The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Substitute Italian flour for U.S. all-purpose - "long rise" or "short rise"?

roof's picture

Substitute Italian flour for U.S. all-purpose - "long rise" or "short rise"?

I want to make the Jim Lahey no-knead bread (or rather a slight variant with simple stretch-and-folds) using Italian flours that are multi-purpose but *also* are labeled as being intended for either short- or long-rising doughs. My question is, which of the flours below should I use, given that they are intended for short or long rises respectively, or should I mix them? - because the even though the Lahey recipe does have a long rise, it was not *developed* for a specifically long-rise flour, but for American all-purpose which I assume (-?-) is not specifically for either long or short rise. In other words, the important thing is to use the flour that is the closest match to American all-purpose regardless of the manufacturer's suggestions, because those are based on Italian conventions and recipes.

The reason it has to be one of these three is long and complicated (I live overseas, but it's more complicated than that) so I won't get into it right now. The quotes are from the manufacturer's websites which are only in Italian so I used an automatic translation site. Here is the recipe I am using -

Ferrari type 0
protein 11%
W  220
recommended rising time: short
"It is of medium 'strength', it is characterized by a slightly darker colour than "00" soft wheat flour due to the greater presence of "ashes" (mineral salts). It is suitable for the production of homemade pasta and bread that do not require long rising times." [This seems to be a middle-of-the-road all-purpose because the company has many other flours for pizza, pastries, etc.]

Divella Manitoba type 0
protein 13%
W 360-400
recommended rising time: long

"For long-leavened pastries such as croissant, panettone and baba. Thanks to the right balance between strength and extensibility and the high absorption, it is considered the most prized flour. It is also combined with other flours to reinforce bread and pizza doughs." [my note: Manitoba is a name for a type of flour, not a brand name. Pretty much every website says it's especially for panettone, croissants and baba, and many also vaguely say it's also for pizza, focaccia and even chapati and good for mixing with other types. According to most websites the term "Manitoba" can legally be used for ANY flour with a W value over 350 and that it ORIGINALLY meant flour made from a type of wheat that originated in Canada and is now grown in many countries. Other sources say it must actually be made from the Manitoba variety of wheat.]

Le 5 Stagioni Classica, type 00
protein 10%
W  200
recommended rising time: short
"Low protein flour, easy to be used and suitable for all kinds of direct doughs with short rising time where a good elasticity is required." [This seems to be sort-of-all-purpose and the 00 suggests it leans towards pastry, but not really completely for pastry because the company has other kinds that specifically say pastry]

idaveindy's picture

Table IX on this web page:

explains a bit about how the W number relates to the type of bread.  According to that chart, you'd want something in the 250-300 range, but unfortunately that is not among your available choices.

I don't know if blending two of those flours would get you close to what you want.


If he doesn't see this and chime in, send a private measage to user mwilson.  He's our local expert on Italian flour.