What is flour exactly: what is it made from and how to keep it in its best state so that when you are ready to bake, it is perfect, waiting for you.
Finally: here are two simple and delicious recipes to try with our lovely European flour: a classic pizza Margherita and a soft and light Italian paradise cake.
Pure Flour From EuropeFlour is a wonderful essential ingredient, so versatile in the kitchen: For baking pizzas, focaccia breads, cakes, sponges, tarts, biscuits and breadsticks; To make pancakes, crepes, dumplings; To thicken custard, fritter batters, all kinds of sauces, to coat ingredients to be fried.
And there is so much more.
Good flour is indispensable for your baking and cooking.
Which flours are the most used For baking types “0” and “00” Italian flours are the best: “O” is used for savoury dishes, such as bread, pizzas, fresh pasta and savoury pies while “OO” is best for the more delicate cakes and biscuits.
How can you tell the differences between flours The type of flour depends on the type of milling.
For example, wholemeal flour means that the whole grain is ground, including the external bran.
Italian flours are graded into four types, depending on how finely the grain is ground and if it is with or without bran: types ‘2’, ‘1’, ‘0’ and ’00’, the last being the whitest and finest.
White flour is distinguished by the process in which the grain is separated from the bran.
What is the most important characteristic of flour for baking When baking the most important thing to consider is the “strength” of the flour or its ability to absorb water and its gluten content, that “magic” that makes the dough rise.
What is the difference between strong, weak and medium flours Strong flours are used to prepare products that need a long leavening.
They have a high protein index, which allows them to trap carbon dioxide and create the dense alveolation typical of bread.
Weak flours, on the other hand, have a low protein content and are used to prepare breadsticks and biscuits.
Medium flours are perfect for pastry, tarts and cakes and there are also special flours, which are used to reinforce weaker flours or to prepare speciality breads.
They can absorb up to 90% of their weight in water.
Science and history.
The word “flour” comes from the word “flower” in the notion of flour as ”the finest part of ground wheat”.
Soft and durum wheat flours belong to the family of “grasses” or cereals of ancient cultivation and are obtained by grinding the grain called “triticum aestivum” (common wheat) or “triticum durum” (for durum flour).
Finer and more refined flours are obtained from common wheat; pasta flour or semolina, with coarser grains, is obtained from durum wheat.
From a nutritional point of view, the main elements are starch and gluten.
Wheat also contains mineral substances, vitamins, sugars, dextrin, gums, and small quantities of fatty substances.
To be precise, a grain of wheat is composed of 70% carbohydrates, 13% protein, 2% fat and 11.
8% mineral salts, as well as many vitamins and other important elements.
Flour has always been part of human nutrition: since humans abandoned a nomadic lifestyle and settled into a society centered on agriculture.
Ancient peoples gradually bred seeds into cereal grains, then found they could grind them, which made them cook more easily.
It is said that the Egyptians were the first to use ovens made of clay, that the Greeks knew how to prepare leavened bread and that this art then passed into the hands of the ancient Romans after their conquest.
How should you store flour to keep it at its best The store cupboard should be away from any heat sources, kept at a temperature of between 10C and 25 C, and medium humidity.
Flour is best kept in an airtight glass jar.
This helps protects the flour from mould or insects and also from any unpleasant smells.
So now: roll up your sleeves and bake! Try these recipes for pizza and Italian Paradise cake.
Preparing the dough is very simple.
You can use a food mixer but we suggest you knead by hand; it’s much more fun! Pizza MargheritaPizza MargheritaIngredients500 g flour350 ml water at room temperature1 tbsp salt1 tsp sugar2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil3 g brewer’s yeastMethodPlace the flour on a work surface and make a well in the middle; dissolve the yeast into the water and add the sugar and slowly pour the water into the well, kneading as you pour.
Add the oil and salt and continue to knead for about 20 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Place in a bowl, cover and leave to rise for at least 6/8 hours in a place protected from cold draughts.
Then you can stretch the dough to make the pizza with the topping of your choice.
“Pure Flour from Europe” suggests a classic Margherita with tomato, fiordilatte cheese and basil.
Italian Paradise CakeLight and lemony, like eating a slice of paradiseItalian Paradise CakeIngredients100 g type 00 flour1500 g potato starch4 eggs4 yolks250 g sugar1 packet of baking powder300 g butter1 unwaxed lemonicing sugar to dust the cakeMethodFirst put the butter in a bowl and let it soften.
Then cut into pieces and blend for 10 minutes until it is a fluffy, smooth cream.
Then add the eggs and yolks and continue blending, then add the sugar, grated zest of one lemon, and blend again.
When the mixture is creamy, add the sieved flour, baking powder and potato starch.
Mix until the cake mixture is fluffy.
Preheat the oven to 170 C, butter a cake tin, lightly flour and pour the mixture in; smooth the top.
Bake for about 40 minutes, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Then dust with icing sugar and serve on a cake dish.