The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

KA pasta flour vs pizza flour vs 00 flour?

geggers's picture
geggers

KA pasta flour vs pizza flour vs 00 flour?

From reading the posts on the pizza blog, I see that 00 flour is often used. I also have bags of both Italian flour and Perfect Pasta Blend from KA. They seem to be readily interchangable, if Italian flour is 00 and pizza is made with 00. I read where some people use a mix of AP and semolina for pasta, which is just finely ground AP, right? And similar to 00? The same? Can I use the Perfect Pasta Blend for pizza? So confusing...

Chuck's picture
Chuck

semolina ... is just finely ground AP, right?

Nope. Semolina is ground from durum wheat, a different kind of wheat than typical AP flour is made from. Semolina may be ground rather coarsly (the extreme is "couscous"), and sometimes the term "semolina" actually means "coarse ground". Semolina may also be ground just as fine as other flours, in which case it's sometimes (not always) called "semolina flour".

There's neither a standards organization nor a generally agreed upon meaning of flour terms, which marketeers interpret as free license to label their products however they darn please. As a result, identical products are sometimes labelled differently, and the same name on the label can sometimes refer to notably different products inside. (And flour terms are even goofier than this already goofy situation when you try to translate from one part of the world to another:-) So the confusion is real  ...and I don't know of any solution.

(Coarsely ground semolina is sometimes used instead of cornmeal on peels and suchlike to minimize sticking. You still get the benefit of lots of "little ball bearings", but your bread doesn't taste like a tamale.)


My impression (with no experience behind it:-) is that flours from one country (for example Italian 00) generally have no real equivalent in another country. So your choices are to either pay huge importation and shipping fees, or use what's typically used in the country where you are. For example, in the U.S. AP makes a pretty good baguette and is used by many bakers, but it's not quite like "real" T55 flour from France.

(Sometimes you can find an equivalent to a flour from another country on the web for a price that's quite a bit higher than the local flour but not as high as importing would be. And sometimes you can find several other bakers nearby that will share an imported flour and so satisfy the "minimum order". [If you're not a fanatic though, it's probably not worth it.])

(To respond to your specific example: although Italians typically use "00" flour for their pizzas, something else is typically used for pizzas in other countries. And although the something else is "close", it's not really the same.)