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How to Read an Italian Flour Label - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
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We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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How to Read an Italian Flour Label

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  • How to Read an Italian Flour Label

    The Italian method for describing bread is very different from how we do it in the states. Tipo 00, Tipo 0, etc. describes primarily how finely milled the flour is, maximum ash content, etc. There some minimum glutin level, which doesn't tell you anything. They use the "W" scale to describe the strength of the flour -- how hard it is to work, how elastic it is, how long it takes to rise, etc. For example, a W of 170 is for cookies and pastry, 180-260 is for bread and some pizza (55%-65% hydration), 280-350 is for egg pasta, and some breads (65%-75% hydration).

    Tipo 00 is the highest standard, the finest milled and the lowest ash content. The Tipo 00 you find in a market, unless it specifically says "for pizza" or "special" has a W of between 150-200 -- very low, very light. To make pizza or bread, you are supposed to mix the light flour with a very high W specialty flour to get the strength you want.

    That's why buying Italian flour can be a challenge.

    The nice thing about the specific Caputo flour that we get is that it is pre-blended for pizza, so you don't have to do any mixing. It's also good for focaccia and light bread, like Ciabatta.

    Caputo makes a whole product line of flours, but we only get the pizza flour here in the states. That is their specialty, and what they are so well-known for.

    There is a good description in Wikipedia. It's in Italian, but you get the drift pretty easily.

    http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farina
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