The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

European/King Arthur Flour equivalents

dmsnyder's picture

European/King Arthur Flour equivalents

There has been a lot of discussion of flours available in the U.S., continental Europe, the U.K., Australia, etc. The German and French flour types are government regulated, in both cases according to ash content. In the U.S., we categorize flours by protein content, mostly. But one mill's "bread flour" often differs significantly from another's. So, communication about ingredients across continents has been largely a guessing game.


While searching for more information regarding flour types, I ran across an e-mail from a King Arthur Flour employee comparing German flour types to KA products. I think this might be of general interest to TFL, although how much it helps when comparing one U.S. mill's products to another remains problematic. Anyway, FYI, here it is:


From: Bakers [mailto:Bakers at]

Sent: Monday, May 22, 2006 8:43 AM

To: GMT53 at

Subject: RE: Flour types


Thank you for writing. I have enclosed the information we have. I hope it



German flours are catagorized 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. There are some suggestions below:


Type 405 - .50 ash - Similar to American pastry flour


Try: item #3331 Unbleached Pastry Flour (9.2% protein, .42 ash)


      Item #3338 Italian-Style Flour (8.5% protein, .40-.45 ash) -  

This is the closest match, I think


Type 550 - .50-.58 ash - Similar to American all-purpose flour


Try: item #3005 Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (11.7% protein, .49 ash)


      Item #3323 Select Artisan Organic All-Purpose Flour (11.3% protein, .54

ash) - This is the closest match, I think



Type 812 - .64-.89 ash - Similar to American all-purpose flour, but higher



Try: item #3334 French Style Flour (11.5% protein, .70 ash)



Type 1050 - 1.05 ash - Similar to American "First Clear" flour


Try: item #3337 First Clear Flour (14.8% protein, .80 ash)



Type 1600 - 1.60 ash - The closest you could get to this would be a

light-colored whole wheat flour


Try: item #3311 White Whole Wheat (13% protein, 1.80 ash)


You request information on American equivalents to German flours.


I contacted our Head of Bakery Education and he was able to give me these



Very White 404


Medium White/Whole Wheat 1050


Whole Wheat 1700


Medium Rye 1150


Slightly Darker 1370


Dark Dark Dark 1800



USA vs. European Flour


Every now and then, a customer asks what US flours are equivalent to flours

they have used for baking in Europe. European flours are sold by "Type" with

a corresponding number. Here is the listing; this is particularly

appropriate for German flours and the flours of bordering countries. The

flours in parenthesis represent the flours we offer that would best match

the type listed:


German /European Flour by Type Numbers


Wheat Flour:


Type 405 - is used for fine Pastries and Cakes - in Austria it is #480

(Round Table Pastry Flour)


Type 550 - is used for tender breads, biscuits, croissants, cookies, and

muffins, etc. (King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour)


Type 1050 - is used for light grayish looking bread - light wheat flour

(White Whole Wheat Flour)


Type 1700 - is for used for hardy bread - dark wheat flour (Traditional

Whole Wheat Flour)



Rye Flour


Type 815 - for small pastries - ground very fine (White Rye Flour)


Type - 997 - or 1150 - for light rye bread - ground fine (White Rye  



Type - 1150 - for regular rye bread - it is little darker then 997, but also

ground finely - and is called Graubrot (gray bread) (Medium Rye Flour)


Type - 1370 - dark rye bread, also used for mixed breads (wheat and rye) is

ground even finer (Medium Rye Flour)


Type - 1800 - whole grain rye used for basic for all full grain breads




These are specific types in Germany and close bordering countries.



Please contact us again if we can be of further assistance.


Happy Baking,

Mary Tinkham


The Baker's Catalogue, Inc


bakers at



FMM's picture

That's really helpful David.  Now at the very least I know what the various percentages of protein I should be aiming for are.


dmsnyder's picture

Hi, Fiona. 

I hope this helps us compare apples to apples.  


ostwestwin's picture

is only a rough guideline for converting bread recipes. Living in Germany I can say the protein content of Type 550 varies from 9,5 to 11%. You have to try hard to get a wheat flour Type 550 with a protein content of 11 % which is called "backstark". And only 46 % of the protein content is gluten, less than in American flours. That means recipes with German flours need less water than using the American substitute.

I baked the Normandy Rye from Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery with King Arthur flours and German Wheat flour Type 550. There was a difference in the water amount of 220 g between the flours for the same recipe.


And Rye flour Type 1800 is definitely not the milled whole rye grain, the germ is removed.