Author Topic: 00 flour question  (Read 7057 times)

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: 00 flour question
« Reply #40 on: March 26, 2012, 09:57:44 AM »
The prime characteristics of Caputo 00 flour in relation to your typical American flour are high quality gluten, low ash content, low level of damaged starch and lower enzyme activity.  Most of its behavior can be explained according to those relative physical attributes.


David,

I don't think I could have said it any better or more succinctly. Although I am no historian on Italian grains and flours, I also believe that in the early days when the Italians, especially those in Naples and surrounding areas, discovered that their local grains produced fairly weak flours (Marco calls them medium strong flours), they concluded that if they were to be able to make crusts that were soft and tender yet had some color, they would have to bake the pizzas at very high temperatures and for short periods of time. Otherwise, they could end up with crackers. Eventually, they were able to figure out what oven designs worked best for this purpose, using whatever indigenous materials were available to them to construct the ovens. Today, things are changing because the Italians now import grains and flours from many parts of the world, including the U.S., and have widely expanded their flour offerings. And, it seems that the Italians are gradually adopting methods and practices that U.S. pizza operators use, for example, cold fermentation and storage, even though Marco has always contended that the 00 flours are best suited for ambient temperature applications (see, for example, Reply 125 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1298.msg13410/topicseen.html#msg13410).

Also, the Neapolitans kept everything simple, just flour, water, salt and yeast (and sometimes natural starters) used in a straight dough system. No sugar and no oil. And no autolyse, stretch and folds and other such bread related measures. And no preferments, although Da Michele seems to be using an old dough method. To my way of thinking, there appears to be a natural beauty and harmony to the way that the Neapolitans adapted their flours, doughs and methods to their ovens.

Peter
« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 10:14:53 AM by Pete-zza »


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: 00 flour question
« Reply #41 on: March 26, 2012, 11:03:11 AM »
I like the way it works e' mano, but it is not my favorite for the oven, WFO or not.  The AT bromated is my favorite now.

Well it's tough to argue taste and texture.   I also baked up one of my typical HG pies around 5min next to these low temp caputo pies.  While the HG pies were excellent, I'd have to give the edge to the caputo.  Ths is the 2nd time I've seen caputo beat out HG in a 3-4m bake time.  Now I will say it wasn't a side by side test, just an observation.  My feeling is that you can make a comparable crust with either flours in the 3-4min bake range. 

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: 00 flour question
« Reply #42 on: March 26, 2012, 11:18:45 AM »

I'll submit a full, more in depth post later.  Although Neapolitans invented pizza, sometimes I wonder whether New Yorkers (lower temps, longer bakes, bit less of a bread-like texture) are the ones who perfected it.

Looking forward to it.  Thanks.

The prime characteristics of Caputo 00 flour in relation to your typical American flour are high quality gluten, low ash content, low level of damaged starch and lower enzyme activity.  Most of its behavior can be explained according to those relative physical attributes.

David can you expand on the as well in layman's terms?  Does it fall in line with what I showed here or is what I've done pushing the bounds of the flour?

Thanks,
Chau

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: 00 flour question
« Reply #43 on: March 26, 2012, 11:31:27 AM »
Alright, I give in  ;D It would be nice to see these experiments recreated at lower altitudes, but comparing your 3-4 minute 00 crumb to your 3-4 HG crumbs, they seem comparably tender, so that's enough for me.

I will, from this point forward, no longer say that 00 has a propensity towards toughness with longer bakes.

Just to be clear, though, from a cultural perspective, 00 in NY style pizza is inauthentic, so, for those striving for 3-4 NY style bakes, I will continue to steer them towards bromated HG flours.  I also feel that bromated HG is inauthentic in Neapolitan as well, so I'll continue to dissuade aspiring pizzaiolo's along those same cultural lines (along with a larger unburnt window with unmalted flour).

But that's obviously not being argued here.  What is being argued- 00 tenderness with longer bakes- on that issue, I have been incorrect.

Scott, when I have some time, I'll try to recreate this quality of crust in the home oven.  Then I'll maybe go towards sea level and do it again.  And after that outer space If you want me too. JK , that would get expensive.  I really don't think that I some how have much advantage because I'm at high altitudes.  This quality of crust can and should be reproducible at sea level.  Just adjust yeast and hydration levels.  

Like I said Scott, you weren't the only one telling me this.  It was many members along with many different posts from a lot of people.  I'm glad that I pushed the envelope here and did the tests.  I discovered another way of making a great crust.

As far was what is traditional for NY or NP I wouldn't even know where to begin.  All I can go by are my personal taste and what my senses tell me.   I suspect that early American pizza makers were using whatever local flours that were available at the time.  Overtime, they switched to newer flours as availability increase and they learned how to adapt their dough to the new flours.  There is probably a lot of copying going on as well.  So and so uses HG so we should as well.  And then we grow up use to certain qualities for the respective styles and at some point it becomes the golden standard by which to mirror if we want to make such and such a style of pizza.  Not saying early pizza makers weren't proud of their product, but how many were truely just interested in making a living versus making the best pizza possible?  As an outsider, i truely never had the benefit of knowing what traditional pizza is, so i have more inclination to give up traditional practices for a better crust.  Just because something has been done for the past 50-100 years, doesn't neccesarrily mean that there is no room for change or improvement.  

Chau
« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 11:25:01 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline David Deas

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Re: 00 flour question
« Reply #44 on: March 29, 2012, 07:53:39 PM »
Looking forward to it.  Thanks.

David can you expand on the as well in layman's terms?  Does it fall in line with what I showed here or is what I've done pushing the bounds of the flour?

Thanks,
Chau

When I get some time I will.  But I just don't have any.

I can point you in the right direction, though.  The thing you're looking for here is the effect of oven temperature on the rate that bread stales.  The general scientific answer is that the higher your oven temperature is, the faster your bread will stale.  The actual mechanism attributed is starch retrogradation, and the rate of.  A lot of people complain about their Neapolitan pizzas turning tough after they cool off out of the oven and this is the primary reason why.

So in theory, just applying the general rule, your 00 flour should give you a softer crumb using longer bake times.  But when we examine the properties of 00 flour closer we will see if this general rule should still hold true.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 07:59:42 PM by David Deas »

Offline David Deas

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Re: 00 flour question
« Reply #45 on: March 30, 2012, 07:29:41 PM »
David,

I don't think I could have said it any better or more succinctly. Although I am no historian on Italian grains and flours, I also believe that in the early days when the Italians, especially those in Naples and surrounding areas, discovered that their local grains produced fairly weak flours (Marco calls them medium strong flours), they concluded that if they were to be able to make crusts that were soft and tender yet had some color, they would have to bake the pizzas at very high temperatures and for short periods of time. Otherwise, they could end up with crackers. Eventually, they were able to figure out what oven designs worked best for this purpose, using whatever indigenous materials were available to them to construct the ovens. Today, things are changing because the Italians now import grains and flours from many parts of the world, including the U.S., and have widely expanded their flour offerings. And, it seems that the Italians are gradually adopting methods and practices that U.S. pizza operators use, for example, cold fermentation and storage, even though Marco has always contended that the 00 flours are best suited for ambient temperature applications (see, for example, Reply 125 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1298.msg13410/topicseen.html#msg13410).

Also, the Neapolitans kept everything simple, just flour, water, salt and yeast (and sometimes natural starters) used in a straight dough system. No sugar and no oil. And no autolyse, stretch and folds and other such bread related measures. And no preferments, although Da Michele seems to be using an old dough method. To my way of thinking, there appears to be a natural beauty and harmony to the way that the Neapolitans adapted their flours, doughs and methods to their ovens.

Peter


Interesting.  Makes sense.

Great post.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: 00 flour question
« Reply #46 on: March 31, 2012, 03:31:26 PM »
The prime characteristics of Caputo 00 flour in relation to your typical American flour are high quality gluten, low ash content, low level of damaged starch and lower enzyme activity.  Most of its behavior can be explained according to those relative physical attributes.


Quote
David can you expand on the as well in layman's terms?  Does it fall in line with what I showed here or is what I've done pushing the bounds of the flour?

Chau,

I know how interested you are in learning about many of the technical aspects of flours, and in this case, the Caputo 00 flour, so I thought I would take a stab at trying to demystify some of the things that Dave Deas wrote on the salient characteristics of the Caputo 00 flour, including starch damage, gluten quality and ash. So, here goes.

Damaged Starch. Generally speaking, Italian 00 flour made from Italian wheat grains have less starch damage than our domestic flours. What is damaged starch and why is it important? Damaged starch usually occurs during the milling process, during which there is actual damage to the starch component of the flour (starch constitutes around 70% of the total flour). Damaged starch can also occur if a crop is harvested at less than the optimum time, for example, during wet conditions where sprouting can occur before the grains are milled. The reason why damaged starch is important is because there are natural enzymes in the flour that attack the damaged starch in order to convert the starch to sugars for the yeast to use as food, and for other purposes (such as increased crust coloration through increase levels of residual sugar). Damaged starch can absorb three times the amount of water that undamaged starch can absorb; a particle of undamaged starch will only retain water at its periphery, not inside the particle of starch itself. Consequently, the damages starch is the preferred substrate for the enzymes to perform their function. The enzymes will continue to perform their function until they are destroyed. This occurs during the baking process.

Because the 00 flour has lower enzyme performance than other flours, that limits how the flour can be used. Marco (pizzanapoletana) has always contended that the 00 flour is best for an ambient temperature fermentation. Enzymes work better at higher temperatures, so the conversion processes and fermentation can take place faster in an ambient temperature environment. He has also noted that the enzymes will also work faster when the dough has a high hydration.

It is theoretically possible to use 00 flour in a cold fermentation application, but it may take a lot longer to reach the same stage in the fermentation cycle. One might try to speed up that process in several ways. First, one might add additional enzymes (alpha-amylase) in the form of barley malt. However, that might just direct more enzymes to the existing damaged starch and, as a result, only make the dough overly slack. One can also try to increase the amount of the damaged starch. This can be done by physically damaging the starch, as by running the flour at high speed through a machine like a food processor. Tom Lehmann told me that there were commercial machines that could do that, but he suggested that I damage the starch by boiling some of the flour in water. See, for example, Reply 99 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7225.msg78968/topicseen.html#msg78968, and also some of the posts that followed. I think you can see that there isnít a lot of enthusiasm on the part of end users of 00 flour to mess around with that flour in order to increase its starch damage.

Falling Number. Related to the above discussion, the degree of enzymatic performance of a flour is often represented by a Falling Number. A flour with low enzymatic performance can have a high value, and visa versa. As noted at http://brickovenbaker.com/docs/pizzeriatech.pdf, the Caputo 00 flour, which is unmalted, has a falling number of 340-460. By contrast, a basic malted all-purpose flour in the U.S. can have a falling number of around 225-275 (see, for example, http://www.gmflour.com/gmflour/Flour_SpecSheet/GM%20H%20and%20R%20AP%20BL%20ENR%20MT.pdf). If you would like to read how falling numbers are measured, see http://www.wheatflourbook.org/p.aspx?tabid=67.

Gluten. There are two aspects of gluten. One is quantitative and the other is qualitative. First, the quantitative aspect. Different types of flour, even the same amount of flour with the same protein content, can contain different amounts of gluten. You can see this from the list of gluten mass values that is presented at Reply 50 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,18075.msg177835.html#msg177835. That list was created over the past month or so as a result of gluten mass tests that Norma and I conducted (about 95% by Norma) for several different types and brands of flour. The dough balls used in the tests were all 9 ounces, with 6 ounces being the flour and the remaining 3 ounces being water. As you can see from that list, the Caputo 00 flour rates quite high on a quantitative basis in relation to other flours, such as all-purpose flours with which it is often compared. But gluten quantity does not tell you anything about gluten quality. The way that gluten quality is measured is to take a sample of gluten and to use what is called a Glutomatic machine. The sample is centrifuged onto a sieve. In some cases, all of the gluten can make it through the sieve, or perhaps none of it makes it through the sieve. The amount of the gluten on the sieve in relation to the total amount of gluten is called the gluten index, and is a measure of gluten quality. The value is 0 when all of the gluten passes through the sieve and 100 when none of it passes through the sieve. I suspect that most gluten samples fall somewhere between 0 and 100. I did a search to see if I could find a gluten index value for the Caputo 00 flour but could not find anything on the subject. All I know is that Marco often said that the Caputo gluten was a high quality gluten.

If you would like to read more on the subject of gluten quality, see http://www.wheatflourbook.org/p.aspx?tabid=68 or, for more detail, http://www.aaccnet.org/7/pdf/wet%20gluten_dry%20gluten_method_index_38-12-02.pdf.

Ash. For a discussion of the significance of flour ash content and how it is measured, see http://www.wheatflourbook.org/p.aspx?tabid=27. Generally speaking, a flour with a high ash content will have more color and flavor than a flour with a low ash content. The value of ash for the Caputo 00 flour is 0.50 +/- 0.05. For comparison purposes, the King Arthur all-purpose flour has an ash value of 0.48, and the King Arthur bread flour has an ash value of 0.48. It is only when you get to the King Arthur Sir Lancelot flour that the ash value exceeds 0.50. For the KASl, it is 0.52. So, on this basis, I would say that the Caputo 00 flour scores quite well.

Peter


Offline dellavecchia

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Re: 00 flour question
« Reply #47 on: March 31, 2012, 03:52:40 PM »
I really enjoyed reading that Peter. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

I would add that in addition to ash content adding color (grayish) and flavor, it also is one of the defining factors in why this flour is called "00". Italian classifications are based on ash content. This flour is milled close to the heart of the endosperm. As you mill farther out toward the periphery of the endosperm, the higher the ash content (and the closer you get to "whole wheat" flour, since more of the bran is included). This is also called the extraction rate. The quality of the protein is also more desirable closer to the heart, but the enzymatic rate is sluggish as you noted, due to less mineral content.

The Italian classifications are 00, 0, 1 and 2. In Germany, Caputo Pizzeria might be called a Type 50, since their designations also specifically reference ash content.

John
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 05:06:38 PM by dellavecchia »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: 00 flour question
« Reply #48 on: March 31, 2012, 04:35:24 PM »
John,

Thank you. I have written on this subject many times before, as a forum search under my forum name using terms like "damaged starch" will show, but from time to time I like to push the reset button and recalibrate my thinking. I also know that Chau has a healthy skepticism about a lot of what he reads, and he likes to debunk cherished notions, and I can't say that I blame him. Also, things change. For example, the specs for the Caputo Pizzeria 00 flour that I cited in my last post are a bit different in some respects from those that were given six years ago at Reply 17 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2951.msg25328.html#msg25328. There are now a lot more flour options in Italy than there were six years ago. A current Pizzeria 00 flour today may well behave differently (I suspect better) than a Caputo 00 Pizzeria of six years ago. The market for that flour has grown so large, with a lot more competitors, that companies like Caputo can't just stand still.

Peter

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: 00 flour question
« Reply #49 on: March 31, 2012, 05:02:34 PM »
Peter, thank you for taking the time to write that up into layman's terms for me.  I'm sure many of our members will benefit immensely from your post as well as John's.  What a great post.  I know I will be referring back to it from time to time to refresh my understanding of flour specs to help explain why flours may behave a certain way.

My free time is limited, and as a result much of it is spent doing dough experiments and I end up with little time to research and study.  And all the info I need can probably be found on this forum here and there, but again not knowing where to search or having time to search make that information like buried treasures.

I did want to make a quick post about another experiment I did a few days ago, testing caputo pizzeria 00 flour against Guisto's BF.  Both were moderately high hydration doughs and baked in the LBE at around 3.5m.   Both produced decent and light crusts and crumbs and neither were tough IMO, but I will say that the GBF crumb was much more tender than the caputo 00, exceedingly tender.  I was not surpised at this finding.  It reminded me of Bianco's crumb and how exceedingly soft that was when I had it, and if I'm not mistaken, he was and might still be using GBF with a high hydration and baking around 3min.   If someone has accurate or updated info, please chime in.

But I'm saying this to say that yes, I can see first hand that specific flours like caputo pizzeria 00 are indeed milled and made specifically for specific applications.   Thanks John, I can see that now.  

Peter, it's not like I make it a point to debunk cherish notions, but I often will seek more information or the truth if it seems to be in direct contrast to what I am seeing first hand.  There must be a better explanation.  The only problem for me again is time and knowledge.  I lack a healthy dose of both.  :-D :(  I don't really enjoy and am not good at being confrontational, but rather my aim is to shed more light on some of these misconceptions that are so readily embraced by the majority.   It's much easier to copy and regurgitate, but much more satifying to discover and really understand what is happening.  Thank you again for helping me with that.  And thank you John as well.  Always informative and always a pleasure.

Chau
  
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 05:04:10 PM by Jackie Tran »


Offline David Deas

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Re: 00 flour question
« Reply #50 on: April 01, 2012, 06:06:04 AM »
That was a great post Pete.

And just as a qualitative measure, Chau, you can picture high quality gluten as the extensible stuff, like bubble gum or the sort.  You can picture the low quality gluten as the elastic, tough, rubbery stuff.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: 00 flour question
« Reply #51 on: April 01, 2012, 08:10:39 AM »
Good analogy David.  I've been trying to come up with something to describe the characteristics of this Guisto's BF compared to  the Sam's Club flour Ive been using and your description fits the bill.  The Con Agra flours, both their BF and HG, seem to have more body compared to the Guisto's which relaxes almost too much.  Perhaps I need to adjust my hydration down a bit.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: 00 flour question
« Reply #52 on: April 01, 2012, 08:44:45 AM »
Chau,

Sometime you might want to do a simple gluten mass test just to get a better feel for what gluten is really like outside of a dough. The basic method that Norma and I have been using is the one described in Reply 23 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,783.msg7865/topicseen.html#msg7865. We have been using the gluten mass tests to identify flour type for doughs that we have been reverse engineering and cloning. We have also been using the gluten mass tests to create the list I mentioned earlier. You can see what gluten typically looks like at Reply 45 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,18075.msg177583.html#msg177583.

Also, had I thought of it earlier, I would have put a quantitative face on damaged starch. As the description of Starch Damage at http://www.cooknaturally.com/detailed/detailed.html notes, starch damage is about 6-9% for winter wheat, and about 7-10% for spring wheat. That is for domestic (U.S.) flours. Elsewhere, I have read that the starch damage for weaker flours is around 3-5%. I don't know if Caputo and others who mill 00 flour worry about starch damage, since they don't malt their flours, but maybe they would be able to confirm the 3-5% number.

Peter
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 05:48:34 PM by Pete-zza »