So you walk into a German grocery store and you’re thinking, I’m gonna bake me a sexy cake, just like the ones I had in Canada. You have the recipe in hand and you stride confidently into the baking goods aisle. And you are confronted with this!
As I prepared for my exam and read through loads of Konditor books, I found the answer! It’s completeley lame and I’m sure you will fall asleep half-way through, but at least the answer will be at the grasp of all expats, just a google search away and they won’t be left to wonder, standing in the ‘Mehl’ (flour) aisle looking like a deer caught in the headlights.
What does the Mehltype (flour type) mean?
The flour type number represents how many grams of minerals there are in 100kg of (water-free) flour. It is described in Konditor books in the following way: If you were to burn 100kg of Type 405 flour, you would have 405 grams of ash remains. Since minerals are the only component of flour which cannot be completely burned, your minerals would therefore be the ash remains. And if you burned 100kg of 550 Type Mehl, you would have 550 grams of ash remains/minerals and so on and so forth for the other types.
Things to know:
- Essentially the higher the flour type number the more minerals you are have in your flour.
- Flours with a high flour type (1150, 1050) will always be darker (more wholewheat) as they contain more of the husks from the grains and will always be higher in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
- Flours with a low flour type (405) will be whiter if not completely white, will contain a teeny portion of husks and will be poor in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Type 405 is finest ground flour you will find in Germany. It has the highest starch content which makes it ideal for the baking of cupcakes and cakes where you want a finer crumb.
The most commonly used flour type in Konditoreis (confectionary and baked goods shops) in Germany (often cited in many of my books) is Type 550 which has a high protein content and as you will read, is mostly appropriate for breads. I would say that this is exactly the reason why Germany cakes are more like pound or coffee cakes with a denser crumb and a more compact texture.
Here is a little excerpt I found online that echoes this difference between 405 (starch-rich) and 550 (protein-rich) type flours a bit more:
“Flour contains starch. Different types of flour contain different amounts of starch. The starch content of the flour depends upon what type of wheat made that flour. Hard wheat contains high levels of protein, making its flour excellent for breads, while soft wheat contains high levels of starch, making better flour for cakes. Soft wheat makes cake flour, having a very high starch to gluten ratio, which bakes into a fine, crumbly cake texture. The interplay between protein, starch, sugars and other added ingredients helps determine the final texture and taste of the baked product.” Source
So now you have been introduced to the world of flour in Germany.
If you are still with me, as I was googling around about flour in Germany, I came across the Rosenmehl website. Rosenmehl is a flour brandname and as I looked at their website, I stumbled upon some recipes that they advertise alongside their flour selection. And low and behold, gosh darnit I think those Germans are comin’ around. To CUPCAKES.
On a final note: Cake flour. Nope, there is none to be found in Germany. Here is a fabulous post from i am baker that you can use to make your own. Corn starch in Germany. Check. All purpose flour. Check.
Here is a cupcake recipe I found. They’re German cupcakes so no promises, but have a little gander for yourself.
Now you didn’t think I’d leave cupcake picture-less did you? Here are some cupcakes that I made for friend of mine’s birthday.