Her Majesty’s Secret Flour

Italian doppio zero flour

That’s ”00” to you.

And yes, you can shake it or stir it, but you might get very messy in the process.

Sorry about the James Bond 007 pun, but I couldn’t resist. Doppio zero flour is also known as “OO” flour. The numbers refer to the grade of flour. The “00” is the finest milled available.

I was induced to hunt it down after making the pizza dough recipe in the “A16 Food+ Wine” (Ten Speed Press) cookbook by Nate Appleman and Shelley Lindgren. The first time I made it, I used all-purpose flour. It turned out incredible. But of course, wondering if a good thing could be made even better, I was curious if “00” would produce an even more spectacular dough, since A16 restaurant uses that regularly for its pasta and pizza doughs

While in Wine Country recently, I happened to find bags of Italian doppio zero at Sunshine Foods Market in St. Helena. I loaded up on it. 

The “00” flour is very light and powdery to the touch. Following the A16 recipe, I mixed the “00” flour with a smidgen of yeast dissolved in water, olive oil, and salt. I covered the bowl and put it in the fridge for two days to ferment and slowly rise. 

A16 pizza dough made with doppio zero.

When I pulled out the dough, I noticed it was stickier than the one I had made with all-purpose flour. It might be that the “00” is so fine, you need more of it. But because the recipe gives the flour measurement only in cups, not in grams, it’s hard to tell.

This dough also was more elastic. Indeed, it was easy to stretch the dough very thinly so that the pizza baked up with a very crisp center. 

Before putting the pizza on a baking stone in the oven, I layered on my own combination of paper-thin slivers of garlic, truffle cheese, and fresh basil leaves. When it emerged blistered and golden from the oven, I draped prosciutto over it. 

Pizza topped with garlic, basil, truffle cheese, and prosciutto.

It was one mighty fine pizza. I can’t say that the “00” flour imparted any more taste necessarily to the pizza. But it made the dough a pleasure to work with, and perhaps even crispier. 

If you’d like to try it yourself, here are some helpful links to my review of the A16 book, along with the recipe for the pizza dough. For more visuals, here is the link to my photos of the pizzas I made with all-purpose flour. And to read a short, fun interview with Executive Chef Appleman, click here.

Besides Sunshine Foods Market, you can find doppio zero flour at Forno Bravo in Windsor, Calif.; Lucca Delicatessen in San Francisco; and Pennsylvania Macaroni Company in Pittsburgh. 

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Date: Tuesday, 2. December 2008 5:44
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: General, Pizza, Recipes (Savory), Restaurants

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11 comments

  1. 1

    On my way to Lucca!

  2. 2

    Food Gal, you should open a pizzeria. :)

  3. 3

    Single Guy, if you can be my venture capitalist, you’re on!

  4. 4

    Oh man, if I add one more kind of flour to my baking arsenal, I’m not going to be able to find my sugar bowl. But you make a strong case…

  5. 5

    I love to explore the Sunshine Foods Market in St. Helena when we go visit the in-laws. It is a bit hard to explain why I always want to go to the grocery store!

  6. 6

    Oh me, too, Mrs. L: I LOVE Sunshine Foods Market. It’s so fun because you never know what you’ll find there. Sure, you can spot the usual Campbell’s soups and Heinz Ketchup on the shelves. But then, you’ll also see a $44 artisan salami, unusual cheeses, Seville orange marmalade, and of course, double zero flour.

  7. 7

    this is great! i’ve been experimenting with pizza dough as well — my last post was actually about tomato pie! i can’t wait to try your recipe :) will have to get me some 00

  8. 8

    My thanks to Christopher, a magazine copy editor and fan of FoodGal, who emailed me that I really meant to say the dough is “more extensible,” rather than “more elastic.” Whatever word you use, just know it’s a great dough! ;)

  9. 9

    Nice…. Finally found some 00 huh? Still no luck here in Chicago :(

  10. 10

    This sounds like a fun thing to try. Yours looks gorgeous. I think in the end, though, the quality of the dough has more to do with how it’s created and handled.

  11. 11

    This sounds great. I’ve been thinking about getting serious about making my own pizzas and purchasing a Home Pizza Oven Home Pizza Oven. My brother has one and the pies that he’s baking up are to die for. I’m hoping I can take some of your tips and apply them to my own culinary ventures. Thanks a ton!

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