made all the difference to my results for a "Miche" artisan style lean whole wheat.

I used about 25% sifted red wheat flour, 20% regular bread flour (in my starter mainly), 15% spelt flour, and the rest sifted white whole wheat flour. I might put a little more red whole wheat the next time, as it seemed almost "too white and slightly bland". I wanted a little more of the slightly bitter/nutty/grassy red whole wheat. All a matter of taste, I guess.

Oh, I also went higher in hydration than I would have w/the 50/50 mix of regular whole wheat/bread flour. I went up to almost 80%, and it resulted in more holes, lighter crumb than I used to get w/about 70% hydration on the 50/50 mix.

So, 50/50 mix of whole wheat/bread flour definitely worked for me, and it used to be my favorite "Miche" style bread. However, I am now very pleased with these sifted flours, and I doubt I would want to go back to the old 50/50 mix.


Pablo's picture

This reply is probably too late to be of any help, but I use Giusto's Old Mill.  It's got all the germ and 20% of the bran.  Giusto's is always very helpful when I call them.  For instance they told me it's 12.5 - 13% protein.  I'm sure they'd be happy to answer any other questions you might come up with about their flours.

They also confirmed for me that the rating on the sides of bags (e.g. 3g protein per 30g flour) is rounded to the nearest gram, so it has a wide fluxuation available (2.5g - 3.4g, which works out to 8.3% - 11.3% protein).  So, when you get a bag of flour that says it has 3g of protein per 30g of flour, don't assume that's 10%.  FYI


tony's picture

Thanks to Bill and Paul for their replies. I managed to miss Bill's very helpful listing of sifted flour sources and helpful sharing of baking experience. Paul's caution regarding the nutritional details is valuable, too.

 I'm baking whole grain bread these days and having pretty good success - sort of giving up on high-extraction flour bread for now. My whole grain formula uses 5% rye, 30% spelt and 65% hard red spring wheat. I've had to throw out my rye berries and spelt berries due to a mealmoth infestation, so I get those flours in small amounts from the health food co-op instead of milling them myself. So far my wheat berries seem bug-free.

 I use a variation on Peter Reinhart's "epoxy method" to prepare my dough. The soaker constitutes 65% of the flour, the rye, the spelt, and 6/13 of the wheat flour. My sourdough culture is entirely whole wheat and serves as the sponge, contributing 35% of the bread's flour. Everything is maintained at 76% hydration, though since I knead and fold the dough using wet hands and countertop rather than using flour, a little more water gets added. The soaker often doesn't autolyse any longer than the sponge rises, usually - about 8-12 hours.

 The resulting bread has sufficient oven-spring, lots of gas cells providing a springy, chewy crumb. The long autolyse seems to digest a lot of the bran, or at least soften it so that I don't find many branbits between my teath with this bread. In other words, it has many of the characteristics of bread made with more refined flour.

 Still, I may well obtain some flour from the sources Bill named. Thanks again,