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German Flours

German Flours

German Flours
© Sven Wachsmuth

In Germany, a wide variety of grain flours are sold and used. Unlike other Western countries, where anything other than a wheat flour is a "novelty" or "health" flour, rye and spelt flours are still used relatively commonly.

The common size of bags of flour are the smaller ones typical of Europe, rather than the typically larger bags sold in Canada or America.

The two types of flour most commonly used for bread in Germany are wheat flour Type 1050 and rye flour Type 1180.

In Germany, grading flour by ash content has been in effect since 1934. The higher the ash content, the "more whole grain" the flour is.

The grading system was revised and updated in 1992 into what is now called the DIN standard 10355 (DIN stands for Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V. -- German Institute for Standardisation.)

The German flour grading system is also used in Switzerland.

German Wheat Flours

Wheat flour is called "Weizenmehl" in German.

© Sven Wachsmuth

Flours in the .4% ash content range are usually for households; flours in the .5 to .7 range are usually for small bakeries.

German Wheat Flour Types

Flour typeAsh contentExtraction RateProtein
Type 405.405%50%
Type 480.48%11%
Type 550.50 to .58%72%
Type 700.70%11%
Type 812.64 to .89%80%
Type 10501.050 %
Type 16001.6%
Type 17001.7%

Type 405

This is a very fine wheat flour similar to North American and British cake flour. It can be used for sauces and baked goods. It is the most popular household flour in Germany.

Type 550

This wheat flour is good for baked products leavened with yeast. It is a little finer than North American all-purpose or British plain flour. It is used for white bread.

Type 812

This wheat flour is used for light-coloured breads made of wheat and rye flour.

Type 1050

This wheat flour is darker than North American unbleached flour. It is used for darker-coloured breads made of wheat and rye flour made at home.

Type 1600

This wheat flour is used for darker-coloured mixed wheat and rye breads.

Full Grain

This wheat flour has no type number assigned to it. The full, complete grain is used in making the flour.

German Rye Flours

In Germany, rye flour is called "Roggenmehl."

Several different grinds and "ash contents" are available, labelled by "numbers" (as is common with some other European flours.)

In this case, the higher the number, the darker the rye flour.


© Sven Wachsmuth

German Rye Flour Types

Flour typeAsh contentProteinNotes
Type 815.815%Very light, good for very light rye breads. Used in Southern Germany and Austria.
Type 960.85 % - .96 %8%Light rye flour
Type 997.997 to 1.09% ashGood for sourdough breads
Type 11501.15% ash
Type 11801.18% ash
Type 13701.37% ashDark rye, good for sourdough breads
Type 17401.74% ashPure dark rye
Type 18001.70 to 2.10%Coarsely ground

German Spelt Flour

Spelt flour is called "Dinkelmehl" in German.

It is commonly sold in everyday flour sections of stores, along with others flours.


© Sven Wachsmuth

German Spelt Flour Types

Spelt Flour typeAsh content
Type 630< .70%
Type 812.71% to .90%
Type 1050.91% to 1.20%

Cooking Tips

German flours, even the Type 405 which is the closest equivalent to Cake Flour, generally have a minimum of 10% protein. Consequently, it is very hard to make a cake or pastry recipe written for English speakers with German flour, as the protein content is too high.

Language Notes

Roughage in German is "Ballaststoffe". The Germans refer to ash content (which would be "Aschegehalt des Mehls") as "Mineralstoffgehalt" (mineral content).

See also:

German Flours

German Flours; Rye Flour; Spelt Flour

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Also called:

Deutsche Mehl, Dinkelmehl, Roggenmehl, Weizenmehl (German)


Oulton, Randal. "German Flours." CooksInfo.com. Published 17 June 2004; revised 10 November 2013. Web. Accessed 06/21/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/german-flours>.

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