Bread Dough vs Pizza Dough: Five Differences

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Both bread dough and pizza dough involve the use of flour, yeast, baking soda or baking powder, sugar, and salt. However, there are still many ways in which the two leavened doughs vary.

This article will cover five major differences between pizza and bread dough, and it will also go over whether you can swap one for the other in bread and pizza recipes. Read on to find out if you can use that pizza dough you have to make a warm loaf of bread, or vice versa.

Five Differences Between Bread and Pizza Dough

Take a look at five of the key differences between the dough used for bread and the dough used for pizza. You will notice that the two vary in subtle ways.

1. Kneading

When it comes to pizza dough, the mixing and kneading stage is less lengthy and intense. Since pizza crust is meant to be lighter and crispier than bread, after mixing it for a short time, you should only knead the dough for one to five minutes, depending on how thin and airy you want your crust to be.

Bread, on the other hand, should be kneaded longer as it is denser than pizza crust and contains less air pockets. The longer you mix and knead your dough, the less air it will contain, and the thinner it will be.

2. Number of Rises

Another difference between pizza and bread dough is the number of times they need to rise. Bread dough can rise a total of two or three times, whereas pizza dough only rises once after being formed into a ball.

With each rise, some of the air bubbles in the dough are released, resulting in a denser dough. This is precisely why pizza dough, especially if it is for thin crust pizza, needs to only rise one time.

3. Baking

Bread and pizza dough also vary in regards to how they are baked. Pizza is usually baked at a higher temperature than bread, as this prevents the crust from drying out.

Meanwhile, bread needs to be baked at lower temperatures so the inside can cook prior to the outside burning. Also, some people will add steam to their oven when cooking bread to maintain a moist crust, which is not typically done when baking pizzas.

4. Hydration

The hydration ratio of bread versus pizza dough is quite different, with pizza dough having far less water in it. Ninety percent of bread dough can contain water, whereas pizza dough is typically only made up of 50% to 70% water.

The two main reasons for this lie in the fact that more hydration means a denser result, and using lower temperatures necessitates more water. Thus, since bread is baked at a low temperature and is usually denser than pizza crust, it needs to contain more water.

5. Shaping

When you bake bread, you must first place it into a tin for a final rise prior to baking it, while pizza dough is rolled into a ball, flattened out, and tossed into the oven.

This results in quite different results, with pizza crust being flat and bread coming out in its familiar loaf shape.

Can You Use Bread Dough for Pizza?

You should be glad to know that you can use bread dough to make a nice pizza crust. Since both kinds of dough contain the same ingredients, it all comes down to preparation and baking.

When you are using bread dough for crust, you need to make sure you roll or stretch it as thin as you can make it without the dough tearing. You should also avoid letting it rise after you have gotten it into your crust shape.

Keep in mind that how your pizza crust turns out depends a lot on the type of bread dough you used.

Thin Crust

For a thin crust pizza, roll your dough into a ball, and place a bowl over it for around an hour to proof it. Next, roll and stretch the crust out as thin as possible using a bit of flour, and bake it at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about seven or eight minutes.

Thick Crust

If you want a thicker crust for your pizza, you can press the dough into a sheet pan, and then let the crust sit for a couple of hours while it creeps toward the corners of the pan. This should take about 10 minutes to bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can You Use Pizza Dough to Make Bread?

Just as you can create pizza crust from bread dough, you can make bread with pizza dough. To turn your pizza dough into bread, first place it on a surface with flour sprinkled on it.

Next, roll and knead your pizza dough into roughly the shape of a loaf. Make sure that each time you roll your dough over, you squeeze the air from the bottom of the shaped dough.

Once your pizza dough loaf is the size you want it to be, you need to let it rise overnight or for 10 to 13 hours. Finally, bake your bread loaf for about 15 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Final Notes

You should now know the main differences between bread dough and pizza dough, and you should also know how to swap out either dough for the other. Now, it’s time for you to get kneading and baking.