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Author Topic: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?  (Read 3277 times)

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Offline al2

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Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« on: March 20, 2019, 02:00:00 PM »
1st let me say I'm new to pizza dough and flour in general. I have done all this reading of posts and videos I see online about using this "00" flour is a must for NP pizza dough. After some studying/reading its my understanding that this dough is special mainly because of the way its milled so fine. Almost like baby powder fine and has a low gluten or protein content.

I also know we live in a world of marketing items for big $$$. Now this flour is on the expensive side here in the USA. It can't be found in grocery stores at least the ones in my area. I can only find it online re-packaged in lower quantities by re-sellers. If this "00" is a must have then why are these types of flours not more readily available or are they? Maybe they are just not marketed that way as such. Or could it be there is not a big market for it. How many people really make their own pizza and pasta dough? I bought some of this Caputo 00 and also have some King Arthur bread flour. Although I have yet to use the King Arthur it doesn't seem much different to the feel, look and texture of the Caputo 00. I think the gluten content is similar as well (someone correct me if I'm wrong). Is there really that much difference to warrant the highly priced "00"? I would love to know what you experienced pizza and dough makers take on this is.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2019, 02:02:07 PM by al2 »

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Re: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2019, 03:40:42 PM »
The "00" flours are not malted so unless you can bake the pizzas at or above 750F you're wasting your money on it. These flours also have a short fermentation tolerance so, depending upon which one you're looking at think in terms of 12 or 24-hours total fermentation time. Because the flour is made from soft wheat varieties the resulting dough is very extensible which can be a blessing or a hindrance depending upon your skills at opening the dough into a skin. There are a handful of flour mills in the U.S. making "00" type flours but they are really not all that common or popular when you look at the big picture of flour as it pertains to use in making pizza....think of it as a specialty flour. Most people do a pretty respectable job of making decent Neapolitan style pizzas using some of the A.P. and bread type flours.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline al2

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Re: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2019, 04:31:58 PM »
The "00" flours are not malted so unless you can bake the pizzas at or above 750F you're wasting your money on it. These flours also have a short fermentation tolerance so, depending upon which one you're looking at think in terms of 12 or 24-hours total fermentation time. Because the flour is made from soft wheat varieties the resulting dough is very extensible which can be a blessing or a hindrance depending upon your skills at opening the dough into a skin. There are a handful of flour mills in the U.S. making "00" type flours but they are really not all that common or popular when you look at the big picture of flour as it pertains to use in making pizza....think of it as a specialty flour. Most people do a pretty respectable job of making decent Neapolitan style pizzas using some of the A.P. and bread type flours.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Tom thanks for the explanation. So they purposely don't malt the flour in order to cook at the high temperature? This is done on purpose to cook these pizzas in 60-90 seconds? Whats the advantage of the fast cook with this dough? Is it the way to achieve that light airy cornicione ring? I bought a Ardore PizzaParty oven so I could have some fun trying to make Neapolitan style pizza. My oven easily gets in the upper 800s in floor temperature.

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Re: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2019, 05:45:05 PM »
With the typical soft dough condition with the Caputo flours and relatively high dough absorption when combined with the high baking temperature you get rapid expansion during the oven spring part of the baking process which results in the characteristic open, porous crumb structure. If the flour was malted you would get too much crust color on the bottom of the crust during baking...hence, they don't malt the flour.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline jsaras

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Re: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2019, 07:26:10 PM »
IMO, the forumís 00 flour entry in the glossary should be updated so as to prevent this question coming up hundreds of times. It should mention that its best used in ovens capable of reaching 800F or higher. 
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Offline Rolls

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Re: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2019, 08:43:00 PM »
IMO, the forumís 00 flour entry in the glossary should be updated so as to prevent this question coming up hundreds of times. It should mention that its best used in ovens capable of reaching 800F or higher.

Respectfully, I think it would be misleading to do so.  Perhaps on this forum, "00" flours have become synonymous with flours like Caputo Pizzeria and the like, which are specifically designed and intended for high temperature applications, such as a wood-fired oven.  However, to categorically group all 00 flours as unsuitable for temperatures below 800įF, is simply incorrect.  In Italy, the law permits the use of a bunch of additives, including malt and enzymes, to name a couple.  These and other additives can make their way into the flour mix, despite not being included on the ingredients list.  This is because they are used in such minuscule quantities.  Nothing about the "00" designation alone is indicative of whether or not a given flour is malted.


Rolls

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Offline jsaras

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Re: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2019, 09:48:51 PM »
Respectfully, I think it would be misleading to do so.  Perhaps on this forum, "00" flours have become synonymous with flours like Caputo Pizzeria and the like, which are specifically designed and intended for high temperature applications, such as a wood-fired oven.  However, to categorically group all 00 flours as unsuitable for temperatures below 800įF, is simply incorrect.  In Italy, the law permits the use of a bunch of additives, including malt and enzymes, to name a couple.  These and other additives can make their way into the flour mix, despite not being included on the ingredients list.  This is because they are used in such minuscule quantities.  Nothing about the "00" designation alone is indicative of whether or not a given flour is malted.

Rolls

Most of the time newbie pizza makers buy 00 flour (usually unmalted Caputo) because they read something on a website or in a book that said thatís what Italians use to make pizza.  99% of the time thatís bad advice that leads to unsatisfactory results.  AP or bread flour is usually the better choice for novice pizzamakers that bake in typical home ovens.  At minimum, there should be an additional glossary entry for unmalted 00 with the appropriate caveats.  This comes up very often on the forum and we should be on the forefront of correcting the misinformation thatís thoughtlessly propagates.
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Offline Rolls

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Re: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2019, 11:03:15 PM »
"Correcting misinformation" is precisely the reason why we shouldn't continue to say that 00 flours are, categorically, "best used in ovens capable of reaching 800F or higher".  This is simply untrue.  I much prefer your idea of "an additional glossary entry for unmalted 00 with the appropriate caveats".


Rolls
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Offline PizzAmateur

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Re: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2019, 11:09:14 PM »
"Correcting misinformation" is precisely the reason why we shouldn't continue to say that 00 flours are, categorically, "best used in ovens capable of reaching 800F or higher".  This is simply untrue.  I much prefer your idea of "an additional glossary entry for unmalted 00 with the appropriate caveats".


Rolls

Thankfully, 00 flour is not available to me locally and I would never pay the online prices.  What jsaras says is true.  I only have a "standard" home oven and 00 flour would be no better than AP flour for my circumstances.  HOWEVER, if not for this forum, I might STILL be *lusting* after the "holy grail" of 00 flour for pizza.

Just my .02Ę

Offline jsaras

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Re: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2019, 11:17:01 PM »
"Correcting misinformation" is precisely the reason why we shouldn't continue to say that 00 flours are, categorically, "best used in ovens capable of reaching 800F or higher".  This is simply untrue.  I much prefer your idea of "an additional glossary entry for unmalted 00 with the appropriate caveats".


Rolls

Agreed.  I nominate Peter or Steve to right this wrong!
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Offline parallei

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Re: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2019, 12:16:05 AM »
"Correcting misinformation" is precisely the reason why we shouldn't continue to say that 00 flours are, categorically, "best used in ovens capable of reaching 800F or higher".  This is simply untrue.  I much prefer your idea of "an additional glossary entry for unmalted 00 with the appropriate caveats".


Rolls

 ^^^  And as you noted above, people need to understand the difference between unmalted and malted fours.  It is not difficult to look at the ingredients list and spot malted barely or added enzymes. 

Offline Rolls

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Re: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2019, 12:29:50 AM »
Agreed.  I nominate Peter or Steve to right this wrong!

All's well that ends well.


Rolls
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Offline IzzysPizzaBus

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Re: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2019, 01:20:02 AM »
I am no pro in this matter but I must say, there are folks like John Arena who are cooking in a deck oven who use Caputo 00 flours, and damn. This actually goes for a few amazing places I visit. Deck ovens at 500-600 somewhere, and pies that are outrageous. So to say you can't really use it lower than 800 or whatever, not so true. You can do anything if you make it work for you. If you know these details about malt etc, you can make it work. I just ordered some, can't wait to prove that point. If my mentors and people I look up to use it the same as I would, I'm trying it. For instance, don't 3 of the 4 pizza makers that were on Chopped last night use Caputo flour in deck ovens? Yep. And they are the big names. I would caution against telling any aspiring pizza maker he can't use something. Determination can do all kinds of things. You can also view the spec sheets of said flour and see what it's made for. Clearly, below 800 for the Americana 00. It does exist, and work.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2019, 01:35:46 AM by Briznitch »

Offline PizzAmateur

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Re: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2019, 01:27:08 AM »
I am no pro in this matter but I must say, there are folks like John Arena who are cooking in a deck oven who use Caputo 00 flours, and damn. This actually goes for a few amazing places I visit. Deck ovens at 500-600 somewhere, and pies that are outrageous. So to say you can't really use it lower than 800 or whatever, not so true. You can do anything if you make it work for you. If you know these details about malt etc, you can make it work. I just ordered some, can't wait to prove that point. If my mentors and people I look up to use it the same as I would, I'm trying it. For instance, don't 3 of the 4 pizza makers that were on Chopped last night use Caputo flour in deck ovens? Yep. And they are the big names.

Sure, anything is possible, but for a lot of people 00 is not needed nor necessary for successful pizza.  ANY style... even, dare I say it... Neapolitan!  (shut yo' mouth!)

chuckle

Offline IzzysPizzaBus

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Re: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2019, 01:30:43 AM »
Sure, anything is possible, but for a lot of people 00 is not needed nor necessary for successful pizza.  ANY style... even, dare I say it... Neapolitan!  (shut yo' mouth!)

chuckle
Not at all required, just like any pizza ingredient ever. It's all personal taste. Nobody can say one thing won't work for someone else, they don't know that person's work flow and process or desired outcome.

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Offline PizzAmateur

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Re: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2019, 02:55:38 AM »
Not at all required, just like any pizza ingredient ever. It's all personal taste. Nobody can say one thing won't work for someone else, they don't know that person's work flow and process or desired outcome.

Well, if you are going to use logic... (grin)

We agree completely.

Offline ARenko

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Re: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2019, 06:51:06 AM »
I am no pro in this matter but I must say, there are folks like John Arena who are cooking in a deck oven who use Caputo 00 flours, and damn. This actually goes for a few amazing places I visit. Deck ovens at 500-600 somewhere, and pies that are outrageous. So to say you can't really use it lower than 800 or whatever, not so true. You can do anything if you make it work for you. If you know these details about malt etc, you can make it work. I just ordered some, can't wait to prove that point. If my mentors and people I look up to use it the same as I would, I'm trying it. For instance, don't 3 of the 4 pizza makers that were on Chopped last night use Caputo flour in deck ovens? Yep. And they are the big names. I would caution against telling any aspiring pizza maker he can't use something. Determination can do all kinds of things. You can also view the spec sheets of said flour and see what it's made for. Clearly, below 800 for the Americana 00. It does exist, and work.
But the OP asked about Neapolitan Pizza.  Presumably he means Caputo Pizzeria as that seems to be synonymous with Caputo 00 on this forum, but Caputo makes seven 00 flours - six of which could be used for pizza and one formulated for pasta/ gnocchi.  So, sure you can make great pizza at sub-NP temps, but you're probably not doing it with Caputo Pizzeria (or are these guys you mention actually using this flour?), which is formulated for NP pizza, and it's not NP pizza. 


Offline jsaras

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Re: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2019, 08:28:21 AM »
I am no pro in this matter but I must say, there are folks like John Arena who are cooking in a deck oven who use Caputo 00 flours, and damn. This actually goes for a few amazing places I visit. Deck ovens at 500-600 somewhere, and pies that are outrageous. So to say you can't really use it lower than 800 or whatever, not so true. You can do anything if you make it work for you. If you know these details about malt etc, you can make it work. I just ordered some, can't wait to prove that point. If my mentors and people I look up to use it the same as I would, I'm trying it. For instance, don't 3 of the 4 pizza makers that were on Chopped last night use Caputo flour in deck ovens? Yep. And they are the big names. I would caution against telling any aspiring pizza maker he can't use something. Determination can do all kinds of things. You can also view the spec sheets of said flour and see what it's made for. Clearly, below 800 for the Americana 00. It does exist, and work.

The people at Food Network are anything but pizza experts.  Caputo was only used in the desert round, and they were forced to use it, presumably because itís a ďchallengingĒ imgredient.  Arena deep fried it, Coniglio turned it into a crunchy biscuit.  Thatís pretty much what I expected.  Iíve had pizzas made with straight Caputo 00 pizzeria made in deck ovens in several restaurant and they werenít good. 

John Arena is puzzling.  He appears to be able to make a decent pizza himself, but the Yelp photos of the pizzas at his restaurants look like theyíre poorly executed more often than not. 
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2019, 08:31:52 AM »
Jonas and Rolls,

I am more than happy to bring the matters you have raised to Steve's attention. In the meantime, can you each compose the entry to the Pizza Glossary you would like to see?

I should also note that we have had members experiment with using unmalted 00 flours in a home oven setting, even if not optimal. In fact, when we designed the preferment dough calculating tool we intentionally added sugar and oil ingredients as options since they help overcome some of the crust coloration issues. Those suggestions were suggested by member pizzanapoletana (Marco). I also suggested that members increase the thickness factor based on my own experiments in a home setting.

Peter

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Is Caputo 00 just hype or am I missing something?
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2019, 10:07:34 AM »
My advice for using '00' flour of any type would be, "if you can't explain why you need it, you'll probably make better pizza without it."
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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