What Flour Is Best For Pasta?
According to Aliza Green, “For homemade pasta, lower protein, extra-finely milled flour is preferred because it is easiest to roll out and results in soft, tender pasta that readily absorbs sauce or broth. “Soft red wheat yields flour that is lower in protein (or gluten); known as pastry flour, it is ideal for pasta.
“Like Italy’s 00 and even 000 flour (the more 0’s, the finer the grind), Daisy flour is extra-finely milled by running the wheat kernels again and again through steel rollers until they yield powdery-fine flour perfect for fresh pasta. “This organic flour has a pronounced wheaty flavor and fragrance and enhanced nutrients. Because it is lower in protein and therefore absorbs less liquid, you may need to add a little extra flour to make a firm but pliable dough.
“Mainstream supermarkets don’t usually sell pastry flour, just bread and all-purpose flour, so you may have to special-order Daisy pastry flour. It’s available online at www.DaisyFlour.com or you may find it in small specialty stores in large cities on the East Coast. It’s the closest thing I’ve found to Italian 00 grano tenero (soft wheat) flour. “All-purpose flour is usually made from a combination of low and high-protein flours. The high-protein (or high-gluten—the two are basically interchangeable) flour has more of the elastic type of gluten, known as glutenin, and less of the thickening type of gluten, known as gliadin, than pastry flour. Glutenin is good for bread where its elasticity holds air bubbles, but not so good for pasta where it makes for tougher non-porous dough.
“Also, most commercial/processed flours are sold across state lines and are often stored for months before sale.
“The difference in Daisy’s local East Coast wheat flour is the freshness, the specific varieties grown, and the magic of terroir - the combination of soil, microclimate, and geography. This organic flour is fully organic - never bleached or bromated, chemical processes that some consider harmful to the health.
“Artisan pasta makers are discovering the joys of using freshly milled Daisy Organic flour for their homemade creations.”
Aliza Green, December 2011.