Our pizza crust just got a makeover – and it’s now healthier than ever!!!
We just started using a new flour for our sourdough pizza dough last week and are so excited to tell you all about it! It is called Nuvola which is Italian for “cloud”. It comes from Caputo, a company which has been around since 1924 and who mill their flour in the city where pizza was likely first invented – Naples! Even though the mill has been around for almost 100 years this particular flour is a relatively new product to them.
Taste the Difference
We were thrilled with the results in the way the pizzas looked, tasted, and even felt when we bit into them Friday. The flour is specifically designed to produce a light, airy, and fluffy pizza – thus the name, Nuvola. It is also Tipo 0, meaning it is less refined than the typical Tipo 00 pizza dough flour and contains more bran and wheat middlings translating into increased nutritional content. But, what makes this flour so incredibly special is how it fits squarely into our Eat Like a Human message and what we are trying to accomplish with our food at the Modern Stone Age Kitchen. Before I explain what exactly it is, I want to restate what makes the processing of raw ingredients properly so important to us…
The Eat Like a Human Approach
Using traditional approaches to food to transform raw ingredients into their safest and most nutrient dense and bioavailable forms for the human body was the focus of our ancestral diets and the backbone of what Eating Like a Human is all about. That is why we maintain complete control over all aspects of food production at the Modern Stone Age Kitchen and cook completely from scratch to ensure we are implementing these ancestral practices to create the most nourishing food possible. For example, when it comes to any foods containing wheat, such as bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, muffins, croissants and pizza dough, we accomplish our goals by putting it through the a wild, long, slow sourdough fermentation process which involves BOTH bacterial and yeast fermentations.
What’s Unique about Nuvola Flour?
And, this is where the uniqueness of Nuvola Flour comes in. It is standard practice today in the grain farming industry to harvest the grains from the fields as soon as they are mature and dry. Then, the grain are often dried even further for long term storage. They are kept dry until they are milled into flour and then either used or stored until used. The main objective is to keep the grains as dry as possible to improve shelf life. Even though this makes sense on a large scale commercial level, this is nothing like how grains were treated and stored in the past. And, this difference has consequences for our health, especially when the resulting flour is not put through the sourdough process, preventing the grains from ever having a chance to be converted into something that is safer and more digestible to our bodies.
Ancient Grain Processing
In the past, harvested grains were often stored in in-ground pits in containers made from porous materials such as ceramic or wood making it impossible to keep all moisture away from the grains. As a result, they often sprouted and/or fermented during storage. The grains that comprise Nuvola flour are intentionally harvested in a way that mimics the way grains were treated in the past – and that is what makes all the difference.
Instead of harvesting the grains as soon as they are mature and dry, the grains are allowed to remain in the fields until the rainy season. During this time the mature grains get wet in the morning dew, then dry out in the afternoon sun. They get cold at night and hot during the day. And, in the moist, warm conditions they also ferment. They do this day after day after day. All of this activity begins to chemically and physically break down the grains. According to a 2019 NPR article this process produces a grain that, “…is higher in fiber, with more bran, minerals, germ, protein and amylase, a sugar enzyme that allows a crème brûlée sense of character, deeply charred but not bitter.” It is also safer for our bodies and more easily digestible. And that is what makes all the difference.
Pizza Dough – MSAK Style
We are still using the same recipe for our pizza dough which was adapted from the Italian Culinary Institute’s recipe to convert it to sourdough (and it is also in the book). Our dough still goes through the same wild, long, slow fermentation for a minimum of three days before we make our pizza. The only difference is we are now using this flour. We hope you enjoy it and your body is better off because of it!
If you are in the Maryland area, stop in to the Modern Stone Age Kitchen on Friday night’s and try our wood fired pizzas!