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Having problems with Caputo flour - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Having problems with Caputo flour

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  • Having problems with Caputo flour

    I just got some Caputo flour and tried the FB dough recipe. In my first two attempts I couldn't get the dough to brown up. I ended up overcooking them thinking a little more time and they will darken. I have an electric oven and a massive stone (hearthkit). I heat my oven up to 550 for two hours, my stone gets up to 540 before cooking. Later I adjusted the dough recipe. I added a little oil and mixed in my regular high glutten flour in with the Caputo flour. I ran out of Caputo and didn't want to open another one so my mix was something like 70% regular flour to 30% Caputo. Well bingo my crust browned no problem. Because I made two changes, flour and oil, I don't know which solved the browning problem.

    Yesterday I ran across Jeff Varason's blog. It's quite good well worth the read Jeff Varasano's NY Pizza Recipe . He uses a wet kneading process which makes sense and I'm going to try. He confirmed my suspicion that the flour maybe the problem. Jeff wrote...

    "The 00 has a finer mill and also it will absorb much less water than the other flours. The 00 flour really is quite different than the others. If you are baking at under 750F, you should really not use 00. It will never brown and you'll have much more luck with another flour."

    Now I'm beginning to wonder if FB recipe is really suited for stone baked pizzas. What's your experience?

  • #2
    Re: Having problems with Caputo flour

    I have found that what Jeff said is true. At first I did not believe it and wanted to use the best flour for making pizza but I think he is right. I am in the process of building my WFO, but I love to make pizza in my electric oven as well. I use a good stone and crank the oven up to 550. I have used a few different brands of "00" flour and have tried cooking them at every level in my oven. The temp is just not high enough for that flour to get any good color. I have tried 50/50 mix ( "00" and AP or bread flour) as well and that did not work either. For the home oven I use 100% King Arthur Bread flour (I make a 66% hydration pizza dough). This flour has given me the best results at the temp my oven can reach. I am thinking I will break out the Caputo once my WFO is complete.
    Thread: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/g...land-8759.html

    Member WFOAMBA

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    • #3
      Re: Having problems with Caputo flour

      I have had zero success with 100% Caputo in my electric oven. As you have found out it does not brown. I have had pretty good success with blends between 70-75% AP flour and 25-30% Caputo.
      In the WFO, it is another story.....I use nothing but Caputo and follow this forums dough recipe somewhat (I use a bit less salt and adjust the yeast based on time constraints).
      To me, there is no comparison in the WFO, AP flour can't cut it. Since I am not one who likes to constantly experiment, I don't mess with my definition of perfection.....100% Caputo outdoors, AP flour (or blend) indoors.
      I am far from the baking expert but my conclusion is Caputo can/does handle the higher temps far better and was "developed" specifically for that purpose. I'd bet there intention was for this flour to never be used at low gas/electric temps.

      RT

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      • #4
        Re: Having problems with Caputo flour

        I have no doubt that Caputo works great in a WFO. I appears that 4 of us are in agreement. Maybe James could chime in to because he recommends Caputo in his pizza stone e-book.

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        • #5
          Re: Having problems with Caputo flour

          Hey guys -- this is a good thread.

          The pizza on the cover of the Pizza Stone Pizza eBook is made with Caputo and the FB stone, and I have been happy with the results. But I agree this needs some additional experimenting. Have you tried Caputo dough with the FB stone? It seems to retain more heat than a more basic stone.

          We have been working with new formulas for the FB pizza stone, so I will do a series of pizzas using both the current FB pizza stone and the new prototype; and Caputo 00 and American AP.

          Let's get through FB Expo, and I will look forward to picking this up. This should be interesting.

          Also, let me know what other folks have seen.
          James
          Pizza Ovens
          Outdoor Fireplaces

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          • #6
            Re: Having problems with Caputo flour

            If you need testers, or tasters, let me know! These will be very useful experiments.

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            • #7
              Re: Having problems with Caputo flour

              Where the Caputo Tipo 00 flour really shines, and where it was designed to be used was in very high heat environments such as a WFO.
              A gas or electric oven is not going to be able to duplicate those WFO environments. Therefore you will have a dull pale crust using Caputo 00 flour.

              You can try to brush some oil on the edges to get some browning, or you can hit it under the broiler to get some color. maybe back off on your hydration a little or you may just be better off using plain old all-purpose flour for a pizza baked in a home oven, maybe try a combination of hi-gluten bread flour cut with the Caputo at about 50/50.

              Now here is the other side of the coin if you try to use standard flours in a WFO, they are going to burn real quick and be ugly too.

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              • #8
                Re: Having problems with Caputo flour

                Brian,

                Send me an email message and we can talk about this. james at fornobravo dot com.
                James
                Pizza Ovens
                Outdoor Fireplaces

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