My final bread related blog (I’ve looked at bread ovens and pumpkin bread in earlier posts). A quick look at flour this time.

It’s taken me quite a while, but I’ve finally found out what French flour is all about. Way back when in the UK I used three types – plain, self-raising and bread flour. All very clear and no complications. When we moved to Ireland in 1992 it was easy enough to make the transition to the same three  types, but now called cream, self-raising and strong. (Cream had me confused for a little while though.) That’s pretty much all there was, as well as wholemeal. Every passing year saw several new varieties of flour appearing. These days there’s an incredible choice.

Now, flours come in types over here. Each type has a number and the higher the number, the less refined the flour. Type 55 is the most common one you’ll find – this is pretty much plain or cream flour. You add your own raising agent to make it into self-raising. Type 45 is a finer flour recommended for cakes. Type 65 is good for bread. The coarsest wholemeal, hard to find in supermarkets, is type 150.

Flour is often marked as ‘fluide’ which means free-flowing, or ‘anti-gremaux’ which means no lumps. A few other useful words to know are ‘sazzarin’ – buckwheat; ‘orge’ – barley; ‘seigle’ – rye; compl_è_te – granary.

Supermarket flour is incredibly cheap, around 39 centimes for a kg. However, I’ve made the move to flours produced at local minoteries (flour mills). These are more expensive but consistently fabulous. Christophe Chaussé’s are my favourites at the moment, especially the amazing farine chataignes, figues et noisettes. Here’s a recipe for a gateau using this flour, but if you don’t have anything similar, plain flour will work fine. (It just won’t be quite as tasty!)

You will need:4 eggs, 200 g sugar, 175 g butter, 300 g farine, small cup of mik, dessertspoon of oil, 1 sachet of levure chimique (raising agent)

Separate the eggs and beat the egg yolks, sugar and melted butter together. Next add the flour, milk, oil and levure. Finally, stir in the beaten egg whites. Pour into a cake tin and cook for 40 minutes at 200 degrees C. Delicious![<p style="text-align: left;"> My final bread related blog (I’ve looked at bread ovens and pumpkin bread in earlier posts). A quick look at flour this time.
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It’s taken me quite a while, but I’ve finally found out what French flour is all about. Way back when in the UK I used three types – plain, self-raising and bread flour. All very clear and no complications. When we moved to Ireland in 1992 it was easy enough to make the transition to the same three  types, but now called cream, self-raising and strong. (Cream had me confused for a little while though.) That’s pretty much all there was, as well as wholemeal. Every passing year saw several new varieties of flour appearing. These days there’s an incredible choice.

Now, flours come in types over here. Each type has a number and the higher the number, the less refined the flour. Type 55 is the most common one you’ll find – this is pretty much plain or cream flour. You add your own raising agent to make it into self-raising. Type 45 is a finer flour recommended for cakes. Type 65 is good for bread. The coarsest wholemeal, hard to find in supermarkets, is type 150.

Flour is often marked as ‘fluide’ which means free-flowing, or ‘anti-gremaux’ which means no lumps. A few other useful words to know are ‘sazzarin’ – buckwheat; ‘orge’ – barley; ‘seigle’ – rye; compl_è_te – granary.

Supermarket flour is incredibly cheap, around 39 centimes for a kg. However, I’ve made the move to flours produced at local minoteries (flour mills). These are more expensive but consistently fabulous. Christophe Chaussé’s are my favourites at the moment, especially the amazing farine chataignes, figues et noisettes. Here’s a recipe for a gateau using this flour, but if you don’t have anything similar, plain flour will work fine. (It just won’t be quite as tasty!)

You will need:4 eggs, 200 g sugar, 175 g butter, 300 g farine, small cup of mik, dessertspoon of oil, 1 sachet of levure chimique (raising agent)

Separate the eggs and beat the egg yolks, sugar and melted butter together. Next add the flour, milk, oil and levure. Finally, stir in the beaten egg whites. Pour into a cake tin and cook for 40 minutes at 200 degrees C. Delicious!]1