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Hi-Extraction & T55 approximations using KA

Gadjowheaty's picture

Hi-Extraction & T55 approximations using KA

HI all,


Realizing it's likely useless to really try to doctor up a T55 without knowing more, I'm playing around with upping the ante on KA AP flavor, without turning it into a high-extract flour like 85%-90%.  Just an AP with a bit more ash and, using WW, some additional baselines flavor.

I cannot recall where I got the calculator.  Probably here - if so, apologies to whoever came up with the calculator.  Thanks.


B = Q (R2 -R1R2)/(R1 - R1R2)
W = Q (R1-R2)/(R1-R1R2)



Basis of 100 grams (Q=100)100  
Desired (85%) (R1)0.76  
B (72% Extraction) (R2)0.7281KA KA AP Flour (%)
WW (100%) 19Whole Wheat (%)


Where B is the percent "Bread Flour" (I use actual KA BF for my hi-extract, and AP for my "T55" sub), Q is the sample (I use 100 G for convenience in making percents), R1 is the desired extraction percent after blending (here, 76%), R2 is the white flour extraction (here, 72%).

For this "T55" blend (maybe closer to T65?), I was thinking of just bumping up the extraction from the estimated KA AP of 72% to a higher 76% (I've seen a range of 75-78% for T55, estimated).  To do that, I go KA Ap: KA WW 81:19.  I don't know what that will give me in terms of ash but it seems modest enough I've still got the base of AP with some additional ash and flavor from the WW.  My Pain Au Levain basic recipe will then be 78% AP, 20% WW and 5.25% Medium rye. Hydrating to 71%, which if I recall correctly in terms of behavior, brings me in closer to 66% hydration, re: T55 base. 

The high extraction flour, I use AP: WW of 45:55.  That gives me about an 85% extraction.

I'm presuming the nominal 11.7% protein as listed on KA's specs would roughly be about 10% in French terms, right?

Not vouching for my recall.  Reasonableness check?

idaveindy's picture

Extraction % is not directly proportional to Ash % because the first parts of the berry removed are the bran.

So, the relationship of extraction % to ash percent is not linear, it's a curve.

and, you can remove ALL the bran and germ, and are still left with a .55% ash.

T55, that is .55% ash,  is about 72% extraction, correct? 

And WW is 1.6% ash, and is by definition 100% extraction.  

But... 72% of 1.6 = 1.15, not .55.  Hence, extraction and ash do not have a linear relationship, speaking mathematically.


I'm not a professional miller, (though I am a numbers geek) but I would work the same formula on ASH percent, not Extraction percent.

Assume AP and Bread Flour is .55% ash.  (from reading specifications on

I contacted KG Bakery Supply, asking which of their "high extraction" flours was the best match to Chad Robertson's "high extraction".  Was it T85 or T110 ?  The guy said T85.

So let's assume you want .85% ash (T85).  (Which may or may not be exactly 85% extraction).

X * .55 (AP or Bread) + Y * 1.6 (WW) = .85

and where X + Y = 1.   and Y = 1 - X.

So, substituting..,  .55 * X + 1.6 (1 - X) = .85   ::: Distribute terms and you get:

.55X + 1.6 - 1.6X = .85    :::  Combine X and you get:

1.6 - 1.05X = .85  ::: Subtract .85 from both sides, add 1.05X to both sides:

1.6 - .85 = 1.05 X.

.75 = 1.05X.

X = .75 / 1.05 = .714 = 71.4%  AP flour.

Y = 1 - .714 = 28.6 % WW flour.


Assume you want a "high extraction" flour of 1.1% ash, T110, also called "high extraction" on the web site.

.55 X + 1.6 Y = 1.10   ( and X+Y=1,  X is for T55, Y is for whole wheat)

.55 X + 1.6 (1 - X) = 1.10

1.6 - 1.05 X = 1.10

1.6 - 1.10 = 1.05 X

.5 = 1.05 X 

X = .476 = 47.6%  white flour.

Y = .524 = 52.4%  whole wheat flour.

That is pretty close to your 45:55 mix that you called "85% Extraction."   So maybe the guy at KGBS was incorrect, because then T110 (1.1 % ash) would be closer to Robertson's "85% high extraction" that he calls for in Book No. 3.  In fact, Robertson does say to mix regular white bread flour with whole wheat in a 50:50 proportion to get the "85% extraction" aka "high extraction" that he calls for in his formulas.

But then maybe my math is off, or I am incorrect in basing the calculation on ash %.

You say 45:55 AP to WW, I say 47.6:52.4 AP to WW,  Robertson says 50:50.   Looks like we're all in the same ball-park.


Please excuse if I over-simplified. I try to "show my work" and write for people who may stumble upon this later, not solely for the O.P.

Gadjowheaty's picture

That's great, thank you Dave.  I knew I was parsing in trying to dial in an ash percent by protein, so thanks for that. 

I'm glad you corrected me, as the "T55" I was shooting for was way off - seemed ridiculous at 20% WW, but I thought I was missing something and just went with the calculator as is.  Plugging in new numbers, with the KA AP having an average of about .48% ash, and wanting .55% percent, I'm getting 93.75% AP, 5.25% WW.  Is that correct?

I think I'll be focusing on pain au levain for quite awhile, wanted to get a workable recipe in, and play with fermentation profiles.  E.g., 48 hr make start to finish, or thereabouts.

3-part Levain build

1% levain inoculation into dough

1.3% salt

70 "T° de base", which given my ambient conditions (20 C, both) gives me a water temp of 70-(20+20) = 30C water temp.  Seems high, but as it will be bulk fermentation and proof at 20C, it will be interesting to try.

suave's picture

Actually, you don't want really 0.55%.  For European flours ash is calculated differently, and French T55 would have ~.47% ash as determined by the US methods.

idaveindy's picture

Looks like I misinterpreted your intent of where you wanted to go.  Sorry.   

But I'm glad that the idea of working with ash% was helpful.

"Plugging in new numbers, with the KA AP having an average of about .48% ash, and wanting .55% percent, I'm getting 93.75% AP, 5.25% WW.  Is that correct?"

Going by  93.75% AP, and 6.25% WW, then yes.

But, I don't think the oft-quoted 1.6% ash for WW is universal.  There are so many varieties and sub-varieties of "triticum aestivum" wheat, I have to suspect some have thicker bran layers than others.  Then there are other things like durum, spelt, and khorasan, etc., which are  different species,


Here's a very useful page that attempts to explain a LOT about flour, and includes some "rough conversion" tables between US, French, Italian, and German classifications.  It also covers extraction percent vis-a-vis ash percent.  And talks about those W and P/L numbers.  It's verrrry deep, and takes study to get through it.  I still don't get it all, I feel like I have just enough info to be dangerous.


On the more "real life" side, Central Milling lists ash% and protein % for most of their flour.  By matching the text description of what it's used for, with the ash/protein, I think i'm starting to get an idea of how it works.    (go to the individual product pages, then click the Specifications tab)


Then, the Italian flour mill Mulino Caputo lists the P/L and W numbers on their web site, so it is instructional comparing the numbers to the description of its purpose.  They list protein percent, but not ash.  The "00", "0" and "1" numbers are indicative of ash%, and the equivalent table is given on the above page at


Then when you factor in the various combinations of bleached/unbleached, enriched/not-enriched, malted/not-malted , and bromated/unbromated, American mega-corporation General Mills has over 80, yes, over EIGHTY, types of flour:   (again, go to each product page, scroll down a bit, and click on Specifications, or something like that, to see protein %; but you might have to open a PDF to see the ash %.) 


Gadjowheaty's picture

Thanks guys.  I made the mistake, as is my wont, to lock in a T55 "recipe" to blend in for levain builds I'm in the middle of, now.  As it is, I have now about 2 kg KA AP:WW at 93.75:6:25, lol/

My mistake.  Clearly I need to slow down.

Part of my confusion comes from a long time ago.  As I recall, I was more pleased with results I got from plain KA AP than either the specialty French or Artisan flour from KA.  But all my logs and notes have been lost, unfortunately, and with a bit of a bum memory, I can't recall all the reasons why.  I was pleased with so much of the bakes, but felt one key thing was missing - an essence of the wheat itself.  Sounds stupid to say but I got a lot of great organoleptics, but felt somehow the flour's taste was missing....something.

In going to KA's commercial site, they list the Sir Galahad as a T55 sub, and I thought it was truly a T55 sub, but in asking them about it I was told the Sir Galahad is simply KA AP, though enriched whereas the home baker's AP is not. 

I have protein = 11.7% and ash = .48%.  Am I to understand this is about as close as we can get, anyway?  I recall something about US measurements taken on the basis of 14% humidity (again, IIRC), and french on a dry basis, so we could discount the US measurements...but now count recall if that was for protein, ash, or both. 

I'd thought the protein was discounted so the protein was something like 10% and ash was as stated, .48%.  And that that ash was too low.

It may not be possible to replicate.  I'm just less a fan of adding ingredients (as a chef, brewer, cheesemaker - much preferred to keep ingredients simple and coax an intensity of their intrinsic nature), then getting one great flour and manipulating touches of other things to play with nuances.  Rye, WW and other flours, of course, but hoping for one "flagship" flour for something like a Pain au Levain.

Thanks again.  Need to read more and type less.

idaveindy's picture

Table V on

backs up what suave wrote about how they compute ash % in the French system.

Gadjowheaty's picture

Thanks Suave & Dave.  I actually have the Calvel book but missed this.  It's analogous to barley analysis in the brewing industry.

It's interesting to me that the (avgs., both) ash content of the KA AP is nominally .48, making it a "type 45," but the extract is listed as 72%, which puts it in between the T45 and T55.

It seems impossible to get to a true approximation, because, I suspect, there's just qualitative differences between the French and American wheats and milling practices...?

From what you said 6.25% wheat is likely not it - and in looking at levain from using it, it's definitely not a "creamy white" but darker (to be expected, with the 6.25% WW).  Any thoughts here? 

And can anyone speak to the Sir Galahad - is it a T55 attempt, or truly just their commercial size of their AP (with enrichment, not a fan)?


Sorry, I looked further down on the prelude flour page.  The KA AP's .48% ash renders a French equivalent of .57%, and the KA AP protein of 11.7% gives a French equivalent of 13.93%, so too high - yes?  Is there any flour that would be better suited, or doctored?  Gold Medal comes in at 10.5%, French equivalent of 12.5%, so closer.  Any quality flours on the lower end with (American) protein of 9.3-10.1%, with ash in the proper range?

All this said, I'm almost certain these parameters mean nothing without taking qualitative markers in place.  I'm leery of Gold Medal or Pillsbury just because I grew up baking with them and, well....mass production in mind, from those 50 years ago..

idaveindy's picture

Galahad is, according to several people, the same as King Arthur AP. see:

KA's description of Galahad, aka AP, mentions T55:


Gadjowheaty's picture

Yeah, that's what was confusing to me because the site shows "T55," "Equivalent to a French Type 55," but I'd heard it was just the commercial/50 lbs bag of their AP.  I contacted KA and asked, and she said it's their AP with slightly higher ash (.50 as opposed to .48 for the home AP), and it is enriched, which isn't a plus for me.

She couldn't answer the different descriptions and referred me to their commercial department.

The quandary for me is that I'm not finding any American flours in that 9.3-10% gluten, .55-.60 ash range.  If I do, they are pastry flours, generally.  Isn't T55 made from spring soft wheats, as well?

idaveindy's picture

Almost all refined flour milled in the US is enriched.  For US-produced flour, only certain pizza flour, high extraction flour, whole grain flour, and a few other exceptions are not enriched.  "Enriched" just means some vitamins were added back in to make up for what was taken out via removing the bran and germ.

If you're going to use refined flour, enriched is good.  There is debate on it.  People who eat right, and people who take a daily multi-vitamin tablet, probably don't need enriched flour.  But a significant portion of Americans probably do need the enrichments in refined flour.

I'm of the group that thinks consuming mostly refined flour, and other dietary errors, has been a source of a lot of health problems in the world.    My loaves are pretty much 75% to 90% WW.    That said, I do love me some pizza made with 00 flour, from an artisan pizzeria.  But... good Sicilian, Detroit style, and "pan pizza" can be made with good ol' Gold Medal Bread Flour, or KA AP flour.

I would suggest you study what's available at  , look at their ash% and protein % under the specifications tab on the product pages.  Contact/email them, or their retail arm at   .  I rec'd quick responses to my inquiries.

You may also want to visit and browse your local specialty or gourmet stores, that might have imported Italian or French flours.  I found some Caputo 00 Chef's flour at one that i really liked.

The bottom line is what works for you, in your kitchen.  You won't know until you just plain try things, tweak things, and experiment.  

There is plenty to experiment with at a standard Kroger grocery store.  Maybe blending a little Gold Medal AP, or store brand generic AP, with mostly King Arthur AP to get the KA's  protein percent down a little.  Or adding a little King Arthur _White_ Whole Wheat (Or Prairie Gold white whole wheat from Walmart Superstores)  to get the ash% up but not darken the color.

Ordering flour off the internet is expensive due to shipping.  You can sometimes buy specialty flour from your local restaurant/pizzeria suppliers, but then you need to buy a 50 pound bag.  However, the latter can be very cheap per pound, and maybe you can divvy it up among friends.

Oh the possibilities!   Great fun for us tinkerers, tweakers, experimenters, and mad scientists.

Gadjowheaty's picture

Thanks Dave, a great many thoughts.  I saw on "Prelude" some nice comparisons and got ahold of both Pillsbury AP (10% protein, 11.90% french) and Gold Medal (9.6%, 11.43% french).  My wife grabbed them and unfortunately I forgot to mention unbleached flour, if available.  These are both bleached.  Will nevertheless be interesting to try.


Thanks again.

Gadjowheaty's picture

Just came across these guys, see that they're distributed through Giusto's.  Central Milling's flours.  They're "Organic Beehive" or the Red Rose non-organic equivalent comes in at 10-10.5% protein, 0.56% ash.  Shipping is expensive but it evens out.  Seems like a good miller.  Anyone use them?

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

I’ve been buying organic hard red and white  wheatberries for years from CM and more recently 50lbs of AP. Shipping is indeed expensive but so is driving all the way up to Giustos in Petaluma. 

Good company. Unsurpassed products.


Gadjowheaty's picture

That's a fantastic testimony, thanks Tom.  Mind telling me what mill you use?  And do you use the Organic Beehive, or the conventional Red Rose AP?

(just ordered the organic.  Looking forward to it).

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Now that you mention it, the 50lbs of AP I recently bought was Giustos Unbleached Organic Bakers Choice from Keith Giusto's Bakery Supply, not direct from Central Milling like the wheatberries.  This was the first time I've bought a big bag of AP for home.  We're certainly going through it and white flour (as opposed to wholegrain) has a long enough shelf life to warrant our buying in that kind of quantity.

I have a Komo Fidibus XL.  It has been an absolute pleasure for the 5 years I've been milling at least 660 gr of grain/week for our weekly 2 kg miche, plus all other wholegrain flour needs.  I chose it because life is short and the Fidibus XL mills at higher rate than the Classic.  The downside is that faster milling heats up the flour more as it passes through.  So I keep 5-10lbs of hard red and hard white berries in the freezer at all times, ready to mill.  Works fine and bread and sweets are fabulous.


Gadjowheaty's picture

Awesome, thanks Tom.  I saw the Komo series but was having some difficulty distinguishing among them, to some extent.  Nice experience points to know.

On the Giusto's, I don't see the Baker's Choice listed.  What's the protein, ash on that?  Also, not to be dumb, but I didn't see any purchasing availability on their site.  Do you just call it in?

I was hoping to find a flour at a lower protein, 9.5-10, but keyed about trying the beehive.  10.5, a bit high, but OK.

idaveindy's picture

For those lurking in the Peanut Gallery who may not know, ... is not the same company as Keith Giusto Bakery Supply/KGBS.

KGBS, whose  store is in Petaluma California, carries the Central Milling products at

The above web page may not have all the items from  , but it also has a bunch of additional baking items.

Central Milling and KGBS are the same company/owners.  Plain "Giustos" has the same name, but is now unrelated.


Gadjowheaty's picture

Whoops!  Apologies, I am one of the peanuts and didn't put 2 and 2 together, Dave.  Thanks for the correction.

Gadjowheaty's picture

Hi all,

Just doctoring up KA AP to approximate ash contents at .55, .65, .70, .85%.

I just realized everything I'm doing is on the basis of listed ash contents for American (KA) flours.  For instance, a target ash I would like to play with for "lighter" rustic breads, e.g., pain au levain with 5-6% medium rye, would be "T70."  In the prelude site's table, .55% "American" is .70% "French" ash.  In other words, for my .48% ash, KA AP, 93.75% AP + 6.25% WW gives me (American) .55, but French .70.

Similarly, working from KA AP,

T65 (Am) .65% = (Fr) .77% Ash

.70 (Am) = (Fr) .83% Ash

.85% (Am) = 1.01% (Fr).

- so, reading french practices and recipes, which would obviously be in french parameters, if they default to T65 for their lighter breads and T85 as is or for blending, the (simplistic) Am. use would be (Am) .55% and (Am) .71% respectively, would that be right?

In other words, using KA AP = .48% ash, to obtain (all french ash %)

T65:  93.75% AP, 6.25% WW

T85: 80.4% KA AP, 19.6% WW

-reasonable?  I realize this is way too simplified and there are many other factors.  Just to get two rustic flours to play with (T65 and T85).


Flour Conversions




Starting from KA AP (.48% Ash):



Type 55= 93.75% AP


Type 65 = 84.8% AP


Type 70 = 80.4% AP


Type 85 = 67.0% AP


High Extract = 45% AP




Starting from above “Type 55” (.55% Ash)



With Type 55 (DIY)




Type 65 90.5% KA AP


Type 70 85.7% KA AP


Type 85 71.4% KA AP