Types of Pasta Flour
Although historians have long debated its origins, (1) one thing is certain;
people love pasta. In 2011, a global survey conducted (2) by international
charities, Oxfam identifies pasta as the world’s favorite food. This
culinary staple is deceptively simple in composition, consisting of eggs,
flour, and liquid combined in varying ratios according to diverse regional traditions,
(3) but the art of making great pasta depends primarily on the type or quality
of the flour used in its assembly.
Although pasta can be made using a wide variety of ground grains, most modern
cooks turn tojust three types of flour when preparing to knead a batch of pasta dough.
These types are semolina, all-purpose, and “00,” also known as doppio
zero. (4) Nevertheless, all three variety of flour have strengths and weaknesses making
them especially suited to use in different recipes.
Semolina, a coarse, hearty variety of flour milled from durum wheat,
is traditionally used to make the dry pasta found on supermarket shelves around the world.
(5) In fact, Italian law stipulated that semolina must be used to produce this variety of pasta,
which is consisting only of flour and water in combination.
Semolina produces durable pasta with a distinctive yellow color.
At the other end of the textural spectrum, “00” flour is an extremely finely ground variety of flour.
(6) Its colloquial name refers to a common European method of categorizing flours
according to the fineness of their grind. Most “00” flour found in the
(7)United States is like semolina, produced from durum wheat. It has a powdery texture,
is most commonly used in egg-based fresh pastas, and produces a light, airy dough.
(8) Once boiled, pasta made from “00” tends to have a smoothly, silkily and tender consistency
(9) On the contrary, the vast majority of handmade pasta in the United States
uses all-purpose flour as its base. All-purpose flour usually consists of a combination
of high- and low-gluten wheats, and is commonly produced by grinding tender interior
wheat kernels using industrial steel machinery. (10) The end products of this milling process
are relatively fine flours ideal for use in a wide variety of recipes.
American consumers turn to all-purpose (or “AP”) flour to make cakes,
breads, cookies, sauces, and many other standard dishes. (11) All-purpose
flour, in addition to them being readily available in stores with full stocks and a versatile addition to any pantry, produces what most gourmand consider to
be excellent pasta, although dough containing AP flour is less light and
malleable than dough made with “00” and its final product lacks the
textural complexity introduced by semolina. Nevertheless, because it is
easily acquired and easy to work with, (12) all-purpose flour is commonly
used by pasta novices and experts alike to elicit a strong product.
Beyond these three workhorse flours, any number of artisanal varieties can
be utilized to make pasta. (13) On the other hand, alternative grains are
becoming increasingly popular pasta ingredients as food manufacturers
scramble to provide products catering to a myriad of dietary restrictions
in the modern market. (14) Grains like quinoa, farro, brown rice, and kamut
can, and have, all been used to produce dry pasta, and (15) home cooks
should feel free to experiment broadly at their own kitchens , according to
their personal preferences.
Created for Albert.io, 2016 .
(1) one thing is certain; people love pasta.