The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Flour numbers

AlisonKay's picture
AlisonKay

Flour numbers

I'm trying to understand all the numbers associated with the flours I am buying. Here's a photo of a recent order to explain what I mean.

The column on the left is the mill's own item code. I understand that the 'Type 1350' next to the dark rye is the French/German number system. What are the other numbers next to the rye flour, ciabatta flour, emmer flour, spelt flour and chopped rye. And why do the wholemeal and barley not have numbers?

I am in the UK.

I want to get my head around this as I'm working towards trying to make my bread from UK-grown and milled grains only. 

Any knowledge gratefully received!

suave's picture
suave

Could be anything - like the lot number.  But why guess? Why not ask the people who put them there?

AlisonKay's picture
AlisonKay

Must get over my 'I feel like I'm being a nuisance' and get phoning!

Chockswahay's picture
Chockswahay

They are probably in-house codes, the real deal is that you are using Shipton Mill ......... they really are good quality flours at very good prices.  You might still wish to include non british flour though because our environment does not suit high protein hard wheat very well.

My favourite is their Spelt flour and also their really course wholemeal (I blend these two for soda bread as it happens).

I will be visiting them next week for more supplies :)

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

I am very jealous that  you can go  to Shipton Mill directly!

I recently ordered a job lot of flour from them and their flour is as you say very good and for organic flour in particular amazing value!

Like Alison, I also can get confused by numbers as it is also very prevalent in Germany and Italy to describe the type of flour and it's content.

 

Doves Farm does have a useful web page on this:

https://www.dovesfarm.co.uk/hints-tips/cheat-sheets/european-flour-numbering-system

On my recent order I chose the Traditional Organic White Flour (704) and the Untreated Organic White (105) and was curious how they perform for SD bread baking...

I also will try their white Canadian but I think that is not organic...

Soooo much choice... and happy flour buying!    Kat

AlisonKay's picture
AlisonKay

The link is useful. Someone needs to set up an international standard and somehow get everyone on board! So many different ways of organising and naming.

Have fun trying out your new flours in SD.

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman
AlisonKay's picture
AlisonKay

A comprehensive article, thanks for sharing. 

AlisonKay's picture
AlisonKay

Thanks Chockswahay! I do love their flours! I'm baking with their wholemeal Spelt tomorrow. Haven't tried the coarse wholemeal, but it looks lovely from their picture.

I'm like a bull with a red flag when it come to rising to a challenge. Won't give up on the 100% UK until I have well and truly exhausted every avenue!

David R's picture
David R

... ryes are both in the 600s, and the spelt and emmer are in the 400s? I'm going to guess that these are shelf locations for whoever has to go and find them.

 

Any number on flour that you see by accident (as opposed to a number that you're already intent on finding, for your own purposes) is likely to be insignificant.

AlisonKay's picture
AlisonKay

Made me smile, thanks.

7oaks's picture
7oaks

Hi Alison,

Abe and I were discussing this very matter recently. I think that the EU could be a force for good here by encouraging all EU producers to adopt a common system, perhaps the German one or some simple variant thereof. Presumably countries outside of the EU could adopt the same system. This could be good for both producer and consumer. No need to ban existing national preferences just add the "EU" Type number on the bag.

Maybe someone visiting Shipton Mills could ask why some of their flours have Type Numbers and others do not?

Alan

AlisonKay's picture
AlisonKay

...it would make it so much simpler. It seems very difficult to make sense of it from where I stand.

David R's picture
David R

It's easier and cheaper to not code your flour, so any mill that's located where codes are not enforced is going to omit them. (Except if they happen to be selling into an area where all flour must be coded.)

Chockswahay's picture
Chockswahay

So I asked them!

I collected some flour from the mill last week and put the question to them....... answer? they are indeed just codes for the mill staff to use :)

Oh I just LOVE Shipton flours, and for anyone in the UK note that Organic Wholemeal Spelt is just £1.70 a kilo when collected :)