American & European Flour Rough Equivalents

I’ve had numerous requests to put up some sort of table comparing American flour types with their French, German and Italian counterparts. And while I’d love to comply, I’m not sure that much real data exists on that, for all the reasons I spelled out last week. However, because there are no lengths I won’t go for my readership (as long as it’s, you know, convenient for me), I spent the weekend scouring available sources for the following information:

American all-purpose = French Type 55 = German Type 550 = Italian 00

American pastry flour = French Type 45 = German Type 405 = Italian 00

American bread flour = French Type 80 = German Type 812 = Italian Type 1

American whole wheat = French Type 150 = German Type 1700 = Italian “Wheat”

Now then, I know I have an increasingly international readership here at, so if anyone wants to correct and/or add to what I’ve started here, by all means, weigh in.

30 thoughts on “American & European Flour Rough Equivalents”

  1. Hello, Joe! I’d like to ask you something about the flours found in Portugal. Here, we only have flour type 45, 55 or 65, being 65 the one more used for breads I think. This would mean that the flour type 65 has more protein in it that the other two, right?
    Thank you!

      1. Ana is right in saying that t65 is the One used for bread here in Portugal.

        But Joe, t45 is really hard to find… How would you go about transforming t55 into t45? The usual couple of tbsp of cornstarch per cup?

        I was just reading Berenbaum’s pie and pastry bible and she’s soooo adamant:
        “Use the correct flour. It is practically impossible to make a flaky crust or even one that holds together using cake flour and equally difficult to make a tender crust using unbleached all-purpose or bread flour.”

        It’s really discouraging…. =(

        1. Diogo, I’m a firm believer in using what you’ve got. If I were you I’d just try running the recipe with t65 and adjust from there. You should be able to make pie with that. Get back to me with the result and I’ll help you troubleshoot any problems.

          – Joe

  2. Hey Joe- I was just wondering where cake flour entered this equation. I know that in the US I can substitute AP + cornstarch, but I’m over in Italy staring down a bag of 00 and wondering how my cake is going to turn out. It did not do nice things to my cookies, but if anything it made them cakier. And the oo is recognizably finer milled than AP, if not bromated. Any tips?

    1. Hey Jeremy!

      I’d try just using the straight 00. As you’ve probably learned by now, the number system is all about grinds, not gluten. 00 is commonly used for cakes (American cake flour as you know is a very find grind), so you may get the results you want as-is. If not, let me know what went wrong and I’ll help you troubleshoot the problem.

      – Joe

      1. It’s a bit of a crap shoot adding corn starch to AP and not truly equivalent to cake flour. For really fine patisserie, only cake flour will do. It’s made from softer wheat, yes, so getting the protein content lower helps. But the main difference is that in the US, cake flour is always bleached. Yes, bleached. That’s what makes it behave the way it does. Get it, if you can and experiment until you find a brand you like. Swans Down does it for me. Outside the US, google the procedure for making “Kate flour.” Kate is a UK baker who found a way to microwave their flour to make it behave more like bleached North American cake flour.

        1. Hey Carol!

          Thanks for that and you’re quite correct on all counts. As a side note, I wish bleaching wasn’t such a dirty word these days. I’ve devoted several posts to that very topic. Such a shame.

          – Joe

  3. Hey Joe,
    I am having a similar problem as Jeremy with my chocolate chip cookie recipe…I am here in Italy, I have my U.S. measuring cups and spoons, I have my Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chips (brought from the USA) and all the ingredients I need…however my cookies continue to melt…I have searched all over the internet and most forums, websites, including yours, say to use type “00” flour as all-purpose, which I have but get the above result. Wikipedia says that type “0” is closer to all-purpose….what to do?? Even if they taste good I hate having flat CCcookies!!

    1. Hey Anna!

      So when you say “melt” you mean they spread out, right? They all sort of melt into each other on the pan?

      If that’s the case, try cutting back on the egg, especially the white. Also, hold back a couple of tablespoons of butter, since that also contributes to spreading. Keep in touch…we’ll get this worked out.

      – Joe

      1. I have the same problem with chocolate chip cookies And would love go know if someone has solved it. I thought I might try again with a stronger bread flour but these suggestions intrigue me…..

  4. I have (a perhaps even more confusing) question about flour.. I recently moved to India and so far I have only found two kinds of wheat flour: “maida”, which I believe is somewhat like pastry flour, and “atta”, which is (i think) durham and whole wheat though somewhat finely ground as well. Now the question is what to do! Do you know about these flours more precisely? Do you have reccommendations for what to use for what purpose? I love baking breads and have some understanding of US flours, but my experimentation here is not getting me very far.

    p.s. Thanks for the blog! Excellent work!

    1. Thanks EC!

      I’ve had some readers mention this flours over the last couple of years. But tell me…what sorts of problems are you encountering?

      – Joe

  5. Hi Joe,
    Tricky question for you but first; Thanks for the great blog!

    OK, I’m in the Netherlands and need cake flour to make hand pulled La Mein noodles for a 60 person dinner challenge. I’m told that cake flour is crucial for this process. We don’t have it as you know. The trouble in my case with a “00” or something else won’t be bad cake. It will be that I can’t stretch the dough and therefore can’t make the noodles to complete my task. Do you know of any way to blend my own cake flour? I’ve read over and over to add corn starch and it didn’t work. Anything You can say on this will be greatly appreciated!
    Thank you!!!

    1. Hey Marco!

      Seems to me you don’t need a cake flour, you need the opposite — a strong bread flour, no? A weak cake flour won’t give you the gluten you need to accommodate that sort of stretch. Corn starch will only make the problem worse…it will undermine gluten formation (though it will make a decent cake flour!).

      There must be something around you can use. Or perhaps can you obtain some vital wheat gluten to add to the flour you have? Sometimes vital wheat flute can be found in health food shops or Asian groceries. But try the process first with some local bread flour and see how it goes. Get back to me with any questions!

      – Joe

  6. Joe

    I just discovered your site and find the discussion on flour very interesting.
    I lived in Canada for many years and their flour is also different than the US “all purpose”. It feels drier for lack of a better description. But, it sure did make great bread, biscuits and pastry. I am thinking it is closer to the US bread flour and it was 100% hard wheat per the bag.
    I also had difficulty with cookies spreading out at first…then I realized (don’t have a heart attack here now) “back in the day” (50’s-60’s) Mom saved the bacon grease and used that for baking cookies. I was using butter or margarine. Once I made that connection I was able to fix the problem.

    Love your site


    1. I’m the last person who’d get upset at the thought of bacon grease cookies! In fact I’ll try them soon. Wow.

      Your observations about Canadian flour are spot-on. Canadian wheat is as hard or harder than our northern flours. Great for all the applications you outlined.

      Cheers and welcome to the site!

      – Joe

  7. Greetings from a Wrinkle-in-the-Outskirts of Paris. I’m a little late to the game, but I’d like to ask a question. I grew up in North Carolina, and for many years the only flour we ever had was self-rising flour. I didn’t even know about plain flour because in our house, we never used it. So when I started cooking from recipes, I always had to double check whether I needed self-rising or plain flour. Now I’m living in France, and today is the first time I’ve been able to find any kind of flour since the Covid-19 confinement started. I bought a bag of 45 and a bag of 55. Does either of these contain baking powder? Thank you for any help you can provide.

    1. Hey Muddy!

      Believe it or not, outside the American South, nobody uses self-rising flour. Not anywhere in the world as far as I know. So you’ll definitely need to add baking powder (or other leavening agent) when you bake.

      I love North Carolina by the way, my whole family does. We go to Asheville probably twice a year, and press on to the coast when we have the time and inclination!

      Cheers and have fun with the baking!


      1. I see self-rising flour used a lot in British recipes and have noticed it on grocery shelves in London. Just this week I printed a recipe from BBC web site that called for self-rising flour.

        1. Fascinating Ralph! I had no idea it was so readily available there. Thanks for the comment!

          – Joe

  8. Hello. I am a very new to baking and I am really enthusiastic to start cooking and baking for my Nanna who is from Austria (we all live in the UK).

    One of the first recipes I would like to try is dumplings (knödel) and I have found that the best flour to use is Griffiges mehl (rough flour) or doppelgriffiges mehl (double handled flour). From my research, I have seen this is usually a 405 (pertaining to the ash content) but it is supposed to be “rough” and “grainy” which I’ve understood as a wheat? I am beginning to become very confused. I also cannot seem to find wheat flour at the shops. I hope you can help me! I would love to be able to cook for my Nanna and for her to be transported back home where she feels most happy! Can you please help clarify what flour I should be using (in equivalent) or maybe do you have a suggestion as to what British flour would work best for traditional style dumplings?


    1. Hello Dee!

      I’m sure it won’t take too much to solve the problem. Griffiges mehl is a flour that’s unique to Austria. It is a very coarse wheat flour that has a high proportion of wheat bran in it (what Europeans call “ash”). The closest thing in Britain would be wholemeal flour, but that might not be quite coarse enough depending on the exact type of dumpling you’re making (I’ve been to Austria….they have a lot of different dumplings!). You could try your recipe with wholemeal flour and see how they turn out. If you need more “body” you could try blending the wholemeal flour with some semolina, which I know is available in Britain…I used to make pudding out of it when I lived there. Just look for the “fine semolina”, which actually means the little granules, not the flour.

      The other direction is the doppelgriffiges mehl, which is a much more finely ground version of griffiges mehl. That would likely be harder to find, something like a whole wheat pastry flour, which would almost certainly not be available in shops. I have something like that, but it came to me as a gift, something a relative found at a specialty mill. You could ask a local bakery about it (especially a “healthy” bakery if there is one near you) they may have some and be willing to sell you a little. But I’d try the coarse flour option first, since that’s going to be more obtainable.

      That’s the best advice I have for you, Dee. Let me know how things turn out. Good luck!

      – Joe

  9. Hi Joe,

    I live in California and have been using T65 flour from France for the last couple of months. I found a post for a no knead bread that uses t65 flour so it lists exact measurements. When I substitute t65 flour for other recipes that call for all purpose flour, the consistency is not the same. I don’t know if a cup of all purpose flour is the same as 1 cup of t65 or maybe I need to use less French flour or more for 1 cup of AP flour or less water in the recipe. There is not much out there on the internet about substituting French flour in American recipes. Any suggestions? Thank you!

    – Vanessa

    1. Hey Vanessa!

      T65 is what we would call in the States “high gluten bread flour”. It’s different from all-purpose flour in that is has quite a bit more protein, and that’s good for making breads with lots of big, open holes (like hearth breads) or breads that are very dense and chewy (like bagels). So it does perform quite differently than AP. I would reserve it specifically for breads (it works great with the pain à l’ancienne and pain de mie recipes here on the site), but definitely don’t use it for things like cupcakes or cookies, where it’ll give you very high rises and tough textures.

      Thanks for the question!


      – Joe

  10. Hi Joe,
    Is it plain flour with 11.4 % proteins good for sourdough bread ? Could be 75% hydration suitable for this type of flour or shold be less then that? Should I increase the percentage of sourdough starter (20%) for a good sourdough bread?. Many, many thanks, Mirela

    1. Hello Mirela!

      11.4% is on the high side in terms of protein, so that should be good for a rustic sourdough bread (the added protein will help give you a more hole-filled crumb). 75% hydration is also on the high side, but good too for steam and bubbles. 20% is good for starter, it can be as high as 33% if you like! Have fun!


  11. Having tried 00 and type 1 and can tell you that 00 is definitely not equal to American all-purpose and type 1 is definitely not equal to American bread flour, type 1 is an extraction flour with a certain percentage of germ and bran added back to it were as bread flour is just the enosperm.

    1. Hey Brian!

      I get you for sure. These types of equivalents are very, very difficult because not only are you taking into account the various kinds of wheat, the extractions, the gluten quantity, the gluten quality, and the grind, you also have to factor in the application. Meaning that while 00 and AP both work similarly in a coffee cake, they’re nothing like each other in, say, a country bread. So it’s a tough task to match everything up. But thanks for the comment. I probably need to try something more comprehensive here. Not an easy task, but I’ll think of something!


      – Joe

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