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Flour Guide - Terms to be aware of

There's actually quite a bit of science when it comes to pizza - especially when you start to nerd out a bit.

Flour can be almost obscenely complicated, as they're all different and yield different results. In our flour product descriptions, we always try to provide as much information as possible about how to approach it.

Here, you can read a bit about flour terminology that's good to know, and we'll also share some terms we think are unnecessary.

Use our dough calculator

To start with, of course, you need to use the right recipe to get the pizza dough right. There are different ways to go about it, but here you can use our dough calculator to get a good result.

There, you just enter how many pizzas you want, how long you want the dough to rise and what temperature it will rise at. Then you get everything you need to know with the right amounts of all ingredients, and it's just a matter of get going!

What does the flour's "W-number" mean?

The W-number, written as for example "W 300", is a term that we and others often throw around when we talk about flour.

Simply put, the W-number is a measure of the strength of the flour, which is obtained from measurements with an alveograph (a machine that measures a flour's quality and other things). A higher W-number means that the flour is stronger and can handle more water and longer rising times.

For making pizza, you usually use relatively strong flours with a W-number between 260 and 380. For regular doughs (direct) the strength is usually between 260 and 310.

The strongest flours are often used for indirect doughs such as biga. Strong flours are also used for Pizza Canotto, which is a type of pizza baking where you do everything you can to get as high edges as possible with maximum swoosh.

However, it's important to note that the alveograph only measures in a short-term rise where you have a hydration of 50%, given that the measures are not from an AH alveograph. Therefore, you must complement with your own tests.

Water absorption in a farinograph

Here, you can see some numbers on how water absorption, measured in a farinograph, varies between different flours. Spoiler alert: It varies quite a bit and you therefore need to keep that in mind.

  • Caputo Tipo "00" = 61.6%
  • Caputo Nuvola Super = 63.9%
  • Molino Pasini Verde = 58.8%
  • Molino Piantoni MD = 57%
  • Molini Pivetti Professional = 59.1%
  • Costa d'Amalfi = 58.5%
  • Molino Pasini Marrone = 58.7%
  • Molino Piantoni LG = 58.2%

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