Making an authentic Napoli pizza may seem like an easy job. However, there are many underlying ingredients you can go wrong with. One of the worst mistakes is not knowing what type of pizza you want and using the wrong flour.
There are plenty of flours available in the market for pizza dough. Knowing which flour is best for pizza can be challenging. Many tend to use all-purpose flour, bread flour, etc., for pizza. Hence, the question remains, "which flour is the best for pizza?"
Hence, we've curated an article to understand the best flour for pizza and the differences between pizza flour and bread flour. Without any further ado, let's begin.
Caputo 00 Flour: Everything You Need to Know
Almost every pizza enthusiast during their initial research days tends to ask, what is 00 flour? In short, Caputo flour 00 is one of the best flours you can use for pizza. It’s also termed pizza flour.
Let's take a further look into the flour.
What is Caputo?
The Caputo 00 flour is famously recognized all over the world. Many think is that Caputo is a variety of flour. However, it's not a variety but a brand. Caputo is an Italian brand that started in Naples. They have been in the business since 1924. They mill their flour from the most refined whole wheat that makes the best pizza crust.
Pizzeria made the authentic Neapolitan pizza with Caputo flours. For their 00 flour, they have become a leading brand in the business. Caputo has had an unbeatable quality consistency over the years. Many pizzerias bring Caputo flours, especially from overseas, to deliver pizza made from the best flour to their customers.
What is 00 Flour?
Firstly, in Italian flour mills, "0" is termed as a coarseness margin for flour. The more the zeroes, the finer the flour is. Hence, is flour is termed as 000 flour, it's generally not coarse at all.
On the other hand, 0 flour is coarse flour that isn't very finely powdered. Hence, when making the perfect pizza, a 00 flour is the best if you ask why because the coarseness is somewhere in the middle.
Plain flour or all-purpose flour has the coarseness of a 00. It's neither too fine nor too coarse, which makes it the best flour to use for pizza dough. You can also use it for a variety of other items.
Why Is Caputo Pizza Famous?
Caputo is undoubtedly the best flour for pizza dough. They have a particular item they make for American pizzas, which is called "00 Americana." Ever since the authentic Neapolitan pizza was introduced in America, Caputo served the pizzerias with their signature flour.
However, the Americana flour is designed for American-style pizzas. If you want an authentic Neapolitan taste, make sure you go for the Caputo 00 flour. Indeed, you'll feel the taste of classic Italy in the pizza bread!
What's Different About Caputo Flour?
Caputo 00 Americana is different due to the milling process of the flour. Unlike most American flour mills, the Caputo 00 flour is intricately milled via hand to ensure the finest quality.
The 00 flour, as mentioned previously, has the perfect consistency of coarseness. It has high protein content, which secretes gluten. Gluten is the main element in the kneading of the pizza dough. Hence, since Caputo specializes in giving the full gluten content in your flour, rest assured- you'll have the perfect pizza dough every time!
The flour also ensures maximum hydration capacity. It's essential for pizza bread not to be flaky or sticky. Hence, the Caputo 00 flour makes sure your pizza can absorb water and oils perfectly.
Any pizza suits Caputo flour. The flour can retain flavor, hydration, and they have a history of authenticity. When you get flour from Caputo, you don't have to worry about your best Italian pizza going wrong.
American 00 Flour Vs. Caputo 00 Flour
There are many local flours available in the USA. However, the variations are not the same as the authentic Italian 00 flour. The primary reason is that the grading system of the coarseness of the flour is not the same between the USA and Italy.
In the USA, the protein content determines the flour grading. In Europe, especially Naples, Italy, the flour is graded on the milling system. Whether the flour is powdery or grainy will determine the 0 factor.
Hence, when you buy an American 00 flour, it won't be the same as Italian 00 flour. Therefore, you must experiment with baking with both. Experimenting will undoubtedly help you understand what's better for you.
Why You Should Use Caputo 00 Flour for Pizza
Caputo is considered to be one of the finest brands of flour for all purposes. Thus, it stands to reason that their 00 flour, which has been specially developed for pizza, is the most refined pizza flour available.
However, many ask this question, "why should I use Caputo 00 flour for pizza?" One of the main reasons is the presence of gluten in the food.
Gluten is one of the essential components of dough when it comes to rising and rising again. Gluten is responsible for the kneading of the dough. Kneading helps bread activate the gluten, which then helps to bring all of the components together.
When a dough does not properly activate the gluten contents in itself, the kneading process will be much more demanding. However, you won't have to worry about Caputo 00 flour. You can lay back and relax while it activates the gluten properly.
You can also mix different herbs like oregano, black pepper, paprika, and more in the pizza. Cheeses like mozzarella, Havarti, ricotta, parmesan, and more pile up perfectly over the pizza without becoming soggy.
Pizza Flour vs. Bread Flour
When it comes to bread, there can be two types of variations. You can use flour that raises your bread or flour that doesn't raise your dough. Usually, the risen dough is called leavened dough. The dough which doesn't need to rise is unleavened dough, which flatbreads use.
Every flour has its purpose. The dough that needs time to rise requires yeast to get to the perfect rising state. Some may even use baking soda. It takes time for the dough to activate the yeast. Hence, there is some waiting time involved with using yeast for your bread.
Their common area for both of the flours is to have similar ingredients. Both pizza and flour bread are leavened. They need a combination of water and yeast to rise properly. The goal with both of the flours is to make their doughs reach a sticky and stretchy consistency.
Another point for their common ground is having to be kneaded and stretched to the desired shape. In the end, you get a delicious foam-like structure that melts in your mouth instantly. After all, who doesn't love perfect bread, whether it's pizza flour or bread flour?
The flours look similar and have the same consistency for every purpose. However, they have their uncommon grounds. Now that we have covered all the standard bases, let's see a few critical points in differences:
The hydration levels in the flours are not the same. Pizza flour requires much lesser water in comparison to bread flour. While bread requires more water and no oil at all, pizza isn't the same. Pizza flour needs oil to hydrate itself properly.
One of the critical differences between pizza flour and bread flour is gluten. When you knead and work through bread, there's gluten development seen in the bread. Pizza requires more gluten than regular bread. Hence, the gluten development in both flours varies.
There's a significant difference in the physical composition of the flours. Pizza dough is a designated flour, especially for baking pizza. It doesn't contain extra flavoring. However, bread flour can have many added spices, including eggs, milk, vanilla, and more.
4. Variety of Items
Besides pizza and bread, you can make different items with pizza flour and bread flour.
For example, you can make cheese sticks, mini pizzas, pot pies, calzones, savory bread, and more with pizza flour. Since pizza flour has no base flavoring, you can craft it to any delicious bread you want. However, pizza flour isn't great for baking sweet items.
Again, you can make any bread that requires a considerable rising with bread flour. For example, cinnamon buns, deep-dish pizza, hot pocket, garlic bread, chocolate bread, pretzels, butter buns, and even more precious items can be made with bread flour.
To find out which kind of dough you like to bake with, try both types and discover which one you prefer the most.
Either dough is delicious, and it's nice to know that you can swap one out for the other without having to lose flavor or texture in the process.
Caputo is undoubtedly one of the best pizza flour there is in the market. If you were wondering the differences between pizza flour and bread flour and why you must choose Caputo 00 for the most authentic Neapolitan taste, we hope you have your answers. Till the next time, happy feasting!
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Miriam MoyerFebruary 03, 2023 at 10:55 AM
Third try at posting a comment… fantastic recipe, even with heritage pizza flour. Perfect timing for guests tomorrow. Thank you so much! I’d love the labels.
Miriam MoyerFebruary 03, 2023 at 10:55 AM
I just made this beautiful loaf, just in time for a family visit tomorrow. I was afraid it wouldn’t work out as the only flour I had was a heritage pizza bread flour. It did the job and the flavor is really like Starbucks! What a great recipe! Thank you so much!! I’d love the labels. Happy Autumn. 🧡💛🧡