If you’ve spent much time looking into making pizza (or other baked goods, for that matter), you’re probably aware that there are a huge number of different kinds of flour available. In the gourmet pizza world, the most famous of these may be Italian Tipo 00 flour.
The 00 designation indicates that the flour is extremely finely ground. This is the traditional flour used in Neapolitan pizza, which actually must use either 0 or 00 flour to technically qualify as Neapolitan. (It also needs to use specific tomatoes and cheese from certain regions.)
On the one hand, there’s something fun about the idea of trying to excel within the very strict confines of a true Neapolitan pizza, and the specificity of the ingredients gives them an air of exclusivity.
On the other hand… well… one look at Three Big Bites will tell you that I’m not a fan of staying within the boundaries of traditional pizza toppings. In other words, I’m not too concerned about conforming to the standards of a true Neapolitan pizza. Isn’t it more fun to play with seasonal and world flavors to create something unexpected and delicious?
This post is part of step 2 in my Complete Guide to Making Pizza. Check out the link to review other steps, including how to stretch pizza dough and how to prepare pizza toppings!
What Flour to Use for Homemade Pizza
This might be controversial, but I honestly recommend using all-purpose flour.
Yes, there’s a difference in how different types of flour behave. Tipo 00 flour is fantastic if you have a hot, wood-fired oven where you can bake it in a couple minutes or less. Sadly, most of us (myself included) don’t have such an oven at home.
When you’re working within the limitations of a typical home kitchen, the extra cost and effort involved in buying Tipo 00 flour just isn’t worth it to me. Italian Tipo 00 flour performs best under its ideal circumstances: aged at least overnight (but preferably longer) and cooked in a wood-fired oven of 800+ degrees Fahrenheit.
- is easy to find just about anywhere.
- performs well in the 450-550 degree Fahrenheit range at which you’ll probably be making your pizzas at home.
- is affordable.
- can make an excellent crust regardless of whether you make your dough in just two hours or prefer to let it age longer.
My personal favorite brand at the moment is Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached Organic White Flour. I love how it performs, and I really appreciate the fact that it’s not brominated (there’s some speculation that bromine can contribute to thyroid issues, which I already have, so I avoid it when possible). I keep several bags at home to make sure there’s always plenty for pizza!
With that said, honestly any all-purpose flour should work, so don’t worry about finding a specific brand. One of the points of using all-purpose flour, after all, is that it’s easy to find. Whatever your local store carries (or you already have in your pantry) should work great.
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