Why is there a difference in taste in bread flour in different countries

Bread flour will vary in taste in different countries due to various factors such as the plant and refinement. However, according to research, English, Italian and Canadian bread flour are among the best in the world compared to American flour. The easiest method to improve the appearance and flavor of your bread is to use high-quality flour. Most store-bought flour is incredibly bleached white, tastes bland due to the absence of natural enzymes, and isn’t very beneficial in the bread-making process (at least over here in Holland).

This guide will provide an understanding of the various types of flour and how they are referred to in multiple nations. No matter what country you’re in, this guide will help you get the best flour for your next baking project.

Ash composition defined

Ash content is measured by burning a known quantity of flour; the resulting ash is used as a proxy for the flour’s ash content. The remainder is presented as a fraction of the initial set sum. Ash is made up of inert materials that are left behind from the combustion process.

It’s a test for measuring how pure the flour is. Ash content measures how many germs, bran, and outer endosperm are present in the flour. Flour with a lower ash content has been refined more. The table above shows that whole wheat flour has the most ash of any of the flour types.


Ash (unburned mineral content, measured in milligrams) per 100 g of dry mass is assigned a type number (Mehltypen) in Germany. Type 405 represents standard white wheat flour for baking, while types 550, 812, and the darker types 1050 and 1700 represent wholegrain wheat flour. In between white wheat flour and whole wheat flour, you’ll find type 1600, which will produce a darker white loaf.

  1. French 

The ash level (in milligrams per 10 g flour) corresponds to the type number of French flour. Compared to the German variants, these figures are much smaller by a factor of 10. Pastry flour of type 55 (hard wheat) is the industry standard for making puff pastries (also known as “pâte feuilletée”). Pastry flour (Type 45) is typically made from a softer wheat (the term “farine de gruau” in earlier French texts). While Type 45 is called for in some recipes, many French bakers choose Type 55 or a hybrid of Types 45 and 55 when making croissants. The first three types, 65, 80, and 110, are all strong bread flours of progressively darker shades, whereas type 150 is wholemeal flour. However, unlike the German type 405, France does not produce type 40 flour; the closest is type 45.

United States and the United Kingdom 

Manufacturers of flour in the United States and the United Kingdom rarely include the ash mass on the label, and numbers designate no standardized flour varieties. Nonetheless, the protein composition of the flour is specified on the legally required standard nutrition label, providing a means of comparing the relative ease with which various flour types can be extracted.

In conclusion, Protein and ash content tend to rise together with the flour’s extraction rate. The protein content decreases slightly when the extraction rate approaches 100% (whole meal), but the ash content keeps going up.