Getting good quality flour is the easiest way to improve the way your bread will look and taste. Flour from supermarkets tends to be very white, often old, lacking in taste and natural enzymes, and, most important, not very useful for bread baking. Understanding flour types: French flour type numbers indicate the ash content (in milligrams) per 10 g flour. The numbers are a factor 10 lower than the German types. Type 55 is the standard, hard-wheat white flour for baking, including puff pastries (“pâte feuilletée”). Type 45 is often called pastry flour, and is generally from a softer wheat (this corresponds to what older French texts call “farine de gruau”). Some recipes use Type 45 for croissants although many French bakers use Type 55 or a combination of Types 45 and 55. Types 65, 80, and 110 are strong bread flours of increasing darkness, and type 150 is a wholemeal flour. Note that there is no type 40 French flour like the German type 405, the closest is type 45.
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