The Fresh Loaf

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Can medium gluten flour be the same as high extraction flour?

me.cowman92's picture

Can medium gluten flour be the same as high extraction flour?

Hi all,

Longtime fan of this site but this is my first time posting. My question is regarding Tartine 3. In the book there is an explanation of medium gluten flour and high extraction flour. For anyone not familiar with the books, they define medium gluten as 11-12% and high extraction as around 85%. Can they overlap and be the same thing? This may be a detail obsessive question, as I understand Chad Robertson is detail obsessive, but can my medium gluten flour also be my high extraction flour? 

An example recipe calls for, among other ingredients:

450 g medium gluten flour

250 high extraction wheat

I have a local miller that has an a 12% gluten, 80% extraction wheat flour that I use for bread typically. So if I'm using that trusted, high extraction, medium protein flour, couldn't I consolidate that recipe into 700 g of my usual bread flour? Am I missing a detail that would clarify all of this?




bikeprof's picture

Protein level and extraction rate are very different metrics, so generally speaking a high extraction flour can also be in the 11-12% protein range...but that point would mistake what Chad is getting at. When he is talking about a medium strong flour, he is talking white flour in that protein content range (like many artisan bread flours...Central Milling Artisan Baker's Craft is, on average, 11.5% protein).

High extraction flours could theoretically run the gamut of protein content...but again...what is Chad most likely referring to?  Most likely a whole wheat bread flour (likely at least 11-12% protein) that has been sifted in some fashion to remove a % of the largest (largely bran) particles, while giving you more of the whole grain than any U.S. white flour would provide.  Sift your own or order something like Central Milling Type 85...

me.cowman92's picture

I do understand the difference between protein content and extraction rate. The problem I'm running into is whether or not they can be mutually exclusive. The farm that mills my flour has a wheat flour ("Redeemer"), that is 12% protein and 80% extracted. Would that be considered both high extraction and medium protein?

They also have a flour that is the same variety and protein at a 93% extraction. 

dsb66's picture

First time post, but I hazard giving an answer. Medium gluten and high-extraction can be the same flour, but what Robertson is referring to as medium-gluten flour in Tartine 3 is white flour, which has an extraction rate of ~75%. He uses that for its structural properties (bigger bubbles). Using a higher extraction rate would defeat that purpose.

ColbaltBlue's picture


I have started going throith Tartine No 3 as well. Also just moved to NYC and discovered GrowNYC grain and picked up some redeemer flour as well.

How did your bread turn out? 

Have you madr the ode to bordon bread? The list of flours in that recipe threw me a bit. High extraction wheat flour, whole grain wheat and then white whole wheat. Particularly the last one, white whole wheat. 

Are you purchasing your flour from mills in the North East as well?