Author Topic: Caputo 00 and AP Flour Comparison  (Read 4065 times)

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Offline s00da

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Caputo 00 and AP Flour Comparison
« on: April 23, 2009, 01:16:43 PM »
I didn't want to post this subject at first as I know there are many 00 flour supporters and I worried that I might get flamed  ;D But since my post is based on facts and results, I guess it's worth reporting. Oh yeah, someone we know encouraged me to do so also  >:D

During my experimentation to achieve the desired Neapolitan dough, I've been practicing using a local AP flour in my country (Kuwait) because we don't have local suppliers for 00 flour. I've been treating it exactly like members are treating 00 flour. The reason I picked this flour and the reason I'm treating it like 00 flour is because it's weaker that American AP flour, yet stronger than pastry flour and finely milled.

You can find my current procedure here http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,861.msg72120.html#msg72120

Anyways, my pizzas are turning out great. Actually they look very authentic and I love how they taste. I always wanted to take pictures of my latest pizzas and post them for you guys but I haven't reached the point yet to think of anything else other than eating pizzas when they're out of the oven  :P

So now that I've been making consistent dough, I decided to take it to the next level and try caputo 00 flour. I had to order it online and with the shipping rate, it's one hell of an expensive pizza! But hey, gotta try the caputo 00  at least once to benchmark my product.

I used it with the same recipe and these are my observations:

1- During stretching the dough balls, it felt very very much the same as the AP flour I used except that it was slightly stronger and I believe that is due to the different qualities/properties of the gluten.
2- The pies turned out looking exactly the same.
3- The crust was a little more on the chewy side comparing to the AP flour.
4- Flavor was exactly the same! but I liked the extra fluffiness of the AP flour.

To me the conclusion had to be one of the two following possibilities:
either 1- The AP flour I've been using is already very similar to caputo 00 flour!
or      2- I have not used the caputo 00 properly but I highly doubt this possibility as the recipe I'm using is very suitable for it and the pizzas turned out just great but not as anticipated with my high expectations for the 00 flour.

I'd really appreciate it if you guys would throw in some ideas as I still cannot accept the fact that my less than $1 local AP flour is very identical to the caputo that I've been preparing myself for!


Offline Mo

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Re: Caputo 00 and AP Flour Comparison
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2009, 06:09:42 PM »
I'm really glad you posted this because I have been getting around to posting about similar results. I have tried a couple different APs and have had excellent results with slightly different characteristics for each in comparison to my doughs made with Caputo 00. I have used GMs Harvest King (malted) and Heartland Mills Organic UPUE and their UPAP (malted). All of them worked well with the same formulation 58% hydration, ADY, two-day cold bulk rise and one day portioned rise. I used a Woodstone wood-fired oven at 660F deck temp and 775-800 air temp. I had to adjust (down) the mix time for the Harvest King because it was a little more elastic than the 00 but still stretched pretty well, though not as easily as the 00. The pies made with the Harvest King had a beautiful even browning in addition to great leoparding (which in my limited experience is tied to oven temp). Crispy yet light and nice, tender crumb. The Heartland doughs still had great spotting but less of the very attractive browning. The 00 did not produce as nice browning as the Harvest King. I was surprised by the results and hope to work out the kinks in the stretching. I have had some conversations with a technical guy at GM and will include some of his comments below for those interested. I hope the mystique of 00 and people's tendency to rely on "tradition" keep an open mind and perhaps we can get more people to confirm that there are viable options to very expensive, hard to find 00 flour.

From a leading Bakery tech guy I got to speak to at General Mills:

    " I am familiar with the Italian 00 flour and have actually worked with Frank and Tim at Woodstone in determining our best domestic match, which is our Harvest King flour.  Harvest King was designed as a flour for artisan bakers used to using European style flours, but has also found favor with pizza operators looking for an alternative to the Caputo 00 flour. The sticker shock on the Caputo flour is a fairly common reaction that I have seen with folks.  Your experience with the AP makes sense as the 00 flour behaves much like our domestic winter wheat flours (AP is one example).  Most pizza shops in the US use the stronger spring wheat flours for their dough.  The reason I suggest Harvest King is because it is a winter wheat flour, but it has a tighter specification than an AP grade.  Harvest King is a 12% pro (+/- 0.3%), 0.52 ash (+/- 0.03) and a FN of 260 (+/- 20 sec).  I was looking for my Caputo data but couldn’t find it this morning.  Sometimes it is hard to compare the numbers as it is more of a question of protein quality versus quantity.  Also, Caputo data is often listed at a 0% moisture basis versus all domestic flours are listed at a 14% moisture.  For flour, sometimes the number to number match does not always translate to a performance match."

I also spoke with another guy that does training and oven sales out of the Bay Area and he talked about how the protein in Caputo flour is "less filling" than American flours with higher protein. I then asked him about flours with a similar protein percentage and if that would impact the "filling" effect. He agreed that a lower protein flour would go some way to being less filling. I then asked hm what size dough balls he uses for a ten inch pizza and he said he uses 9 oz. Too much! I use a 215g dough ball and get a ten-inch pizza. Tastes great and less filling. But then again, he sells 36 bags of Caputo a day to various outfits...