The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Neapolitan pizza dough--compensating for bread flour vs. 00 with higher hydration?

Cecilia.Bedelia's picture
Cecilia.Bedelia

Neapolitan pizza dough--compensating for bread flour vs. 00 with higher hydration?

I'm interested in trying to make a neopolitan-style pizza dough this weekend (I'm actually going to be in Naples next week, so I'll be able to do some on-the-ground research ;) )

I'd like to try to hack something workable using some bread flour I've got at home rather than running out to buy Caputo right now. My understanding is that the protein content of "Tipo 00 for pizza" and that of common American commercial bread flour is similar, but that they differ mainly in the fineness of the milling and thus the amount of hydration the flours "take" (i.e. for equal hydration percentages, you'll get a much runnier dough and larger cornicione bubbles with the 00 flour than a coarser bread flour).

Essentially, FreshLoafers, I just want to crowd source some opinions--can I get something passable using plain old bread flour and compensating with a higher hydration? I've read some mixed opinions about other differences between Caputo's 00 for pizza (ash content, etc.) that might also affect the final product, so I thought I'd solicit the wisdom of the internet. 

Many thanks!

TheBigT's picture
TheBigT

I have made a lot of pizza with both kinds of flour and I find that using the same hydration that 00 is a bit more elastic but other than that I don't notice much difference.  I've made a ton of pizza dough using regular flour and it turns out awesome.  When I used regular bread flour I let it rise for 2 hours then I cut and shape it, lightly spray with cooking oil, then let it rest for another hour(longer if my house is cooler) to get the same effect.  The dough turns out awesome and regular flour is a fraction of the price of bread flour. 

MichaelLily's picture
MichaelLily

I'm a hobbyist pizzaiolo, and I only have about 1000 pizzas under my belt, and I've only used one 25kg bag of Caputo 00 for pizza.  The others I used all purpose flour (where I live, the AP flour has 12.3% protein so it's like a bread flour).  Here is my recipe:

flour 100%

water 70%

salt 2.4%

starter 20%

Instant dry yeast small amount, maybe 1/2 T for 8-10 pizzas

Mix everything together, let sit 10 minutes, mix another 5-8 minutes on lowish speed, then let rise about 2 hours.  Divide, shape, form, put into tupperwares (or Glad or Rubbermaid if you prefer, many say it makes no difference) and put in fridge overnight.

Technique is far more important than ingredients.  Bake at 725 (or however hot you can).

Cecilia.Bedelia's picture
Cecilia.Bedelia

Thanks very much for the advice, I feel lucky to have the wisdom of an obviously experienced hand.

Yes, I'm afraid that the real impediment between myself and real Neapolitan pizza is the lack of a proper oven, and that the flour is probably trivial in comparison. My weekly pizza is a New York-style straight dough that I bulk ferment in the refrigerator for two days, and I've had good success with this, a stone, and a good hour-long 550 F preheat. I thought it would be fun to attempt the traditional Neapolitan dough to see if I could approximate the characteristic feather-light chewiness with my typical method. 

I'm definitely going to try your formula and will update on results! Thanks again.

MichaelLily's picture
MichaelLily

The last time I baked in my conventional oven, I found that by putting the pizza stone on the highest rack and the oven on broil, I was able to get the stone up to the 600-650 range.  I don't recall whether I broiled the pizza or not, but that was by far the highest surface temp I was able to achieve in there.