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Blending 00 with KA Special Patent for Cafone?

kimemerson's picture

Blending 00 with KA Special Patent for Cafone?

I was just in Naples, Italy working with a bread baker, with the intent of learning his cafone bread. They used two different 00 flours but I couldn't tell what the differences were. I wasn't able to translate the bag's labeling. But I'm back in the US now and want to try what I learned. The only 00 flour I use now is the Caputo for pizza. I use KA Special Patent for my other breads. As I understand it, the Caputo 00 has maybe a 12% or 13% protein while the Spec. Pat is closer to 14%. So, they seem pretty close, or close enough to go well together.

My questions are:
Is there a 00 bread flour? (I know the Italians don't specify, as we do, "bread flour", "pastry four", "cake flour" etc.)
What differences are there between various 00 flours in Italy?
Can I blend the Caputo 00 with the Spec. Pat., to get a good bread, and at what ratio?  (I'm not making pizza)



tpassin's picture

"Type 00" is a Italian designation for a flour that has up to 0.45% ash content**.  That means it's been very finely sifted, and so you can expect it to be very fine and have a low protein content - in the pastry flour range. Within the category you can have different protein levels, ash, and degrees of fineness.

Within the US you can get several imported Type 00 flours, most commonly Caputo and Anna, and several US mills also produce flours they label as "00".  I don't know the differences between them, but the US ones would be ground from different wheat than the Italian one so that should make some difference.

I have no idea what each of the two flours your baker uses brings to the bread, but KA Arthur Special Patent and Bread flours wouldn't be anywhere near the same thing.  At a guess, one Type 00 would be more elastic and the other have greater extensibility.  If that were the case, you could change the balance between elasticity and extensibility to some degree by how much salt you use and when you add it (i.e., during the initial mix for more elasticity, after an autolyse for more extensibility).

I have a bag of Anna Type 00, and its ingredient list does not include any barley malt or added enzymes (and specifically says it has no added enzymes) whereas most US all purpose and bread flours do.  That could make an important difference in how the flour works for making bread.  It's also possible that your Italian baker adds some diastatic malt to his dough.

So in the end you are just going to have to try out the method, using a single variety of Type 00 or pastry flour, and see if the results come close to what you have in mind.  If not, you can start tinkering.

Here's a short thread on The Fresh Loaf about Cafone bread.  The poster just refers to "white flour" -

** Based on the dry flour weight; A US measurement would be a little different.

tpassin's picture

I wrote 

That means it's been very finely sifted, and so you can expect it to be very fine and have a low protein content - in the pastry flour range

I got that from an Italian Wikipedia page, but it seems I was wrong - not about the ash level but about the possible protein levels.  They can be up there in the bread-making range, too, even with low ash.

alcophile's picture

Here is a link to a TFL discussion on Tipo 00 flour:

@tpassin is correct that it is a low ash flour (50% extraction). The fact that the Italian baker had two different Tipo 00 flours tells me that they might have had different protein levels. Even Caputo has two Tipo 00 flours with different protein content:

Do you have a picture of the labels the Italian baker used? You could try Google Translate on the images.

BTW, the KAB Special Patent is 12.7% protein per their website:

kimemerson's picture

I do have pictures of the bags. I did use Google translate for them.
The only information on one is its maximum humidity is 15.5%
The other only tells me the W#, which is 240. 

Then I found this.
If you scroll down far enough you'll see a chart showing the W numbers and what they are good for. Then scroll down more for a nice breakdown of Caputo's flour.

So it seems possible that even Caputo 00 blended somehow with maybe he Special Patent might get me closer to what I'm after. 

mwilson's picture

KA Special Patent is probably a good all round substitute. You can cut it if you want but ultimately you will have to experiment.

00 varies in strength and covers a whole spectrum from weak to strong, which explains the use of two different 00 flours.