Making Neapolitan Pizza OO Flour
OO Flour, also known as “double zero” flour, is an Italian flour commonly used for pizza and bread making. Its is the staple product for True Neapolitan Dough. It is characterized by its fine texture and high protein content, which results in a light and airy final product. This post will discuss the five key things to remember when using OO flour for baking.
“00 flour” is a term commonly used in the United States to refer to finely milled Italian flour that is particularly well-suited for pizza and bread. Caputo, one of the most well-known brands of 00 flour in the US, explains that “00 flour” is simply a categorization based on how finely sifted the flour is. In Italy, flour is categorized using numbers such as 0 and 00.
00 flour is made only from the wheat kernel’s endosperm, a soft, white interior rich in starch and protein. It is important to note that the endosperm is the portion of the wheat kernel that makes up 81-84% of the grain, while the bran and the germ are the hard outer layers of the grain that are not retained in 00 flour, Whole wheat flour would have the bran and the germ.
Caputo offers a variety of flour types, including whole wheat and type 1, to suit a wide range of culinary needs. It is important to understand that 00 flour is only commonly available in some countries. Other flour types can be used as substitutes, and it is important to check the protein content to know the final product.
Hydration with Neapolitan flour can vary from 55 to 70 percent and that depends on the artisan and the fact that they are truly cooking at 900f
But According to The True Neapolitan Pizza Association’s (AVPN) International Regulation, an authentic Neapolitan pizza should have a dough hydration between 55.5-62.5%. This is a pretty low percentage because wood-fired ovens are much hotter than conventional ovens.
As the pizza bakes very quickly at high temperatures it causes a steam effect and make the dough very puffy , the higher hydration keeps the dough from burning and allows it to get beautiful blisters associated with Neapolitan pizza .
Low hydration dough is typically less sticky than it’s high hydration counterpart. This makes transporting your pizza from your countertop to the oven a breeze. It helps to prevent the likelihood of any sticking, too. but will not be as dramatic as dough with a higher hydration Neapolitan Pizza OO Flour should also be used for dusting the pizza peal and a preferated peel will make it easier to pick up the dough from a marble surface.
What does Baker’s percentage mean?
If you’ve ever stumbled across the Baker’s percentage, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s going to be complicated.
However, it’s fairly easy to get your head around once you understand the formula. Baker’s percentage refers to the size of the portion of an ingredient in the dough, compared to flour.
The formula works as follows:
As an example, imagine you’re working with a recipe that requires 2% salt. This means that 2% of the amount of flour you use should equal 2% of the amount of flour.
So 1000g of flour would require 2% of salt. The baker’s percentages are beneficial when scaling the recipe and far more effective than just pure weight.
What if I can’t wrap my head around Baker’s Percentage?
If you can’t quite figure out the formula to baker’s percentage, we can’t blame you. Some recipes use just percentages, but fortunately, there’s a neat way to convert these percentages into weight measurements.
When showing a formula in bakers percent, the flour weight is always equal to 100%, and the amount of each ingredient is expressed as a percent of the total flour weight.
To change a dough formula by weight into bakers percent, you’ll want to divide the weight of each ingredient by the weight of the flour and multiply by 100. Here’s an example:
Starting with weight measures:
- Flour: 40 lb. (640 oz.)
- Salt: 11.2 oz.
- Instant dry yeast: 2.4 oz.
- Olive oil: 6.4 oz.
- Water: 23 lb. and 3.2 oz. (371.2 oz.)
Converting to bakers percent:
- Flour: 100% (always)
- Salt: 11.2 oz. divided by 640 x 100 = 1.75%
- Instant dry yeast: 2.4 oz. divided by 640 x 100 = 0.375%
- Olive oil: 6.4 oz. divided by 640 x 100 = 1%
- Water: 371.2 oz. divided by 640 x 100 = 58%
Now that we have the dough formula in bakers percent, we can manipulate the size of the dough based on the amount of flour we want to use.
Let’s say we want to increase the dough size to 50 pounds of flour:
- Flour: 100% = 50 lb. (800 oz.)
- Salt: 800 x 1.75, then press the “%” key = 14 oz.
- Instant dry yeast: 800 x .375, then press the “%” key = 3 oz.
- Olive oil: 800 x 1, then press the “%” key = 8 oz.
- Water: 50 x 58, then press the “%” key = 29 lb.
Note that the weight of the ingredient will always be shown in the same weight units (pounds, ounces, grams, kilograms, etc.) that the flour weight is shown in.
Here are some common misconceptions about Neapolitan Pizza OO Flour
- It can only be used in high-heat ovens – This is different as 00 flour can perform well in lower-temperature ovens.
- It is difficult to find outside of Italy – This is also not true as Caputo 00 flour can be easily purchased online and at some grocery stores.
- It has a low protein content – The protein content of 00 flour can vary depending on the type of wheat used. Caputo offers a range of 00 flours with varying protein levels to suit different needs.
Come and Master the Art and Business of Pizza. Click here to learn more.