Have you ever wanted to know how Italian Tipo 00 flour differs from type 550 flour? Is it worth going to the Italian specialist shop? Well, no. Let me briefly explain what the type designations stand for.
How is flour produced?
Commercially available white flour is produced by milling soft wheat. Different types of flour can be produced in the process. They differ according to their Mineral content. And it is precisely this mineral content that is indicated by the mysterious type designation.
Let us now try to imagine a grain of wheat. For the sake of simplicity, I divide the grain into hull and endosperm. The hull has the highest mineral content. The endosperm, on the other hand, has a much lower level of minerals.
When wheat is milled into flour, the wheat grains go through several processes that ensure that the hull and endosperm are separated from each other. The fewer parts of the hull remain, the lower the concentration of minerals in the flour.
Where does the number 550 come from?
To determine the type of flour, 100g of flour is burnt. Minerals do not burn up in the process. What remains? Exactly, ash. If, for example, approx. 550 mg of ash remains after the burning of 100 g of flour, this is type 550 flour. The lower the type number, the less hull material is in the flour. As a reminder, the hull and outer layer have the highest mineral content. In the endosperm, the protein and starch content is higher.
Protein and starch for the perfect Pizza
The endosperm consists mainly of protein and starch. Starch serves as a food source for the YeastIf the temperature is right, the yeast comes up to speed and eats the starch. Carbon dioxide and ethanolare produced as by-products. Additionaly, it ensures that the dough grows and becomes airy. The second gives the dough flavour. The role of protein is equally important. The more protein in the flour, the more elastic and stretchy the pizza dough becomes.
What is Tipo 00 flour?
Tipo 00 flour from Italy is equivalent to type 550 white flour in Germany or Switzerland. The degree of grinding and ash content are very similar.In Italy, only other type designations are used.
The perfect pizza dough is made when the protein content in the flour is approx. 12-13% and the starch content is approx. 72%. Once you have found the right flour, you can use the Pizza Dough Calculator to calculate the quantities for the other ingredients and get started straight away.