If you’ve never heard of 00 flour before, then you are certainly missing out. Double Zero or 00 flour is the key to soft, light, and flavourful baked goods.
It is even regarded as the gold standard in making pizza bases and pasta. So whether you are making pizza, pasta, or simple bread, you need to think about switching to 00 flour at least once.
In this article, we’ll be going in-depth into everything you need to know about 00 flour so you can make the best pizzas.
What Is 00 Flour?
So we’ve told you what this type of flour is used in but what exactly is 00 Flour?
00 flour, also referred to as double-zero or doppio zero flour, is classified as the most refined type of white flour. This flour is made with soft wheat or durum wheat and has a texture that can be compared to baby powder. It traces its origin to Italy and is now widely used in many parts of Europe and the rest of the world.
Unlike flours from the Uk, America, and other countries, flours from European countries are not classified according to the protein content but rather by their fineness and how much germ and bran were removed during the production.
In the Italian flour grading system, flours can be classified into 4 classifications namely 2, 1, 0, and 00. Type 2 has the coarsest texture while 00 has the smoothest texture among the other types of flour. Essentially, the lower the grade is, the finer the flour, and more germ and brand are removed. Contrary to popular belief, these numbers in this flour grading system are in no way related to the gluten or protein content of the flour.
Many types of flour are now available in a double-zero ground size. These types of flour include whole wheat, pastry flour, high-protein flour, and pizza flour.
One of, if not the most, popular brands of 00 flour is the Caputo type 00. There is a range of different varieties available but you can find a selection online by visiting the above link.
Why Use 00 Flour?
Using 00 flour can make a huge difference, especially in making pizzas because of its fine grains. The flour’s finer grind allows longer fermentation and produces a light, fluffy, and exceedingly tasty pizza base.
In addition to its fine grains, 00 flour also comes in many variations of protein content which is suitable for different preferences and needs. When it comes to gluten, 00 flour’s gluten allows the dough to be quickly stretched so you can achieve large bubbles and a higher rise of the dough.
Furthermore, 00 flour absorbs lesser water compared to other types of flour. This means that the flour requires less water to achieve a soft and pliable dough for a bubbly pizza crust. Its lower water absorption rate also makes the dough easier to shape and work with. If you need a dry and stronger dough made with 00 flour, you can easily lessen the amount of water.
Another great advantage of using 00 flour is that it can make digestion a lot easier. The fine grains of 00 flour gives a smooth and soft texture that is easy to bite and also easy to digest.
Apart from baked goods, 00 flour is also a favorite among many pasta makers because it gives the pasta a smooth texture and soft bite that you surely can’t get enough of.
Why Use 00 Flour in Pizzas?
00 flour is best to use in making pizzas because of its fine grains. These fine grains make any pizza base light and crispy with big airy pockets. Crusts made with 00 flour are also easy to eat because they are easy to bite and are not very chewy and heavy on your stomach.
What Are the Differences Between 00 Flour and All-purpose Flour?
The protein and gluten content are probably what the majority of people would answer if they were asked what the differences between 00 flour and all-purpose (AP) flour are. However, this is not true at all. This common misconception is probably because of the double zero in the names of 00 flour.
As we have mentioned above, “00” refers to the fineness of the flour and not the protein or gluten content. In fact, 00 flour comes in a wide range of protein content suitable for different baking needs. Most 00 flour has a protein content of 8 to 12% depending on the brand. Their gluten content also ranges from 8 to 12%. This protein and gluten content is considered mid-range and similar to AP flour.
The truth is there are four main differences between 00 flour and all-purpose (AP) flour. These are wheat, gluten behaviour, water absorbability, and texture.
The type of wheat used in making the flour plays a major role in the flour’s overall quality, texture, and gluten behaviour. Fundamentally, 00 flour and all-purpose flour are made from different types of wheat. 00 flour is made from soft wheat also known as durum wheat whereas AP flour is often made from a blend of wheat and soft wheat or hard red wheat.
In addition to the wheat differences, the gluten behavior also differs between 00 flour and AP flour. Although 00 flour and AP flour have similar protein and gluten content. their gluten behavior varies because of the difference in wheat used. Compared to AP flour, 00 flour’s gluten makes baked goods soft and not chewy. This is because durum wheat’s gluten tends to be strong but not very elastic. On the other hand, the gluten of red wheat flour is both strong and elastic which results in a chewy and bread-like base.
Water absorbability is different between 00 flour and AP flour as well. 00 flour has a lower water absorption rate than AP flour. This means that you only need to use a lower amount of water to make the dough made with 00 flour pliable.
Another defining difference between 00 flour and AP flour is the texture. As we have discussed above, 00 flour is the most refined type of flour. Because of its grind size, it is similar to the fineness of a baby powder. On the other hand, AP flour is not finely grounded. In some contexts, AP flour is regarded as hard flour because of its relatively coarse texture.
Where to Buy 00 Flour?
If you’re looking for places to buy 00 flour then you’ve come to the right place. If you’re happy to buy online then you can’t go wrong with Caputo type 00 flour which can easily be bought by following the link.
If you’re looking to buy 00 flour near you then smaller retailers will provide a better range of 00 Tipo flour that’s perfect for pizzas. Supermarkets such as Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose all do a version of 00 flour that will make better pizzas than standard flour however they will not be as good as Caputo double zero flour.
When you start out making pizzas you’ll no doubt try normal flour or strong bread flour in the hope that they will be ok and at first you may find that they produce reasonable pizzas.
However, as you start to make more and you end up loving making pizzas you’ll find that you will want to make the best pizzas you can, and this can only be done by using the best ingredients, including the flour!
So follow our advice right from the start and get some proper 00 flour for your pizzas.