Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pizza Flour

When making pizza of any type, there's a lot of variety that can go into it. I mean, you could include pepperoni, basil, onion powder, broccoli, chicken, sausage, heck you could even make a dessert pizza with gummi bears (but I probably wouldn't eat that).

But I think one of the most interesting places to include different varieties is in the dough. My mother sent me some special pizza flour that I'd never known existed, Caputo Tipo 00 flour. I can't tell you too much about this flour, but I can tell you that it makes the dough a little bit smoother, more elastic and gives a "finished" taste. It's less bready than crust with regular flour. This finished taste comes from the gluten content as far as I can tell. Regular flour will get 14-15% gluten, whereas the Tipo 00 flour is not higher than 12%.

One of my favorite pizza dough recipes, really isn't that different from many other pizza dough recipes, but it comes from the cookbook, "Elvis in Hollywood, Recipes Fit for a King", by Elizabeth McKeon (with a forward by Wayne Newton!). The thing I like about this recipe is that its very flexible and relatively quick. You can smash it down and make a thin crust out of it, or let it rise more to let it get more body for a deeper dish.

Pizza Crust for the King:
1 envelope dry active yeast (quick rise is a-ok)
1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
4 cups flour (recommend doing at least 3 of these as Caputo Tipo 00)
2 teaspoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoons butter
1 egg white
Olive oil

In a small bowl or measuring cup dissolve the yeast in a 1/4 cup of warm water. Set aside for 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl sift the flour. Remeasure 4 cups of flour. Place the remaining water in a large bowl. Add the sugar, salt butter, and 1 cup of flour. Beat until smooth. Add the yeast mixture and the egg white, and blend until thoroughly mixed. Add the remaining flour. Beat to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead for 10 minutes until smooth (don't cheat this time, this is a critical step!!). Place the dough in a greased bowl then turn it greased side up, cover and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour (less time for thinner crust), until the dough has doubled in bulk. Knead again. Place dough in your pan, cover and let rise another 10 minutes (if using a cup or baking stone, just let it rest on the floured surface. Brush the crust with olive oil before adding toppings.
After adding toppings, bake 15-25 minutes (depending on style and thickness) at 450 degrees.

The variations that I like in this dough...

- Replace the salt with garlic salt.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oregano to the dough
- Add 1 clove of pressed garlic to the dough before first kneading
- For wheaty crust, replace 1/2 to 1 cup of flour with whole wheat flour
- For an interesting yellow variation, keep the egg yolk, and replace 1/2 cup of flour with corn flour, then sprinkle the bottom of the bottom of the pizza pan with corn meal before putting the dough in the pan
- Brush edge of crust with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder and Parmesan cheese

Enjoy! Piece!


  1. I question the authenticity of Elvis' pizza recipe. Where's the deep fried pizza dough?! Where's the peanut butter?!!


  2. I use the Caputo flour and really like the results. A local grocery store in Texas carries it, but you can also mail order it. I also use a flour from King Arthur flour called "Perfect Pizza Blend."