The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Italian "00" flour continued.....

rainwater's picture
rainwater

Italian "00" flour continued.....

Well....here is the final chapter...maybe/probably in the Italian "00" imported flour Saga.  I have made the "00" pizza crust with pretty much the same consistency as the crust made with King Arthur Unbleached bread flour.  The "00" flour makes the crust with a bit more bite (al dente?), but it's barely noticeable, but mentionable.  I used the same formula for both crusts, but the Italian "00" uses one Tablespoon of olive oil instead of two like I use with the King Arthur.  I'm not sure the Italian flour likes olive oil added??? I have to say......the Italian flour does have flavor and scent that is noticeable.  Especially when the baked product reaches that point in the oven when the aroma drifts into the house....The Italian flour has an aroma that is unique.....These pizza crusts are 75% hydration. 

When my stash of Italian "00" flour is finished, I probably will not order any time soon in spite of the flavor....it's a bit expensive to mail order the Italian flour......

The first photo is the Italian "00" crust, the second photo is the King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour.  I have to say....I haven't tried all the European flours (of course), but I'm not sure they have any advantage over our American flours in texture of finished product.  The perfect crust would be King Arthur texture with Italian "00" flavor......it must be something in the soil..or maybe it's the particular strain of wheat that's used.  Caputo states in their website that they use flour from many places to mill....maybe it's not just Italian soil, but maybe the strain of wheat.....This would be a great study for a company like King Arthur to research.....maybe get American farmers to use some European strains of wheat to produce or coax some different qualities from our flours.

Bixmeister's picture
Bixmeister

I love to make pizza in my Kamado ceramic cooker.  I have had great success in both the crust and sauces by extracting ideas from the net including this forum.

This forum introduced me to 00 flour.  I have been looking for 00 flour locally, The San Diego area for some time.  I finally found a good source:Mona Lisa Restaurant.  Mona Lisa is located on India Street in the heart of Little Italy.  The restaurant has a deli at one end with a separate entrance.  The deli has many Italian ingredients including 00 flour, San Marzano tomatoes etc.

I plan to test the 00 flour in the near future.

 

Bix

farina22's picture
farina22

This is such an interesting discussion to me. I just spoke to someone "in the know" who said that, in fact, Caputo's imports US and Canadian wheat to make their 00 and that it's all in the milling. When I worked in a bread bakery in Italy, the baker was very proud of the fact that she used Canadian wheat. Now that I' m nearing the end of a 50# bag of Caputo's, I'm having to add water to my already 70:30 hydration. The flour seems to be drying out. Has anyone else experienced this?

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

I'm in Italy, whhich makes getting anything other than 00 flour difficult. I use Barilla brand, usually, which makes OK bread in the winter, but gets horribly sticky when I make sourdough at higher temperatures in the summer, like now.

Barilla is made from Grano Tenero -- soft wheat -- and the pack says 9.5 g protein per 100 g flour.

Does that make it 9.5%? I suppose it does.

I see Canadian flour on the shelves, but it is expensive. Also Semolina Remacinato, which I think is generally made from Grano Duro -- hard wheat. I need to investigate that further, although it seems coarser than 00 flour.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

is probably the weakest flour in the whole italian market. It can't bear long fermentations, thus it's incompatible with sourdough.

Semola rimacinata is milled from durum wheat, not from hard wheat. It's a totally different world: much tastier (it's very easy having more taste than no taste at all) but generally quite weak, too. I prefer using semole produced in the south: Divella, Voiello and Mininni are all very good.

 

Actually I find italian soft wheat flours (and bread made with them) absolutely tasteless, essentially they are like starch. How can there be anything with even less taste?

Ewabaker1's picture
Ewabaker1

I know that these euro-wheats are supposed to be the best for pizza and rustica breads.

But how do they compare to the German 550 or has anyone tried King Arthurs "Italian Style" flour. 

Might be what your looking for?

For the Holidays we went for broke and but the 25lb bag of commercial bread flour at our Costco, and it was made by big corporate grower ConAgra...And suprisingly the breads pizza & Bagels were quite good from this brand.

 

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/king-arthur-italian-style-flour-3-lb

Ewabaker1's picture
Ewabaker1

I know that these Italian "00" flours  are supposed to be the best for pizza and rustica breads.

But how do they compare to the German 812(bread) or 1050(high gluten) or has anyone tried King Arthurs "Italian Style" flour?

Might be what your looking for?

For the Holidays we went for broke and but the 25lb bag of commercial bread flour at our Costco, and it was made by big corporate grower ConAgra...And suprisingly the breads pizza & Bagels were quite good from this brand.

 

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/king-arthur-italian-style-flour-3-lb

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Be aware that "Con-Agra" contracts to produce flours for lots of different brands, often using very different specifications. The fact that the flour was produced by a Con-Agra mill doesn't tell you very much...

Ewabaker1's picture
Ewabaker1

Thanks chuck!

but I just thought it worked better than the ordinary Pillsbury or Gold medal store flour.

That's all, Personally it was a good deal for 25lbs. of bread flour.  Considering We pay 6 bucks for 5lbs of KAF or Bob's Red Mill at the Health food outlets.Made a lot of Portuguese sweet bread and other breads for the Holidays. 

so $7.39 for 25lbs of flour is great for Hawaii. this way I could buy other organic flours from the Health stores to mix.

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11386339&whse=BD_564&Ne=5000000+4000000&eCat=BD_564|11121&N=4037908%205000106%204294920749&Mo=1&No=0&Nr=P_CatalogName:BD_564&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&topnav=bd

Personally if I could I would try to support a less Corporate Farm concern normally but in Hawaii. Organic Flours can get quite prohibitive in cost.

So thank God for Costco for they do provide us in Hawaii some options at affordablility.

I am aware of the different specs. But in this case worked fine.

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Please don't misunderstand me: I'm not saying that flour from Con-Agra mills is either "good" or "bad"  ...all I'm saying is nothing more than that -taken by itself- the fact the flour came from a Con-Agra mill doesn't tell anything at all. My apologies if my words seemed to extend farther than intended.

Ewabaker1's picture
Ewabaker1

It can get confusing trying to keep clear which flours to use for what but for those looking to delve into more info on the types of flours and how they determine what is what??  Especially with Euro-flours.

Hopefully this helps all interested parties!:

 

http://www.germanfoodguide.com/flours.cfm

 

Aloha!

Good baking!!