Molino Dallagiovanna: the secret art of a flour with an ancient heart
An interview with Molino Dallagiovanna, to discover the authentic taste of flours of excellence, the innovations of the milling process and the history of a family-run company now in its sixth generation.
Engaging in an exclusive dialogue with Pier Luigi Dallagiovanna, President and heir of the fifth generation of the renowned Molino Dallagiovanna, we discover the history and philosophy behind the production of their over 450 varieties of flour. A tradition spanning 190 years, the company is a pillar of milling excellence, combining age-old methods with modern innovations to meet the needs of professionals and enthusiasts alike.
1. What is the history and philosophy behind Molino Dallagiovanna as a milling company?
Molino Dallagiovanna was founded in Gragnano Trebbiense in the province of Piacenza in 1832 by Mrs. Ernesta. The year that changed the history of the Molino was 1949, when Guido, Renzo and Vittorio Dallagiovanna took over the company and, driven by a strong entrepreneurial mindset, built the first cylinder mill, followed by a second one in 1953. Even today their names still resonate in the Molino and are also included in the company name (Molino Dallagiovanna G.R.V.).
A history that continues, across almost two hundred years of major transformations, and that now has the careful selection of the best grains, the washing of the wheat, the slow and delicate milling process that respects the organoleptic components of the wheat grain and a continuous strive for improvement, renewal and research and development as its strong points. In particular, Molino Dallagiovanna is the only large mill in Italy that still carries out wheat washing, a fundamental step for the optimum cleaning and homogeneous wetting of the cereal.
Today, the company offers over 450 types of flour, from traditional flours for bread, pizza, pasta, and cakes to the gluten- and lactose-free lines.
The company is now run by the fifth generation – with cousins Pier Luigi and Sergio Dallagiovanna – and the sixth, represented by Paolo, Sabrina, Renza and Stefania, who work together in close synergy. Dallagiovanna has evolved and grown to become one of the most productive companies in the milling sector, capable of exporting Italian values and food excellence to over 60 countries around the world, including the USA, where a new branch was opened in 2021.
Molino Dallagiovanna in numbers
- 190 years of history
- 5th and 6th generations
- Over 450 types of flour
- 3 thousand tons of wheat processed per day
- 80 thousand tons of flour in storage
- 36 million turnover
- 55 employees
- Present in over 60 countries worldwide
- Export 20%
2. Could you please explain the difference between the different pizza flours you offer, like the 00 Napoletana pizza flour, the Uniqua Blu type flour and their specific applications?
The Napoletana type 00 flour is the flour of the true ‘Pizzajuolo‘, the pizza maker! Perfect for enhancing the excellence of the Neapolitan pizza: a perfectly developed and golden crust, a soft, elastic and easily foldable dough and the taste of the ingredients: tomato, mozzarella, and olive oil. La Napoletana is complemented by Napoletana 2.0 and Napoletana 2.0 Plus, two flours that add even more flavour to the dough and allow obtaining a more alveolate, soft and elastic dough. The three flours are approved by the AVPN (Association Verace Pizza Napoletana).
In addition to the more traditional 00 flours of the Far Pizza line, the best-selling ones to date, the company also offers the Oltregrano Pinsa mixes, also in the Easy version, and Pala, Nobilgrano with wheat germ, as well as Divine from 100% Italian wheat, the UNIQUA line of multi-purpose type 1 and wholemeal flours, and gluten-free and lactose-free pizza mixes.
Regarding the UNIQUA line, consisting of 5 all-purpose flours to be used pure or mixed, for pizza we have:
- UNIQUA Blu type 1 is used for doughs that require long fermentation times like Biga and Mother Yeast, long leavening Pizzas and Focacce.
- UNIQUA Gialla also type 1, excellent to refresh the yeast, for all types of bread, medium leavening pizzas and focaccia.
- UNIQUA Bianca UNIQUA white is a Type 1 flour, ideal for Breadsticks, Crackers, Pizzas, and Focaccia with fast leavening.
- UNIQUA Verde: Tritordeum intended for homemade bread, fast leavening Pizzas and Focaccia.
3. How did you obtain the AVPN certification for the 00 flour for Neapolitan pizza? What are the main advantages of this certification?
Thanks to ongoing tests by our R&D department and our in-house technicians, analyses and collaboration with pizza chefs from Campania, we have created the perfect flour for the Neapolitan pizza, as per the specifications.
The AVPN, once they received the sample and after extensive laboratory tests at the University of Naples and tests with associated pizza makers, approved and confirmed that properties of our flour are suited for Neapolitan pizza.
4. What are the distinguishing features of Uniqua Blu type 1 flour, in particular the presence of the wheat germ and fibre? How do they influence the taste and texture of preparations?
By keeping all the components of the wheat grain, the macronutrients, and the germ unaltered, the entire UNIQUA line reflects the full flavours of the old days, when there was only one type of flour and so many ways to use it, from bread to pasta, from pizza to pastry. UNIQUA Blu is suitable for Biga and Sourdough, long leavening pizzas and focaccia, panettone, colomba, brioche and croissants.
5. Triplozero is suitable for fresh pasta. Would you like to tell us about its main characteristics and differences compared to other pasta flours?
Triplozero® is ideal for making fresh homemade and stuffed pasta. An ultra-white mixture with an ash value of around 0.40%, obtainable thanks to the process of extracting the innermost part of the wheat grain and thanks to the grain washing phase, a distinctive feature of Molino Dallagiovanna. This way the fresh pasta will be enhanced in its egg colour and will not turn grey.
This flour maintains a correct hydration during the kneading process, guaranteeing a perfect bonding of the dough and an excellent hold during cooking.
6. Concerning the FROLLA flour, how was it developed to suit pastries such as tarts, biscuits, cakes, and muffins? Which famous pastry chefs use it?
There are two types of flour in the le Dolcissime range, ‘frolla’ and ‘frolla 130’.
“frolla” is Type 00 soft wheat flour, ideal for making shortcrust pastry, tarts, sponge cakes and baked cakes. The grains selected to produce this flour make it possible to obtain a crumbly, resistant, and compact dough.
“frolla 130” is ideal for making shortcrust pastry and biscuits. The addition of new types of wheat, compared to traditional shortbread flour, makes it possible to obtain excellent products even with low-fat recipes. The dough obtained has the right crumbliness, without losing consistency.
We would like to mention one, among the many customers that choose us every day for the quality and consistency of our pastry flours: Iginio Massari, the great Master of Italian and Worldwide Patisserie uses our flour for shortcrust pastry and other creations.
7. How do you work with industry professionals, including pizza makers and pastry chefs, to develop and perfect your flours?
We always aim for excellence. The collaboration with our partners, master pizza makers and pastry chefs, is founded on this shared goal. Skills and passion do the rest. The results can only be those of a constant improvement of our flours, which must always provide the most innovative solution to meet the needs of the professional.
8. What sustainable cultivation and production practices are involved in the production of your flours?
We select only the best wheat varieties, some of which are from controlled supply chains and cultivated on land subject to crop rotation respecting the health of the soil, always guaranteeing the high quality standards of the grains.
9. How can constant quality be guaranteed in the flours produced by Molino Dallagiovanna?
Our entire production process allows us to do this.
First, the selection of the wheat: we purchase only the best varieties of grain and only in certain parts of the world. Some of them, are made specifically for us from a controlled supply chain; then these grains, before reaching the company, are tested in the laboratory because they need to meet certain parameters that, once passed, enter the production process.
The grains are completely immersed and washed in drinking water via the grain washer.
Washing the grain allows a unique production process.
No longer used by other mills because it is very costly and time-consuming, it has become one of our main strengths and our hallmark.
By milling each individual variety of grain, the wheat washer allows the grains to absorb just the right amount of water they need to be softer and ready for the milling process, as well as removing all impurities from the individual grains.
Once washed, the grains are milled very slowly under cold conditions. Before becoming flour, the grains undergo many processing phases to avoid overheating and to prevent all the properties, aroma, and scent of the good grain from being affected.
Lastly, the flours are all tested in the laboratory for rheological and plastic analysis as well as in the bakery laboratory.
This allows us to always maintain very high quality and standards, as well as obtain flours that are always consistent and with a perfect production performance.
10. What plans and innovations are in store for your flours?
We are firmly committed to maintaining our strengths: the meticulous selection of the best grains, the washing of the wheat, the slow and gentle milling, and the research and development of the best solutions for professionals.
Product innovations are in store, because it is also very important to follow market trends and follow the needs of our customers. Not least, the constant modernisation of our operating systems. We combine the wheat-washing tradition with the best and most modern production and operating systems; we have recently improved the logistics and storage system for our flours so we can promptly answer our customers’ needs even in the after-sales phase.