The Fresh Loaf

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Best flour for high heat pizza oven

emmsf's picture

Best flour for high heat pizza oven

 I just installed a new wood-burning pizza oven – it claims the temperatures will approach 900°F. I’m wondering if there are any concerns or restrictions when it comes to choosing the flour for my pizza dough.  I know there are some flours that are highly recommended for pizza as a rule – Caputo 00 for example. But I’m not sure if the extremely high heat this oven can produce calls for flour with otheir characteristics.  Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks. 

jbovenbread's picture

I would suggest that the flour used for pizzas is not generally related to oven temperature, but to the characteristics you wish from the dough and the taste of the final product.

I constructed a masonry wood fired oven about 10 years ago with some thermocouples imbeded in the structure and the highest temperature I have recorded was in the order of 1100 F.  This was an exception as I normally fire the oven  to around 700 F or 800 F before letting it drop into the 450 F to 500 F range for baking bread.  The relatively few times I have used it for pizza I've had it up to heat and then keep a small hardwood fore going in the rear of the oven .... with the oven temperature kept around the 700 range.  A hand held IR thermometer should help you in controlling the oven temperature if your unit does not come with a built in thermometer.

From what I've read most people seem to use an oven temperature starting at 750 F all the way up to 900 F.  I've made pizza at a much lower temperature .... but it definitely takes longer.  What works best for my situation is to blind bake the crust (using a perforated pizza pan) before adding the toppings.  Unfortunately I have a small oven (21" by 28") that is quite limiting.

As for the flour, I've not much experience with the 00 pizza flours as they are not available locally (an hour drive south of Ottawa Ontario Canada).  When I'm up there I can get it in one or two locations, but only in small quantities (1 kg maximum). Of course it's available online but the cost of shipping adds up.  I've used a variety of white and whole wheat flours, sometimes blended with semolina #`1 for the pizza and have not had any negative comments about it yet.

You've now got a wood fired oven, start using it and experiment.

  Enjoy it!


Malio's picture

It has more to do with the hydration than the flour itself. You see, water is a very good heat conductor, therefore, the higher the hydration the faster it's gonna burn in high temperatures. Conversely, doughs made with more water are more suitable to lower temperature ovens.

emmsf's picture

Thank you both for your insights. Very helpful. I’ll experiment and report back!