Okay the results are in! First let’s recap…we used 3 different flours to produce 3 pizzas. The same recipe and cooking method, just 3 different flours or blends.
The first dough was made with “00” pizza flour, imported from Italy. This flour is fine like talcum powder and feels velvety in your hands. The finished dough is light and airy, easy to work with.
The second dough was made with the exact same method only substituting Canadian, finely ground, 100% Canadian wheat flour with a similar gluten percentage as the Italian one. It is finer than our usual Canadian All Purpose so it also feels fine and velvety in your hands. The finished dough is also very light and easy to work with.
The third dough is a mix of the same Canadian flour above, 80% and 20% fine Semolina flour. This is a mix I use for my thick crust, bread like, pizza dough. My mom always mixed Semolina into her bread dough and thick crust pizza. The finished dough was not as light as the two above and seemed heavier.
All three took approximately the same time to cook on a pizza stone in my kitchen oven at a temperature of 550 degrees fahrenheit. #1 was thin and light with a few air holes and had a crunch on the crust. #2 was thin and light with a few air holes and slightly less crunch. (pictured) #3 was thin and not as light, fewer air holes. I think the added semolina is great for a thick, bread style crust but best not used for thin crust.
The conclusion….If either #1 or #2 were served to me I would have thought they were a good, homemade representation of an Italian style, thin crust pizza. I lived in Italy for almost three years and travel there currently one to two times a year, so I think my palate could easily recognize an authentic Italian, thin crust pizza. I purposely did not use my wood-fired oven as the average cook does not have one. The additional crunch that pizza #1 had was so minor it may have actually been that it was baked first and the oven was slightly hotter.
As a food business, I have access to more varieties of flours than the average consumer so some of the products I use are only sold in bulk. So here is the question….if a 100% Canadian, fine milled, flour for pizza or other Italian specialities were available in the retail market, would you buy it?
We will continue our quest to make the perfect, homemade, Italian, thin style pizza. Future Blog Posts will address different mozzarellas and weather to “hand-stretch” or roll out your pizza dough! Come join us for a Wood-Fired pizza class to taste the results!
Ciao for now, Natalina