Simply put, Antico Molino Caputo makes the world’s best pizza flour. Forno Bravo is pleased to make it readily available to American home pizza makers and restaurants. Of all the things you can do to make better pizza, short of installing a Forno Bravo wood-fired pizza oven, switching to Caputo Pizza flour will make all the difference in the world.
Here are my notes from our April 2005 meeting with the Caputo family at the mill just outside Naples:
In some ways, I think Caputo is set up like a winery or a perfume company. They get the finest grains from around the world; they know how to select what is best and they know how to mill and blend to make the perfect pizza flour. Their business reminds me of the Burgundy wine model or even the French perfume industry in Grasse, and it takes an extremely high level of sophistication. The newest Molino Caputo print advertising highlights the company’s connections to the world market.
The company has a computer lab where they are continually testing a wide range of grains from around the world for the characteristics that are right for pizza dough. They test for:
- The pressure required to expand the dough
- The distance the dough stretches before it breaks
- How quickly you can stretch it without breaking it
- The dough’s extensibility, without bouncing back
They were quick to point out that the dough should be extensible — not elastic, which snaps back. There is computer generated time-stamped line graphs and pieces of test equipment all over the place, and more than 30 different grains being tested all the time.
The company’s goal is to make the perfect pizza flour that behaves the same way every time, without forcing you (or the restaurant) to do their own blending, and without having to change processes when the flour changes. They say their flour doesn’t change.
They also noted that Caputo flour is 100% natural, without any additives. For example, mills can add bulk gluten to hit the 14%-15% they want for bread flour — and Molino Caputo does not do that. I heard “it isn’t the quantity of gluten, but the quality of gluten that matters.” Back to fast extensibility.
The mill was running when I was there, and it’s very fun to watch the process. Drop us a line if you are interested, and we can arrange a factory tour.
Caputo pizza flour is 11%-12% gluten. Their view is that more that, and your pizza gets too heavy, both on the plate and in your stomach. The characteristic of Pizza Napoletana is a thin middle of the pizza, and a rim that balloons up in the oven.
Is Caputo Pizza Flour really that good? Peter Reinhart says that Caputo made the best pizza of anyone at their booth at the NY Pizza Show last year. For me, that’s a reliable source.Shop Now