This post is all about the best flour you need to make great pizzas and the process of how to pick the right flour for making the best pizzas.
Pizza starts with great dough, if you mess up the dough, you mess up the whole pizza.
That is why you must know which flour you should pick when making the dough.
The pizza’s crust is the most important part, which means that you cannot have a great pizza if you have a bad crust.
This is another reason why the process of choosing flour is important.
Many types of flour are suitable for making great pizza dough.
However, the challenge comes with choosing as you cannot determine which one is the best option.
This post will guide you and tell you everything you need to know about the best flour used for pizzas.
That way, you will know which flour to choose when you shop for it.
So read on as we get to the types of flour you could use and which one you should use.
There is also a guide on choosing the best type of flour for Neapolitan pizza for the crispy crust.
Do You Need a Specific Pizza Flour For Good Pizza Dough?
Yes, you do need good flour to make good pizza dough. This is necessary unless you want to experiment with other ingredients as your pizza crust or pizza base.
If you need to understand which flour works best to make an authentic Italian pizza, you must understand the importance of gluten development.
Gluten development is a pretty important aspect of a pizza dough, and it is why you get your crispy yet chewy dough.
Several aspects helps you pick the right flour and here are some of them-
Various flours have different gluten content and pizzas taste better when you use flour with slightly higher gluten content.
Gluten is the important part of the pizza dough that gives it a slight rise and a nice web like structure inside when the pizza cooks completely.
Gluten is dependent on the amount of protein in the flour.
Gluten network forms when you pour water in your flour and start kneading the dough as the water combines with the starch in the dough forming an elastic consistency.
This elasticity formed in your dough is gluten and hence the more better the elasticity of the dough, the crispier and chewier your pizza dough.
Usually flours used in pizza dough should have a protein content of 12-14%, while the normal all purpose flour that you get has 10-12%.
You can use all-purpose flour if you want to quickly make a pizza and do not have any other ingredients, but if you want to make an authentic pizza, you SHOULD use the flour with 12-14% protein content.
Bread flours have high protein content, 12-14%, and the flour used in pastries has a protein content of about 8-10%.
The all-purpose flour is known to be versatile hence it has a protein content of about 10-12%
How To Choose The Right Flour For Pizza?
When it comes to choosing the right flour for any pizza for that matter, you need to first understand the role of gluten in the process to get the best type of flour.
Gluten is the protein found in wheat and other grains used in making flour.
The mineral gives that stretchiness to the dough, and it needs to develop to have a crispy crust.
It is the ingredient that will determine the crispiness of the crust of your pizza.
The texture of the crust depends on how well the gluten is activated and worked during the process.
The more gluten there is in the flour, the stretchier the dough will be.
There will also be more air pockets that you can work within the dough to create that chewy interior of the crust.
When you are trying to choose the best flour for your pizza, look at the gluten content.
The percentage of protein in the flour should be at least 10% to 12% to get those airy bubbles in the dough.
How To Choose The Right Flour For Pizza For Neapolitan Pizza?
The same process goes into choosing the right flour for your Neapolitan pizza.
That means that you have to consider the flour’s protein content to create the right dough for your pizza.
Neapolitan pizza is not just a simple pizza made with any flour.
You need to follow standards to say that the pizza you made is authentic Neapolitan pizza.
The flour used in making Neapolitan pizzas is fine-milled and is often the best type of flour for making crusts.
That is why you need to find Tipo 00 flour for your Neapolitan pizza.
00 refers to the flour texture, which is fine compared to all-purpose flour, which is a little rougher.
So if you are making Neapolitan pizzas, get flour with at least 12.5% gluten in it.
The Best Flours For Neapolitan Pizza
The best flour you can get when making Neapolitan pizza is Tipo 00 flour.
This is a finely milled type of flour that is very smooth and usually has a lot of gluten to work with.
Tipo 0 and Tipo 00 Flours are both amazing choices to make pizzas and they both are approved and follow the rules set by the international regulations for Neapolitan pizza.
This finely milled flour is perfect for making a smooth and crispy finish on your pizza crust.
You can get that crispy texture on the crust while also having an airy interior for a chewy finish.
Many brands are making 00 flour so you can choose your favorite. Amongst brands the texture and quality might change.
The one I use is the Caputo Tipo 00 flour, and this is probably the best pizza dough brand out there.
The Tipo 00 flour has 13% protein content which is pretty good to make authentic Neapolitan Pizza.
While you can use all-purpose flour, I do not recommend making an authentic Neapolitan pizza. Use only 00 flour for your Neapolitan pizza dough.
Fermentation of the Dough
Once you have made your dough and kneaded it, you need to stick in a thermometer and check its temperature.
If the temperature is 23-26 degrees celsius, then you have the perfect Neapolitan Pizza Dough ready.
Leave the dough for at least 2 hours, before you go ahead and make your dough balls.
Make sure you cover the dough with a damp cloth. I do this often so that my dough does not form a layer of dry crust on top.
Once you make the balls, you can let them sit at ambient temperature overnight.
You can even keep them in the refrigerator, but make sure that you put them in your container once you make the balls, let them double in size at room temperature, and then keep them in the fridge.
Storing your dough in a temperature that is 18-17 degree celsius is perfect, and you should get the perfect results once you do this.
Hydration of the Pizza dough
While using the Tipo 00 flour, I usually go for 64 percent hydration which means for 1000 grams of flour, I use 640 ml of water.
This gives me the perfect crust I like, however you can play around with the dough hydration and see how it affects your pizza dough.
Your dough hydration can go up to 68 percent and you might like the results you get with that kind of hydration, but for my Neapolitan pizza I choose 64 percent.
You can read this article to know more about Pizza Dough hydration if you are new to it.
Usually, Neapolitan pizzas cooks in a high temperature which is about 500 degrees celsius.
This gives the Neapolitan pizzas the perfect chewy crust and you also get the leopard spotting.
Place your pizza very close to the broiler and cook it that way using a pizza stone to make the bottom super crispy.
A Favorite In Neapolitan Pizzerias
If you want to make sure that you get the best flour for your Neapolitan pizza, then you should get the Caputo Pizzeria.
It is a 00 flour that I use and many pizzerias consider it the best flour for pizzas.
This is a popular choice for authentic pizzerias because aside from the name, the flour itself fits the standards of making authentic pizzas in the most famous pizzerias.
Caputo is a company that has been making finely milled flour for pizzas. They have developed and perfected the flour that is best for pizzas by supplying many authentic pizzerias.
For many years, the company has made sure that they only produce the best quality flour. The Caputo Pizzeria is for cooking pizzas in wood-fired ovens or with very high temperatures.
That means that the flour has a lot of gluten, and it has a high-strength rating. This is the reason why the flour becomes crispy at high temperatures instead of just burning.
The Best Pizza Flour For Long Fermentation
Long fermentation, also known as cold fermentation, develops the dough at much colder temperatures so that the gluten in the flour is not overworked and exhausted.
This means that you need strong flour for it to last longer. By fermenting the dough longer, you develop more flavors that you can only get if the flour itself has enough gluten.
The best flour for this is Tipo 00 flour, a finely milled type that has a high protein content.
It provides enough gluten so that the yeast does not exhaust the dough too much.
You can get this flour from Caputo with the Caputo Chef’s Flour that has a higher strength than the other types of flour that you would commonly find in supermarkets.
It has about 13% gluten and strength of W300-320 which means that it stays stretchy after long fermentation periods. You can even go for more than 2 days when fermenting this flour.
So even after longer fermentation periods, the dough would still be elastic and stretchy when you need it.
This flour is perfect if you want more flavor and crispiness on your pizza crust.
The Best Pizza Flour For Airy Pizza Crust
When choosing the best flour for an airy and crispy crust, you will need a Tipo 00 flour. This is the same type of flour that produces both flavor and texture to the pizza crust.
If you are looking for a specific product, then it goes back again to Caputo. The Caputo Nuvola flour is one of the best types of flour that you can get if you want that airy finish in the crust.
It has a lot of gluten with about 12% and if you ferment it long enough, the yeast will start to develop and use the gluten. The yeast produces carbon dioxide that fills the bubbles in the dough.
Since the Nuvola flour is stretchy enough, it will create pockets of air that you can either push to the edge of the dough or leave it in the center so that you have that airy and aromatic bite all over the pizza.
I hope this post answered all your questions on how to choose the best flour for pizza!
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below, and I would be happy to help!