The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Italian "00" flour and pizza

rainwater's picture
rainwater

Italian "00" flour and pizza

I've been working with Italian "00" flour, milled in Napoli.  I usually only eat pizza on my two days off from work, because I love it, and I'm obsessed with making my best pizza crust/pizza.  I make a batch with the "00" flour, and my usual batch with King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour.  My usual pizza crust is @75% hydration, but I made my first "00" attempt with @65% hydration.  This was an eye opener!  I have to say, that my pizza crust with the King Arthur flour is better at this point in texture and chew, but it was undeniably noticeable that the Italian flour had a "fragrance", and "flavor" that the King Arthur doesn't.    Blindfolded, I could tell the difference from the scent of the Italian flour.  My next attempt, i went to @70% hydration, and added 1T of olive oil to the Italian flour...this helped...the King Arthur is still winning with texture, bite, and liteness...but the Italian flour is ahead with scent and flavor.....My next attempt, I will make the "00" exactly like I make the King Arthur at @75% hydration with 2T olive oil, which is the same recipe I use for the King Arthur....we shall see.....here are some photos of my evening pizza made with King Arthur flour......

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Nice pizzas, Rainwater! Thanks for letting us know about the Italian flour and keep us posted on your progress.


--Pamela

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I sometimes use the CaputoRusso tipo 00 brand Italian flour..nice finely ground flour 11.5% extensible gluten that makes a crisp crust and moist crumb!  I agree I think KA flours AP and Bread both make an excellent tasting crispy crust and moist crumb pizza.  I have noticed too as stated before...as the yeasties die during the fermentation time spent in the frig or in the freezer..they give off a bi-product!!for want of a better word..that does make a natural dough conditioner and makes the dough extensible and easy to shape into a pizza.


Sylvia

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

Great job. Looks delicious!

arhoolie's picture
arhoolie

Hmmn, interesting thread here.  I've experimented with using KA's "Italian style" flour (or whatever they call it) in pizzas.  But what I noticed is that my pizzas didn't brown up as nicely as yours did.  I have a gas oven which goes up to 550 degrees Farenheit.  I always thought "00" flour needed the higher temperatures of a wood oven (or jerry-rigged home self-cleaning one) to carmelize well.


 


Care to describe your oven and baking processes?


 


-Brian

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

FWIW my experience with 00 flour in pizza making, is that while the crust is generally of a paler colour, there is more pronounced blistering or 'leoparding' at high temperatures. It's a fine balance between time, hydration and heat. 


More even browning is typically associated with dough made using US flours such as KA AP or bread. I suspect this is in part, due to the addition of diastatic malt (malted barley). Traditional 00 flour does not contain this additive and overall enzyme activity is probably lower.


I have no experience, however, with the KA 'Italian style flour' although I understand it's protein content is considerably lower than the typical 00 flour used in pizzerias (caputo pizzeria for example).


FP

KAF bakers's picture
KAF bakers

Yes, our Italian-Style flour does have a much lower protein level, 8%.  Yes, I think an un-malted flour will contribute to a bit more yeast die off, contributing additional flavor in the process.  Frank, baker/blogger @ KAF.

monzy's picture
monzy

Hi Rainwater,


Thanks for the observation. I've not seen anyone comment about fragrance before and it seems important to me. Is there another flour you've observed that has a similar scent?


Could you talk about fermentation; are you retarding either dough for any time? And one more question, if I may -- is there a volume difference?

rainwater's picture
rainwater

Here is my Pizza Dough recipe...very simple.....


500 grams King Arthur bread flour


1 tsp. yeast


2 tsp. salt.


I mix this with a wire whisk briefly.  It's a short cut to sifting the dry ingredients together.


375 grams of water....I weigh this on my scale.


2 Tbs. olive oil.


I mix briefly in the bowl on the scale.   I put this on the counter and mix with my fingers until mixed evenly.  I slam, pull, and fold exactly 10 times.  Gather up the dough, put into a bowl.  I stretch and fold three times at 20 minute intervals. I place the finished dough in the refrigerator until the next day.  I take the dough out...make two 10 oz. portions, and the rest makes @ 10 oz. dough for bread roll.  Important. I take the 10 oz. dough and form gently into something kinda round and flat...I handle the pizza crust dough as little as possble.  I put in a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap that is smeared with a little olive oil. I don't line the bowl with olive oil, just a little on the plastic wrap to keep it from sticking.....  When I'm ready for pizza, I take a dough ball out two hours or more before baking.  The dough has sat on the counter for as long as 4 hours without any harm before.  I dip into flour/cornmeal bench flour that I keep on the counter, and form about half way with my fingers.....then I roll it with a rolling pin very gently...........


Oven......I set my oven at 545, because that's as high as it goes. I have a pizza stone, and I preheat for about 10/30 minutes...whatever is convenient. 


I make my pizza on parchment paper because it makes less mess than putting flour on my peel.....after about a few minutes, I reach in and slide the pizza off of the paper, and let it finish. 


Please note:  I stated that the photos were of the pizza made with King Arthur flour, not the "00" flour.....they both look about the same though.....maybe the King Arthur is a little browner, just a little though.  I think the technique for handling the dough may be a key here.  My carotene pigments are not oxidized by handling too much...something I hadn't thought about until someone mentioned their pizza doesn't brown well?????? 


I make the "00" flour pizza the same way, but have been playing with the hydration since I've read that the Italian flour doesn't need as much water.....I'm finding that it works very similarly as the King Arthur actually, and my next batch will use the same formula. 


I'm intrigued with the "00" flour because when you are making the dough, and the finished product comes from the oven....it has a scent and flavor our american flour doesn't have.   It's also expensive to order and ship...

rayps's picture
rayps

Hello Rainwater,

Great to see the passion you have for Pizza.  I practically grew up in the Pizza business.  My grandfather and his brothers all had pizza businesses when I was growing up. In fact, they all come from the birthplace of pizza which is kind of cool because I get to visit relatives and hit the Naples pizza places .  And even better my other members of the family were really great old school bakers. I still crave their  fresh sesame seed italian loaves of bread. Unfortunately, they are no longer with us and took most of their secrets with them. If only I was a little older back in those days , I would have spent more time learning.  However, I'll never forget the experiences that had and all the great pizza I enjoyed. Lucky for me I can still remember how wonderful tasting the pies were.  I'm 37 and I can honestly say that I have not tasted anything close to my Grandfather's american style pizza nor the italian breads his cousins baked.   But I can say , Ive  had a lot of great traditional italian style pies from Italy to the states  just like the pizza you are making. Now that I'm older I do find myself  drawn to the fascination with pizza making and its various styles.  I find myself experimenting with different ingredients and different ovens. Someday soon I will add the Wood fire oven to my home because there is nothing like a perfect margarita pizza from a real oven!!!

Funny thing is I have no experience in bread making and little  experience with pizza dough  from me playing around.  My best results have come from the Caputo 00 in a Cusinart brick oven so far. I would like to experiment with KA .. and then a  batch with  KA and Caputo together.  Do you mind explaining the hydration variable? I've heard some other experienced people talk about adjusting the hydration factor.  How are you controlling the percentage of water? Is it just adding more or less when mixing?

Quick questions with your experimenting: Am I reading this correctly? You are kneading 3 times in 20 minute intervals?? Am I confused it seems like a lot of kneading. Ive tried kneading for a half hour and the dough gets rock hard.

Thanks rainwater!! Keep up the good work

KAF bakers's picture
KAF bakers

Thanks for sharing your pizza adventures. I shouldn't be looking at the pictures while I'm hungry, they look amazing!


Keep up the experiments, and let us know if we can be of any help.


Happy Baking! ~ MaryJane @ King Arthur Flour


 

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Way to go, rainwater! I'm impressed that KAF is watching TFL & you.


--Pamela

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

Here's my attempt at using 65% hydration with a combo of KA Bread flour & Hodgson Mill:



As you can see I had a wee spot of trouble unloading (not a sticking problem but a positioning problem!).


FP


 

xaipete's picture
xaipete

You are really making me hungry!


--Pamela

arhoolie's picture
arhoolie

I was the one who mentioned that his pizza's didn't brown well.  In my case, I was using KA's version of "00" flour in a 550 F gas oven and always got pasty white crusts even if I left the pizza in for 8-10 minutes, much longer than I would an AP-based pizza crust.


I don't use the "00" flour anymore for this reason.


 


-Brian

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Hello Brian,


Because of what I have read in a pizza forum from very experienced people useing the '00' flour...I use the '00' flour in my wood fired oven and believe it works best and chars wonderfully and works great at up to heat as high as 800F. or a very hot professional oven used in resturants that reach high temperatures!  This is my opinion only...but I think it just works best in a wood fired oven for me!  I no longer care about useing it in my indoor 550F oven.  There are a lot of wfo's in Italy no wonder they have such good results!


Sylvia 

rainwater's picture
rainwater

Next week, I will make both formulas using the Italian "00" flour (Caputo brand) and the King Arthur flour with the same exact formula.  It will be interesting....so far....the King Arthur is winning with texture and bite, and the Italian Caputo "00" is winning with scent and flavor.....these are very subtle differences.  I will say this....the King Arthur faired better with two days in the fridge than the Italian "00" flour did...I lost more oven spring with the Italian "00" flour after 2 days in the fridge. 


The King Arthur also develops a little more flavor after two days in the fridge. 


Although both pizzas were good after two days in the fridge....both developing more flavor....if I had a commercial pizza shop...I wouldn't serve pizza on crust more than a day old.....customers would expect a texture consistency in a commercial setting.....I don't know.....?????  This two day old King Arthur pizza dough is pretty good with oven spring and flavor....

glora's picture
glora

Why not mix the flours for the best of both worlds!  One of my peers makes  Neapolitan pizza for a new restaurant opening using both bread flour and oo flour.  He says it comes out great.

napalil's picture
napalil

What would be the formula for using some KAF bread flour with 00 flour for a light, crisp crust?   I love Neapolitan pizza but don't have a high heat oven.

farina22's picture
farina22

Giusto's has started making their own 00 flour. To test it out, I made 4 pizzas using Caputo's 00 (65% hydration) and 4 pizzas using the Giusto's at the same hydration. I mixed them both in my DLX and retarded them for about 24 hours. My 3  "guinea pigs" were unanimous in saying that the flavor of the crust was marginally better with the Giusto's, but it was very difficult to find any other differences. The caputo dough was slightly more extensible but that didn't seem to make any difference in the final product. I baked them all in the wood-fired oven at about 850 degrees for about 90 seconds. All the pizzas, according to my pals, were an 8.5 out of a possible 10. I think they'll never give me a 10 because they're afraid I won't "practice" on them anymore! Sorry I forgot to take pictures!

MotoJack's picture
MotoJack

Those are really some good looking pies my friend.Mouth watering actually.Thanks for sharing.

wdlolies's picture
wdlolies

Hi,

I'm a passionate home pizza baker and have experimented with different flours. My best result has been, by mixing 20% white Irish bread flour (11% protein) and 80% Italian "00" flour (11.5% protein). 

Evenly browned, crisp and dry base.

By the way, it was said in this forum that "00" flour is of low protein. This is not quite true. There are different "00" flours for different purposes. "00" flours for buscuits etc has around 5 - 6& protein, wheras "00" flour for pasta has about 7 - 9% protein and "00" flour for pizzas and bread has 11.5%+ protein.

All the Best from Ireland

Wolfgang

wdlolies's picture
wdlolies

I now replaced the white bread flour with strong wholemeal spelt flour. Delicious.