Flour in Finland

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A wide variety of Finnish flours

. Finnish bread is in my experience often heavy and dense. In other words, I’ve found it very difficult those fluffy breads like we find in Japan. So, I headed to the flour section of the supermarket and stood there, thinking that I should just figure out how to make fluffy bread on my own.

Behold the variety. When I first came to Finland, I didn’t know any Finnish, and Google Translate was my only source of information.

No help. I asked Juhani for help and he said the cheapest one with a picture of bread on would be fine, so I bought that and headed home.

Flour in Japan is classified by ***

. In Japan, flour is classified as strong, medium-strength, or weak. This is determined by the amount of protain it contains.
Strong flour: more than11.5%
Medium-strength flour: 8.5%-12%
Light-strength flour: less than 9%
In Japan, light-strength flour is more readily available and less expensive.

Finnish flour is classified by ***

. What is the classification of Finnish wheat?
Actually, Finnish flour is classified by the coarseness of the flour and what parts of the grain are used in the process of milling the flour.
I looked at the ingredient label of the flour I bought, I found that it would have been considered as strong flour in Japan.

Is Finnish flour strong or weak?

. When I made bread in Japan, I used a 4:1 mixture of strong flour and weak flour. I wanted to use the same recipe in Finland, so I visited the supermarket again to look for weak flour.
Weak flour contain less than 9% protain.

If it’s flour for sweets, it should be light flour.

No! It was strong flour!

Next packet.

Too bad! It was not weak flour either!

I checked all the shelves, and NO weak flour was found.
In other words, Finnish flour is strong flour. It would not be an exaggeration to say that all the flour you can find in supermarkets are strong flour.

How to use different types of flour

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How to use Finnish flour in Japanese recipes

. I always buy the most popular flour, the one with the picture of bread on it and what comes most commonly as a result in the search engines picture results.
The dishes I have tried with strong flour, and what I most commonly use flour for, are:
White sauce
Fried chicken
Bread
Pasta
and many more. I was able to make all of them with strong flour and without any problems.

On the other hand, I don’t know how it affects sweets, because I don’t make sweets very often. In Japan, we tend to think of weak flour as the best for making sweets, but in Finland, strong flour is used. Juhani has made crepes and pannukakku (a pancake made in the oven) for me and for those at least strong flour works nicely.
The flour sold as “cake flour” is also strong flour. The difference is the size of the grains (the amount of layers used), which are coarser than those used for baking.
According to the website:
“The coarser grains make cakes and other baked goods fluffier.”
It is true.
In Japan, on the other hand, “the stronger the flour, the coarser the grains, and the lighter the flour, the finer the grains in most cases.”

Of course, because of the difference in protain content, strong flours tend to be more sticky.It depends on the type of pastry, but I think it is a good idea to refer to the fineness of the grains when making pastries in Finland using Japanese recipes.

How to make Finnish recipes with Japanese flour

If a Finnish recipe calls for flour, it is safe to assume that it is almost always strong flour.
If you are only using a small amount of flour, for example to thicken white sauce, weak flour is fine. But for bread, pizza etc., strong flour is recommended.

Let’s try wide variety of Finnish flours

. Although all flours are strong, Finnish flours are categorized according to the coarseness of the grain for various purposes. If you go to a large supermarket, you will find a wide variety of flour, including gluten-free flour, rice flour, whole wheat flour and rye flour.
It will be fun to try out different kinds of flour for baking bread, pizza, and sweets. I will try those out! You can find recipes with flour from here!

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