What is the best flour for indoor ovens (500 degrees max)


Please forgive the newbie question. I am an experienced artisan bread, kaiser roll and yeast cake maker of over 30 years so hubby wanted me to try pizza.
I made pizza at home for the first time Friday. It looked good, hubby loved it. I grew up in New York (Long Island) and worked in a pizzeria for two years. I know what ingredients go into a good pie having made so many on the job, but I never made the dough there, the boss did. I thought the flavor of my first attempt was outstanding but the crust was awful for my standards, so here I am!
I ordered The Pizza Bible on Amazon this AM and have been reading the posts for the past 2 days. I need to find a good flour as all I have is King Arthur all purpose unbleached. I tried to order the Antimo Caputo Pizzeria flour but can't figure out how to order on the store as the checkout seems to have been disabled, or am I doing something wrong?
King Arthur does have a high gluten flour at 13% protein, is that any good?

Madlyn S.
posted almost 3 years ago

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Madlyn,

Forget the Caputo for home oven use. See if you can find King Arthur Bread flour, Gold Medal Bread flour or Pillsbury Bread flour. All are good choices for pizza made at home.

Raj can give you more info on the status of the online store.

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Mike K.
posted almost 3 years ago

Thanks Mike, I always buy the King Arthur bread flour and Ap flours at my local Walmart.

- Madlyn   almost 3 years ago


Madlyn,

What type of pizza are you trying to make? NYC? Grandma? American(like a papa johns or dominos style)?. Caputo is really only worth paying the price if you are using it at super high temps, if your using it in a home oven application it will work okay but it will not truly shine. It is wicked hard to get a home oven to reach Neapolitan temps. Flavor from the dough is much more dependent on the fermentation, the use of a starter, the % of salt and % of oil if using. The flour will of course will make a difference but it will more make a difference in the actual cooking if that makes sense. I am a big fan of all trumps for NYC and Sicilian style pies personally. But it's really all personal choice for everyone, I would just buy a couple different flours, experiment and se which one you and your husband like best. That's the best part eating and discussing!

Hope this helps.
Jeff

Jeff S.
posted almost 3 years ago

Hi Jeff, NYC of course! We don't like Papa Johns or any chain pizza. I can''t get All Trumps locally and it' would cost $33.17 to get a 7 lb. bag on Amazon! I am still researching the other recommended flours for best cost. I will wait until I get the book and try the recipes. I always use a poolish for bread and rolls and I will try the Tiga as well. Thanks so much for your help!

- Madlyn   almost 3 years ago


welcome madlyn! you made a good investment in PB! It's a beautiful book. Follow the instructions and cut a couple of decades off the learning curve! Sounds like you don't need much help if you're a breadmaker & worked in a pizza shop. You'll appreciate PB all the more.

where are you located? if you're on long island there are a lot of places to buy the flours recommended. u can also find them online. i've always used ap or bread flour, but since pb i've experimented. it's interesting & fun to experience the differences. i recommend not getting too hung up on the details--ap or bread flour will still yield a delicious & light dough. getting a grip on the process & goals is more important. which or whose dough recipe did you use? i also dabble in bread. do you knot your kaiser rolls or use a stamp? are you pro or home baker?

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Maria .
posted almost 3 years ago

Hi Maria,
I am in SW Oregon now, military wife. You would probably laugh at the recipe's author but he recommended bread flour and a warm rise which I now know is not the best or even a good method. I did use King Arthur bread flour and a pan with holes which gave a very crisp crust. Now I have ordered the Lodge seasoned cast iron 14" pizza pan which is more affordable than a good stone and far less costly than the baking steel. Ahh! another bread maker! We love Italian and French breads which I use the steam method for a lovely, crisp crust. I knot my Kaiser rolls . I have pictures of my rolls, breads and the one pizza that looked great but had the awful crust but I don't know how to post them right this minute. What type of pizza do you make and do you use the baking steel, stone or pan?

- Madlyn   almost 3 years ago


I've tried different flours but keep coming back to King Arthur Bread flour. I do like the flavor, but I have recently been given a bag of Tony's flour and am looking forward to trying it.

When you cooked your pizza, did you use a pan, stone, or steel? If you use a steel, you can get the surface temp of that up pretty high if you use the 'broiler' method. I've been able to get the surface temp of my steel up to 715 F (using the broiler).

Tory Glenn
posted almost 3 years ago


Hi Tory, I used a pan with holes which is supposed to give a crisp crust. The crust was hard, very hard, not at all chewy not even the ends. I'm afraid I can't afford the baking steel . Now I see how to post images so I will add one of the pizza

Medium pizza

Madlyn S.
posted almost 3 years ago

Madlyn,

Oh, sorry you had such a bad experience with the pan. If you can't afford the steel, then I might suggest a stone; they are half the price of steel and give you good results. Also, did you use any oil in your dough recipe?

- Tory   almost 3 years ago

Tory,
Yes, olive oil. I use extra virgin first cold pressed olive oil for everything. It's not an expensive brand but we like it. I would love to have a baking steel, I read about them online when considering what to buy. If I bought a steel I would have money left over for flour for pizza :) I am pretty much locked into using this cast iron pizza pan I got today. It's a heavy monster and came highly recommended and unbreakable.

- Madlyn   almost 3 years ago


For Maria,

Kaiser rolls, rising and then baked

Medium rolls rising

Medium kaisers

Madlyn S.
posted almost 3 years ago


I use Tony's Artisan 00 in my home oven, on a baking steel. It works great. I agree on the previous comments re: Caputo in a home oven - it just doesn't work. I use it in my wood fired oven, but not indoors at 550. If the steel is a little too pricey, they have some reconditioned models for a little less money. https://shop.bakingsteel.com/collections/steels/products/certified-reconditioned-steels?variant=24042478599

JUSTIN W.
posted almost 3 years ago

Justin,
I think I will have to stick with the Lodge cast iron pizza pan for now, that got excellent reviews from people who said it was better than a stone. I picked it up today, it weighs 11 pounds so it's far better than the pizza pan I had and $20 cheaper than the highly recommend stone I first considered.
Will Tony's flour be good for my home oven? I found a great source for it with reasonable shipping costs. The re-conditioned steel is about $20 cheaper than the steel I saw on Amazon, but still too pricey for me, especially since I already got the cast iron pan.

- Madlyn   almost 3 years ago


Madlyn: Your stuff looks delish! My brother-in-law has served in the army his entire adult life. Now, as a reservist, his service continues, and I see what a huge commitment it is and how large the sacrifices are for the family, too. So hats off to you & your fam. Here’s a locater for flour distributors: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/distributors.html.

I’ve been at it a long time and learned to make dough from my Neapolitan grandma—the grandma way: w/o a recipe—by eye and by feel and a little bit of this and a pinch of that—old school—no measurements! My family had moved from Bklyn to the burbs, and my mom couldn’t get the lovely dough she used to get in Bklyn, so my grandma taught us how to make it. (my Grandparents literally carried crusty Italian bread out to the burbs for us on the weekends for many years because my parents could only buy what looked baguette, but what was actually the texture of supermarket white bread!) We always made pizza in pans—some sky high, some not so much. Only recently, since the artisan craze, have I started using stones and only since PB—a steel. We did the dough in a day—no days long, cold ferments. But as you know, dough making is still a lengthy process that cannot be rushed. Folks still do a room temp. rise including punching down and letting the dough rise again—sometimes several times. Nancy Silverton, a famous baker, has a contemporary dough recipe that completes the dough in a few hours w/stretch & folds. Are the long, cold ferment methods superior? I’m not sure. It’s a though someone asked you to rate the difference between James Brown & Joss Stone’s It’s a Man’s World . . . both truly delicious in their own right, no?!!!!

I do recommend getting two stones per PB. It makes a world of difference, and will help with your breads, too. I have a good one and a thin, cheap one, and the cheap one is fine. So if that’s all you can do for now, it’s worthwhile. I invested in a steel that I hated at first, but I’m coming around on that. Is it worth the money for the difference—no. But over the long term it is worthwhile if you consider you’ll have it for a lifetime and can pass it down to your children. I’m posting some of my bread experiments :-) For me, it pure adventure, and I don’t have to worry about making a consistent product . . . just like my grandma.

Medium croissants

Medium gros pan

Medium kaiser rolls

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Maria .
posted almost 3 years ago


Looks great Maria! Isn''t it fun re-creating (or trying to) our memories of good wholesome food memories? Being a military wife and leaving all the wonderful pizza and bread in NY was really hard for me. I even lived in Vicenza, Italy for almost 2 years. That was great for real Italian bread and wood-fired pizza! Living in the Arizona desert where NY style is a just a dream and So. CA for many years gave me the impetus to try and that was where I first started out with sourdough bread from a raw potato potato starter. I made sourdough every other day for about 1 1/2 years until I started working then switched to cakes which I took to work for break times. That was way back, gosh, so long ago I would be giving my age away! I found a source for Tony's flour at Central Mills online for a good price. I hope that is good for my home oven? Here's a pick of my seeded Italian, you can see I am not good portioning the dough equally :)

Medium 4seeded

Madlyn S.
posted almost 3 years ago


wow! beautiful loaves! i now have access to great italian breads & pasteries & meats because some artisans that carried over their skills & traditions from italy also migrated to the burbs. (migration from manhattan, to brooklyn, long island, etc.) though that generation is dying off & the children don't always follow in their parents' profession. i just enjoy the creative side & wish i had more time to devote to honing my own skills. do you have to adjust your favorite breads recipes & techniques when you chage locations? i imagine that water & climate changes affect your breadmaking.

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Maria .
posted almost 3 years ago


Lucky you! Our only other choice is soft white french bread and icky rolls! I never buy supermarket pies, cakes, cookies so if I want a treat I have to bake it.
Yes, somewhat, either having to source flour or use bottled water and every time I would move I would need to find a warm place to raise the dough or make a new sourdough starter. Now I just use room temperature for most doughs but different humidity causes problems as well, but that can be solved.

Madlyn S.
posted almost 3 years ago


Yes, lucky! I stay away from supermarket stuff, but I do have a weakness for supermarket corn muffins! They're so cakey & my homemade are definitely healthier, but not quite as good. I try & stay away because I figure they're full of sugar and industrial fats, but there's something to them. . . Did you get your PB, yet? The winter is running by so fast, & I wanted to try Detroit. Do you dabble in hand-made pastas? very satisfying, though like everything else, difficult to justify the time and energy invested beyond the pure pleasure and satisfaction of the process.

Medium papardelli

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Maria .
posted almost 3 years ago


Oh yum! Corn muffins are a weakness of our as well, we had some last night. I just us a mix we like that we got at Costco: Dave's Famous Corn Bread Mix. When Costco is out we get it at Walmart. The best cornbread we ever had was at a restaurant in Maine. To die for! but Dave's is very good.
No, my Pizza Bible hasn't arrived yet. But I have my cast iron pizza pan now, just need flour and the malt is on it's way.
I haven't made pasta in a very long time now, maybe again someday.
Maria, do you use Tony's flour? I found a good source in Utah with cost and shipping that wouldn't hurt too bad.

Madlyn S.
posted almost 3 years ago

Where in Utah did you find it?

- Michael   over 1 year ago


well i had corn bread once at Sylvia's, a well-known restaurant in Harlem. I'm obviously a breadaholic...& the cornbread was total Nirvana. I haven't used Tony's flour yet. It has received excellent professional reviews--it's top-of-line--as everything he does apparently. I'm impessed that you're not cheating since you already have the MD recipe. (I couldn't wait until I was properly equipped-no regrets!)

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Maria .
posted almost 3 years ago


I have used King Arthur High Gluten flour and the King Arthur Bread Flour with good results. I like using King Arthur High Gluten flour on my Detroit Style pizza and the KA Bread Flour on everything else.....going to try the oo flour after I can get some of it.

Mark S.
posted almost 3 years ago


Hi Mark,
I like King Arthur flour and always use it but the pizza I baked with the bread flour was awful. King Arthur High Gluten flour is pricey and then there is the shipping. I found Tony's flour online 5# for the same price as KA'a 3# bag, and the shipping wasn't bad. I ordered it last night and saved a few dollars. I cant wait to see how my pizza turns out now :)

Madlyn S.
posted almost 3 years ago


Hey guys, King Arthur has a Pizza Dough flour blend you can buy on their website. I haven't tried it yet, but Ive tried the all purpose, the bread flour (Wish theyd bring back the Lancelot name :), their double zero, their high gluten.....and I must say, its gotta be all method. after a few minutes of kneading my dough an my hand hurts, id rub alittle olive oil around the dough ball, put in big bowl, cover with plastic wrap am let rise a few hours, punch down, let rise another hour, punch down then put in fridge......many nice pizzas but none exactly NY style. So im getting a dough mixer or food processor after the lightbulb went off while watching a pizza bit on Travel Channel.....it works the dough 10x better an for longer without fail. I wanted to do handmade like 100 yrs ago but then realized, if its used in NY then its good enough for me! cant wait to try All Trumps Flour.... (....Making Pizza Great Again lolol)
Will post results!

The Lucca O.
posted over 2 years ago


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