The Flour Cheat Sheet

The Flour Cheat Sheet

December 2023

Not all flour is created equal. While it’s a staple ingredient you’ll find in almost every kitchen around the world, there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about its different types and classifications, so it’s important to understand what it is.  

Flours are typically formed by grinding different cereals or legumes (wheat, barley, corn, oats, rice, rye, potatoes, almonds, etc.) into a powder through a milling process. While we don’t know when or how flour came to be, it’s been an integral ingredient throughout history.  

Wheat covers more of the earth’s surface than any other food crop. Comprised of three main components: the germ, the bran, and the endosperm, how much of each component is present in a flour determines its categorization in Italy.  

Unlike in the US, where flours are primarily categorized by how much protein they have, in Italy, flours are initially classified by how finely sifted they are. (We prefer the term “finely sifted” because the more common word, “refined,” often implies a chemical process. At Caputo, all the wheat is ground naturally, without chemicals). How finely sifted a flour is doesn’t refer to the particle size, but rather to the ash content of each flour. Ashes are the mineral substances contained in the kernel husk, so the higher the sifting efficiency, the lower the ash quantity.  

Visual Chart of Italian Flour Classifications From Whole Wheat to 00

The most finely sifted type of Italian flour, “00” flour, is made only from the endosperm and has an ash content below 0.55%. In the US, most associate “00” flour with pizza, Neapolitan pizza specifically; however, like American flours, Italian flours also vary by protein percent. Caputo crafts flours for every purpose by combining different varieties of wheat to achieve specific characteristics. They have everything from a highprotein “00” flour like Americana Super which is great for long, coldrise pizza and bread doughs, to a lowprotein “0” flour like Frolla, which is great for all of your shortcrust pastry needs.  

Visual Chart of the Different Caputo Flours and their uses/attributes

Although many of Caputo’s flours are type “00,” their Pizzeria flour is made specifically for Neapolitan pizza, while their Baking flour is made specifically for your favorite baked sweets! Caputo believes in creating a flour for every purpose instead of an all-purpose flour so that you are always achieving the best results possible. With flours in all categories (both Italian and American), take their quiz to find out which flour is right for you 

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