What is OO Flour? 5 Things You Need to Know Before Baking
One of the most common questions asked in our certification classes is “What is the difference between 00 flour and regular flour?” We also get asked “What is 00 Flour?” and “When Should I use 00 flour?” Some students have misconceptions about the flour types, so we thought we’d create a blog to demystify them. First off, it’s important to understand that Caputo, which was founded in 1924, is the most widely known and available source of 00 flour in the US.
Caputo’s flours are dedicated to cooking enthusiasts, restaurateurs, and all those who love to express their creativity in the kitchen and delight the palate with recipes that showcase unique and genuine flavors. Caputo chooses only the best quality grain and mills it to perfection to ensure quality. According to them, the term “00 flour” is “just a categorization based on how finely sifted a flour is.” In Italy, they don’t use words such as “baking flour,” “all-purpose flour,” etc., to categorize their flour. Instead, they use numbers such as 0 and 00.
So, what is 00 flour? 00 flour is the most finely sifted type of Italian flour, made only from the endosperm. A wheat kernel is made up of three key components – the germ, the bran, and the endosperm. The endosperm is the soft, white interior which makes up 81-84% of the grain and is rich in starch and protein which act as energy sources as the grain grows. The hard outer layers of the grain, the bran is a coat made of insoluble fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins and the germ is the embryo located in the innermost part of the seed full of fats, proteins, oils, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. When the entire wheat kernel is ground, you get whole wheat flour. When a very small amount of the bran is retained you get type 0. When some of the germ and bran are retained, you get Type 1. Caputo makes flours across every category to suit every type of need.
Here are the most common misconceptions about 00 flour:
1. You can only use it with high heat ovens
People think it’s only for high heat ovens, but it actually performs well at lower temps too, such as those achieved by our Electric Oven Series ovens. The Americana and Americana Super were created specifically for that purpose. They’re great for New York Style pizza, and if you are making pizza in a conventional oven, then these flours will work well too because they’ve been blended from different wheats. Most importantly, they include a certain amount of malted wheat. By malting wheat before blending and milling, some of the sugars in the wheat are developed. This improves the browning of the crust in lower temperature ovens conventionally found in a home kitchen.
2. 00 flour is hard to find outside of Italy
That’s not true, Caputo flour can be purchased online via Amazon, at some grocery stores like Whole Foods, and through commercial distribution.
3. 00 flour has low protein content
The truth is the protein content of “00” flour can range quite a bit depending on what kind of wheat it’s ground from. Caputo has a wide range of 00 flours to suit every need. For example, their Americana Super has 15.5% protein while their Pizzeria has 12.5%. Their flour is milled slowly and finely for optimal water absorption and superior yield to help bake authentic pizza, gourmet breads, cakes, and pasta free of additives. You can learn more about them here.
For all of these reasons, we are proud to partner with Caputo in our classes, events, and media. For more information about their world-renowned flour, check out our Flour Power post here. To learn more about our upcoming classes, click here.