The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

oo flour and no knead pizza

bartwin's picture

oo flour and no knead pizza

does anyone know the % hydration for a no knead pizza, Lahey's method, using 00 flour instead of bread flour?

bartwin's picture

Thanks, Dan, for all of this!   The Italian flour i call "00" is from King Arthur and it's 8.5% protein.  The bread flour i've been using in the pizza recipe is also from King Arthur and is 12.7%.    Yes, Lahey's doughs are quite wet.  They get put in a pan (or on a piece of parchment) and stretched out with fingers - not rolled out which would be impossible.   Rose Levy Berenbaum has a similar process.  The Lahey recipe for pizza with the bread flour calls for 500 grams of flour and 300 of water (plus salt, sugar, yeast).    I was wondering if the same proportions would apply or if i needed more - or less - hydration with the lower protein flour.

bartwin's picture

hello Dan,

Back from LA and i tried the pizza again, but i didn't follow your advice about using my instincts! too bad for me. on the other hand, i learned something.   i set the hydration level at 83% (which equals the 250 grams starting amount you suggested; but you also suggested using my instincts, which i didn't do since i wasn't at all clear about how this dough should feel).   it did not turn well. heavy and tasteless.   this morning i consulted Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Bread Bible. I had used her pizza recipe before and loved it.  I discovered, since i missed it on the previous reads, that she recommends King Arthur's Italian flour OR King Arthur's All Purpose for the recipe. I've always used the all purpose since i didn't have the Italian on hand.  Even though the protein %s are way different (italian at 7.4 and all purpose at 11.7) she does not differentiate between the two in terms of hydration%.  For both, it's 70% (while for Lahey's bread flour pizza it's 60% -humm).   In her method, you mix the dough, let it sit for half an hour or more at room temp and then put it in the frig for up to 24 hours, then bring it to room temp for about an hour before baking.  (Lahey's method is just to make the dough and let it sit at room temp for 2 hours before baking.)

I don't understand the logic of all this, but i'm going to try Rose's recipe again with Italian flour and see how that works.  will report back.

Thanks again, Dan, for your previous advice. It would be nice if this information is helpful to you  - at least to add to your extensive knowledge base.


madruby's picture

Thanks Elia for that explanation.  Very interesting.  Here I am, all proud and glorified about finding the Italian type 00 flour to make my pizza dough.  After reading your post, I now undertsand that using the Italian type 00 flour will not necessarily yield the result that I want since I do not know what the "W" is (nor does the brand indicate the % of protein).  If I understand your explanation correctly, there is certain type 00 that will allow for a short fermentation while another will let you rest your dough for an overnight fermentation.  Since I did not know that, I simply mixed my ingredients then threw the dough in the fridge for at least 24 hours.  Because I do not know the W coefficient, I guess I'll have to assume that the flour 00 I bought could only go for the short fermentation.

I actually bought that type of flour cuz I have been reading all over the net that this IS the flour used by many "experts, chefs, bakers..." or Italians to make the pizza dough as it is more flexible, malleable and stretchable.  I unfortunately may have been misuing it and as a result, have had poor results with it and end up tearing my pizza dough every time.

I still don't understand what is the fuss about using this type 00 flour as so many swear by it....does it really give a better pizza dough than perhaps the AP or bread flour - I need to ask the question since I cannot tell from my own experience.

Elia, do you have a good pizza dough recipe that you could share with all of us.  Thanks again for your contribution.


rjerden's picture

It's all about extensibility, which Italian flours have in spades, not due to the flour strength, but because of their process of milling the wheat. Italian flours used for pizza are typically low extraction (using only the endosperm). In addition, the grain is tempered (soaked) much longer before it is milled. Then, it is milled slowly and gently, so as not to damage the starch and protein. The result is a a dough that can be stretched very thin (windowpane), yet rises very well in a hot oven. It's a real pleasure to work Italian dough. Typically, it doesn't require a very high hydration to give good results for pizza. I also use it for breadmaking, where it's almost the only flour that will work well for certain difficult breads, like rosette soffiate. Can't beat it for grissini, either. Try the Caputo 00 Pizza Chef (in the 1 kg red package).