About Flour and Pizza
Once you master the basics of pizza making you will most likely start the quest for the perfect flour. It’s just the way it is. New vistas open up beyond the realm of King Arthur’s Flour… and the chef in you heeds the call for new culinary adventures. Throughout the years of cooking in our wood fired oven we have tried a lot of really good flour, and we are so grateful that there are still mills out there making a great product.
Here are some that stand out:
Presently, we buy our favorite flour from CentralMilling.com in Utah, a water-powered mill nestled by the Logan River and the Rocky Mountains. The company also carries its own seeds (nothing is genetically modified here, thank you). They have a long list of products for every taste and baking need… their Type “OO Normal” Flour is very close to the Italian Caputo Flour and is designed to take the high temperature of a pizza oven. Did I mention that it is organic? It comes to us fresh and fragrant (California is not that far) but keep in mind that the minimum order is 50 lbs. and the shipping costs are … high. Is it worth it? Yes! But if you can only buy small bags, know that Central Milling also produces the Whole Food’s 365 Organic Unbleached All Purpose Flour.
Another great product is made in Naples: Antimo Caputo Chef’s Flour, the famous type “OO” flour from Italy. Particularly if you don’t want to store a 50 lbs bag, since you can find this product on Amazon.com or via some local stores in a convenient 2.2 lbs bag, (shipping cost will average $7.25). This flour is a favorite among pizzaioli both in Italy and in the US because it is specifically created for high temperatures such as you get in a pizza oven. Don’t try it in your regular gas oven, it won’t brown properly. The low gluten content makes it ideal for a Neapolitan pizza and the pizza pies stretch nicely without breaking. Note for those who like buying large quantities: The “OO” Pizzeria Flour in 55 lbs (blue) bag is the same flour that is in the Antimo Caputo “OO” Chef’s Flour 2.2 lbs (red) bag. Molinocaputo.it We also like the Hudson Cream Flour, from a mill in Kansas — one of the last independent flour mills in the US — that has produced “short patent” flour for over 100 years. During the milling process their wheat is ground more times and sifted with finer-meshed sieves than usual. We love the sweet fragrance of this “creamy” flour, and I use it when baking bread and desserts. Check them out at Hudsoncream.com, they do sell locally in many states. They will send you 1-5 lbs for a shipping cost of $7.75, 6-10 lbs for a shipping cost of $11.55, so you get an idea.
We prefer flour that is organic, unbleached, and when making pizza, with a low gluten content for that nice stretch. Would love to hear about what flour you like and why. How does it perform in your wood fired oven?
Happy cooking and buon appetito from Los Angeles Ovenworks!