April’s flour of the Month is Mulino Marino “00” Soffiata. 00 is the one flour that I would never be without.  It’s one of the best basic white flours a baker can have in the cupboard and I use it for everything, and I mean everything.  Bread, pizzas baguettes, brioche, croissants, muffins, cakes, pancakes and ciabatta with a 14 – 16% protein the 00 is a bakers essential and this one is as finely milled as it gets.

Mulino Marino’s creamy white type 00 Soffiata flour is milled from organic wheat and is free of any enhancers or other additives.  The 00 flour is consistent, which is important when you are baking, especially because some organic flour brands are good some days and not quite so good on others.

Because of its reliability, it is a great flour to use to make up your own blends.  You can add 20% of almost any other kind of flour and get a reliable loaf, so blending with buckwheat, spelt, or any other low gluten flour is something you can do with confidence. One of my favourite blends is a 50:50 Khorasan Kamut with 00, which gives a beautiful golden crust, and a light texture, which baked in a loaf tin, makes superb tasty moist sandwich bread.

I use a wide variety of flours when I bake, but occasionally when I use Italian flour I am asked why I use Italian rather than English? The answer is one of climate: the amount of sunshine we get in the UK dictates the level of protein in the flour, so it is not possible to get such high protein levels in British flour. As a consequence, many British mills import their grain or milled flour, typically from North America.

The Mulino Marino 00 flour is a great flour to use to reproduce heritage recipes with its 14–16% protein level, it is not dissimilar to the refined flour produced from the first of the finest flour from early roller milling.

Certainly until the mid nineteenth century there was no such thing as refined flour. The industrial revolution saw the replacement of stone-ground mills with roller mills. The start point of this change was Hungarian high milling, which used a hard variety of Hungarian wheat.  Using stone and steel-roller mills, the new process was undoubtedly at the forefront of the technology of the day. The 1850s marked a changeover from one-pass stone grinding which damaged the starch.  Roller milling which with its greater speed, efficiency, and the cooler- operating temperature made fine flour and very soon people realised that by removing the germ from flour the keeping qualities improved, and the texture of the bread became light. There was a revolution in baking with bakers being able to produce fine white pastries and bread – which are the forerunners of today’s modern recipes.

Click here to try our Mulino Marino 00 Soffiata.