The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Question about flour types

SallyBR's picture

Question about flour types



this is my first post here - I bake bread often, but feel I have a lot to learn still!


I came accross a recipe that calls for two kinds of flour, but I am not familiar with the nomenclature -


by cut and paste:

150 g water
1 g fresh yeast
95 g flour, type 400
55 g flour, type 720

Final dough
150 g lukewarm water
5 g fresh yeast
1 ts honey
300 g poolish
200 g flour, type 400
120 g flour, type 720
30 g dried apricots, cut into small pieces
70 g pistachios, coarsely chopped
8 g salt


I googled around and found that flour 400 is probably white whole wheat flour. Is it correct?  But the 720 I cannot find 


Which kinds of flour would you use for this recipe?  It is a pistachio and abricots loaf.


If this kind of question was asked before, feel free to point me in the right direction, this forum is huge and I am a little lost  :-)


Thank you very much! 

subfuscpersona's picture


The numbers, which are a Swiss typing system widely used in Europe, but not in France or England) are related to how much husk of the grain remains in the flour after milling, so the smaller the number the lighter and whiter the flour; the higher the number the more healthy parts remain in the flour.

Wheat flour

Type 400 - 450
Has no specific flavor and can be used for cakes, cookies and other confectionery, pies, to thicken sauces etc. (Equivalent to American cake flour)

Type 500 - 550
Stronger in taste and is usually used for yeast based bakery. (Equivalent to American all-purpose flour)

Type 600 - 650
Light bread flour. (Equivalent to American white bread flour)

Type 800 - 850
Heavier flour used for bread baking. (Equivalent to American light whole wheat)

Type 1000 - 1050
Strong flavoursome taste, high contain of protein and as a dark flour is best used for bread baking (Equivalent to American regular whole wheat flour)

Full grain Wheat flour
Often has no type number, as the full grain is ground in the mill (Equivalent to dark whole wheat flour)

from type 720 is identified as a dark rye flour of 65% extraction - if you can't get it you could sift together whole rye flour and commerical bread flour. I'm sure someone could figure out the exact proportions but why not just take the amount of type 720 flour called for and use 1/2 rye and 1/2 white bread flour.

On the other hand, at this site which discusses flour types available in Switzerland, type 720 is identified as wheat flour of 75% extraction

When Volkornmehl typ 1900 is 100% whole wheat, Ruchmehl typ1100 is 85%, Halbweissmehl Type 720 is 75%, Weissmehl typ550 is 65%, and Weissmehl typ400 is 30%. Weissmehl is more refined as you can see.

Doesn't your recipe come from this blog - Why not post to the blog asking about US equivalents for these flours? (I'm assuming you're in the US).



SallyBR's picture

Thank you so much!


I thought about asking the blog - yes, the recipe came from that site indeed!

But I already posted a question about the baking time, and did not want to bother with yet another question - for some reason I am a little shy to post comments in blogs.


I was hoping that folks here would help me - and I was not wrong... you cleared the issue quite a bit for me


I will report back 

subfuscpersona's picture

I searched a bit more for type 720 flour and found a few more references, all of which said it was wheat (not rye). But it's not 100% whole wheat, so you'd need to mix white flour (not sure if you should use bread flour or all-purpose) with finely milled whole wheat flour to get something similar to the flour called for.

As far as proportions go, that's hard to call. I know there are other TFL members who could give you more precise instructions for mimicking type 720 flour by blending white and whole wheat flour.

re contacting the blogger - don't be shy! Food bloggers like it when someone is enthusiastic about a recipe they've posted. I'll bet the author would be happy to hear from you. She may know the US equivalents or at least be able to tell you more about type 720 flour.

Hope you have success making the bread. Do post back and tell us how it turned out.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

would be: the 400 is a white all purpose wheat flour and the 720 is a light fine rye flour but normally any rye flour would be written up as "rye" whereas  wheat is assumed. 

Mini O

SallyBR's picture

Well she gave me this useful link, which I pass to everybody here - might come in handy



and this is what she said about the flour:

I saw you asked the question in the fresh loaf forum, too. Type 720 is a wheat flour. I bought it in Switzerland where it's called Halbweissmehl. Unfortunatley I don't know which is the American counterpart. I would use the all-purpose flour and not the cake flour. The type 720 I would replace by white bread flour (type 600-650). Let me know if it works.


(of course, I should have imagined that she would be a reader of this forum too!  :-)


I guess I'll give it a try with the all purpose + bread flour and go for it!   

SallyBR's picture

Well, my bread did not turn as spectacular-looking as the one in the blog, but it was excellent anyway!


many thanks to all who helped me, I did go back to the blog and asked her advice, ended up using regular flour and bread flour.


if you want to see the pictures, they are in flickr


Thanks again! 

bobkay1022's picture

What is the best?? brand of flour to use for a soaker calling for Oats or Cracked wheat.