When it comes to making a delicious, fluffy pizza dough, there is no denying that the right kind of flour can make all the difference. Many serious pizza makers have come to champion 00 flour for its finely milled texture and high-protein content; however, does this mean that it truly deserves its title as the best flour for pizza?
In this blog post, we will explore whether 00 flour is truly worth its lofty claims or if you should be looking elsewhere when preparing your next round of pizzas. By delving into the properties and characteristics of 00 flour we hope to provide you with everything you need to know before getting started in the kitchen. So, grab an apron and some yeast – let’s dive right in together!
What is the best flour for Pizza Dough?
It's a question many pizza-lovers have on their minds when it comes to creating the perfect dish. 00 flour, also known as 'double zero flour', is a type of Italian flour used in Neapolitan and Roman-style pizza doughs. It is milled very finely and contains between 8.5% and 12% protein. This high protein content allows for higher gluten development than all-purpose flour, making it an ideal choice for creating authentically chewy crusts.
Unlike all-purpose flours, which are typically made from a blend of hard winter and soft spring wheats, 00 flours are made exclusively from soft wheat varieties. Soft wheat varieties contain less gluten protein than hard wheat varieties, resulting in a more tender and delicate texture when baked. The low gluten content of 00 flours makes them extremely easy to work with, allowing you to produce consistent results with minimal effort. Additionally, because they don't require as long of a fermentation process as other types of flours (such as bread flour or whole wheat), they can be used to quickly whip up fresh pizzas without needing hours of prep time beforehand.
What Makes 00 Flour the Best Choice for Pizza?
Another key advantage of using 00 flours is its ability to create an extremely crisp crust that will stay crunchy even after being topped with heavy ingredients like cheese and meats. Its low gluten content prevents the dough from becoming dense or rubbery when cooked at high temperatures, resulting in a light and airy interior with an enjoyable crunch on the outside.
The answer to whether 00 flour is truly the best for pizza depends on what type of pizza you're looking to make; if you're aiming for something closer to traditional Neapolitan or Roman-style pies then it may be your best bet. However, depending on your preferences and dietary restrictions there are several other types of flour out there that could fit the bill – like spelt flour or chickpea flour – so experimenting with different varieties will help you find the one that works best for you! Regardless of which type you use though, remember to pay attention to how much water your dough needs so that your final product ends up tasting great every time!
How to Make Perfect Pizza with 00 Flour?
All-purpose flour, as the name suggests, is a versatile flour that can be used for a wide range of baking purposes. It is made from a blend of hard and soft wheat and has a protein content of around 10-12%. All-purpose flour is suitable for a variety of baked goods, including bread, pastries, and cookies. However, it is not as fine as tipo 00 flour and may not produce as smooth or delicate a dough.
Bread flour, on the other hand, is specifically designed for making bread. It has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour, typically around 12-14%, which gives it a stronger structure and the ability to absorb more water. This makes it ideal for use in bread dough, as it allows the dough to rise and gives the finished bread a chewy texture. However, bread flour can produce a denser, chewier texture in other baked goods, such as pizza or pastries, which may not be desirable.
Neapolitan Pizza Style Made from Tipo 00 Flour
Now, let's talk about why tipo 00 flour is particularly well-suited for Neapolitan pizza dough. Neapolitan pizza is a style of pizza that originated in Naples, Italy and is known for its thin, soft crust and fresh, simple toppings. To achieve the perfect Neapolitan pizza crust, a very specific type of flour is required.
The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN), a non-profit organization that promotes and protects traditional Neapolitan pizza, has specific guidelines for the type of flour that can be used to make authentic Neapolitan pizza dough. According to the AVPN, the flour used for Neapolitan pizza must be ground from hard wheat, have a protein content of at least 9.5%, and be ground to a very fine consistency, similar to that of tipo 00 flour.
The high protein content of tipo 00 flour helps to create a strong, elastic dough that can be stretched thin without tearing. The fine grind also contributes to the soft, delicate texture of the crust. Additionally, the lower gluten content of tipo 00 flour (compared to bread flour) helps to create a crust that is crisp on the outside but soft and tender on the inside.
In summary, tipo 00 flour is a finely ground Italian wheat flour with a higher protein content than all-purpose flour and a finer grind than bread flour. It is particularly well-suited for making Neapolitan pizza dough due to its ability to create a strong, elastic dough with a soft, delicate texture. While all-purpose flour and bread flour can be used for a variety of baked goods, tipo 00 flour is the best choice for achieving the perfect Neapolitan pizza crust.
The key to using 00 flour is understanding its unique properties. It has a much finer texture than all-purpose flour, which means that it can absorb more water and will develop more gluten when kneaded or mixed. This creates a softer and lighter dough that has just the right amount of elasticity for stretching out during baking or cooking in the oven. The finer texture of the flour also helps create a thin yet consistent crust while still allowing it to retain its shape when cooked in the pizza oven.