All you need to know about Italian Flour
Italian pasta is well-known in the world, whether it is bread, pizza or pasta, it represents the highest level of pastry cooking. Those who are familiar with Italian food culture should know that they have extremely strict standards for the identification of their flour. You will see the names of Type 0 flour, Type 00 flour, Type 1 flour and Type 2 flour. What does it mean for Italian flour to be graded like this? Let us take a look together!
Before understanding the different types of Italian flour, we must first understand the varieties. Italian flour is divided into two main groups, namely "hard wheat flour" (farina di grano duro) and "soft wheat flour" (farina di grano tenero). Hard wheat flour refers to durum wheat flour with a high level of keratin. This type of flour is not common in supermarkets. Its grains are relatively coarse, light yellow in color, high in protein content, high in gluten, and strong in extensibility and elasticity. It is more suitable for making bread or pasta.
And what we call Type 0/00/1/2 flour actually refers to soft wheat flour. This classification is similar to the general distinction between low-gluten flour, medium-gluten flour, high-gluten flour and extra-high-gluten flour. But the specific characteristics are not exactly the same.
Type 1 flour:
Type 1 is similar to Type 2 flour, which is medium-gluten flour, but it is coarser than Type 0 and Type. 00 flour. It is more suitable for desserts such as bread and pancakes.
Type 0 flour:
The coarseness of Type 0 flour is between Type 00 and Type 1 and 2, but it has a high gluten content. It is characterized by better flexibility and is more suitable for making soft breads, such as French shredded bread, croissants, Butter bread, toast bread, hot dog bun, etc. In addition, the flour is also suitable for making Chinese dim sum, such as steamed buns and dumplings.
Type 00 flour:
Type 00 flour is made from the core of the wheat (that is, the middle section). Its protein is of high quality, but the quantity is relatively small, the color is the whitest, the texture is the most delicate, and it has a rich pastoral wheat scent. When you touch it with your hands, you will feel smooth and not sticky to your hands. This kind of flour is more suitable for making pasta, cakes, biscuits, and pizza.
In the market, the price of Type 00 flour is much more expensive than ordinary flour, but the quality and flavor of the flour are worth its price. If you want to eat an authentic pasta or Neapolitan pizza, you must choose this type of flour.
Making perfect pizza crust recipe with Type 00 flour
What is the secret to make the perfect pizza crust? As the many Italian pizzerias will attest to, it is the flour! Pizza made with Type 00 is thin, crispy, and chewy.
4 cups La Grande Ruota 00 Flour (500 grams)
1 1/2 Cups Water (355 grams) Approximate
1 1/2 Teaspoons Naturata Sea Salt ( 9 1/8 grams)
1/2 Teaspoon Molino Chiavazza Dry Baker’s Yeast (2 grams)
2 Tablespoons Naturata Organic Olive Frying Oil (27 grams)
Pinch of Sugar
1) There are several methods of mixing up the dough: food processor, table mixer, or by hand.
i) Food Processor: mix the flour, salt, yeast, sugar in bowl. Pulse a few times. Put the olive oil into 1 1/2 cups of water. Slowly start the processor and add the liquid. If the dough seems too dry add more water — a little at a time until it forms a smooth soft dough. Form into a ball.
ii) Table Mixer — Mix the ingredients together in the mixing bowl to form a soft dough. The dough will still be tacky. Time varies but the dough comes off the sides of the bowl. Let rest for 10 minutes, then knead for 5 minutes.
iii) By Hand — Mix all the ingredients together to form a soft dough. Let it rest for 10 minutes, then knead for 7 to 8 minutes until smooth.
2) Once you’ve kneaded the dough, place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size. Punch the dough to de-gas it and divide it into 3 equal sized balls and place each in a zip lock bag that has been coated with vegetable spray.
3) Keep in the refrigerator overnight. The next day you can either freeze the dough or make it into a pizza. Before using the dough be sure to let it warm to room temperature (72F or more) — this is a must. Think of a pizza kitchen and how warm it is.
4) When ready to bake – preheat oven to 550F or the highest your oven will bake. Bake your favorite pizza for 7-10 minutes or until the crust is done to your likeness. Every oven will bake differently so keep an eye on it.