Flours for pizza: choose the one for you.

How to choose the best pizza flours.

All those who, by trade or simple passion, intend to prepare the classic pizza, will have to know the best flours for pizza on the market to be used in order to better create their product. Through this sort of guide we will list all the best flours that can be used for the dough of the most popular dish in the world: pizza.

Knowing the flour that you use will be essential for the preparation and the final success of the product, often due to failures and complaints. Buying the first flour on the shelf of a supermarket is not enough, but the same goes for professional pizza makers.

Each flour has different properties and qualities, as we are reminded on the Esaustivo.it website. They are married to certain determined, to be completely unsuitable for others. To be sure of buying the right flour you will have to evaluate a whole series of characteristics such as wheat types, strength and protein content.

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF FLOURS

FLOUR TYPE 0: the flour type “0” is rich in gluten and very suitable for the dough of traditional bread. It is coarser and less fine than the “00” flour.

FLOUR TYPE 00: it is the most common flour in the kitchen, as well as the most sold. Its fine granulation derives from the processing to which the innermost parts of the soft wheat seeds are subjected. During this process, however, a whole series of nutrients are eliminated such as mineral salts, fibers and vitamins contained in the grain. The result is a flour that, despite the simplicity of use, is devoid of essential nutrients. This means that it is richer in sugar and less digestible than other types of flour.

 

FLOUR TYPE 1: this type of flour has a high concentration of wheat germ and bran, useful for the body. Its consistency goes perfectly with the preparation of pizzas, baked desserts and bread.

 

FLOUR TYPE 2: this type of flour makes it a semi-integral product due to a coarser grinding, with a high fiber content. Compared to totally wholemeal flour its consistency allows a simpler processing, but the leavening of the dough will take place much slower than a traditional flour of type 00 and 0. The flour of type 2 is commonly used in the preparation of pizza, bread and baked sweets.

 

INTEGRAL FLOUR: the processing of this flour is more difficult than the other types analyzed so far, but its content of essential nutrients remains the highest thanks to the whole grain milling. Its consistency to the touch is grainy, while its processing requires an expert hand, but it is possible to buy the stone-ground product, to allow more homemade dough processing, also ideal for the preparation of pizzas.

 

STRENGTH OF FLOURS

 

The flours are classified according to the strength, calculated in “W”. The “W” is a unit of measurement that indicates the ability to:

1.absorb liquids during the dough processing process

2.retain carbon dioxide useful for leavening. This capacity depends on the presence of gluten in the flour itself.

The different flours are then divided into strong and weak, from the strongest to a value reported on the label of 500 W, the weakest by 130 W.

 

FLOUR FLOURS: they reach 170 W and absorb about 50% of the liquids during the dough process. They are especially indicated for the preparation of biscuits.

 

MEDIUM FLOURS: these types of flour reach 180 W up to 260 W, absorbing 65% of the liquids during the dough, associated with the preparation of sandwiches.

 

STRONG FLOURS: they reach a capacity between 270 and 350 W, absorbing on average 70% of the liquids during the dough process. They are therefore ideal for the preparation of pizzas, especially the Manitoba flour, which with its capacity to absorb liquids by 90% compensates for the weakest flours.

 

VERY STRONG FLOURS: these flours exceed 350 W, absorbing 90% of the liquids during the dough processing process. They are mainly used in confectionery for sweets such as panettone and pandori.

 

MEASURING OF THE FLOUR ASH: every flour has its own mineral content intact after the grinding process. The ashes represent the unit of measure of the refining of the same flour, the more their contribution will result lower the greater the refining suffered. In the same way the values ​​of the proteins of the different flours, corresponding to Gliadin and glutenin, will also be reported on the label.

How to adapt the menu to the law on allergens

On December 13, 2014 the new law on allergens came into force.

The law on allergens provides that the consumer of any food product is aware of the ingredients contained in foods, including allergens. This not only applies to “label” foods,  packaged products, but also to restaurant menus.

What is an allergen?

It is a substance generally harmless for the  most consumers, but dangerous at various levels for allergy sufferers. It can produce in fact  allergic crises of various severities, such as asthma, rashes and more.

According to the new law, their presence must be indicated among the ingredients and highlighted (through the use of bold or of a different character, for example), in the labels of pre-packaged foods. For restaurants, however, it’s a bit different.

 

How to adapt the menu to the allergen law?

First of all, the ingredients and the  allergens should be reported product by product. For example, the single billboard that brings together in a single word all the basic ingredients of ice-creams in an ice-cream parlor or in bars; rather, they must be listed one by one and in a complete and individual manner. And, speaking of bars or restaurants, the law requires everything to be done in writing: it is not enough for the restaurant owner or barista to give information “verbally” about the products.

 

How to adapt the menu to the new provisions? No drastic changes!

Completed documentation must be prepared with the ingredients that make up each single dish. This can be attached to the menu or delivered to consumers upon request. Important: it is however mandatory to clearly indicate on the menu on  the presence of this documentation. Or again, reiterate it on the register or on a special sign.

 

What are the products that contain allergens?

Unfortunately for those who suffer, they are more common than you can imagine: about a hundred. Avoiding dangers, however, is simple, and the list of main allergic reactions is restricted to fourteen. These are those ones that require mandatory reporting.

 

Remember to check the ingredients of the goods you buy for your premises and report any presence of allergens (eg: it may contain traces of nuts) in your documents. Here is a list to begin to become familiar with the law on allergens and the foods involved.

 

  1. Cereals containing gluten: wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelled, kamut or their hybridized strains and derived products. The following are excluded: wheat-based glucose syrups, including dextrose; wheat-based maltodextrins; glucose syrups based on barley; cereals used for the manufacture of alcoholic distillates;
  2. Crustaceans and products based on crustaceans.
  3. Eggs and egg products.
  4. Fish and fish products. The following are excluded: fish gelatine is  used as a support for vitamin or carotenoid preparations; gelatin or isinglass used as fining agent in beer and wine.
  5. Peanuts and peanut-based products.
  6. Soya and soy products, except: refined soybean oil and fat; natural mixed tocopherols (E306), natural D-alpha tocopherol, natural D-alpha tocopherol acetate, soy-based natural D-alpha tocopherol succinate; vegetable oils derived from soybean phytosterols and phytosterols; vegetable stanol ester produced from soybean vegetable oil sterols.
  7. Milk and milk products (including lactose), except: (a) which are used for the manufacture of alcoholic spirits, including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin; b) milk.
  8. Nuts and their products, except for nuts used for the manufacture of alcoholic distillates, including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin.
  9. Celery and celery products.
  10. Mustard and mustard-based products.
  11. Sesame seeds and products based on sesame seeds.
  12. Sulfur dioxide and sulphites in concentrations of more than 10 mg / kg or 10 mg / liter in terms of total SO2  need to be calculated for products as proposed ready for consumption or reconstituted in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions.
  13. Lupins and products based on lupins.
  14. Molluscs and products based on molluscs.

 

 

What is shallot: characteristics of a must of Chinese cuisine.

Shallot together with fresh ginger and garlic, is part of what chef Martin Yan called “the holy trinity of Chinese cuisine.” The shallot (called “green onions” in the United States) and are indispensable in Chinese cuisine . Their delicate, flavor is used in marinades, poultry, and in cooked dishes, particularly fried. In Cantonese cuisine, the shallot is often paired with ginger in fish dishes, and the two aromatics are used in a heated oil dressing served with white onion and chopped chicken.

Shallots are also used as a garnish: both scallop brushes including branches are cut to form an attractive fringe.

Taxonomy

Shallot is a member of the garlic family which also includes onions and leeks.

The taxonomic name for shallots is Allium fistulosum (the name of the species means tubular or empty). An onion is grouped and grows into tufts, but the shallots are identifiable by their cords, dark green leaves and the fine and black stems.

From China, the Allium fistulosum spread to Japan, Asia and Europe, reaching England in the early 1600s, where it was called “Welsh onion”. Today, shallots are grown all over the world.

How to choose a shallots shop

The shallots are sold in bunches in the products section of most supermarkets. When choosing a shallot it is always best to look for those with company, curly and smooth leaves, and with the immaculate white of the stems. Avoid any bunches with leaves and withered stems that have begun to turn yellow. To clean and preserve the shallots, remove the rubber band, rinse thoroughly with cold running water and dry with absorbent paper. Wrap the shallots in a slightly damp paper towel and keep in a resealable plastic bag or container in the refrigerator.