What is 00 flour?
In Italy, flour is graded by a number system from tipo 2 (brown flour with bran removed) to ‘000’ (superfine white flour the texture of cornflour). The popular ‘00’ flour is roughly in the middle of these grades, and is typically used for pizza bases and homemade pastas.
The number refers to how fine the flour is ground, and how white the flour is - it does not refer to the percentage of gluten content in the flour. Italian 00 flour is highly-refined from the whitest part of the grain. Because it is extracted from such a small part of the wheat, the flour is normally used for specific recipes, unlike an all-purpose flour.
How to cook with 00 flour?
We’ve used a combination of 00 flour, milk, malt extract and a little olive oil to achieve a rich flavoured and smooth-textured dough that’s ready to use on the day it’s made. Cooking the pizza in a frying pan produces a crisp, puffy base.
A traditional bread found all over Italy, focaccia is loved for its soft but chewy centre, rich with good olive oil and a crisp, salty crust.
This is the classic pasta recipe followed by generations of Italian families, using whole eggs and Italian 00 flour, and it is the best place to start learning how to make fresh pasta.
Make a batch of fresh pasta and transform the sheets into neat little parcels filled with a smooth sweet pumpkin and amaretti filling.
The distinct pillowy texture is achieved by using '00' flour in these bright yellow buns, from Trine Hahnemann.
Miniature filled pasta, with a centre of tender pork shoulder. These perfect mouthfuls are full of flavour.
Slightly larger than the tortelloni above, these parcels are coloured with squid ink and filled with sweet lobster.
Which 00 flour should I buy?
Best 00 flour for pasta
00 flour, or doppio zero is what most Italian households use to make fresh egg pasta. The white Italian flour is finely-milled, resulting in grains which are finer than semolina, but larger than cornflour. Mix with eggs for fresh pasta and water for pizza doughs.
Best organic 00 flour
Use Mulino Marino organic 00 flour to make the finest fresh pasta, ciabatta and pizza dough. Mulino Marino select the finest organic grains, nuts and pulses and mill them to the perfect texture using their carefully researched traditional techniques.
Best 00 flour for pizza dough
Dalla Giovanna’s ‘00’ pizza flour is a fine-milled Italian flour, ideal for making Naples-style pizza bases. The flour has been specifically designed to make elastic pizza dough, which absorbs water well when kneaded.
Best 00 flour for Neapolitan pizzas
Caputo pizzeria flour is a soft wheat flour with strong gluten quality - great for making pizza doughs that require a long fermentation. This ‘00’ flour helps dough to get a great hydration and good elasticity - use it to make traditional Neapolitan pizzas with a light, bubbly crust.
Best 00 flour for patisserie
Granoro’s farina ‘00’ dolci flour is ideal for light sponges, shortbreads and tart cases. The finely milled flour comes from the innermost part of the wheat kernel, for a fine white flour. This flour is interchangeable with French type 45 and American pastry flour.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are bread flour and 00 flour the same?
The difference between bread flour and 00 flour is the protein content, and therefore the gluten levels. Strong bread flours tend to have higher levels of gluten compared to 00 flour. 00 flour is also less absorbent than bread flour, meaning less water is required when using 00 flour.
Italian mills will usually sell flour based on what its purpose is for. For long fermented doughs such as panettone the flour will be ‘00’ but with a stronger gluten content than the ‘00’ flour they’ll sell for pizza or pasta making. An all-purpose flour can also be ‘00’.
For making pizza doughs and Italian breads, you can use a strong white flour in place of 00 flour, however the amount of liquid in the recipe will need to be adjusted to take into account the gluten levels.
What flour can I use instead of 00 flour?
Italian 00 flour is the same as German type 405, French type 45 and American pastry flour. If you can’t use 00 flour, use one of the above three flours instead for baking and patisserie work. If you’re making focaccia and pizza doughs you can also use strong white bread flour.
Which 00 flour is best for pizza?
“We specifically use Caputo Pizzeria Flour. We've made the pilgrimage many times to the Caputo mill to see their flour being made and to marvel at how much intricacy and research goes into sourcing and producing what is some of the best flour in the world. They achieve their own balance, constantly adjusting mixes of grains and reacting to fluctuating weather patterns and growth conditions.” - Tom Mullins, First Chef at Pizza Pilgrims
But any 00 flour or strong white flour will work well when making the dough for pizza bases.
Ellie Edwards is a food writer for Sous Chef. Previously she worked at olive magazine, writing about exciting new ingredients, UK restaurants and travelling the world to find the best cinnamon buns. When she's not exploring the likes of Belize, Kerala and Zanzibar, Ellie loves rustling up a feast in her London kitchen, with a particular passion for porridge, sourdough and negronis.