One of the biggest challenges of making thin-crust pizza is stretching the dough to a uniformly thin, evenly round pie: That is, unless you’ve incorporated some 00 flour into your dough.
Italy’s tipo 00, or doppio zero, flour for pizza is prized for its exceptional workability in pizzerias in Italy and around the world, especially those that specialize in thin-crust pies such as Neapolitan- or New York- style. If you’re ready to up your at-home pizza game, here’s everything you need to know about shopping for and using this game-changing ingredient.
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What is 00 Flour?
The U.S. categorizes flours based on their protein content, but in Italy and some other regions of Europe, flours are instead categorized by how finely they have been ground. Tipo 2 is the most coarsely-ground, and 00 flour is the most fine. Stateside, 00 flour has mainly been available to professional cooks, but it is now making its way into supermarkets.
00 Flour Makes It Easy to Shape Pizza
We tried a well-known brand, Caputo 00 Pizzeria Flour, comparing it in our thin-crust pizza with the same pie made with Gold Medal bread flour, and found both airy and crisp, with a delicate chew.
But what really impressed us was how easy it was to stretch the 00 dough into a slim, even round. Unless you’ve had lots of practice, the dough can tear as you try to stretch it thin or display thicker or thinner patches. Not so with the dough made with 00 flour—it had the perfect balance of easy extensibility and gentle elasticity. If we stretched it too far in one direction, it snapped back just enough that we could more easily turn out a thin, beautifully shaped round.
The Science of 00 Flour
In our test, both flours had nearly identical protein amounts (the Caputo flour has 12.5 percent; Gold Medal, 12 percent) so why the difference?
It boils down to the proprietary blend of wheat in the Caputo 00 flour. Different types of wheat have varying ratios of glutenin and gliadin, the proteins that link together in the presence of water to form gluten. The amounts and traits of these proteins in the Caputo blend led to a matrix that was both workable and forgiving, making for dough that allows pros and aspiring pizzaiolos alike to turn out perfect rounds.