What Is 00 Flour And How Is It Different Than Bread Flour?

We know that the knowledge and skill set for baking is as important as the ingredients used in your recipe.

In this article we review why 00 Flour (zero zero flour) can make the difference between an “OK” or “Awesome” result.

the chef hands are dropping flour over a wooden table - the chef hands are dropping flour over a wooden table

What is flour “00”?

Let’s start from the beginning: what is it, and why should you use it?

00 flour is the best quality flour for Italian cooking, especially thin-crust pizzas and homemade pasta. The most important quality is texture. The 00 designation references how finely the flour is milled, and 00 flour is the finest Italian flour you can get. Experts compare 00 flour to the same fineness as baby powder.

American flours are classified by their protein content and therefore gluten content. European flours are classified by the fineness of the grind. There is no relation the Italian classification verses the American flour classification method – it only serves to create confusion!

Some brands of 00 flour will vary in protein, however most 00 flour sold in the USA has a protein content similar to different types of flour like all-purpose flour, cake flour or wheat flour.

Italian Brands featuring 00 Flour

If you want to experience authentic Italian food you will find 00 flour and the best selection of Italian Food online here.

You are reading this article because you love food originated in Italy. Do you know anyone that does not LOVE quality Italian style Pizza and Pasta?

Not to mention the amazing Italian style sauces and gravies that round out the flavor experiences.

What does the Gluten Content have to do with double zero flour?

This is important, because gluten determines how chewy the crust will be. The right amount of gluten makes bread airy and chewy. The perfect combination of wheat’s proteins; glutenin and gliaden and water creates Gluten.

Bread flour is used most often when making pizza dough. Bread flour is high in gluten, and baked pizza crust will be crispy on the outside. The gluten content ensures the crust also be springy. When you stretch it, it will spring back which is a problem for some people. Bread flour is a high gluten flour, with a high gluten content of up to 13 or 14 percent.

00 flour is approximately 12 percent gluten (lower gluten content) which is ideal and will provide a chewy crust and NOT the bread flour results.

The Water Content in 00 Flour is Important!

Since the gluten content in 00 flour is different than the bread flour in your pizza dough recipe you can NOT make a straight swap of 00 flour and bread flour.

You will need to experiment with less water. Measure out the water you would use when creating your pizza dough with bread floor and plan to use LESS water with 00 flour.

If you add too much water the 00 flour dough will be runny and impossible to work with.

Pizza dough made with 00 flour must be baked at High Temperature!

The good news is that if you have an oven that can bake at 800 degrees Fahrenheit or 426 degrees Celsius – your Pizza will be perfectly baked just like brick oven pizzerias do by pizza chefs.

Without the ability to cook at 426 Degrees Celsius your crust will not achieve the distinctive and desired color – an appetizing brown. Achieving an appetizing color is not achievable in you standard home oven.

00 flour has a low sugar content which is not susceptible to burning while some flours have a higher sugar content which leads to the crust burning.

Is 00 flour great substitution for other Baking applications?

Unfortunately 00 flour does not create a good loaf of bread. Your loaf will turn out flat and will not look or taste like the fresh baked bread you expect. It’s also not a good pastry flour substitution.

If you’re tempted to grab the 00 flour if you’re doing anything but pizza or pasta… don’t.

Think of 00 flour as your go to baking flour for pizza crust and pasta.

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