Which flour is best for making pizza? This is one of those questions that has as many answers as there are people making pizza out there. But it’s true to say that there are better and worse flours for making pizza.
The best flour for making pizza really depends on what kind of pizza you want to make. For example, bread flour is great for chewy New York or New Haven style pizza. On the other hand, tipo 00 is best for a soft and crispy crust like Neapolitan style pizza.
But if all you have access to is regular all-purpose flour, don’t worry, that will work just fine, too. It. The dough just won’t be as strong or as puffy compared to bread flour or tipo 00.
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All-Purpose vs Tipo 00 Flour
Tipo 00 flour is generally better than all-purpose flour for making pizza because it’s more finely ground and has a higher protein content.
All purpose flour often has a protein content of around 10%, while tipo 00 is closer to 13% in most cases. As a result, pizza crust made from tipo 00 has a delicate texture with lots of air bubbles.
This is why tipo 00 is the preferred type of flour for making soft Neapolitan style pizza crust. You can think of tipo 00 flour as being a bit like pastry flour but with way more protein.
Pizza Flours Compared
|Flour Type||Protein Content||Qualities and Characteristics|
|Caputo “00” Bread Flour||12.5%||Finest grade of flour milled in Italy, with a highly refined consistency. Produces a soft crust with a crackly-thin layer of crispness, an open and airy hole structure, and a slight chewiness. Requires less water compared to American flours due to its fine milling.|
|All-Purpose Flour||11.7%||Moderate protein content suitable for a wide range of baked goods. Produces a pizza crust with smaller bubbles, resulting in a less airy structure compared to “00” flour. Versatile but doesn’t excel in any specific baked product.|
|Bread Flour||12.7%||Similar protein content to Caputo bread flour. Produces a stretchier, chewier crust compared to Italian “00” flour. Results in a taller cornicione (edge of the pizza crust) and offers better protection against sagging from sauce and cheese. Great for New York style.|
Bread Flour is Best for New York & New Haven style Pizza
Many people insist on using strong flour for their pizza doughs but I avoid this and opt for lighter Tipo 00 flour.
Strong flour, or strong bread flour, is flour that is made from hard wheat varieties and contains more gluten. Gluten is what gives bread its elasticity and results in a chewier crust.
Pizza dough made from bread flour will result in a crispy and chewy crust, which is perfect for New York and New Haven style pizza. Though tipo 00 works pretty well, too, just with a softer crust.
Bread Flour Is Not The Same As Tipo 00 Flour
There seems to be some confusion online about what tipo 00 flour actually is. Tipo 00 is not the same thing as bread flour, in fact they are kind of the opposite of each other due to how their grains are milled.
Tipo 00 by definition refers to how finely the grains are milled. Bread flour on the other hand can range from finely milled to more of a whole grain, but it’s usually as coarse or coarser than all-purpose.
There are some similarities, however. Both bread flour and tipo 00 flour tend to have a higher protein content, which creates a stronger gluten structure and a puffier crust.
This is why tipo 00 is best for soft and puffy crusts, while bread flour is best for puffy and chewy crusts.
All-Purpose Flour Can Be Used Instead Of Tipo 00 Flour
As I’ve made clear by now, Tipo 00 flour is the best kind of flour for making a pizza similar to what’s popular in New York and Naples. But if you don’t have Tipo 00 flour available where you live, you still have plenty of options.
All-purpose flour is pretty good for making pizza, but it isn’t great. You’ll get a crust with decent air bubbles and texture, but flatter and denser than tipo 00 or bread flour.
Many people claim that all-purpose flour has too little protein content for a pizza dough but this isn’t true. All-purpose flour typically has a protein content between 9-11% which is more than enough for a pizza. Try to choose a better brand, like King Arthur, if you can.
What Can I Do With Tipo 00 Flour
While Tipo 00 flour is mostly used for pizza, that doesn’t mean it can’t be used in other recipes as well.
I often like to make loaves of bread or dinner rolls with my leftover Tipo 00 flour pizza dough. You can do this as well by simply forming the dough into a loaf pan and brushing lightly with oil to get a crispy crust.
Tipo 00 flour is also quite popular for making calzones as well.
In general, use Tipo 00 for any recipe that you want to have a light but still slightly chewy crust.
Tipo 00 Has Nothing To Do With Protein Or Gluten Content
Most posts on blogs around the internet say that Tipo 00 flour means higher or lower gluten. This is wrong as Tipo 00 only refers to how finely the grain is milled.
Tipo 00 flour runs the full spectrum of higher and lower protein content. This protein is usually what determines how strong the gluten bonds will be.
Consider Fermenting Your Pizza Dough Before Baking
Another factor that comes into play when determining how well a pizza will turn out is the fermentation time. I personally like to ferment my doughs for at least 24 but preferably 48 hours. This allows for the airiest and puffiest crust possible. It also makes the crust easier to digest, similar to the way sourdough works.
I also use a super easy no-knead method when making my doughs. You can check it out here.
Does Walmart/Amazon Carry 00 Flour?
Believe it or not 00 flour is available at most major supermarket chains.
In fact, even Walmart and regularly keeps 00 flour in stock depending on your area.
Tipo 00 flour is also available on Amazon, which you can check out here.
Choose The Best Pizza Flour For You
So, in essence my message to all you wanna-be home pizza-makers out there is simple. Just use your best judgement when it comes to choosing flour. If you have a Tipo 00 flour available to you, you should use it.
But if you don’t have Tipo 00, don’t hesitate to reach for all-purpose flour in your local grocery aisle. Your pizza will be heavier but still very tasty.
I generally find that the thinner the crust, the less taste matters. Especially when the crust is extremely thin and crispy. I sometimes add flax or whole wheat to my thin crusts because there’s simply less crust to taste. But I’d never do this with a Neapolitan pizza where the whole point is to relish the soft puffy crust.
Additionally, check out this useful explanation of how to figure out exactly what percentage of protein is in your flour.