The Fresh Loaf

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$20 flour?

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chihuachsund's picture
chihuachsund

$20 flour?

I got a nice bonus at work, so I splurged on some nice steaks at the local specialty market.I have just recently started making bread and pizza dough.  I had heard about 00 flour, and when I saw it I grabbed it.  With the expensive steaks,  I didn't notice the price until I got home, but the 5 pound bag of flour was $20.  It's Giusto's organic 00 pizza flour. Does that sound right?

 

isand66's picture
isand66

You was robbed!

should be half of what you paid.

Cooky's picture
Cooky

Yeah, you can buy their flours online at a much better prices than what you paid:

http://giustos.com/home_baker/flours/pasta-pizza-flours.html?p=2

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

or gold? Unbelievable.

kallisto's picture
kallisto (not verified)

you can use american flour just as well. Your Pizza will taste as good as if you make it with italian flour.

PastryPaul's picture
PastryPaul

As more and more people become "foodies" we get more cases of ingredient-snobism. 00 flour does indeed make a better pizza, but not so much better that it is worth hunting down and/or paying through the teeth for. 

00 flour is finer and has a lower protein count. Big deal. I say use AP, or, if you prefer, mix 2/3 AP with 1/3 pastry flour and tell everyone you used 00. I doubt anyone would call you on it.

Cheers

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

and you are done:)

Italian wheat is always 100% soft wheat, there's nothing more than that.

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

The “OO” status refers to the flour’s extraction–in other words, how finely it is milled.  It has nothing to do with protein content, ash content, or other usual measures of flour...it is like baby powder in fineness and DOES make a difference. I use Caputo mixed in with KA high gluten...can't be duplicated by any other combination...believe me I have tried.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

but ash content. FinenessGranulometry has nothing to do with it.

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

The "00" refers to the grind of the flour, and how much of the wheat's bran and germ have been removed, not to its protein or ash level. It is available in a range of protein levels with the best for bread identified as "panifiable".

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

where you got that information? it's false. I live in italy, I know perfectly well what defines a 00 flour. The only parameter that qualifies a soft wheat flour as 00 is the ash content: no more than 0.55%. Proteins, granulometry and strength (as you wrote yourself) are not mentioned in the definition of 00 flour.

Moreover there are 00 flours with a higher granulometry than ordinary 00 flour generally used for cakes. They are called "farina 00 antigrumi" (no lumps 00 flour) because a larger granule absorbs less humidity than a smaller one. They are used for dusting  and for egg pasta.

Grinding os one aspect of milling, sifting is another one and is the one that makes the differente between 0, 00, 1, 2, wholemeal and so on.

proth5's picture
proth5

 to my comment after I thought this through (because I thought to myself "Oh, that comment was slightly ambiguous and certainly someone will take offense.") - is that the spec is certainly on ash content. However, extraction is one of the means by which the miller can influence the ash content. Certainly sifting as well as roller settings and the streams taken from the roller milling process and blended for the flour can have an impact on ash content.

I have heard of these other grades of flour.

I get my information from various milling texts and technical flour texts and although your comment was not addressed directly to me, let me assure you that what I wrote is just as true as what you say.  "OO" has a low extraction rate and this will drive it towards its ash specification.

Hope this clears things up.

 

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

what you wrote makes perfectly sense and please don't believe that I took offense:).

I have the same figures that you mentioned about typical extraction rate of 00 flour.

  Nico

proth5's picture
proth5

I get called out on the smallest of inacuracies, so I've gotten careful.

Anyway, the extraction rate on the "OO" is very near the rate on what we in the US would call short patent flour (wanted to make sure I looked that up...) which makes it a premium flour at any rate.

But here is something that made the little hairs on the back of my head stand up - a quote from the King Arthur website that describes their Italian style flour which is an "OO clone".

Italian-Style flour makes an extremely supple dough, smooth as silk and a joy to work with. The "00" refers to the grind of the flour, and how much of the wheat's bran and germ have been removed, not to its protein level. There are low-, high- and in-between 00 flours. Our version is one of the lower protein ones. 

Uh...wow. I know that they are marketing to the home baker, but...wow.  Hey you King Arthur folks - I know you are out there - what gives? 

So hard to keep all the national flour grading systems straight.  Maybe when the Federation is formed at least Earth standards will all be the same.  (I just had a small mental diversion thinking about how Klingons would grade flour.)

Happy Baking

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

that its not possible to have 00 with different protein levels? Is it then true that all 50% extractions are identical in protein?

proth5's picture
proth5

But the further I get down into this the more complex the whole thing is.  And I am getting to realize more and more why it's better to simplify.

Protein levels depend on the variety of wheat (and the conditions under which it was grown). So the potential for protein in your flour is largely determined by the type of wheat you are milling (and how it was raised, harvested, conditioned, and stored).

So here are a bunch of related things to consider.

In a grain of wheat the protein is of higher quality in the center of the endosperm.  The protein is of higher quantity towards the outside.

Ash content is lower in the center of the endosperm and higher on the outside.

So, if you are dealing with a Hard Red Winter Wheat grown in Eastern Colorado - your protein potential is much higher than if you are dealing with Italian wheat.

But as you mill it, you will get a lower protein measurement for the part in the middle of the endosperm. If you care only about the protein quantity it is better to mill right to edge of the bran - because then the protein measure will be higher.

But the ash number will be higher also - so it is best to consider both numbers. As the wheat being equal, the number with the lower ash number will have better quality protein.

Soft Wheat has a lower protein potential, but behaves in the same way.

"OO" is ash content - there's Italian law to deal with there.

Molino Caputo has no less than 3 different "OO" flours.  I cannot get the spec sheets (and these are devilishly hard to get on a lot of flours) but with each they make different claims to absorption (a measure of the fineness of the grind) and to dough strength (a measure of protein.)  from breads to confections - they vary quite widely.

They also claim to be blending foreign and Italian wheats. Which would make sense given they are putting forth these flours as having different strengths.

So - what do we know?

An "OO" flour can have high protein (Ok, ok, just like King Arthur said) or a lower protein.

An "OO" flour can have different sizes of flour granules (not like King Arthur said, but I'm getting to the point where I don't blame y'all).

What no one will come out and say (except Italian law, so maybe that's why no one feels the need to say it) is that "OO" is a specific (low)ash content (which means no matter what the protein potential of the wheat actually is, it will tend to be milled from the center of the endosperm) and a particular minimum (not maximum) protein content.

So when you get "OO" flour you are getting the very best protein that the wheat can provide - "good" protein being the kind that will hold up best during long fermentations - which many bakers favor.  What that protein number is is not explicitly stated, but it will be the best the wheat can give.  A rough measure of quality and effort on the part of the miller as it were.

Flour specifications are frustrating to get from millers - I don't know why.  There is a lot going on in the actual spec which most of us don't get to see.  Certainly protein and ash content are important, but never the whole story.

I really am reading a number of books that take me pretty deeply into this, so it is front of mind right now.

Hope this helps.

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

we have established without a doubt that 00 flours can have wildly different degrees of fineness. Just because Nico lives in Italy and states it as such does not make it true. In 20 years of baking 00 has always been relatively the same powdery flour that is not found in the USA and thus makes it a viable commodity to both bakers and pizza makers alike. I still can't see where you find fault in KA statement? "The "00" refers to the grind of the flour, and how much of the wheat's bran and germ have been removed, not to its protein level."Caputo has always held tightly to trade secrets so I seriously doubt you will come across anything that will shed any more light on the subject. If an American flour company could duplicate it they would considering the pizza industry in the USA is a $38 billon dollar a year enterprise. Maybe you could be that guy. Thanks

proth5's picture
proth5

time on the Molino Caputo site and read their flour descriptions.  They really seem to have different claims for granularity (or rather absorption).  What gets imported to the US and has been imported for 20 years is something I'll probably never figure out - since I don't bother with Italian flours except to try and gain understanding. 

"OO" is mandated by Italian law as ash level and minimum protein content - and is true even if you don't live in Italy.  The French and Germans also use ash level as an identifying factor in flour, so I'm pretty sure I'm on solid ground here.  So, I do have trouble with KA referring to the "grind" being the distinguishing feature - it is ash for the "OO" designation.  "How much of the wheat's bran and germ has been removed" I believe to be a kind of reference to the ash content which to me is unedifying since in these flours all of the bran and germ is removed and troubles me much less, but isn't realy the right definition . There are lots of food laws and definitions in Europe, so for those trying to recreate Neopolitan pizza, KA may be assuming a familiarity with particular finely ground flours and so KA has catered to that particular knowledge and goal. Honestly, the further down the road I go on this conversation, the more I get what they are trying to say. I like the folks at KA, but sometimes their marketing spin cracks me up.

But extraction never has referred to the fineness of the flour. Nor has ash.

Caputo is no more secertive than many other flour companies - specs are devilishly difficult to obtain. Even without revealing proprietary processes a few more numbers would tell the whole story.

The wheat is the key.  Italian wheat is not the same as US or Canada grown wheat.  I could take US wheat and have it ground to the exact specs and it would not be the same - there's a different balance in proteins and starches, etc, etc.  If I was "that guy" - I'd be importing wheat.  Cheaper and easier to import flour. Terroir - it's all terroir.

Peace.

 

 

 

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

system...while it does tell you how refined the flour is and the presence or absence of bran from which ash is defined it says nothing of the protein content. The measuring of such vary widely continent by continent and thats sad because from what I have learned in all my experience is breadmaking really depends on the quanity and quality of the protein. Regarding Terrior...yes agreed...but you could come closer than any US manufacturer with the proper research and tools. Call on Nico maybe he could put you up while doing research...in Italy of course. Buona Fortuna!!

proth5's picture
proth5

Never said it was good.

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

"But extraction never has referred to the fineness of the flour. Nor has ash." do you believe that a flour of 80% +extraction could be ground to the same powdery fineness of a 00.

proth5's picture
proth5

I have hand ground pure bran until it feels silkier than any US milled commercial white flour.  So while I haven't had experience with the particular flour you are using - I'm gonna have to say - yes.

But I didn't say it was easy...

 

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

"Antimo Caputo Tipo 00 Rinforzato flour is a blend of soft European flour that has been "reinforced" with flour from hard North American wheat. Caputo Rinforzato offers bakers higher protein content than its pizza sibling. Its stronger gluten and greater elasticity make it ideal for crusty Italian-style breads and rolls, as well as for enriched breads such as panettone"

Pjacobs's picture
Pjacobs

Have you tried primo gusto and if so what results have you had? I just bought 50 lbs and looking forward to trying it. Do you have any suggestions?
Thanks,
Phil

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

You can buy coarse ground Doppo Zero flour with a .55% ash content??

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

although it's relatively coarse. It's not visibly coarse, it's just a touch coarser than ordinary 00 flour.

http://www.molinochiavazza.it/page.php?pagina=8

http://www.molinospadoni.it/prod_cf_20.php

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

Super fine baby powder soft #1? Same grind and fineness of doppio zero?

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

 that I haven't used baby powder for decades:-),  I have no children.

Sorry, I can't say it but I'll check.

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

and get back to me with a link. I would love to use a higher extraction flour with the same feel as 00. Thanks

proth5's picture
proth5

is not how finely the flour is milled, but is roughly much of the total wheat berry is included in the flour.  The reason that I say it is related is that extraction is usually expressed from the center of the endosperm outwards.  No one would ever call a flour that contained only bran  15% extraction flour - even though it was 15% of the wheat berry.

So a flour like "OO" runs at about 50% extraction.  The low extraction also means that is has been milled from the part of the endosperm closest to the  center where the ash content is the lowest (and the protien quality the highest.)

So while it is correct to relate extraction rate to Italian flour types, it is best to use the proper defintion of extraction...

Hope this clarifes why you may have heard that "OO" refers to extraction.

 

chihuachsund's picture
chihuachsund

I'm taking it back today, will keep an eye out for a more reasonable priced alternative.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

to find King Arthur Flours with a regular price at Winco for $3.42 for a 5# bag.  All the other grocery chains are at  $5.50 or more.  Just shows you how much the other chains are ripping people off.  This price is also $1.60 less than KA's own website too!  Prices of flour vary widely so it pays to shop around.    Whole Spelt flour at Winco was $1.49 a pound and $8.95 a pound on KA's web site - who would pay that?  It must be web page error!

chasenpse's picture
chasenpse

I've seen the same thing at my local chef central store, they wanted $9.99 for that same 5lb bag of KA flour. Make no mistake, it's not web page errors - just plain 'ol greed.

pepperhead212's picture
pepperhead212

I have read all this discusion of 00 flour with some amusement (plus learning some things, for sure!), as no mention has been made of flavor, though low ash = low flavor, for the most part.  Back when KAF first marketed their 00 flour, I tried some, and tried it in pizza dough and pasta dough - the two things they suggested it was better for.  Pizza dough was easier to handle, but everybody who sampled it found it bland, and relatively flavorless, compared to everyday AP flour.  And the pasta dough required much more flour/egg, and, again, the flavor was lacking, plus the "bite" of the noodles simplly was not there - probably due to the low gluten.  I never bought it again, though I used up what I had for shortbread - something I had made with half AP flour and half tapioca stach, so I figured this would be similar, with the fineness and what seemed to be more starch than other flours (though I was just guessing).  And the lower flavor was not a problem in the shortbread, as the butter was the main flavor.

Dave   

loafgeek's picture
loafgeek

I pay $19.10 for 50 lb bag of ORGANIC whole red wheat from Azure Standard in Oregon (they have a truck route).  8.5% fuel surcharge.  I grind it up myself.