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Homemade pizza - Part 1

07 September 2022

Pizza is undoubtedly one of the most popular and versatile dishes in the world. Originating in Italy, this culinary delight has conquered the palates of young and old alike thanks to its simplicity and the possibility of customising it with an infinite number of ingredients. But like any dish, it is the quality and type of base you use that determines the flavour and texture of the final product.

Today we will talk about the most popular and popular pizza flours and bases: they all offer unique taste experiences and can be adapted to suit personal preferences and dietary requirements.


In the vast culinary world, choosing the right flour can make all the difference in the performance of the final dish. There is a surprising variety of flours on the market, each with its own peculiarities and suitable for different uses and recipes. From the most common, such as wheat flour, to more specialised and alternative flours such as chickpea flour, the selection is wide and fascinating.

Wheat flour, available in different refining grades (00, 0, 1, 2, and wholemeal), is perhaps the best known and most widely used. In addition to this, there are flours made from other cereals, seeds or pulses, such as rice, chickpea, buckwheat and kamut flour, each with unique nutritional and organoleptic characteristics that enrich culinary preparations with new flavours and textures.

In this article we will analyse the best known and most popular flours, ideal for pizza making:

  • 00 flour. The 00 flour, the finest of all wheat flours, is distinguished by its fineness and high concentration of starch. This type of flour is particularly appreciated in the kitchen for its versatility: it is perfect for the preparation of cakes, fresh pasta and for leavened products, such as bread and pizza, thanks to its ability to form a good gluten mesh. Unlike less refined flours, 00 flour contains less bran and lipids.

  • Flour 0. Flour 0 is a versatile and widely used ingredient in Italian cooking: it is less refined than 00 flour, but retains a white colour and uniform consistency. 0 flour is rich in starches, fibre, B vitamins and minerals such as phosphorus and potassium. Thanks to its ability to absorb more water than 00 flour and to form a good gluten mesh, it is ideal for the preparation of bread, pizza and focaccia, as well as fresh pasta and sweet and savoury leavened products. 
  • Flour 1. Type 1 flour is an unrefined product that contains many vitamins, minerals and fibre: these characteristics make it more digestible and nutritious than more refined flours. With a strength index (W) ranging between 180 and 350, type 1 flour is considered medium-strong and is well suited for the preparation of baked goods with sourdough, such as bread, pizza and tarts with a thick, full-bodied dough. Thanks to its higher moisture content, products made with this flour have an unmistakable flavour and longer shelf life. It is ideal for those seeking a balance between the baking characteristics of refined flours and the higher nutritional value of wholemeal flour.

  • Flour 2. Type 2 flour, often referred to as semi-integral flour, is an interesting compromise between wholemeal flour and more refined flour such as 00 and 0. This flour retains more fibrous components due to its stone milling, which keeps the grains coarser in size. In the kitchen, type 2 flour is characterised by its dark colour and intense, rustic taste. It is particularly suitable for the preparation of bread, pizza and other baked products, both sweet and savoury, thanks to its ability to absorb a lot of water and to sustain long leavening times, often in combination with sourdough starter.

  • Wholemeal flour. Wholemeal flour is a food product obtained from the complete milling of soft wheat caryopses. It has a powdery texture and a darker colour than refined flours, as well as a more intense and rustic flavour. Nutritionally, wholemeal flour contains high amounts of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals that make it more digestible and nutritious than refined flours. In the kitchen, wholemeal flour is used to prepare a wide range of baked goods, such as wholemeal bread, pizza, biscuits and cakes. However, due to its 'heaviness', it is often not used as a 100% main ingredient, but in combination with more refined flours to lighten the dough and facilitate rising.


For the inexperienced, the most suitable flours for making pizza are 00 and 0 flour as they favour leavening and are the easiest to use.


Direct and indirectdoughs are two types ofdough for making pizza and other baked goods. The choice between these two methods affects the flavor, texture, digestibility and shelf life of the final product.

  • Direct Dough.The direct dough is the most common and fastest way to prepare pizza. It is a relatively quick and simple method: it involves mixing all the ingredients in one step and does not requirepre-mixing. The rising time of direct dough depends on the type of flour, the amount of yeast used and the fermentation temperature.

  • Indirect Dough. Indirect dough, on the other hand, is a more structured method that involves two steps: in the first, apre-dough (prepared with water, flour and yeast) is prepared, which must ferment for several hours. Then, once the fermentation of thepre-dough is complete, the other ingredients in the recipe are added. This method improves the digestibility of the final product due to the longer fermentation time, reduces the use of yeast, and increases shelf life.
    N.b. This is a more complex type of dough and needs professional tools and more experienced hands.


It is very important to leaven pizza dough so that it is more digestible and lighter, but it is not as simple and trivial a step as one might think. There are three types of leavening:

  • Physical Leavening. This type of leavening occurs when heat evaporates the water in the dough, turning it into steam. The steam, trying to expand, creates bubbles within the dough, which leads to an increase in the volume of the finished product.
  • Chemical leavening. Used basically for pastry products, chemical leavening is achieved by the production of carbon dioxide during baking. The principle behind chemical leavening is an acid-base reaction that is triggered when the ingredients of chemical yeast (baking soda and an acid) come into contact with a liquid in the dough. This reaction produces carbon dioxide, which forms bubbles within the dough, causing it to expand and rise.
  • Biological leavening. Biological leavening is a natural process that occurs through the production of carbon dioxide (CO2) by alcoholic fermentation operated by microorganisms, mainly yeasts such as brewer's yeast, or through the use of sourdough, which is a culture of yeast and lactic acid bacteria. During organic leavening, yeasts transform the sugars in the dough into ethyl alcohol and CO2. The latter, as it becomes trapped in the gluten network of the dough, causes it to increase in volume.

The vast world of flours and types ofdough for making pizza offers a universe of possibilities for every culinary enthusiast. Every flour and every type of dough can enrich your culinary experience.Whether you are an experienced cook or an enthusiast, experiment and play with the ingredients to create deliciouspizza dough!"

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