There will always be disagreements over whether it is feasible to create a delicious pizza in a home oven without the 1,000° fire that burns inside the top pizzerias. We think it’s definitely possible, therefore let’s move on to the next issue: is it accurate to say that the sort of flour you use has just as much bearing as the oven? If our test kitchen experience is any indication, all flours are most definitely not created equal when it comes to creating pizza. The perfect pizza crust is thinner in the center and has a slightly inflated rim for that essential crunch. When testing the pizza margherita recipe, we developed a strong affection for Caputo 00, an Italian flour that has been called the “grand don” or “Godfather of flours.”
Due to its fine grinding and lower gluten concentration than most flours, Caputo 00 flour is perfect for making pizza dough. Italian flours are categorized by numbers based on how finely they are ground, starting with the coarsest “tipo1 and ending with the finest “00. The “00 denotes the texture of the flour. The elasticity you experience when you bite into a crunchy loaf of bread is due to gluten, a naturally occurring protein that is left over after the starch in wheat grains is removed. Less flexibility will be present in your dough as the protein content of the flour, gluten, and gluten all decrease (cake flour has the lowest gluten level). Different wheat strands are chosen for processing in order to control the amount of gluten produced; for example, high-gluten bread flour is produced from wheat with 14–15% gluten. While this is going on, the Caputo 00 is created using a selection of the best grains the Caputo family has been able to locate to give your dough just the right amount of stretch at 12.5% gluten.
What is the purpose of 00 flour in pizza dough?
Since 00 wheat is the most refined of all flours, it has a variety of effects on the crust when used to make pizza dough.
Finer flours like 00, which have smaller grains, tend to absorb less water than flours like all-purpose and bread flour, which have larger grains. As a result, pizza dough made with 00 flour will be more hydrated than pizza dough made with a different type of flour using the same recipe.
For instance, if you use all-purpose flour with a 65% water absorption rate in a recipe that calls for 65% water, you will produce pizza dough with a 65% hydration level. However, if you use 00 flour, which has a 60% water absorption level, and follow the same recipe, you will produce pizza dough that is 70% hydrated.
Because 00 flour normally absorbs less water than other flours, this occurs. So if you want a super-hydrated dough, that’s fine, but if you don’t, you can use 00 flour and safely use less water to make a stronger, drier dough.
The texture and digestibility of the crust are two other extremely significant ways that 00 flour impacts pizza.
The lighter and easier to puff up pizza crust made with 00 flour has finer grains than regular flour. Additionally, it means that your stomach will have no trouble digesting the grains.
I just like the pizza crust I get from using 00 flour better than I do from using all-purpose or bread flour. However, it doesn’t mean I haven’t baked some delicious pizza crusts with all-purpose flour; they were just a little bit heavier and had a more breadlike flavor and texture.
Do Italians make their pizza with 00 flour?
Finely ground Italian flour known as double zero flour, often referred to as doppio zero or 00 flour, is frequently used to produce pasta and pizza dough. The range of grind sizes in Italy and the rest of Europe is from double zero to two. The finest grind is double zero, while the coarsest is two. The phrase “double zero” does not refer to the amount of protein or gluten present in the flour.
Producers in the US assign flour grades based on its protein content. Low protein levels in fine flours, such as cake flour or pastry flour, are optimal for a delicate, moist texture. Bread flour and all-purpose flour, which are relative coarser flours, contain more protein and, thus, more gluten.
In tipo 00, you can find a variety of imported varieties of wheat flour (or type 00). A double zero grind size is offered for semolina (hard durum wheat), whole wheat, pastry flour, pizza flour, and high-protein flour. These diverse flours can be used for a variety of baking tasks, such as making fresh pasta with semolina or fine-grained baked items with pastry flour.
Does the grade of flour matter?
Since 00 wheat is so fine, it creates a finer, more responsive dough that won’t tear when you roll it into long, thin spaghetti strips or form it into a crisp pizza base. It’s worth trying again with some 00 if you’ve attempted any of these approaches with all-purpose flour and gave up in irritation because the dough kept tearing instead of stretching; you might be amazed by how much simpler it is.
Italian pizzerias also favor 00 flour due to the superior gluten content. In actuality, the levels of gluten in 00 and bread flour, which is frequently used to create pizza in the US, are comparable, but because they are frequently prepared from several varieties of wheat, the gluten in each one behaves slightly differently.
Red wheat is typically used to manufacture bread flour because it produces strong, elastic gluten, which results in a base that is chewy and bread-like. The characteristic thin and crispy Neapolitan crust is prepared from 00 flour, which is made from durum wheat, which produces gluten that is robust but not very elastic.
Your pizza crust should be cooked fast at very high temperatures for that ideal, crispy, flaky quality to get the most out of it. If you have a backyard wood-fired pizza oven, that is great. If not, try baking your pizza in a hot cast-iron pan.
Is bread flour preferable to 00 flour for pizza?
In particular when they intend to cook the pizza in high-heat pizza ovens, pizza makers select 00 flour because the high protein content and finely ground wheat assist produce a tasty pizza crust that is chewy on the inside and crispy on the surface.
What kind of flour works best for pizza dough?
12% protein or 12% gluten can be found in 00 flour, an Italian flour that has been finely milled. It is the customary flour used to make pizza in the Neapolitan manner.
Due to the gluten content’s resemblance to that of bread flour, it also results in a chewy pizza crust. The main distinction is that bread flour and all-purpose flour are often prepared with red winter wheat, whereas durum wheat is typically used in its production, and the gluten in both wheat kinds behaves differently.
This means that 00 flour will result in a pizza dough that is less elastic than dough made with bread flour due to the wheat variety, but stronger than pizza dough made with all-purpose due to its higher gluten level.
What kind of flour is used in pizza shops?
It seems like every day a new variety of flour is introduced to the market these days. Pizza producers must find the ideal mixture that works best for their particular pizza styles and dough types since flour is the main component of pizza crust. This essay was written to help our visitors understand some of the misunderstanding because it takes a lot of time away from work to research the efficacy of each type of flour.
Felice Colucci, our resident chef and pizzaiolo, has spent years perfecting his baking skills. He believes that we need to go “back to the basics and look at the science underlying the ingredients” in order to comprehend the function of flour in a recipe. Felice developed the following recommendations using flour from our partners Caputo and General Mills.
For the best pizza, select the appropriate flour.
First off, not every variety of pizza responds best to a certain flour. It’s critical to keep in mind that not all flours are made equal. In order to get the greatest results, you must first decide what kind of pizza you’ll be cooking before deciding which flour to use. Each dough type has unique requirements in terms of protein level, malt, and fermentation, regardless of the sort of pizza you are interested in making, including Neapolitan, Neo-Neapolitan, Detroit, Chicago, New York, Sicilian, and others.
2. The Amount of Protein
To prepare a fantastic New York Style, Detroit, Sicilian, or Chicago, Chef Felice advises selecting a flour with a high proportion of protein, particularly 13.5% to 14.5%. In contrast, pizza Napoletana requires one with a lower protein content (11–13%) because, typically, the thinner the pizza crust, the more protein it requires. A dough with a higher protein concentration will be harder and stronger, whereas a dough with a lower protein content will be softer. Additionally, compared to the Neapolitan dough type, which requires less hydration, New York, Detroit, and Sicilian dough types demand a larger amount of water.
For New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Sicilian pizzas, Chef Felice suggests using high-quality bread flour like Caputo Americana or Gold Medal Unbleached Unbromated flour. He advises using finely ground Italian durum wheat in 00 flour for Neapolitan and Neo Neapolitan pizza. His preferred brands are Antimo Caputo pizzeria for its elastic and resistant gluten content, which is perfect for extended rising times, and the General Mills’ Di Prim’Ordine, a well-known brand in American baking.
Because utilizing them enables you to utilize the dough after a significantly shorter fermentationjust 5–6 hours, many American pizzerias use bromated flour. A flour that has been bromated has been exposed to potassium bromate, a potent oxidizing chemical that is available as a white crystal or powder. It is not allowed in Italy or Europe, and is never used to make true Pizza Napoletana, despite the fact that it is frequently used there to increase the dough’s flexibility and rise.
Higher protein flours require a longer fermentation process because they absorb more water.
A further advantage of prolonged fermentation is that it facilitates better pizza digestion in the body. Therefore, modify your fermentation process in accordance with the type of pizza you are creating and the amount of protein it includes. For the New York, Chicago, Sicilian, and Detroit varieties that use a higher protein content flour, Chef Felice advises a minimum of 24 hours. On the other side, the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana advises a levitation time of 8 hours at the very least and 24 hours at the most, with an extra 4 hours of kneading.
Is 00 flour the same as semolina flour?
Although both semola and 00 flour are made from wheat, their flavor and texture are very different. Italians categorize various flours according on how finely they have been ground. While “00” flour is a considerably finer powder, “1” flour is wheat flour with bigger particles and a coarser texture.
Wheat flour designated as “00” is soft and ideal for baking, especially cakes and crumbly pastries.
Due to its texture and granular nature, soft wheat flour can also be used for pasta. It is the best flour for ravioli pasta in addition to being perfect for softer pasta shapes like tagliatelle. A delicate flavor is necessary for these delicate packets so as not to overpower their decadent fillings.
Although 00 flour isn’t the most accessible kind of flour, there are a number of places to buy it. You may either order it online or find it at most specialty grocery stores. If you want to make truly authentic pasta, it’s worth the effort to buy 00 wheat, which is used in kitchens all around Italy.
Does rising with 00 flour take longer?
Using both flours to make pizza dough yields comparable results. The Caputo 00 Flour has been ground much finer than All Purpose Flour, which is the primary distinction between these two flours.
Additionally, the protein content of these flours varies. Compared to all-purpose flour, 00 Flour has a higher protein level, making the dough simpler to work with and more elastic.
However, compared to using the other flour, the all-purpose flour dough will still be simple to use, but it may require more kneading to become as elastic and stretchy.
Compared to all-purpose flour and bread flour dough, Caputo 00 Flour enables you to roll your dough much thinner.
That doesn’t mean you couldn’t roll such doughs thin, but you can roll them even thinner with Caputo 00 Flour. Instead of tearing, this dough extends to the desired size and shape.
Your pizza will have a different texture if you use all-purpose flour instead of 00 flour. Dough made with 00 flour rises and proves more slowly.
This is so that the dough can rise slowly over an extended period of time when using this flour.
Is less water required for 00 flour?
If the 00 flour has a similar protein composition of 12–14% and isn’t a 00 flour better suited for pasta, it can be used in your bread and pizza recipes. You can discover that using a new 00 flour will result in a different outcome for the dough because different flours will respond in different ways in a recipe. Withholding a portion of the customary amount of water, add it gradually until the consistency resembles that of a dough that has already been combined.
Does 00 flour absorb more water?
The amount of water that must be added to flour to make it the same consistency as another dough is known as the absorption rate. To achieve the same texture, a low absorption flour requires less water than a high absorption flour.
Compared to stronger bread flours, 00 flour has a lower absorption rate since it is a finer flour. As a result, you probably won’t need as much water. Try taking the exact same amount of water and slowly adding it. When using 00 flour, you can discover that you require about 5% less hydration.
Can you use pizza flour for bread?
As long as the flour is a bread flour, which normally has greater protein and consequently gluten, you can use pizza or 00 flour for bread. Regarding the results, I predict that most home bakers won’t see much of a change unless they bake frequently. You could discover that the crust on the bread gets crispier. Additionally, the dough may be quite soft and the crumb may be very fragile due to the delicate nature of the flour.
Remember that different substances absorb water differently, so you might need to adjust your recipe. I would gradually add water until you reached a consistency you were comfortable with.