If you love to bake (and eat) as much as I do, then you've probably used a lot of all-purpose flour, cake flour, and self-rising flour in a variety of treats. But have you ever heard of 00 flour, or double zero flour? Many recipes call for this specific type of flour, but what exactly is it? And how is it different than the other types of flours?
It's called 00 flour because it's the thinnest kind you can buy, and it's also considered the gold standard by Italian cooks. When you're baking things like thin-crust pizza or homemade pasta, this is the type of flour you want to use.
The difference between 00 flour and other kinds of flour lies primarily in how the gluten acts and the kind of food it's best for. While 00 flour and all-purpose flour have similar amounts of protein, 00 flour has soft wheat while all-purpose flour contains both hard and soft wheat, which forms more elastic gluten. As a result, pizza made with all-purpose flour will be chewier. Additionally, while 00 flour is best for pizza and pasta, other kinds of flour are best for bakery items. Cake flour is best for cakes and cookies, all-purpose flour is best for bread rolls, and bread flour is best for dark wheat bread.
Before baking with 00 flour, you'll need to know a few important pieces of information. First, if you use 00 flour for pizza, you'll also need an oven that gets super hot — we're talking 800 degrees and higher. Otherwise, the pizza won't brown correctly and the texture will taste off. Second, you don't want to use 00 flour for any food other than pizza or pasta. Bread with 00 flour, for example, will come out too thin and misshapen. Third, it's best to use 00 flour only when the recipe calls for it. Otherwise, you'll have to adjust the amount of water you add because the flour is so fine, which can get tricky.
You can buy 00 flour from retailers like Wal-Mart, Amazon, and Whole Foods. Just remember to freeze your flour so it won't go stale or spoil when you're not actively using it. But when you're ready to bake, may we suggest Lana Condor's delicious homemade pizza? We can't wait to make it with 00 flour on our next pizza night!