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Preferred flours for homemade pizza dough


scott123
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On 11/27/2021 at 9:26 AM, Robenco15 said:

Cairnspring has wonderful high protein flour available online @Chris Hennesif you want to check it out. 


The specs on stone ground flour can be a little misleading.  Basically, wheat has a protein fraction near the hull that doesn't form gluten- but is still counted in the overall protein quantity.  So you can have whole wheat flours that, on paper, appear to be high-ish protein, but that have very little gluten forming protein.  Add to that the fact that the bran in stone ground flour acts like tiny little knives in the dough and cuts through gluten, stone ground/whole grain flour typically doesn't work well for pizza- at least, not on it's own.

Obviously, there are some famous folks that use stone ground flours for pizza- Richer is one, Scarr is another.  But they're very careful to combine stone ground flour with stronger flour and to keep the whole grain flour to a minimum (less than 20%).  They're both using it in small amounts for flavor, not for strength. Scarr is mitigating the damaging effects of the bran by sifting some of it out, which I see Cairnspring doing on it's Glacier Peak variety, which certainly helps avoid some of the bran's gluten destroying properties, but, at the end of the day, stone milling doesn't produce strong flour- at least, not the kind of strong flour you'd want for NY style pizza- or for a more manageable dough at elevated hydration.

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11 minutes ago, scott123 said:


The specs on stone ground flour can be a little misleading.  Basically, wheat has a protein fraction near the hull that doesn't form gluten- but is still counted in the overall protein quantity.  So you can have whole wheat flours that, on paper, appear to be high-ish protein, but that have very little gluten forming protein.  Add to that the fact that the bran in stone ground flour acts like tiny little knives in the dough and cuts through gluten, stone ground/whole grain flour typically doesn't work well for pizza- at least, not on it's own.

Obviously, there are some famous folks that use stone ground flours for pizza- Richer is one, Scarr is another.  But they're very careful to combine stone ground flour with stronger flour and to keep the whole grain flour to a minimum (less than 20%).  They're both using it in small amounts for flavor, not for strength. Scarr is mitigating the damaging effects of the bran by sifting some of it out, which I see Cairnspring doing on it's Glacier Peak variety, which certainly helps avoid some of the bran's gluten destroying properties, but, at the end of the day, stone milling doesn't produce strong flour- at least, not the kind of strong flour you'd want for NY style pizza- or for a more manageable dough at elevated hydration.

Thanks for this. Do you have any brands or mills you like and recommend?

Edited by Robenco15 (log)
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12 minutes ago, Robenco15 said:

Thanks for this. Do you have any brands or mills you like and recommend?

 

It depends on how deep down the rabbit hole you want to go. :)

My favorite flour for NY style is bromated Spring King (Ardent Mills).  It's typically very hard to find, though, and, I've yet to see it available via mail order. It's specs are very similar to bromated Full Strength (General Mills), and that is available via mail order, and some Restaurant Depots carry it.  I see, from other posts, that you're in CT.  Assuming it's Southern CT, Full Strength should be relatively easy for you to find, since Full Strength basically IS New Haven style pizza.  You can make a very respectable New Haven style pie with King Arthur bread flour, which is basically unbromated Full Strength, but, if you want that authentic Pepe's/Sally's taste, you want to use the flour that they use.  

 

I might be evolving on bromated high gluten flours such as All Trumps.  I don't think All Trumps will ever replace Spring King in my top spot for NY style, but, I've seen local places do some fairly impressive things with it.  Joe's, the pizzeria that Mitch posted photos from earlier, is the archetype for All Trumps, low-ish hydration modern NY style slices. Joe's has, imo, slipped in quality during the last couple decades, but, it's still quite formidable, and is a great ambassador for the modern NY style slice.  

That's New York and New Haven.  You recently mentioned being 'converted' from Neapolitan.  I know plenty of folks from CT who don't really resonate all that much with the inherent wetness of Neapolitan pizza.  This being said, with the Koda 16, you basically own one of the only sub $1000 ovens capable of producing legitimate Neapolitan pizza, and I'd be sorry to see you give up on it entirely based on an, imo, horrible recipe that completely ignores tradition.  If you wanted to set the book aside, though, and pursue traditional Neapolitan pizza- a style of pizza everyone should experience at least once, then, for that, my recommended flour would be either the Caputo Chef's/Cuoco flour (not the blue/pizzeria) or the 5 Stagioni pizza Napoletana.

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3 hours ago, scott123 said:

 

It depends on how deep down the rabbit hole you want to go. :)

My favorite flour for NY style is bromated Spring King (Ardent Mills).  It's typically very hard to find, though, and, I've yet to see it available via mail order. It's specs are very similar to bromated Full Strength (General Mills), and that is available via mail order, and some Restaurant Depots carry it.  I see, from other posts, that you're in CT.  Assuming it's Southern CT, Full Strength should be relatively easy for you to find, since Full Strength basically IS New Haven style pizza.  You can make a very respectable New Haven style pie with King Arthur bread flour, which is basically unbromated Full Strength, but, if you want that authentic Pepe's/Sally's taste, you want to use the flour that they use.  

 

I might be evolving on bromated high gluten flours such as All Trumps.  I don't think All Trumps will ever replace Spring King in my top spot for NY style, but, I've seen local places do some fairly impressive things with it.  Joe's, the pizzeria that Mitch posted photos from earlier, is the archetype for All Trumps, low-ish hydration modern NY style slices. Joe's has, imo, slipped in quality during the last couple decades, but, it's still quite formidable, and is a great ambassador for the modern NY style slice.  

That's New York and New Haven.  You recently mentioned being 'converted' from Neapolitan.  I know plenty of folks from CT who don't really resonate all that much with the inherent wetness of Neapolitan pizza.  This being said, with the Koda 16, you basically own one of the only sub $1000 ovens capable of producing legitimate Neapolitan pizza, and I'd be sorry to see you give up on it entirely based on an, imo, horrible recipe that completely ignores tradition.  If you wanted to set the book aside, though, and pursue traditional Neapolitan pizza- a style of pizza everyone should experience at least once, then, for that, my recommended flour would be either the Caputo Chef's/Cuoco flour (not the blue/pizzeria) or the 5 Stagioni pizza Napoletana.

Thanks so much! Lot to digest here and I’ll be sure to re read it all. Wanted to quickly reply re: Neapolitan. I’ve been making nothing but Neapolitan pizzas for over a year and love them. Have also experimented and made Canotto style. Love it. All I was saying was I enjoyed the artisan dough so much I’m going to make more artisan pizzas now. 
 

I love Neapolitan pizzas, have gotten very good at making them, and will be making dough today actually for pizza tomorrow. I also really like the Mod Pizza recipe and their high hydration recipe for Neapolitan. 
 

I use the Caputo Blue, Caputo Super Nuvola, and Caputo Nuvola. Using Caputo Nuvola today. I’ll check out that non-Caputo flour you recommended!

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3 minutes ago, Robenco15 said:

I love Neapolitan pizzas, have gotten very good at making them, and will be making dough today actually for pizza tomorrow. I also really like the Mod Pizza recipe and their high hydration recipe for Neapolitan. 


Ah, I totally misread that. Sorry about that.

The Nuvola has been out more than two years, and I still don't completely understand the milling magic behind it.  But I do like the most of the results I see with it, though.  As you can probably guess, I'm a bit of a Neapolitan purist ;) 58-60% hydration, 300W flour, minimal thickness factor, no longer than overnight ferment, 60 second or less bake time.  If you're getting results that you're happy with well outside those parameters, then the Chef's flour and/or the 5 Stagioni might not be worth tracking down.

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2 hours ago, scott123 said:


Ah, I totally misread that. Sorry about that.

The Nuvola has been out more than two years, and I still don't completely understand the milling magic behind it.  But I do like the most of the results I see with it, though.  As you can probably guess, I'm a bit of a Neapolitan purist ;) 58-60% hydration, 300W flour, minimal thickness factor, no longer than overnight ferment, 60 second or less bake time.  If you're getting results that you're happy with well outside those parameters, then the Chef's flour and/or the 5 Stagioni might not be worth tracking down.

Yep have made that pizza plenty. I like hydration more in the 62-65%, but it’s been awhile since I’ve done a 58%. 

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Made the Neapolitan dough with Caputo Nuvola and have that proofing. 
 

Just started on a Direct Artisan Dough with 60% Cairnspring’s Expresso T85 and 40% Trailblazer Bread Flour. Using the ingredients and amounts from Mod Pizza, but using some of Dan Richer’s methods from his Joy of Pizza (don’t recommend the book actually, I returned it). This will be interesting to see how it comes out. 

 

Edit: Artisan Dough came together incredibly well. Wasn’t expecting it to be this great tbh. I also did a non-autolyse of mixing the water, yeast, and flour to a shaggy mass and letting it sit for 30 minutes. Wanted to give these flours all the time they needed. 

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Edited by Robenco15 (log)
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