I have been asked many times which flour you should be using for baking sourdough in Germany. In many tutorials you see people using bread flour for instance. It’s a great flour as it typically has a higher gluten content.
The different flours in Germany
Some suggest to use T812 flour as bread flour, but this is a myth. This is not bread flour. The type indicates how many minerals remain in mg after burning 100 grams of the flour. So a T550 would have 550mg left, a T812 812mg and so on.
Vollkorn has no label as it is the pure grain. The problem with German flours is the lack of sun. This means that the wheat naturally doesn’t develop as much gluten. Germany is a rye country, but not a wheat country. The flour that you want to use from Germany is typically a T550, or a T405 for white style bread. But - as mentioned before, it’s not as high in protein content as a similar flour from Italy for instance.
The % protein directly influences how much water you should be using for your flour. I made a video on this before how you can figure out how much water your flour handles. Perform this test whenever you are baking with a new flour.
You can also tweak your German flour buy mixing in a little bit of vital wheat gluten. I recommend to add around 5g of wheat gluten per 100g of flour. Make sure to mix the flour thoroughly.
Mulino Padano (delivers in EU, from Italy). My favorite one is definitely the “Star” flour. It has superb strength and allows you to build very hydrated doughs. Feel free to use “TheBreadCode” for 5% off.
Drax Muehle is a mill in southern Germany. They have “Manitoba” flour as well. It comes from Canada, but is also grown here in the EU. It has around 14% protein. Check out my documentary on visiting the Drax Muehle.
Caputo also has a product called Manitoba Flour. You can find it on Amazon as well. It is an excellent flour great for making fluffy breads, ciabattas and baguettes. It has been my flour of choice for years. It’s a relatively large mill and the flour is blended to make consistent flour every year. It’s not organic and relatively industrial.
At Metro in Germany you can find “Pizza Flour”. It is a supermarket where you only have access to when you have a business registered. Make sure you buy the one without any additives. It is the own brand of Metro. It has around 14% protein and is an excellent flour too.
At Edeka you can find a T405 flour with around 12% protein.
At Rewe you can find a T550 flour with around 12% protein by “Aurora”. It is labeled as extra backstark.