Lilla Napolis mjöl- och degguide

Little Napoli's flour and dough guide

Pizza dough and flour is really a jungle. There's a lot to get right, and of course it's annoying because that part of the pizza simply has to be right. Here we have collected important explanations for the Nerd Info section of our flours, so that you can get a better understanding of how to choose the right flour and succeed with your pizza dough.

Try our "dough calculator"

If you want to know how much of all the ingredients you need to make your particular pizzas, you can use our dough calculator .

You just enter how many pizzas you want, how long you want the dough to rise and what temperature it will rise in. Then you get everything you need to know!

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

W-number, which is often written as, for example, “W 300”, is a term that we often throw around. Simply explained, the w number is a measure of the strength of the flour, which has been obtained from measurements with an alveograph (a machine that measures the quality of a flour and other things). A higher W number means that the flour is stronger and that it can handle more water and longer fermentation times.

To make pizza, you usually use relatively strong flours with a W number between 260 and 380. For ordinary 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 is important to add that the alveograph only measures in a short-term fermentation where you have a hydration of 50%, given that the measurements are not from an AH alveograph. Therefore, you must supplement with your own tests.

Use the spread test and get the dough to the right strength

The strength of the dough is one of the most important things to achieve if you want to make good pizza. In addition, a good strength means that the actual baking becomes infinitely easier. When we talk about strength, there are three things that are involved: elasticity, stretch resistance and extensibility. You can read more about this in our book, but the bottom line is that it has to be right.

What is spread test

Spreadtest is a term we use to measure the strength of the dough in a more practical way. Doing a dough strength check is a great tool for beginners and experts alike, so it's definitely something we recommend.

Once you've done it a few times, you'll learn how the dough should feel, and then you won't have to do it in the future - not so often anyway. It also becomes extra important because most people ferment their Neapolitan pizza dough for longer than 12 hours at room temperature, i.e. a fairly long fermentation, which affects the character.

The spread test involves taking a 260-gram pizza ball in connection with the balling process and placing it in a baking dish that is at least 17x17 cm in size. Then wrap the mold in plastic and place it next to the other dough balls. When about 24 hours have passed in total and the volume has increased to about 26 in the rain gauge, the dough in the mold should have a diameter of 14-15 cm for the right strength.

Our ambition

In the future, we will always indicate the strength of the dough with a certain flour, so that you know how to regulate the amount of water. After all, this together with how well the dough retains strength over time are some of the biggest practical differences between different flours, and the W number is not always enough because all flours behave differently.

We have already written how to adjust the amount of water depending on different flours. For example, you should use about 4% less water than our recipe says if you bake with Piantoni flour. This is stated in the product descriptions of our flours.

In other words, the goal is that we should be able to supplement the restrictions with the W number here. So you can do the test yourself until we manage to get our own tests out :)

Water absorption in a farinograph

Here you can see some figures on how the water absorption, measured in a farinograph, differs between different flours:

Direct and indirect doughs - What's the difference?

In our flours' product descriptions / Nerd info, we always try to indicate whether we use the flour for direct doughs (regular doughs) or indirect doughs (predough, biga, poolish). Indirect doughs are generally those that strive for as much swoosh in the pizza edge as possible; also known as Pizza Canotto .

Pizza Canotto is a modern development of Pizza Napoletana, which originated primarily in the Caserta area. Those who invented the style actually want it to be called Pizza Casertano instead.

By indirect doughs, we simply mean "ordinary" doughs where you mix in all the ingredients at once. The recipe in our book is an instant dough. This is how you make traditional Neapolitan pizza, and it's been done since it was invented in the 17th century.

You generally need slightly different flours for indirect doughs; often in the form of having a higher W-number. When it comes to direct doughs, by adapting the recipe, you can use more types of flour. As I said, we write in the product description how you can think, but we also encourage you to try different flours to see what suits your own taste and liking.

What do you mean by "Tipo xx"?

Tipo "xx" stands for how white a flour is, which depends on how much shell parts have been sifted away. It has nothing to do with performance or the like, but only how white it is.

For Neapolitan pizza, a so-called tipo “00” flour is traditionally used. This is a very white, finely sifted flour. An example of this is the standard "wheat flour special" in Sweden. Then tipo “0” means it is darker, and so on.

When it comes to pizza flours in particular, the differences between different "tipo numbers" are small. However, it can be argued that a tipo 1 flour is healthier than a tipo 00. Many people think that tipo 00 means that the flour is good for pizza, but it doesn't have to be that way. The number “00” also does not mean that it is finely ground, but instead means that it is finely sieved; the grains themselves are thus no less!

Other flour terms that we do not use

Case numbers

The case number for a flour represents how quickly the dough converts starch to sugar. This property is one of the contributing reasons why Swedish flours often do not work so well for Neapolitan pizza. This is the case when they have too low a case number, which means that sugar forms quickly in the dough, which in turn leads to the pizza burning too quickly in a really hot oven.

A suitable fall number for flour for Neapolitan pizza is often over 400, while Swedish flours are often around 300. However, we do not talk about fall numbers when it comes to our flours, because all the flour we sell has a fall number that is adapted to the pizza should be able to be baked quickly and very hot; i.e. how a Neapolitan pizza should be baked.


P/L is another number often listed on flours, but it is always around 0.5-0.6 for Neapolitan pizza flours, which are appropriate values. Therefore, it is not relevant in our opinion and can therefore be disregarded.

Protein/Gluten %

Protein/gluten % is also a number we ignore, because there are lots of different gluten types that perform very differently. For example, a flour with low gluten can sometimes be stronger than one with high gluten. In other words, it doesn't always turn out to be fair and therefore you really shouldn't stare blindly at this.

Does it feel complicated?

Admittedly, pizza can be a bit complicated when you start getting into the details, which unfortunately you have to do to get the very best result. Hopefully it feels a little clearer now what we are talking about regarding all our flours. Otherwise, we recommend that you read our book , where everything is explained in more depth, while also providing a better context.

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