Giada De Laurentiis' Absolute Favorite Flour For Baking

With nine best-selling cookbooks and equally as many cooking shows under her belt, Giada De Laurentiis has countless recipes to offer her fans and fellow food lovers, and only more to come. But the Italian-American chef doesn't just cook — she bakes, too. (The slogan for her lifestyle brand, Giadzy, is "La Dolce Vita," after all.)

We imagine there's no shortage of sweet, delicious dishes to fill the table at the De Laurentiis house. With her Giadzy Kitchen recipes such as tiramisu pancakes, mascarpone apple crumble torta, and chocolate hazelnut olive oil cake — each one more mouthwatering than the last — one thing is certain. De Laurentiis definitely needs stellar baking flour on hand.

So, what's the celebrity chef's go-to flour product for baked goods, which she calls a "game-changer?" De Laurentiis swears by Petra 9 All-Purpose Whole Wheat Flour to make her sweets (and savories) shine. Here's what makes Petra so prized.

All about Petra 9

It's only fitting that Giada De Laurentiis' all-time favorite flour hails from Italy. Produced by Molino Quaglia, a fourth-generation Italian family that's mastered the art of milling, Petra 9 is a whole-grain, soft wheat flour. It's made by the process of stone grinding to keep the final product as natural (and nutritional) as possible. The wheat is cultivated in Italy with a natural farming technique and can be traced from the field where it grew to the mill where it was stone-ground.

This flour has a darker, amber color to it and a different texture than most all-purpose flour. Because of the way it's made, Petra 9 Whole Wheat Flour retains a higher level of fiber and protein, as well as more vitamins, minerals, and natural oils. Beyond all of that, this whole-grain flour also brings with it much more flavor.

The 100% Italian wholemeal flour has a stronger wheat-like taste, which adds a richness to baked goods. This makes it a great baking flour for anything from rustic loaves of bread to pastries, cakes, cookies, pizza dough, and fresh pasta.

What sets Petra 9 apart from other flours?

Typical all-purpose flour (aka white flour) is only made up of the endosperm of the wheat kernel, which means it's essentially stripped away of the nutritional value that comes with the bran and germ of the whole grain. But as a stone-ground whole wheat flour, Petra 9 contains every part of the wheat kernel, keeping it intact throughout the whole milling process. The result is a flour with more fiber, more protein, more nutrients, and more flavor.

What makes Petra 9 unique (or superior, as Giada De Laurentiis would attest) to other whole-wheat flours is its baking-friendly texture. Most whole-wheat flour, because it's made using the entire grain, ends up gritty and coarse. And because the bran and germ of the wheat can prohibit gluten formation, it can be thought to make baked goods too dense or dry. 

But Petra 9 has a smoother texture to it that works wonderfully in baking and a high gluten content that makes it more stable. It's a self-proclaimed "unicorn: a nutritious whole-grain flour that bakes like a dream."