The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Flour types

Josee Harrison's picture
Josee Harrison

Flour types

Hi there! Still new to baking sourdough, learning bakers percentages, etc.

I've got this one recipe that works great for me now that I've practiced and tried it a few times... And now I'm curious to try experimenting with new ingredients/bake temps and times/recipes/techniques.

One thing I've wondered and can't seem to find is, how does one come up with different flour blends for recipes? I read an article that was saying x flour works best for breads in this percentage, x flour doesnt work for breads at all and is best for pastries, x flour works for this and that... Or x flour is tricky to work with so start with this percentage and work up from there... and so on.

Is there some sort of chart to know these things? lol! Like what I'm wondering is what is the best ways to start experimenting with different flours and hydration percentages or what are some recommended blends that all of you out there like? And what different results do different types of flours yield?

I know a lot of this is testing it out for myself to see but I really would rather start with recipes that people like and know work well, rather than waste a bunch of ingredients (already tried and failed so many loaves in the beginning haha)... That way I can get a feel for the taste of different ingredients to see what I prefer for flavour.

Let me know, thanks! :)

idaveindy's picture

First, read this free web page:   Don't worry about all the technical numbers at first.  It will take a while to digest it all.  But various patterns, or concepts will emerge.

Ash% (which correlates to extraction%) and protein are the main numbers for the U.S. So those are the important ones to me.  But I have to admit that the Europeans do a better job of giving numbers to other flour attributes.

Second: visit this web page:   I picked up a lot just by reading the headlines of the products, clicking on the product, then reading the descriptions and "specifications."

Doing the same at may be easier with their smaller catalog of flours.  CM can be overwhelming.


Then start reading these books.

How to Bake, by Weaver, free in Kindle format

You might find these at your local library, too.   (The "tag" generates a few pennies commission for the TFL webmaster, at no additional cost to the purchaser.) 

Tartine Bread, by Robertson:

Tartine Book No. 3, by Robertson:

Bread Baker's Apprentice, by Reinhart:

Crust and Crumb, by Reinhart:

Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast, by Forkish:

Bread Alone, by Leader:

Bread, by Hamelman:



Josee Harrison's picture
Josee Harrison

Wow awesome! Thank you for all of those resources! I better get started reading! :p