The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

High extraction flour for Miche

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

High extraction flour for Miche

I was searching this site for a good Miche recipe and saw at least one that calls for high-extraction bread flour.  Can someone please tell me what this is?  Can you substitute high gluten flour in its place?

Thanks for any help. 

Elagins's picture

so here's the scoop (pun intended) on flour extraction.

simply put, all flours start as "straight flour," which is the wheat kernel stripped of the bran. the extraction rate refers to the percentage of the straight flour that ends up in a particular type of flour, starting with the soft, starchy endosperm that lies in the center of the kerne and which gets milled out first, then working its way out toward the outermost aleurone layer, which contains most of the kernel's fat, fiber and protein.

a good rule of thumb is that the lower the extraction rate, the lower the protein, so cake flours, which average anywhere from 7%-8% protein are the lowest (40%-60%) extraction flours, while the extraction rate for a high-gluten flour like All Trumps or Sir Lancelot is in the 90%-95% range. Whole wheat flour is straight flour (100% extraction), with ground bran added back in.

you can find a bunch more information on milling, extraction rates, etc. on the NYBakers wheat flour page in the Inside the Jewish Bakery Bonus Chapters section.

hope this helps.


proth5's picture

and yet...

Having discussed at least one formula for miche that calls for "high extraction flour" with the originator - you might be better served by substituting a good whole wheat flour where you had sifted out some of the bran.

High gluten flour finds its way into bagels and such the like - probably not the choice for a miche calling for high extraction flour.

I'm forced to say that my educated impression is that extraction rates refer to the amount of flour from the cleaned wheat berry including bran and germ (although in a commercial roller mill the bran is removed early in the milling process).  So whole wheat flour is 100% extraction (containing all of the bran and germ) and a 95% extraction flour would contain some bran.

Don't mean to be disagreeable, but I hope this helps.

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

Your replies were really helpful, and from my point of view, not at all in disagreement.  I appreciate the information.  And Stan, I will be ordering a book from you very soon, but thanks for the link to the "unpublished chapters."

I do love this site....


Elagins's picture

part of the problem is differing US and European practices and definitions. For European-style miches, Peter Reinhart recommends putting WW flour through a strainer to get rid of the larger particles, while ending up with a darker, fattier flour than typical high-gluten US "high extraction" flours.

yy's picture
Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

So I think if I use a combination of whole wheat and bread flour, I will be OK.  

GSnyde's picture

Before I found good high-extraction (Type 85) flour at Central Milling, I made miches using 50% bread flour (about 12.5% protein) and 50% whole wheat.  It was good.

Using Type 85 is better.

I think using something like Sir Lancelot (real high gluten) would make the miche too dense.

Good luck.


Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

I don't have access to Type 85 flour, so I'm going to go with a whole wheat/bread flour combo.  I'll post results.


subfuscpersona's picture

QUESTION: Does high extraction flour include the germ of the wheat kernel?

I've read a fair amount about how high extraction is commercially milled, but have failed to find anything that answers my question.

Perhaps some of you gurus can help. If you can also include link(s) to external sources that would be appreciated.

Many thanks. - SF

suave's picture

No, of course not.

Yerffej's picture

That depends on how high, "high" is.   A 100% extraction includes 100% of the whole grain and therefore it necessarily includes the bran.


mrfrost's picture

If you do a web search for "golden buffalo high extraction flour" you will get many hits linking here(TFL), leading one to conclude that Heartland Mills Golden Buffalo flour is thought to be considered a high extraction flour, at least by some.

Checking Heartland's product information on their Golden Buffalo flour leads one to learn that, at least in this case, the germ is included:

Golden Buffalo

This is milled from the same blend of high protein wheat as is our whole wheat flour. Our millers grind it with specially dressed stones, and then run it over a fine mesh sieve, separating the coarsest flakes of bran, leaving the germ and the finer bran in the flour. Golden Buffalo is rich in flavor and nutrition, but yields a lighter colored, sweeter loaf than does whole wheat. To a world that sees everything in terms of brown and white, we offer a beige alternative. Bakers combine Golden Buffalo with our roller-milled white flour to produce loaves like those of French villages of centuries past."

My guess is there is probably no industry standard as to how much germ is left out of, or added back in to, the final product. Probably up to each mill and how they choose to manage their operations.


nicodvb's picture

I'm curious to know how they separate germ from bran. Does anyone know?

subfuscpersona's picture

according to this diagram the bran is removed early in the process and the germ late in the process.

You can see that, in commercial milling, wheat goes through multiple processes to produce white flour.

FlourChild's picture

I'm thinking that the high gluten = high extraction concept works only at certain extraction rates and for a pretty narrowly defined range of flour qualitites.  That is, low extraction flour (40-45%) also has low protein.  If you move a little higher on the extraction scale, say to 55-60%, you get more protein, so perhaps a higher protein flour might be one way of looking at that (but you also get a little more mineral and fat content).  

But moving up to high extraction (75-85%) gets you so much more minerals, bran and fat that the effect is no longer like a high-gluten flour, because the added "stuff" can negatively effect protein's ability to provide structure to the bread.  This is the most obvious with 100% extraction flour, which is whole wheat. 

The beauty of high extraction flour is that you get as much of the germ and bran, minerals, oil, etc. as you can for great flavor and still have enough of the bran removed to avoid bitterness and compromised gluten/structure.

I find that putting KAF whole grain white or red wheat flour through a fine strainer gives a wonderful approximation of some of the higher extraction flours.  If you want to get exact about it, weigh the flour before sifting and then weigh the high-extraction flour left after sifting to calculate your extraction rate.