Some say a good pizza is all about the toppings. Well, as a (self-proclaimed) pizza geek, I beg to differ. It’s the crust that can make or break a pizza. And that’s why it makes sense to scout the internet for hours in search of the right kind of pizza flour.
Thanks to the low gluten content and finely ground texture, 00 flour is considered to be the ideal flour for making pizza. And when it comes 00 flour brands, King Arthur 00 Flour rules the roost in the States.
Made from 100% American-grown wheat, this finely milled, high-protein flour is perfect for the classic Neapolitan crust.
Still on the fence about which 00 flour to buy? Let me go over a few key details about this product to help you understand why King Arthur is my go-to for making the classic Neapolitan-style pizza.
What Makes King Arthur 00 Flour the Right Choice for Leopard-spotted Neapolitan Crust?
If you are looking for a pizza flour that can handle high levels of hydration, this is it. Let me explain why.
King Arthur 00 flour is a finely milled, high-protein flour used in many professional kitchens for Neapolitan pizza. It’s made from hard red spring wheat. This gives it a consistent structure that helps the dough hold together while you stretch it out, resulting in a thin, crispy crust.
King Arthur’s website notes that their 00 flour has a protein content of 11.5%, and it’s also milled to have a low ash content (as ash can contribute to gluten development).
As you can see, King Arthur 00 flour has a slightly higher protein content compared to its contemporaries. A high protein level means this flour can absorb more liquid, which would help you get those beautifully charred leopard spots on the crust by lots of steam in the oven.
All-purpose Flour vs. King Arthur 00 Flour for Making Pizzas
If you are thinking of making pizza from scratch for the first time, it’s normal to wonder whether the pantry staple all-purpose flour can do the trick.
Sorry to disappoint, AP flour is not suitable for making pizzas, especially if it’s the Italian style crispy-on-the-outside, puffy, chewy-on-the-inside crust that you’re after. All-purpose flour is less than ideal for pizza because of its low gluten content.
Regular all-purpose flour contains approx 9% gluten, while King Arthur 00 flour contains 11% gluten. This means that AP flour has a lower capacity to trap bubbles of CO2 produced by yeast during fermentation, resulting in a less elastic dough.
Apart from being less pliable, all-purpose flour pizza dough doesn’t rise as much during proofing as 00 flour, resulting in a pizza with a thicker crust.
In addition to these effects, unbleached all-purpose flour also has a more delicate flavor and texture that can’t stand up to the bold flavors of spicy tomato sauce or melt-in-your-mouth toppings like grilled chicken or prosciutto.
King Arthur 00 Flour contains a moderate amount of gluten which helps it strike the sweet spot between elasticity and softness. This results in a light, airy, nicely charred crust (Italian stamp of approval guaranteed).
King Arthur Bread Flour vs. 00 Flour – The Better Option for Pizzas
The key difference again lies in the gluten content. Bread flour usually has a much higher gluten content than 00 flour, which makes it a better choice for baking bread with a chewy texture.
However, 00 flour is the way to go for something like pizza or focaccia due to its moderate gluten content. Too much gluten can make the pizza crust too chewy and tough and difficult to stretch, which is why 00 flour is the preferred choice.
King Arthur 00 Pizza Flour Review – Is It Worth the Price (and Hype)?
I was a loyal patron of Caputo before I switched to King Arthur. As discussed before, while both flours make amazing pizzas, King Arthur is a better choice for Neapolitan crusts, which is more to my liking than other pizza variants.
If you are new to pizza making and repeatedly ending up with a bread-like crust despite your best efforts, switching to King Arthur can be a game changer for you. Considering a 3 lb bag makes about 10 small thin-crust pizzas, I would say it’s more cost-effective than its “artisanal” contemporaries.
Next Read: Substitute for 00 Flour (Including Gluten-free Options)
Don’t just limit yourself to pizzas; this flour is also suitable for focaccia or basic fresh pasta dough. If you wish to give it a whirl for making lasagna sheets and ravioli, go for it.
That’s not it. I have also made almond crumble with it to jazz up my tarts and ice cream pieces.
On the downside, this flour is not at all suitable for making gnocchi. The high gluten content adds a disturbing amount of chew to the potato dumplings (you read it right, gnocchi is a type of dumpling, not pasta).
I would suggest keeping the flour in an airtight container because the resealable bag doesn’t seal properly after several uses.
King Arthur 00 Dough Recipe
Okay, first things first, the recipe written on the bag will yield suboptimal results, so feel free to ditch it. Use your own recipe instead if you don’t have a foolproof Neapolitan pizza dough recipe yet; no worries.
Here’s how I make it:
- 14 oz. water (1 ¾ cups)
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- About ½ teaspoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2.5 cups King Arthur flour (spooned and leveled)
- Place the water in a small bowl and sprinkle it with the yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add sugar, extra virgin olive oil, and flour to a large bowl. Stir until well combined. Add yeast mixture and stir until the dough comes together.
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Punch the dough down and divide it into two equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into an 18-in log, about 1 ½ in wide. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with a clean towel. Let rise for another hour or until doubled in size.
King Arthur 00 vs. Caputo 00 Flour – Honest Opinion
King Arthur Flour is one of the most popular brands in the United States. It’s a company that has been around for decades and has a reputation for high-quality products.
However, King Arthur isn’t the only brand out there. There are other brands that make excellent pizza flour as well, such as Caputo 00 Flour.
So why would you choose King Arthur over Caputo? Well, let’s take a look at both!
King Arthur, as mentioned previously, has a protein content of 11.5%, whereas Caputo 00 contains 12.5% of protein. Despite the minor difference, I found Caputo 00 to be a better choice for long fermentation. I have made NY and Chicago-style pizzas with Caputo 00 with great success.
It tastes great and has the ability to take up a lot of sauce and wet toppings without going soggy. If you have to bake pizzas with lots of toppings at sub-700F temp, you should try Caputo 00.
However, suppose you are specifically looking to create authentic light and crunchy hand-rolled Neapolitan pizza, and you have a wood-fired oven like OONI. In that case, you’ll likely have a better outcome with King Arthur.
High hydration level and stretchability make the dough puff up and char evenly at 800-900F. I like to taste the crust; hence I avoid overwhelming my pie with a gazillion toppings and oodles of marinara.
Some FAQs about King Arthur 00 Pizza Flour
Can you use King Arthur 00 pizza flour for pasta?
Definitely, you can easily make fresh pasta dough with this flour. I have made lasagne sheets, ravioli, and fettuccine with it a couple of times.
Is King Arthur 00 pizza flour gluten-free?
The standard King Arthur 00 Pizza Flour is NOT gluten-free. However, they do sell a gluten-free version.
So there you have it! King Arthur 00 pizza flour is definitely worth it—it’s an amazing product that will make your pizza taste better than ever.
If you’re looking to make the best possible pizza crust, I can’t recommend this product enough. It will give you the perfect combination of flavor and texture that you want from a good pizza crust.