What Is Double Zero Flour?

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All flours are definitely not equal, especially when it comes to making pizza. So, if you’re looking to make a homemade pizza crust as good as your favorite pizzeria, you need double zero flour.

What does “Double Zero” Mean?

In America and a lot of other countries, wheat flours are categorized based on how much protein they contain. In Italy and a few other European countries, the classification is done a little differently; it’s based on how finely ground the flour is and how much of the germ and bran have been removed.

The Italian grading system includes 2, 1, 0 and 00. Type 2 is the coarsest grind and it subsequently has the most germ and bran included. As you step down the system, the grind gets finer and more of the germ and bran are removed. Double zero, also referred to as doppio zero or 00 flour, is the most refined. The texture is silky soft, similar to baby powder.

Caputo type 00, one of the most readily available brands in America, is often considered the gold standard. It is used by many chefs around the world, especially those in Naples where pizza is said to have been perfected. It’s designed for home oven temperatures of around 450-500°F. If you have an oven that can go higher, you may want to try their Pizzeria flour, which is designed for ovens that can reach 700°F or more.

Is Double Zero Flour High in Protein?

This is where things start to get a little confusing. The protein content of 00 flour can vary depending on the variety of the wheat. On most 00 flour packages you’ll see it labeled as “soft wheat” or “hard wheat”. Most of the 00 flours available to Americans are soft wheat, made from durum wheat. Depending on the brand, they can range between 11-12.5% protein.

Durum wheat has a high protein content and the gluten it forms is very strong. However, this gluten isn’t as elastic as that in other wheat. As a result, you’ll get a baked good that has a strong structure and bite to it but it doesn’t have that prolonged chew you get from a more elastic gluten.

How Is it Different from All-Purpose Flour?

American all-purpose flour, or British plain flour, has a similar protein content to 00 flour, but there are some differences you’ll usually notice in the texture of the finished baked good. All-purpose flour is made from a blend of different types of wheat, both hard and soft—often durum and red wheat. This allows the producer to get a blend with a specific protein amount that forms a gluten that has more elasticity. What this means is a pizza crust made with all-purpose flour will be chewier.

Can You Substitute All-Purpose for 00 Flour?

The simple answer is yes, you can. Many recipes that call for 00 flour will often call for all-purpose as a substitute. There shouldn’t be any problems using it in your favorite homemade cake, but you will notice a slightly chewier texture with the all-purpose.

What is 00 Flour Best In?

pressing pizza doughTaste of Home

In one word, PIZZA! It’s the go-to flour for true Neapolitan pizza because it gives you a nice, crispy crust with lots of big airy pockets but isn’t so chewy you end up with a sore jaw after eating a few slices. Taste of Home Food Stylist Josh Rink uses it in our best pizza dough. It’s also ideal for making your own homemade pasta dough, which is much easier than you think.

While 00 flour may be a little harder to find, you should be able to snag some at a good Italian grocer. But be prepared—you’ll end up paying a little more. Is it worth it? If you’re making your own pizza crust, it’s worth every penny.

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James Schend
As Taste of Home’s Deputy Editor, Culinary, James oversees the Food Editor team, recipe contests and Bakeable, and manages all food content for Trusted Media Brands. Prior to this position, James worked in the kitchen of Williams-Sonoma and Southern Living. An honor graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, he has traveled the world searching for great food in all corners of life.