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Jan 29, 2004 06:29 PM

Pizza dough--what flour?

  • g

What type of flour do pizzerias use? I've been generally happy with my home-made dough (I mostly use King Arthur all-purpose flour), but I'm still not 100% satisfied.

Anyone have a secret to share??



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  1. Best to use a hard wheat flour or look for "bread flour" it has higher gluten and will give you a better crust. Some health food stores etc sell it in bulk so you don't have to buy a 5 pound bag. You can use unbleached but do NOT use whole wheat. Other advice would be to keep the recipe simple and when kneading, do it 8-10 mins or as long as possible. If it feels smooth on the've got it right.

    1. Depends on what kind of pizza you're talking about.

      According to the Scicolones("Pizza: Any Way You Slice It"), mixing 2 1/2 to 3 cups of all-purpose flour with 1 cup of non-self-rising cake flour makes a good Neapolitan dough. 1 1/4 cup warm water, 1 teaspoon active dry yeast, and 2 teaspoons salt are the other ingredients in their recipe.

      Peter Reinhart in "American Pie" says the pizzerias he visited in Naples use 00 flour mixed with a small amount of American bread flour which produces a blend close to American all-purpose flour. Reinhart just uses straight all-purpose flour in his Neapolitan dough recipe. Most of Reinhart's recipes for American pizza doughs use bread flour. His recipe for New York-Style dough has 5 cups bread flour, 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar or honey, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast, 3 tablespoons olive(or other vegetable oil), and 1 3/4 cups water.

      I purchased both those books recently, and they appeared to be the best of the pizza cookbooks I was able to page through. Haven't had a chance to actually cook from them yet.

      1. I use 2 1/2 C. bread flour and 1 C. semolina, salt, 1 Tbs. dry yeast (I prefer SAF Perfect rise) and about a cup or so of water. All goes into the Kitchen Aid stand mixer and is kneaded until smooth and elastic. I give it 3 slow risings. This gives a good chewy crust and a nice nutty flovor from the semolina.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Candy

          Where do you get semolina? I looked a while ago based on another discussion, and it's not the kind of thing I can find in local stores.

          For that matter, where does one find cake flour, 00 flour, hard wheat flour mentioned by other posters?



          1. re: Guy

            Cake flour is in just about every store. It's sold in boxes and is usually on a higher shelf than the bagged flour. The other flours are sometimes sold in places like Whole Foods or Wild Oats markets, or you can get them on line at King Arthur Flour.

            1. re: Guy

              I don't know where you are, but here in Bloomington, IN I get it at my local Kroger. I think it is at Marsh too and at Bloomingfoods co-op. One brand is Red Mill I think.

              If you are going to use semolina and bread flour it really takes quite a bit of kneading and having a mixer do it is the best way.

              1. re: Guy

                With the exception of the 00 flour, which would be available in Italy, you should be able to get most others in a large grocery store. I get semolina from King Arthur when I can't find it locally.

                For pizza, I use Bread flour, with some added gluten and semolina. I knead it by machine for 18 minutes, then let it rise in the fridge overnight before baking on a stone. This makes a crisp but chewy crust we love. This is what works for me with home equipment. Maybe if I had the same oven as a pizzeria, a different recipe would work better.

                See below for a desciption of different flours.


            2. I use ap for my pizza doughs, as does the last 2 pizza joints i worked at.

              hth, danny

              1. I noticed you posted on the New York board, so I am assuming you are in NYC. The Italian Food store in the Chelsea Market sells 00 semolina flour. They have 2 kinds, one marked for pasta and the other for bread, get the one for bread and mix it with AP, a good recipe should tell you the proportions.