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The Milling of Flour

The following discussion of the milling process is quoted from Pyler (3). A full description of
wheat types, wheat class differentiation, wheat grades, and the structure of the wheat kernel,
is beyond the scope of this presentation. The following information is presented as
background to the topic of the classification of flours in the ! and "urope. The botanical
species under discussion is Triticum aesti#um (T. #ulgare), or common wheat$
"The wheats selected for milling must be adapted to the requirements of their intended end
uses. Thus, bread flours are milled from hard wheats, cake and pastry flours from soft
wheats, and pasta flours from durum wheats. Moreover, given the variations in character
among varieties within the major wheat classes, another vital operation of the miller is to
blend wheats of different varieties and from different sources to yield flours of the desired
protein content and uniform baking performance
The series of individual break and reduction operations in the milling process gives rise to as
many as !" different product streams in a modern flour mill
#epending on which flour streams are combined to yield the final product, $%rtisan &ote'the
separation of the grades of wheat is accomplished by a sifting process( different commercial
flour grades are obtained. )hen all the streams are combined, the result is a so*called
"straight" flour. +requently, the more refined streams are kept separate and sold at a premium
as patent flours, while the remaining lesser streams yield so*called "clear" flours. The most
common types of commercial flours include "fancy patent," which contains ," to -". of the
total flour yield/ "short patent," which comprises $the ne0t 1".( or the -" to 2". $percentile(
of the straight flour/ "medium patent," with $the ne0t ".( 2" to 3". $percentile( of the
straight flour/ and "long patent" with $the ne0t !.( 3" to 3!. $percentile( of the total flour. The
clear flours that remain after each separation of the patent flours are designated as "fancy
clear," "first clear," and "second clear," respectively, the degree of refinement decreasing in
that order. The lower grade clear flours are too dark in color and too poor in baking quality to
make satisfactory bread flours. 4ome of the better grades are used for admi0ture with rye
flour, while the lower grades find uses outside the baking industry. The various grades of flour
differ in their chemical and physical characteristics and require different treatment in the
bakery
The relationship and the percentages of the various flour grades obtained from wheat can be
seen in Chart 1 by clicking on the "Extraction Rate Sample Window". [NOTE: To print the
contents of the window, right clic !o"r mo"se, then clic #Sa$e image as%%#% Once
sa$ed the image can &e printed as "s"al%' 5f interest is the fact that "" lb. of cleaned
wheat yields 61 lb. of flour and 12 lb. of feed material. )heat, on an average, contains about
2!. of endosperm. 7t is evident, therefore, that an e0traction rate of 61. falls short of the
potential yield. This failure to e0tract all of the endosperm as flour, even with advanced milling
methods, is caused by the fact that the peripheral 8ones of the endosperm adhere so firmly to
the aleurone and bran layers that complete separation is not practical under commercial
milling conditions"
The following information relati#e to the ranges to be e%pected in #arious batches of wheat
flour was obtained from &uaglia, in the 'anuale del Panifica(ione (3), and is summari(ed in
Table ). )t summari(ed by Professor &uaglia as follows$
"The chemical composition of the flour depends upon the characteristics of the wheat and the
e0traction rate/ in general the variations can range in the following manner'
Ta&le (
Starch 64 - 71%
Insoluble Proteins (Gluten) - 14%
Soluble Proteins ! - 4%
Sugars 1 - !%
Fat 1 - !%
Mineral Substances "#$ - "#7%
%ater 1 - 1&%
)an"ale de *anifica+ione (*) and Professor &uaglia+s book Scien+a e Technologia
*anifica+ione (,) are gold mines of information about bread making and flour. -either has
yet been translated into "nglish.
The information presented in Table )) was e%cerpted from a te%t by 9apello (.) and displays
these #ariations according to specific rates of e%tractions$
Table II
'o()onent
&"%
*+traction
7!% *+traction ,"% *+traction ,&% *+traction
%hole %heat
*+traction
%ater 14#& 14#& 14 14 14
Proteins 6 - 7#& , - 11 , - 1$ - 14 1" - 1&
Starch 7! - 74 6& - 7" 64 - 6 64 - 6, 6" - 6&
Sugars 1 - ! 1 - ! 1 - ! ! #"- !#& 1#6 - !#"
-i)i.s "#4 - "#6 "#, - 1#" 1#" - 1#& 1#! - !#" !#" - $#"
'ellulose "#1 "#1& - "#!" "#! - "#4 "#6 - 1#" !#" - &#"
Minerals "#! - "#& "#$ - "#6 "#6 - "#, "#7- "# 1#& - !#&
The #ariations abo#e, while seemingly small are not insignificant and are responsible for
some notable differences found in flour quality.
The 'lassification of Flour
/i#erse flour classification systems e%ist in -orth America and "urope. Table ))) is adapted
from a te%t by Sch"nemann and Tre" (0). The original 1erman edition of this te%tbook was
published in *230 to meet the technical requirements of the 4est 1erman educational
program for apprentice bakers. The "nglish edition was published in *233. 4here
appropriate, the techniques and terminology were adapted to -orth American standards.
Table ))) depicts the types of wheat flour. Please note that 5ye and 6ther 7lours, while
depicted in Table ))), are not part of this discussion.
Table III
Flour T/)es
0ar. %heat Flours
To) Patent
"#$& - "#4"% ash content1 11#"-1!#"% )rotein
2ses1 - 3anishes4 s5eet .oughs4 /east
.oughnuts an. s(aller 6olu(e brea.s an.
buns#
First 7a8er9s
"#&" - "#&&%# ash content1 1$#"-1$#,% )rotein
2ses1 :ll )ur)ose strong ba8er9s flour4
brea.s4 buns4 soft rolls an. )uff )astr/
First 'lears
"#7"-"#,"% ash content1 1&#&-17% )rotein
2ses1 : .ar8 6er/ high )rotein flour use. as
a base for r/e brea. )ro.uction; )oor color
not a factor in finishe. )ro.uct#
Secon. 'lears
-o5 gra.e flour4 not use. in foo. )ro.uction#
'onstitutes less than &% of flour )ro.uce.
b/ a (ill#
Soft %heat Flours
'a8e Flour
"#$6-"#4"% ash content1 7#, - ,#&% )rotein4
chlorinate. to 4#&- &#" )0#
2ses1 0igh-ratio ca8es (ca8es 5ith a high
a(ount of sugar an. li<ui. in )ro)ortion to
flour)4 angel foo. ca8es an. =ell/ rolls#
Pastr/ Flour
"#4"-"#4&% ash content>,#"-,#,% )rotein4
chlorinate. to &#"-&#& )04 (also a6ailable
unchlorinate.)#
2ses1 'a8e4 )astries an. )ies#
'oo8ie Flour
"#4&-"#&"% ash content1 #" - 1"#&% )rotein
2ses1 'oo8ies an. blen.e. flours# For large-
scale (anufacturers4 flour can be chlorinate.
to the user9s s)ecifications#
%hole %heat Flour
?arious bran coat granulations )ro.uce
coarse to fine 5hole-5heat
@/e Flours
-ight @/e
(7&% e+traction) "#&&-"#6&% ash content ASee
Bote belo5C
2ses1 'an be blen.e. u) to 4"% 5ith 5hite
flour 5ithout a (a=or loss of loaf 6olu(e#
Me.iu( @/e
(,7% e+traction) "#6& - 1#""% ash content#
2ses1 2) to $"% blen. 5ith 5hite flour
3ar8 @/e
(1""% e+traction) -i(ite. to !"% flour blen.
before significant 6olu(e re.uction occurs in
the )ro.uct#
@/e Meals
Fine>(e.iu(>coarse>)u()ernic8el an.
fla8e.# 'onsist of a 6ariet/ of bro8en or
crac8e. r/e grains after being classifie. in a
series of sie6es#
Dther Flours
Stone-Groun. Flour
(1""% e+traction) 2suall/ untreate. an.4
because of ger( content4 is sub=ect to li(ite.
shelf life#
'rac8e. %heat>@/e
:6ailable in coarse4 (e.iu( or fine
granulations
Se(olina
Se(olina : fine (eal consisting of )articles
of coarsel/-groun. .uru(#
BDT*1
*+traction @ate is .efine. as the )ercentage
of flour obtaine. fro( a gi6en a(ount of
grain#
The data in Table )8 was obtained from 7oriani4 Gui.o4 FabriEio Dstani (9). )talian law ,.9.
*209. n. .3: establishes that common wheat flours destined for commercial use can only be
produced in the following types and with the following characteristics$
Table I?
Per 1"" Parts of 3r/ Substance
T/)e F 3eno(ination Ma+i(u( Moisture % Ma+i(u( :sh Ma+i(u( 'ellulose Mini(u( Gluten
Flour T/)e "" 14#&" #&" B: 7
Flour T/)e " 14#&" #6& #!"
Flour T/)e 1 14#&" #," #$" 1"
Flour T/)e ! 14#&" #& #&" 1"
Flour -%heat 14#&" 1#4" - 1#6" 1#6 1"
The table below is adapted from ;al#el, 5aymond, <ames 'ac1uire, and 5onald 4irt(, "The
Taste of :read", ;aithersburg, M#/ %spen <ublishers, 1"".
Table ?
'lassification for Si+ T/)es of Flour in France
'lassification
:sh content as % of 3r/
Matter
@ate of
*+traction
('orrelati6e
Metho.)
T/)e 4& 7elo5 "#&" 67-7"
T/)e && fro( "#&" to "#6">"#6! 7&-7,
T/)e 6& fro( "#6! to "#7& 7,-,!
T/)e ," fro( "#7& to "#" ,!-,&
T/)e 11" fro( 1 to 1#!" ,&-"
T/)e 1&" abo6e 1#4" "-,
=ikewise the information below is also from ;al#el et al. This chart compares -orth American
flour grades and offers comments relati#e to 7rench flour.
,lo"r -rade *rotein .e$el Comments
'a8e
Pastr/
9 to 3.. protein
3.. to 2.. protein
)t has been
put forth in
some circles
that 7rench
flours can
be imitated
by >cutting?
the e%tra
strength of
-orth
American
bread flours
with weaker
cake or
pastry
flours. The
logic of this
is attracti#e,
but it does
not pan out.
0otel an. @estaurant
(all )ur)ose)
7rea.
*: to **.. protein
**.. to *@.@ protein
-o -orth
American
flour is an
e%act
equi#alent of
7rench type
.. bread
flour, and
bakers must
look
carefully for
an
appropriate
flour and
make
certain
adAustments
B Professor
;al#el has
had great
success in
-orth
America
with both
>bread?
flours on this
lower end of
the protein
range and
also with >all
purpose?
(hotel and
restaurant)
flours of
abo#e
a#erage
strength.
!ignificantly,
many
months of
flour testing
conducted
by /idier
5osada and
Tom
'c'ahon at
the -ational
Caking
;enter in
'inneapolis
corroborates
this, for
*@..D
appears to
be the
ma%imum
percentage
of protein
desirable for
hearth
breads.
'uch work
remains to
be done,
and artisan
bread
mo#ement
has begun
to spark an
interest on
the part of
mills to
produce
appropriate
flours.
Premium Eigh 1luten
'edium Eigh 1luten
*3.3 to *,.@ protein
*3.3 to *3.9 protein
The high
gluten flours
are too high
in gluten
despite
Professor
;al#elFs
mention of
stronger
flour for
certain
recipes.
!trong !pring Patent *3 to *3.3 protein
7irst ;lear *, plus protein
;lear flours
can add
strength to
rye doughs
when used
as the wheat
portion, and
where their
darker color
is of little
importance.
4hole 4heat *, plus protein !tone
ground
wholeGwheat
flours are of
uniform
granulation
and contain
no additi#es,
but must be
used before
the wheat
germ oil
o%idi(es and
causes
rancid
fla#ors.
:sh 'ontent
)talian flour is classified by ash content. Ash content refers to the mineral content of a flour,
and is determined by burning a gi#en quantity of flour under prescribed conditions and
measuring the residue. The mineral content #aries and depends on many factors, such as the
#ariety of wheat, the terrain, the fertili(ation, and the climate. The greater portion of minerals
found in a kernel of wheat is contained in the germ, and husk, or bran, and the least amount
in the endosperm. As a consequence, if a flour contains a greater number of bran particles, it
has a more ele#ated ash content. The determination of the ash content ser#es to estimate the
degree of the endosperm separation from the bran during milling, i.e. the grade of flour.
1enerally, flours thought to be of higher quality are more refined and produce less ash.
)n spite of the fact that there is a positi#e correlation of ash content with the e%traction rate of
flour, and that "uropean bakers make great use of this indicator, Pyler (3) states$
HThe ash content of flour cannot, howe#er, be taken as an unequi#ocal inde% of flour
e%traction for two pre#iously mentioned reasons$ (a) the mineral content of wheat #arieties
culti#ated under different growth conditions can #ary markedly, and (b) not all wheat #arieties
ha#e the same mineral content gradient from the peripheral tissues of the wheat kernel to the
endosperm. !ince the bran portions of wheat contribute to the color of flour, the obAecti#e
measurement of flour color may be a more reliable indication of its qualityHB
The following tables are provided for the readers general interest. Table =7 and table =77 are
e0cerpted from Il Manuale .el Panificatore >!?. Table =7 compares 7talian and ;erman flour
types relative to ash content. Table =77 describes +rench flour types according to ash content
and e0traction rate. Table =777 is e0cerpted from S)ecial an. 3ecorati6e 7rea.s >1?, and
compares +rench and %merican flour relative to ash content and e0traction ratio.
Ta&le /(
Italian 'lassification *+traction @ate Ger(an 'lassification
T/)e "" &"% T/)e 4"&
T/)e " 7!% T/)e &&"
T/)e 1 ,"% T/)e ,1!
T/)e ! ,&% T/)e 1!""
Ta&le /((
French 'lassification *+traction @ate :sh 'ontent
T/)e 4& 6" - 7" % G "#&%
T/)e && 7&% "#& - #6"%
T/)e 6& 7, - ,"% "#6! - "#6&%
T/)e ," ,&% "#7& - "#"%
T/)e 11" ,, - "% 1 - 1#!"%
T/)e 1&" &% 1#4%
Ta&le /(((
T/)e (:(erican>French) :))ro+i(ate *+traction @ate :sh 'ontent
'a8e F Pastr/>T/)e 4& 7" % (6& - 7&%) G "#&%
:ll Pur)ose F 7rea.>T/)e && 7&% (7" - 7,%) "#& - #6"%
0igh-Gluten>T/)e 6& ,"% (74 - ,!%) "#6! - "#7&%
-ight %hole-%heat>T/)e ," ,!% (7, - ,&%) "#7& - "#"%
%hole %heat>T/)e 11" ,&% (7 - ,7%) 1 - 1#!"%
3ar8 %hole %heat>T/)e 1&" "% (" - &%) 1#4%
0sh and *rotein Comparisons: The 1nited States and ,rance
The following is a technical note about ash and protein percentages in flour of the nited
!tates and of 7rance. The figures below, originally found in Professor ;al#elFs te%t, "The
Taste of :read">@?, are e%pressed as a percentage of dry matter, which is customary in
7rance. )n the nited !tates and ;anada, figures are calculated on a basis of *,D flour
humidity. This means that a fairly normal seeming **..D protein 7rench flour would in fact
ha#e a 2..D protein content in -orth American terms, and that a highGseeming .0@D ash
would be ..@. in -orth American terms.
5ead the charts below from top to bottom, then go to the ne%t column and continue. The
charts are pro#ided courtesy of Bational 7a8ing 'enter4 'inneapolis 'innesota.
:sh 'ontent
2S:(14%
Moisture)
France
2S:(14%
Moisture)
France
2S:(14%
Moisture)
France
"#4" "#4, "#&&:.0. "#7" "#,$ "#6&
"#41 "#4 "#&6 "#67 "#71 "#,&
"#4! "#&" "#&7 "#6, "#7! "#,6
"#4$ "#&1 "#&, "#6 "#7$ "#,7
"#44 "#&! "#& "#7" "#74 "#,,
"#4& "#&4 "#6" "#71 "#7& "#,
"#46 "#&& "#61 "#7$ "#76 "#"
"#47 "#&6 "#6! "#74 "#77 "#!
"#4, "#&7 "#6$ "#7& "#7, "#$
"#4 "#&, "#64 "#76 "#7 "#4
"#&" "#6" "#6& "#77 "#," "#&
"#&1 "#61 "#66 "#7 "#,1 "#6
"#&! "#6! "#67 "#," "#,! "#,
"#&$ "#6$ "#6, "#,1 "#,4 1#""
"#&4 "#64 "#6 "#,! "#,& 1#"1
Protein 'ontent
2S:(14%
Moisture)
France
2S:(14%
Moisture)
France
2S:(14%
Moisture)
France
2S:(14%
Moisture)
France
#1 1"#,$ 1"#6 1!#6! 1!#1 14#4" 1$#6 16#1
#! 1"#& 1"#7 1!#74 !#! 14#&! 1$#7 16#$1
#$ 11#"7 1"#, 1!#,6 1!#$ 14#64 1$#, 16#4$
#4 11#1 1"# 1!#, 1!#4 14#76 1$# 16#&&
#& 11#$1 11#" 1$#1" 1!#& 14#,, 14#" 16#67
#6 11#4$ 11#1 1$#!1 1!#6 1&#"" 14#1 16#7
#7 11#&& 11#! 1$#$$ 1!#7 1&#1! 14#! 16#"
#, 11#67 11#$ 1$#4& 1!#, 1&#!4 14#$ 17#"!
# 11#7 11#4 1$#&7 1!# 1&#$6 14#4 17#14
1"#" 11#" 11#& 1$#6 1$#" 1&#4, 14#& 17#!6
1"#1 1!#"! 11#6 1$#,1 1$#1 1&#6" 14#6 17#$,
1"#! 1!#4" 11#7 1$#$ 1$#! 1&#71 14#7 17#&"
*:.3
1!#!6 11#, 14#"& 1$#$ 1&#,$ 14#, 17#6!
1"#4 1!#$, 11# 14#17 1$#4 1&#& 14# 17#74
1"#& 1!#&" 1!#" 14#! 1$#& 16#"7 1&#" 17#,6
>@? 9alvel, Aaymond, Bames Mac;uire, and Aonald )irt8, "The Taste of :read",
;aithersburg, M#/ %spen <ublishers, 1""