Manitoba Flour: The Complete Guide on the #1 Strongest Flour

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Are you wondering what Manitoba flour is?

This article will cover everything you need to know about this particular flour, what makes it unique, and what sets it apart from all the other flour in the market.

Most importantly, you will learn how this flour can take your pizza-making skills to the next level. 

Let’s get started!

What is Manitoba Flour?

Manitoba flour is a type of flour made in Italy, using imported wheat flour from Manitoba, Canada. 

Manitoba flour is made from an ear of common red wheat that is super strong and soft and can be incorporated with other flours to add strength.

Its strength is represented by the coefficient W for flour strength. 

Manitoba wheat
Manitoba Wheat

It’s known as red wheat flour in North America. 

Manitoba wheat field
Manitoba Wheat Field

Characteristics of Manitoba Flour

Manitoba Flour W Factor

Manitoba flours have a W factor of 350 or above, which is exceptionally higher than other flours.

Like all-purpose flour, which is considered weaker, it has a W of 170 and below. 

Manitoba is used both at domestic and commercial levels. Bakers, pastry chefs and pizzaiolos favor it most. 

Outside Italy, Manitoba flour is used to make egg pasta too. Dough produced from Manitoba flour is used to make specific loaves of bread, namely french baguettes, pandoros, and panettone. 

Long-leavening pizza made from flour is of high quality due to the flour’s protein content.

Manitoba Flour Protein Content

Manitoba is often referred to as strong by chefs because of its high protein content. Conventional soft flours often have a gluten or protein percentage of 11.5%. 

Manitoba defies the odds by having up to 14 percent protein content or slightly more.

Here’s a comparison of the Caputo Flours.

Flour Charateristics Comparison

FlourProtein ContentType W Factor
Caputo Pizzeria (Blue Bag)12.5%Type 00W 260/270
Caputo Chef’s “Cuoco” (Red Bag)13%Type 00W 300/320
Caputo Nuvola Super13.5%Type 0W 320/340
Caputo Manitoba14%Type 0W 360/380

Manitoba Flour Strength and Absorption

Manitoba’s strength, which stands at a W of or greater than 350, is further promoted by its power to absorb water. Manitoba flour can absorb water worth 80 percent of its weight. 

Similarly, flours with a W of below 170 absorb about 50 % of their weight. 

It means that little flour can make a significantly bigger dough ball than regular flour. So will get more pizza dough with less flour, and the crust will be crispier because of the higher hydration.

Combining water with Manitoba flour produces lots of gluten/protein favorable for proper fermentation for bread and pizza dough. 

It has two highly insoluble proteins, gliadin, and glutenin, that make lots of gluten upon contact with water. This way, the dough maintains high elasticity and consistency. 

The power provided by the characteristics makes it suitable for pastry complex processes such as making leavened confectionery products.

Manitoba flour varies from other flour forms, from the stringent rules followed during its sowing to the rigid quality control during preparation. 

Its rich protein nature makes it more resistant to cold temperatures, thus allowing its growth in Canada. It is ‘Type 0’ strong, while some other forms of wheat are ‘Type 00″.

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Manitoba Flour Substitutes

To replace Manitoba flour, pick substitutes whose W factor is above or at 350. Recipes that demand Manitoba flour require strong elastic flour. 

We can use traditional flours such as wheat flour or gluten-free solid flours. When picking traditional flour, look at the package label for W.  Most American flours do not show the W Factor, nor the Type.

You may find it on ‘0’ flours and some ’00’ flours.  In some cases, depending on the brand, Type ‘1’ and ‘2’ flours are equally strong.

Gluten-free options that give a crumbly texture like Manitoba include a specific white or wholemeal cup rice flour. They make both sweet and savory pizzas. White or yellow cup cornflour (particular types) are ideal substitutes.

Type 00 flours and Caputo Nuvola are excellent for Manitoba flour alternatives, specifically pizza baking.

They result in an airy and perfect crumbly crust. Below are other top options for pizza baking where Manitoba is unavailable:

  1. Bread Flour

Manitoba flour is a type of white bread flour. It can thus be substituted by strong bread flours locally available. Bread flour is derived from hard red spring wheat and has a protein percentage of 12 to 15%. 

It is refined thus has no bran or wheat kernel germ. Its high gluten percentage allows dough expansion upon contact with water. It has excellent structural support to hold pizza toppings. 

You can substitute it on a 1 : 1 ratio. Use one cup of bread flour to substitute one cup of Manitoba.

Here is What the PROs at Homemade Pizza Pro Use and Recommend

King Arthur, 100% Organic Unbleached Bread Flour

The higher the protein, the higher the potential rise. This organic unbleached flour is a full point higher in protein than other national brands, so you can depend on it for consistent performance and lofty, beautiful yeasted bread and pizza.


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  1. Whole Wheat Flour

Whole wheat flour is made from milled red wheat grains where the bran, germ, and endosperm are grounded to make it. It is a healthy pizza option since it is rich in fiber and nutrients. 

Use it to make your nutty pizza, as it has a nutty taste to it. Despite having high gluten content, it rises slowly due to the germ and bran present. 

Please allow it to rise one and a half times its size and not double. Mix it with all-purpose flour to give your dough a lighter texture. 

When using it as a substitute, add a tablespoon and two teaspoons full of water for one cup of whole wheat flour.

Here is What the PROs at Homemade Pizza Pro Use and Recommend

King Arthur 100% Organic Whole Wheat Flour

This is the flour you can rely on for exceptional results every time, and you can feel good about: Organically grown and milled to the strictest specifications in the industry.

  • Made from 100% American-grown wheat
  • The choice of professional bakers
  • The home baker's best friend
  • Never bleached, never bromated


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  1. Type 00 Flour

Famously known as the Italian pizza flour, 00-grade flour is very fine and has 12 to 13 percent gluten content. It is sometimes called doppio zero and is an excellent choice for baking Neapolitan pizza.

When making pizzas, it produces chewy crusts. Use it when making soft textured pizzas.

Here is What the PROs at Homemade Pizza Pro Use and Recommend

Best for Standard Home Ovens
Antimo Caputo "00" Chefs Flour (Red)

The Chef's flour is a general-purpose, high gluten flour that works well for many recipes. "Tipo 00" refers to how refined the flour is. Chef's Flour is best for those who want to bake in their traditional home oven up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit! 

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  1. Caputo Nuvola Flour

Nuvola is a type ‘0’ flour, which is less refined than type 00s. It has a darker appearance and wastes only about 30% of its grain during production. 

It makes highly hydrated pizzas doughs when used as a pizza-making substitute. It makes the best Neapolitan pizza since it can hold up longer leavening time, therefore suitable for pizzas requiring longer fermentation.

Thus, the result is a puffy, airy pizza crust.

Check Out the Difference
Antimo Caputo Nuvola Super 0 Pizza Flour

Professional pizza flour: this 100% wheat flour is a culinary essential, perfect for long fermentation baking.


High quality, Made in Naples Italy. This signature product is demanded by maestri pizzaioli all over the world. A flour with elastic, resistant gluten and high-quality protein results in a consistent long-rise dough.


Ideal for classic Neapolitan pizza made in high heat wood fired, gas or electric ovens in high temperatures over 700°F. 


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  1. Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

If you have no Manitoba flour, it is possible to substitute all-purpose flour for pizza making. It is because all AP flours have similar characteristics as Manitoba. 

The flour is made from hard red winter wheat and milled into refined light-colored flour. It has a gluten content of about 10 percent, a medium average.  To increase the gluten content of all-purpose flour you can add Vital Wheat Gluten. Check how to do this in our article on Vital Wheat Gluten.

Thus, the dough formed is not very stretchy. It is also wetter than dough made out of Manitoba flour. When substituting, use a 1:1 ratio for both flours.

Here is What the PROs at Homemade Pizza Pro Use and Recommend

King Arthur Flour, Organic All Purpose Flour, 32 oz

All-purpose flour is an essential ingredient for every baker yielding exceptional results. Unbleached and unbromated, this flour is milled to be versatile: strong enough for bread, and gentle enough for tender, delicate scones and cakes


Milled from the finest American wheat. This all-purpose flour is also 100% US hard red wheat grown on American farms.


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  1. White Whole Wheat Flour

White wheat flour is made of hulled white spring wheat. Its high protein content makes it suitable for making elastic pizza dough.

It gives a sweeter-tasting pizza and a light-colored crust.

Here is What the PROs at Homemade Pizza Pro Use and Recommend

King Arthur, 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour

This is the flour you can rely on for exceptional results every time, and you can feel good about: Organically grown and milled to the strictest specifications in the industry.


  • Made from 100% American-grown wheat
  • The choice of professional bakers
  • The home baker's best friend
  • Never bleached, never bromated


Check it Out
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you!
  1. Rye Flour

Rye flour is a partial substitute for Manitoba as its sticky nature cannot make it easy to handle pizza dough. Blend the flour with whole wheat flour or type 00 flour.

Ensure the rye flour only makes up 25 % of the total flour.

Caputo Manitoba Flour

It is no secret that we are huge fans of the Caputo flours. We really love the outcome of the pizza crust and its airness.

(Note: We are not sponsored by Caputo Flours in any way). Our opinion is strictly based on experience using their products.

We tried Caputo Manitoba and the results were amazing! However, is not available in the US market.

Super elastic, it stretches when kneaded and tossed without breaking.

It’s a great product, but it’s expensive, but it really gives that elusive “chew” and flavor. If you can get your hands in a bag of Manitoba you can mix it with “00” flour to cut cost and it will last longer.

Manitoba Blends

If you can’t find Manitoba flour, another solution is to use a flour that is a blend of Manitoba wheat with other kinds of wheat. Caputo Pizzeria is a great example of this.

Caputo Pizzeria

Caputo pizzeria flour is a Type ’00’ flour used to make a long-rise dough, especially on wood-fired pizza ovens. It is milled and shipped from Naples, Italy. 

Local pizzaiolos in Italy rank Caputo Pizzeria among the best pizza-making flours. It is a blend of Manitoba, Stagioni, Napoletana, and Anna Napoletana flours to make the best pizzas in a blazing hot oven. 

Stagionis high protein properties allow the dough to ferment and mature to an elastic nature that produces crispy, flavorful crusts. 

Anna Napoletana holds very well in sweltering temperatures. Farina Manitoba flour is added to give dough extra strength due to its high W factor. It helps to reinforce the other weaker flours during long leavening.

Caputo’s strong nature withstands temperatures above 800 degrees F, thus ideal for making Neapolitan pizza that requires extreme heat. It also bakes well on gas and electric ovens. 

Best for High-Temperature Ovens
Antimo Caputo Pizzeria 00 Flour (Blue)

A flour with elastic, resistant gluten and protein resulting in a long-rise dough. Ideal for classic Neapolitan pizza made in high heat wood fired, gas or electric ovens in high temperatures over 700 degrees F.


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Caputo pizzeria’s protein/gluten content stands at 12.5% since it is made from different soft wheat. It makes better pizza than any all-purpose flour and is the officially approved supplier for AVPN. 

The company has a substitute flour for home chefs called the Caputo chef’s flour. Standard temperatures require baking pizza in an oven, pizza stone, or pizza steel

Caputo Pizzeria has a W of between 260 and 270. Its shelf life is 11 months long and has an elasticity of P/L 0.050/0.60. 

Use Caputo Pizzeria flour for pizzas whose proofing process is 8 to 24 hours long. Proofing periods above that should use Caputo Chef’s flour. 

While fermenting, do not let it sit for more than 72 hours. The Antimo Caputo Pizzeria 00 flour( Blue) is a good option for pizza baking.

Is Manitoba Flour Suitable for Pizza Making?

Manitoba’s elastic and robust nature makes it a superior choice for pizza making. It is a form of all-purpose flour good for making New York-style pizza, Neopolitan and deep-dish pizzas. 

Its 14 percent gluten content is responsible for the chewy pizza crusts. It avoids making soggy pizzas because it absorbs water way better than regular flours.

Comparison of Manitoba Flour to Other Flours

Manitoba vs. Type 00 Flour

Manitoba is a type 00 flour, but not all type 00 flours are Manitoba blends. Type 00 flours are finely ground Italian flours and have less protein content, thus lesser elasticity. 

Manitoba flour is very finely ground but high in gluten due to the two insoluble components. It is therefore highly elastic, bringing in a significant difference.

 Manitoba vs. Bread Flour

Manitoba flour has a relatively high gluten content as compared to bread flour. It thus makes more elastic and chewy pizza crusts. Bread flour has a W Factor of above 300, but lower than Manitoba flour. 

However, the percentage differences are not very far apart, thus using each as a substitute for the other in pizza baking.

Where to Buy Manitoba Flour

Unfortunately, you can’t find Caputo Manitoba in the United States, at least not yet. However, you can find other alternatives in Italian specialty food stores.

Buon Italia in New York carries Farina D’America Manitoba from Molino Spadoni.

You can also find other flours that have similar characteristics as Manitoba flour, for example, Manitaly.

Although it is not made with Manitoba wheat, it has similar characteristics. Manitaly flour has an index of W 330-350 and is classified as a strong or special flour.

It can absorb 90% of its weight in water and can be added to mix with other flour to increase strength.

Manitaly Manitoba Type 0 Flour Made with 100% Italian Wheat

Especially suitable for the production of bread, pizza dough, focaccia, and desserts with long rise times (long fermentation baking).


HIGH GLUTEN, HIGH PROTEIN. Manitaly flour has a bread-making index of W 330-350 and is classified as a strong or special flour. It can absorb 90% of its weight in water and can be added to mix with other flour to increase strength.


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Le 5 Stagioni Pizza Napoletana Italian "00" Soft Wheat Flour

Developed in collaboration with the pizzaioli master chefs of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana


Suitable for all direct and indirect doughs for Neapolitan pizza


Medium-high protein content kneads into a smooth, supple dough that's easy to work with.


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The Last Slice

We hope that you learned that Manitoba flour is solid, elastic, and resistant to high temperatures. You can easily substitute it with other strong flours such as bread flour, Type 00, and whole wheat.  Among other Italian flours that have similar characteristics.

As an alternative, when blended in Caputo pizzeria flour, it adds strength to withstand high wood-fired oven temperatures or anything above 800 degrees F. 

Normalize using Manitoba flour or any of its substitutes professionally and at home since pizzaiolos from its hometown approve.

We approve too!

Additional Flour Resources

Enjoy!

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