This Pizza Dough Advice Can’t Be Topped!

pizza dough

If there’s one thing we love discussing, it’s pizza. Pineapple or no pineapple? Do calzones count? Who has the best pie? But if you look beyond all the toppings, cheese and sauce, it really all comes down to crust. And that’s where bakers come in.

Pizza is a growing market in the U.S. And there’s no shortage of crust types—from deep dish to crispy thin, to sweet dessert pizzas. However, making a quality dough depends on a few essential ingredients.

What do I need for good pizza dough?

Flour: you want your pizza dough to be elastic and flexible. So, look for a low-protein flour, less than 12%. However, if your making frozen pizza dough, look for flour with higher protein (between 11-14%).

Water: Another key factor in dough elasticity is water absorption. Too little, and the dough will be hard to stretch; too much and you’ll get sticky dough. For frozen dough, lower levels of water absorption are ideal.

Yeast: The average yeast level in pizza is 1-2%. However, yeast performance in frozen dough is a major issue. So you’ll need between 3-4% levels.

Salt: A typical salt level of 1.5-2% flour basis is used. To reduce sodium by 10%, you can use coarse-grained sodium chloride (crystal size: 0.4-1.4 mm), or you can replace 30% of sodium chloride with potassium chloride without a noticeable loss of salty taste.4

Sugar: A typical sugar level is 3-6% based on the weight of flour. For frozen dough, 8-10% on flour basis is recommended.

Shortening: The addition of shortening is recommended at a level of 0.7-1% of the flour weight. This is required for significant improvements in frozen dough production and bread quality.

Ascorbic acid: The amount used for good dough processing is 70-100 ppm, based on flour weight.5 More ascorbic acid is needed for frozen dough due to the reducing effect from the death of yeast cells during frozen storage.

Read more on our pizza page! 


About the Author:

Lin Carson, PhD
Dr. Lin Carson’s love affair with baking started over 25 years ago when she earned her BSc degree in Food Science & Technology at the Ohio State University. She went on to earn her MSc then PhD from the Department of Grain Science at Kansas State University. Seeing that technical information was not freely shared in the baking industry, Dr. Lin decided to launch BAKERpedia to cover this gap. Today, as the world’s only FREE and comprehensive online technical resource for the commercial baking industry, BAKERpedia is used by over half a million commercial bakers, ingredient sellers, equipment suppliers and baking entrepreneurs annually. You can catch Dr. Lin regularly on the BAKED In Science podcast solving baking problems. For more information on Dr. Lin, subscribe to her "Ask Dr. Lin" YouTube Channel, or follow her on LinkedIn.

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