The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

French 45 flour

Janet Yang's picture
Janet Yang

French 45 flour

What U.S. flour is similar to French 45? One Internet source said that it is a low-protein pastry flour. Another says that it is equivalent to Tipo 00!

I'm hoping to find something similar to French 45 without resorting to mail order.

Janet

dobie's picture
dobie

Janet

I've always understood t45 to be about equivalent to US pastry flours. As I understand it, there are differences in the grains used and thus differences in hydrability (is that a word?) and perhaps other characteristics.

I've also seen the gluten/protein content of pastry flours in the States vary by as much as 2-3% (6-9% usually).

But broadly, I would think pastry flour is about equivalent to t45 flour (at least as a starting point) for what you can usually buy in the US.

I don't know enough about Tipo 00 to say one way or the other.

dobie

Janet Yang's picture
Janet Yang

I asked King Arthur which of their flours came closest to French 45. They responded with some general information:

European flours are categorized by the amount of “ash” in the flour, not the amount of protein like American flours. This makes it hard to come up with an exact replacement. Here are some suggestions to try:

Type 405 – 0.50 ash - Similar to American pastry flour

  • Item #3331 Unbleached Pastry Flour (9.2% protein, 0.42 ash)
  • Item #3338 Italian-Style Flour (8.5% protein, 0.40-0.45 ash)

Type 550 - 0.50-0.58 ash - Similar to American all-purpose flour

  • Item #3005 Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (11.7% protein, 0.49 ash)
  • Item #3323 Select Artisan Organic All-Purpose Flour (11.3% protein, 0.54 ash)

Type 812 - 0.64-0.89 ash - Similar to American all-purpose flour, but higher ash

  • Item #3334 French Style Flour (11.5% protein, 0.70 ash)

Type 1050 - 1.05 ash - Similar to American “First Clear” flour

  • Item #3337 First Clear Flour (14.8% protein, 0.80 ash)

Type 1600 - 1.60 ash - The closest you could get to this would be a light-colored whole wheat flour.

  • Item #3311 White Whole Wheat Flour (13% protein, 1.80 ash)

 

French 45 is not mentioned, so I'm not sure where it fits in. Does the "45" mean the ash content is 0.45?

Janet

drogon's picture
drogon

Going by this table at any rate:

https://www.weekendbakery.com/posts/understanding-flour-types/

German type 405 is more or less French t45 is more or less Italian 00.

(Or what we'd just call "plain flour" in the UK - soft pastry flour)

I've heard some folks argue that only genuine French wheat makes genuine t45 flour though but having bought some (French t45) myself and used it, I didn't really feel any difference from the usual "plain flour" that I normally use (for cakes/pastry, etc.) but I know at least one UK based professional patisserie who uses genuine t45 flour.

-Gordon

dobie's picture
dobie

Janet,

Good research.

Obviously KA's 'Item #'s' are proprietary, with no direct association to the French numbers.

I've heard about flour evaluation by ash content (left over after the burn) and that the higher the ash %, the higher the protein% (typically), but I don't understand it much beyond that. I don't know the standards used, or anything else about it.

The numbers I've heard for the French definitions of flour are from t45 to (I believe) t150. t45 being closer to US pastry flour and t150 being 'Whole Wheat'. What the 't' means, I also do not know.

I have heard that t75 is similar to a US All Purpose flour with about 15% being Whole Wheat.

That's all I've got, and even that is questionable.

Good job.

dobie

Janee's picture
Janee

Hi,

This topic is a bit old now, but did you find a distributor that is able to supply french flour please (I only know R etrodor but I don't think they use a distributor in US) ?

Thanks,

Jane

Sb2sbw's picture
Sb2sbw

Hi Jane, 

I know this is way late as well.  If you don't know by now, the following website are helpful to me. 

http://m.lepanierfrancais.com. Free shipping if order is greater than $45. I just received the package sent priority,  2 days. Pretty quick. 

Nybakers.com.  A wealth of information. Expected shipping cost greater than $15.  The resource tab mentions the fresh loaf