What’s all the fuss about 00 Flour? 00 Flour, also known as Tipo 00 or Doppio zero (double zero) is an Italian flour that is ground to extreme fineness. The texture of the flour is similar to baby powder. Italian flours are classified by numbers based on how finely they are ground. The Italian grading system ranges from 2, 1, 0, to the fineness, 00. The fineness of the grind is ideal for pasta dough because it makes it easy to roll the sheet thin enough for pasta.
Let’s Discuss Gluten
Let’s take a gluten crash course for the next 20 seconds…
What is Flour? It’s milled wheat. All flours contain a percentage of protein. When the proteins in flour become activated, they cling together to form strands of gluten. Gluten is activated when moistened then either kneaded or mixed. The amount of gluten determines the elasticity of the dough. The more elasticity, the more chewy your dough will become when cooked.
Cake flour has the lowest gluten content (7%-9% ) and Bread flour has the highest gluten content (12%-14%).
Now here’s the gag…The amount of protein 00 Flour has varies based on the type of wheat it contains. On most packaging you’ll see labeled as soft wheat or hard wheat flour. In America, the most common 00 flour available is soft wheat, made from durum wheat. Depending on the brand, they can range from 11%-13% of protein.
What is 00 Flour Used For?
Now onto the good stuff! 00 Flour is an absolute must for a true Neapolitan pizza. It’s what gives the “Naples-style pizza” a crispy crust with perfect pillowy air pockets and a soft center (but not so chewy that your jaws become tired).
In addition, it’s ideal for fresh pasta. The high gluten content is what gives pasta its firm texture. Pasta made from lower gluten flour would be too soft and mushy.
What’s the difference between All Purpose Flour and 00?
All Purpose flour, also known as ‘AP’ is made from red wheat and is both strong and elastic. 00 is made from durum wheat and is strong but not very elastic. The first key difference is the level of grind. Another difference is how the gluten behaves. The gluten from durum wheat flour (00 flour) tends to be strong but not very elastic, while the gluten in the red wheat (all purpose flour) is both strong and elastic.