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Flour is indispensable in the kitchen. It serves as an important basis for bread, cakes, dough such as pizza or pasta dough, for thickening sauce and much more. Wheat flour is most commonly used, but there are also flour made from other plant species such as spelled or rye. These are largely responsible for the taste and success of the baked goods. The following guide explains everything you need to know about different types of flour and how and for what they can be used. What do terms like type flour, instant flour, smooth, non-slip and double-grip actually mean? Is this also explained?

What does type flour mean?

In numerous recipes it is called flour of the type 405, 550, 1050 or other. But what does it exactly mean? Flour types are classified according to their mineral content and brightness. The smaller the number on the flour bag, the fewer minerals there are in the flour. In addition, the following applies: the lighter the flour, the lower the type number. Example wheat flour: Before the wheat is milled, the core is separated from the shell, which makes the flour lighter. However, most of the minerals are contained in the shell, while the core consists almost entirely of carbohydrates. With type 405 wheat flour, 405mg of minerals can be found in 100g of flour. In the case of a dark flour with a higher type number, the shell is not completely removed, so that the proportion of nutrients is higher. A rye flour type 1370, on the other hand, contains 1370mg of minerals per 100g of flour. Whole wheat flour is an exception. It often does not have a type number, because the mineral content depends on the cultivation area, the year of harvest and the type of grain and can therefore fluctuate. Whole wheat flour provides the maximum amount of minerals as it is made up of the endosperm, seedling, and shell. So it contains all the components of the cleansed body. A wholemeal flour would roughly correspond to type 1800.

Types of flour

wheat flour

Type 405 wheat flour is the preferred household flour. Wheat seeds contain a very high proportion of gluten. In combination with liquids, this forms a compound from which the optimal adhesive and baking properties result. The very white, fine, soft and fine-pored wheat flour is therefore very suitable for the production of various foods, for example:

  • Rolls and most breads
  • Cakes, pies, pastries and pancakes
  • Pizza and pasta

Doughs turn out smooth and homogeneous. The higher the degree of grinding, i.e. the processing of the wheat, the lower the proportion of dietary fiber in the flour. The higher the number of types, the more fiber it contains. The greatest advantages of cheap wheat flour are its considerable versatility as a basic ingredient and its ideal baking properties. Regarding the disadvantages, critics often say that the wheat flour is poor in valuable nutrients. This is especially true for wheat flour types 405 and 550: For these two types of flour, only the pure endosperm is ground, without layers of shell and seedling. But this is exactly where most of the nutrients are. Compared to flour with a higher number of types, it contains only a few minerals and fiber. Wheat flour is also available in the much darker version with the type designations 812, 1050 and 1600, so that it is significantly richer in valuable nutrients. However, this flour is coarser and not suitable for all baked goods, such as cakes and cookies. It is ideal for the preparation of hearty white bread.

  • Wheat flour type 405: well suited for cakes, cookies, yeast dough and for thickening sauces
  • Type 550: ideal for bread, rolls, biscuits and pizza
  • Types 812, 1050 and 1600: for bread and hearty dough
Type 1700 is a whole wheat flour. The whole grain was ground here. The flour can be used in many ways for baked goods.

Rye flour

Rye contains significantly more fiber and minerals than wheat and spelled flour. It also scores with a high proportion of particularly health-promoting secondary plant substances, which give the grain its tart taste and color. The brown rye flour is a little coarser than wheat flour. Type 815 is the lightest flour. Rye flour is ideal for baking particularly aromatic bread. Many also like to use it to give wheat bread a more distinctive note and color. Sourdough is often added to make rye flour suitable as a dough. The acid enables the rye flour to rise. The reason are various enzymes in the flour. As with wheat flour, there are also different types of flour for rye flour and the following applies again: the higher the number of types, the more fiber, minerals and vitamins are contained in the rye flour.

Type 815: lowest mineral content and relatively light compared to other types, is very suitable for light rye breads, the breads are given a hearty, strong taste

Type 997 and 1150: darker and even stronger in taste, ideal for corresponding bread doughs, cakes and biscuits, low glycemic index, so that the blood sugar level rises very slowly when the rye products are consumed

Type 1370: very dark flour (wholemeal flour), ideal for hearty rye and mixed rye breads

Spelled flour

People who prefer natural foods or who have a wheat intolerance like to fall back on spelled. However, spelled is not gluten-free. The taste is similar to that of wheat. Spelled flour contains plenty of fiber and minerals such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus, a lot of magnesium and even iron. Spelled also scores with important unsaturated fatty acids and a larger one Variety of vitamins such as B2, B3, B6 as well as A, C, D and E. It also contains enzymes and trace elements such as copper, zinc, manganese and silicon. Spelled has become an indispensable part of the vegan and vegetarian diet, as it contains all eight essential amino acids that the body needs for protein synthesis. The valuable amino acids include tryptophan, for example, which the organism is responsible for the formation of the Serotonins (happiness hormone) needed. This in turn is important for well-being, mood and good sleep. Spelled flour is great for making Breads, cake, pancakes and pasta. In principle, wheat can be replaced entirely by spelled. Thanks to the carbohydrate chains contained in the spelled flour, the products are absorbed more slowly by the stomach so that the blood sugar level does not rise as quickly.

The type number also indicates how many nutrients are contained in the spelled flour. With a higher number, there are more nutrients in it, but this flour is often more difficult to bake. Depending on what is to be prepared, it is best to use the right spelled flour.

Spelled flour type 630: light flour, which can be processed like wheat flour type 405, but has a higher nutrient content, ideally suited for adding to rolls, light mixed breads and baguettes

Type 812: for cake, yeast and pizza dough

Type 1050: significantly darker, highest degree of grinding, ideal for baking bread

Grippy & double-gripped flour

The terms handy or double-grip refer to the degree of grinding and fineness. Smooth flour such as wheat flour type 405 is very fine and half-grip, non-slip and double-grip flour is ground more coarsely. It absorbs the liquid more slowly than, for example, plain flour. It is therefore very suitable for a dough that has to swell. It enables elastic and firm as well as fluffy doughs. Grippy flour isn't so good for roux. Double-handle flour is even coarser. It absorbs liquids very well and binds dough optimally. This flour has special properties that are very useful in various preparations, for example for dumplings, waffles, strudel, noodles and spaetzle. Double-handle flour is also known under the names steam, instant and spaetzle flour.

Instant flour

The biggest advantage of instant flour is that it no longer needs to be sifted. The production takes place in a special grinding process, so that the flour does not clump, dust and is always free-flowing. The instant flour can be easily stirred into liquids. Since it takes this up more slowly, the dough mass should be more liquid. Pasta doughs, pancakes and many other dishes can be made quickly and easily with the special flour. It is also ideal for binding sauces and soups.

Wheat bread flour

From time to time, recipes also refer to wheat bread flour. This is usually nothing more than wheat flour of the type 1050. This flour still contains a lot of minerals and is particularly suitable for rustic breads, farmhouse breads and mixed breads.

Reduced-fat wheat flour

Wheat flour type 405 removes all layers of the grain during grinding. Only the endosperm and seedling are used for further processing. Both have a high content of starch and protein, while the proportion of fiber and minerals is lower. The wheat flour also contains a lot of carbohydrates, but less fat.

Haze flour (wheat haze)?

Haze is an intermediate product that is created during the grinding process of grain. It is also called steamed flour, which is fine-grained but not ground as finely as flour. The particles can be felt. Haze is coarser than flour and finer than semolina. “Grippy flour” can stand for haze, while “double-grip flour” always describes haze. Due to its high water absorption, wheat vapor is suitable for baked goods, spaetzle, pasta and dumplings.

Bread flour

The easily digestible bread flour, which is mainly used for the production of bread products, consists of dried bread and baked goods. It has a high starch and energy content. In contrast to conventional flour, bread flour has a high content of protein (around 13%) and gluten. It also contains other substances to improve the bread structure. Spelled flour type 630 is suitable for adding bread rolls, light mixed breads and baguettes. Type 815 spelled flour can be used for mixed breads and type 1050 for gray, mixed and pure spelled breads.

Coarse-grain flour

Coarse-grained flour is non-slip flour. This includes, for example, durum wheat flour, which is a coarse-grained flour or rather a semolina. Semolina is made like flour, but coarser. Durum wheat flour is increasingly used in Italy, for example for the preparation of pasta, pizza and bread dough. Bulgur is also made from durum wheat, but it is ground even more coarsely. Basically, the higher the number, the more coarse-grained and nutrient-rich the flour is.

Durum wheat flour

There are around 20 different types of wheat, for example hard and soft wheat. The durum wheat flour is used exclusively for the preparation of pasta such as pasta, couscous, bulgur and semolina. Baking would also be possible with it, since durum wheat has a high gluten content. But the limited supply is not enough for the production of large quantities of flour. Over 80 percent of the durum wheat required each year comes from imports from non-EU countries. The difference to common wheat lies in the ears that grow much longer, the shorter grains and the slightly heartier taste.

The right flour:


The particularly fine wheat flour type 405 is suitable for pizza dough. The high gluten content makes them particularly elastic and easy to roll out. The following applies: the higher the amount of gluten, the less it contracts again. The 550 flour would make the dough and thus the pizza a bit darker and stronger in taste. If you like your pizza dough to be coarser and particularly crispy, you should choose a different type or replace some of the flour with durum wheat semolina. Spelled flour 630 and 812 are also suitable for a healthy pizza variant thanks to their excellent baking properties.


For the preparation of spaetzle, special flours are often used, which are somewhat coarse-grained so that they do not clump as much. Double-handle flour is ideal because it is coarser than normal household flour. Thanks to their coarser structure, the spaetzle remain firm to the bite when cooked. Double-handle flour is particularly swellable. It enables both loose and elastic as well as boil-proof doughs.

Cakes and shortcrust pastry

- Wheat flour type 405: well suited for cakes, especially sponge and sand dough, pies and biscuits
- Flour type 550: ideal for quark-oil doughs and doughs that are to be very loose and fine-pored, for example batter, as well as for stollen
- double-handle wheat flour: for sponge dough and strudel
- Wholemeal flour: for the preparation of cakes it is advisable to mix equal parts of the flour with the 405 wheat flour
- Shortcrust pastry: all types of wheat or spelled flour are suitable

Italian pasta

Durum wheat semolina is very widely used in Italy. It is also mostly contained in the Italian pasta available in the supermarket. The particularly high protein content enables very good adhesive properties, which simplify pasta production. Durum wheat flour, a finer variant, is also good for pasta. A 50-50 ratio is also possible: durum wheat semolina and wheat flour. The more durum wheat semolina is mixed in, the rougher the Italian pasta will be. If more wheat flour 405 is used, they become finer.


A braid is a braided yeast pastry. All wheat and spelled flours are suitable for the preparation of yeast doughs, for example wheat flour of type 550 or spelled flour from type 630. If the dough is too sticky, a little more flour can be added and if it is too firm, more water makes it smoother.

Difference in shelf life

Flour has a limited shelf life, which varies between different types of flour. With flour types of lower types such as wheat flour 405 or rye flour 815 it is up to 18 months with optimal storage and with flour with a higher mineral content only a maximum of twelve months. Whole wheat flour is considered to be particularly short-lived due to the proportion of seedlings and can become a little rancid after just three weeks. The maximum shelf life is six to eight weeks. When the seedlings in the meal are removed, it increases to up to three months. Opened packaging should be used up as quickly as possible, as the flour loses quality if it is stored for a long time. To ensure maximum durability, it is best to keep it cool, dry and tightly closed. Flour should not be exposed to cooking vapors or sunlight.


Flour is the important basis of many baked goods and on top of that it is indispensable in the basic supply of the population. There are different types of flour that influence the baking result and shelf life. Choosing the right flour depends on what you want to prepare with it. The combination of lighter and darker types of flour is considered useful. If you attach great importance to supplying your body with important vitamins and nutrients, you should bear in mind that many vitamins and minerals are lost in the production of white flour types. This is due to the fact that only the endosperm is processed further during production. The advantage of dark flour types is that the outer cell layers are retained. If you want to eat healthily, you should therefore use whole grain products, which does not only apply to flour.

🥖 What is smooth and grippy flour?

Whether smooth,handy or double-handle - this describes the fineness of the flour. It has nothing to do with the type as such. This indicates the remaining nutritional values. A non-slip or double-grip flour is ground more coarsely than a smooth flour. A non-slip flour is recommended for elastic doughs. Such as. with pasta, pizza or bread.

🥖 What does the type number mean for flour?

Numerous recipes call it 405, 550, 1050 or other flour. But what does it exactly mean? Flour types are classified according to their mineral content and brightness. The smaller the number on the flour bag, the fewer minerals there are in the flour. In addition, the following applies: the lighter the flour, the lower the type number

Last update on 05/17/2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API

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