Does Olive Oil Make Pizza Dough Crispy?
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How does adding olive oil affect the texture and flavor of pizza dough? The simple answer is that it depends. Olive oil is a type of fat, which changes the chemistry of the pizza dough by affecting the formation of gluten bonds.
Olive oil also changes the texture and crispiness of your finished pizza, making it softer and more susceptible to burn. It also gives your pizza a slightly greasy texture that adds to the overall experience of eating it.
Olive oil also provides some moisture to the pizza dough, which is important if you are using high-gluten flour that can be more difficult to roll out and handle.
So, if you want to improve your pizza-making skills and know more about olive oil benefits for your Homemade Pizza keep reading our guide.
Here we will answer the most popular questions about olive oil for pizza that will not leave a chance for unanswered questions.
How Gluten Affects Pizza Dough
Gluten is a protein found in wheat flour. It helps form the structure in a dough that traps air bubbles, making it light and airy.
Commercial Pizza Chains often use flour with low gluten content because it makes for a more tender crust. For home cooks, however, the high gluten content is desirable.
It is the gluten that gives pizza dough its stretchy, elastic properties and helps it to stay soft and pliable.
A pizza crust made without gluten, like a pie crust, will be hard and brittle. Gluten can be found in barley, wheat, rye, spelt, and triticale flour.
In a typical pizza dough recipe, two proteins, glutenin and gliadin, form gluten, a network of elastic strands that stretch and bend when you roll out the dough.
Olive oil contains fatty acids that can act as a tenderizer by breaking down the gluten strands and allowing them to re-form into softer strands.
But olive oil doesn’t dissolve gluten completely; it merely limits the formation of the strands and their elasticity. So while you should use olive oil in your pizza dough, you’ll still need to handle it with care.
How Does Olive Oil Affect Pizza Dough?
Olive oil is a unique fat because it is liquid at room temperature, making it different from butter and shortening, which are solid fats.
It can add flavor to your dough as well as give your dough a softer texture than other fats.
The addition of olive oil to a pizza dough recipe will not change the amount of gluten needed for best results.
A key determinant of the texture of baked bread is the formation of gluten bonds. During mixing, flour proteins, in particular glutenin and gliadin, begin to bond.
As the flour and water are kneaded and the dough is allowed to develop over time, also known as proofing, the glutenin and gliadin proteins self-associate by forming long chain structures called gluten.
The development of gluten is what makes dough stretchy.
Olive Oil Prevents Dough from Becoming Soggy
Olive oil is considered to be a healthy alternative to saturated fats, which are linked to heart disease. The Mediterranean diet, which is rich in olive oil, has been shown to help protect against dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Olive oil contains oleic acid, which is thought to have a number of benefits for heart health. It also contains antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties.
Therefore, the olive oil prevents the pizza dough from becoming soggy. This is because the oil coats the strands of the gluten in the flour and prevents moisture absorption.
As a result, the gluten bonds can form properly and create a light, chewy crust.
Should You Add Olive Oil to Your Pizza Dough or Not?
Any discussion of whether you should add olive oil to your pizza dough recipe starts with a distinction between a true pizza dough recipe and a bread dough recipe.
A true pizza dough recipe is made with high-gluten flour that is made with relatively little water.
Bread dough recipes use a lower gluten flour, and they contain more water than pizza dough recipes. The gluten in a bread dough recipe has to be strong enough to withstand the action of kneading by hand or in an automatic bread machine.
Always add a tablespoon or so of olive oil to your pizza dough recipe to help make your Pizza Crust crispier and to improve the flavor.
The olive oil replaces some of the butter or shortening in the pizza dough recipe, and only a small amount is needed.
However, some people still argue that olive oil should be the only fat used in a pizza dough recipe—that it is both healthier and tastier than other fats.
Does Olive Oil Prevent Pizza Dough from Rising?
As we know, pizza dough is a leavened dough made from flour and water, with yeast, salt, and sometimes other ingredients added to it.
When yeast is added, air pockets are formed when the dough rises, producing the pizza as we know it.
The yeast in the pizza dough causes the dough to rise and become fluffy, rather than flat.
So, answering the question of does or not olive oil prevent pizza dough from rising we would say, no.
While the fat in olive oil can slow down the rising process, if you use enough yeast in the recipe, the dough will still rise in the Oven.
This will result in a soft, fluffy crust instead of a crispy one, but it’s a great way to achieve a different kind of texture and flavor in your pizza.
However, keep in mind that the amount of olive oil used will determine the effect on the final product.