Bread Dough Vs Pizza Dough

When it comes to baking bread or pizza, the dough is the foundation of a delicious and satisfying meal. But what makes bread dough different from pizza dough, and how do you know which one to use for your culinary creations? As a seasoned baker, my experience has taught me that understanding the ingredients, composition, and techniques involved in making each type of dough is key to creating the perfect finished product.

In this article, we will explore the differences between bread dough and pizza dough, including their ingredients and composition, texture and flavor, kneading and rising techniques, shaping and baking methods, as well as their various uses. Whether you are a novice baker or an experienced chef, understanding the nuances of these dough types will elevate your baking skills and allow you to create delicious bread or pizza every time. So, let’s dive in and discover the world of bread dough vs pizza dough!

Ingredients and Composition

You’re mixing together a blend of flour, water, yeast, and salt to create a deliciously soft and stretchy base that will transform into the perfect vessel for your chosen toppings. While bread dough and pizza dough share some similarities in their ingredients, there are also some key differences that set them apart. For example, bread dough typically includes sugar, milk, and butter, which gives it a richer flavor and denser texture.

On the other hand, pizza dough is made with a simple blend of flour, water, yeast, and salt, which creates a lighter and airier texture that’s perfect for holding all your favorite toppings. The dough is usually kneaded for a shorter amount of time than bread dough, which helps to keep it light and airy. Additionally, pizza dough is often rolled out thinner than bread dough, which allows it to cook faster and develop a crispy crust.

Overall, the main difference between bread dough and pizza dough is their intended use. While bread dough is designed to be baked into a hearty loaf, pizza dough is meant to be rolled out thin and topped with all kinds of delicious ingredients. Both doughs require a bit of skill and practice to get just right, but once you’ve mastered the art of dough-making, the possibilities are endless. So whether you’re in the mood for a warm, crusty loaf of bread or a crispy, cheesy pizza, there’s a dough out there that’s perfect for you.

Texture and Flavor

When it comes to texture and flavor, the two types of dough have distinct differences that can greatly impact the final product. Bread dough is typically denser and chewier than pizza dough. This is because bread dough contains more gluten, which develops into the stretchy, elastic texture that is desired in bread. On the other hand, pizza dough is meant to be crisp and light, with a more delicate texture that complements the toppings.

In terms of flavor, bread dough is often the star of the show. It has a rich, yeasty taste that can stand on its own. Pizza dough, on the other hand, is meant to be a supporting player in the dish. It’s usually seasoned lightly with salt and sometimes a touch of sugar, but the real flavor comes from the toppings. Pizza dough is meant to be a neutral canvas that allows the toppings to shine.

The texture and flavor differences between bread dough and pizza dough are what make each type of dough unique. Depending on the dish you’re making, one type of dough may be more suitable than the other. But no matter which dough you choose, it’s important to understand its properties so you can achieve the desired outcome.

Kneading and Rising

When we make bread or pizza dough, there are two crucial steps that we cannot skip: kneading and rising. Kneading bread dough is a process that involves stretching and folding the dough to develop gluten, resulting in a chewy texture. On the other hand, kneading pizza dough is gentler and faster, resulting in a softer and more tender crust. After kneading, we need to let the dough rise, which allows the yeast to ferment and create air pockets, making the dough lighter and more flavorful.

Kneading Bread Dough

Get your hands in there and work the mixture until it’s smooth and elastic – it’s the key to achieving the perfect texture for your baked goods. When kneading bread dough, it’s important to start with a clean, floured surface. I like to use my countertop, but you can also use a large cutting board or table.

Begin by pushing the dough away from you with the heels of your hands, then folding it back towards you and pushing down again. Rotate the dough a quarter turn and repeat the process. This motion will stretch and strengthen the gluten in the dough, which gives bread its structure. Keep kneading for at least 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and springs back when you press it with your finger. Don’t be afraid to add a little more flour if the dough is sticking to your hands or the surface.

Once you’ve finished kneading, let the dough rest for a few minutes before shaping it into loaves or rolls. This will allow the gluten to relax and make it easier to work with. Kneading bread dough may seem like a lot of work, but the end result is worth it – there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of biting into a freshly baked loaf of bread.

Rising Bread Dough

Now it’s time to let your bread dough rise! After kneading, cover it with a damp cloth and leave it in a warm spot for an hour or two until it doubles in size. This process is crucial to achieving a fluffy, airy texture in your bread.

During the rising process, the yeast in your dough feeds on the sugar and releases carbon dioxide gas, causing the dough to expand. It’s important to keep the dough in a warm environment to encourage the yeast to work its magic. A temperature of around 80°F is ideal for bread dough to rise, but if your kitchen is cooler, you can place the dough in a slightly warmed oven or on top of a warm appliance. Once your dough has doubled in size, it’s ready to be shaped and baked.

Kneading Pizza Dough

To make a delicious homemade pizza, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and knead the elastic and pliable dough until it’s smooth and uniform. Kneading pizza dough is a crucial step in the pizza-making process as it helps to develop gluten, which in turn gives the pizza crust its desirable chewy texture. Moreover, kneading the dough distributes yeast evenly throughout the dough, ensuring that the pizza crust rises uniformly.

When kneading pizza dough, it’s crucial to start by mixing the ingredients until they come together to form a shaggy dough. Then, sprinkle flour on your work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Use the heels of your hands to push the dough away from you, then fold it in half and rotate it a quarter turn. Repeat this process for about 10-15 minutes until the dough is smooth, elastic, and slightly tacky to the touch. Once you’ve kneaded the dough to the desired consistency, let it rest for 10-15 minutes before stretching it into a pizza crust.

Rising Pizza Dough

As you watch your homemade pizza dough rise, you’ll feel a sense of excitement and anticipation for the delicious pie that’s about to come out of the oven. This rising process is an essential step in making a great pizza crust. During this time, the yeast in the dough is activated and starts to feed on the sugars in the flour, producing carbon dioxide gas as a byproduct. This gas gets trapped in the dough, causing it to expand and rise.

To ensure a good rise, it’s important to give your pizza dough enough time and a warm environment. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel to keep the moisture in, and let it rise in a warm place, such as a turned-off oven or a sunny spot on the counter. The ideal temperature for rising is between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the recipe, the dough may need to rise for anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. When the dough has doubled in size, it’s ready for shaping and topping with your favorite ingredients.

Shaping and Baking

Let’s talk about the final stages of making bread and pizza – shaping and baking. When shaping bread dough, it’s important to create a tight, cohesive shape that will hold its form during baking. This can be done through techniques like rolling, folding, and tucking. Once shaped, bread dough is typically baked at a high temperature for a crispy crust and soft, tender interior.

Shaping pizza dough is a bit different – it’s important to create a thin, even crust that will cook quickly and evenly. This can be achieved through stretching and tossing the dough, or by pressing it into shape with your hands. Pizza dough is typically baked at an even higher temperature than bread, resulting in a crispy, chewy crust and melty toppings.

Overall, the shaping and baking stages are crucial to achieving the perfect bread or pizza. With practice and attention to detail, you can create delicious, bakery-quality results in your own kitchen.

Shaping Bread Dough

You’ll want to gently stretch and fold the soft, pliable mass until it takes on a smooth, rounded shape that’s ready for the oven. The shaping process is crucial in bread making, as it helps the dough develop structure and texture. It’s important to handle the dough with care, as overworking it can result in a tough, dense loaf.

To shape bread dough, start by lightly flouring your work surface and hands. If the dough is too sticky, lightly dust it with flour as well. Then, gently press down on the dough to remove any air pockets. Starting from the top, fold the dough down towards the center, then repeat this process from the bottom. Turn the dough over and shape it into a ball by cupping your hands around it and rotating it in a circular motion. Place the dough into a greased loaf pan or onto a baking sheet, cover it with a damp towel, and let it rise until it doubles in size. Once it’s ready, bake according to your recipe’s instructions and enjoy the delicious results of your shaping efforts!

Baking Bread Dough

Baking your homemade loaf requires careful attention to time and temperature, ensuring that the crust achieves a golden brown crispness while the interior remains soft and airy. Preheat your oven to the appropriate temperature and place your loaf in the center of the oven. If you want a crustier loaf, you can add steam to the oven by placing a baking dish filled with hot water on the bottom rack.

It’s important to monitor the baking process and check on the loaf periodically. You can do this by tapping the bottom of the loaf; if it sounds hollow, then it’s done. It’s also important to let the loaf cool completely before slicing into it to prevent it from becoming gummy. With practice and attention to detail, you’ll be able to bake a delicious loaf of bread every time.

Shaping Pizza Dough

Shaping your pizza dough is like molding a piece of clay, with your hands gently stretching and shaping it into the perfect round disc. The first step is to take your risen dough and gently punch it down to release any air bubbles. Then, using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten the dough into a round shape, leaving a slightly thicker rim around the edges to create the classic pizza crust.

Next, use your fingertips to gently stretch the dough from the center outwards, rotating it as you go to ensure an even shape and thickness. Be careful not to overstretch the dough or tear it, as this can affect the texture and shape of your finished pizza. Once you have achieved the desired size and shape, transfer the dough to a lightly oiled pizza pan or baking sheet, and add your favorite toppings before baking in a hot oven until crispy and golden. With some practice and patience, shaping pizza dough can be a fun and rewarding process that results in a delicious homemade pizza.

Baking Pizza Dough

As the pizza bakes in the hot oven, the aroma of bubbling cheese, sizzling toppings, and crispy crust fills the air, making our mouths water with anticipation. Baking pizza dough is all about achieving the perfect balance between a crispy crust and a gooey, melted topping. To achieve this, we need to make sure that the temperature of the oven is high enough to cook the dough quickly and evenly.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when baking pizza dough is to avoid overloading the toppings. While it may be tempting to pile on all your favorite ingredients, too many toppings can make the dough soggy and prevent it from cooking properly. Instead, we recommend using a light hand when spreading the sauce and adding the toppings, and leaving a little bit of space around the edges of the crust to allow it to crisp up. With a little bit of practice and patience, you can achieve the perfect pizza every time.


You’ll find a variety of ways to use each type of dough, whether you’re looking to create a hearty loaf or a crispy crust. Bread dough is typically used to make a wide range of bread products, from artisan loaves to sweet rolls. The dough is versatile and can be shaped into various forms, allowing you to create different types of bread. Bread dough can also be used to make buns, bagels, and even pretzels.

On the other hand, pizza dough is specifically designed for making pizzas. It is a thinner, more elastic dough that can be stretched out to create a crispy crust. Pizza dough can also be used to make calzones, stromboli, and other Italian-style dishes. Additionally, pizza dough can be used to make flatbreads, which can be topped with various ingredients to create different flavors.

Both types of dough can be used in creative ways to make a variety of dishes. For example, you can use bread dough to make cinnamon rolls, which are a sweet treat that can be enjoyed at any time of day. You can also use pizza dough to make breadsticks, which are a great accompaniment to soups and salads. Ultimately, the choice between bread and pizza dough will depend on what type of dish you want to create, and what flavors and textures you’re looking to achieve.

Conclusion: Choosing the Right Dough for Your Needs

When it comes to crafting a delectable dish, selecting the perfect type of dough can be the key ingredient to achieving a mouth-watering masterpiece. When choosing between bread dough and pizza dough, it’s important to consider what you’re intending to make. Bread dough is more versatile and can be used to make a variety of baked goods, while pizza dough is specifically designed for making pizzas.

For those who are looking to make a wide range of baked goods, bread dough is the better choice. Bread dough can be used to make anything from dinner rolls to cinnamon buns to artisan loaves. It’s a versatile dough that can be shaped and formed into a variety of shapes and sizes. Bread dough is also typically denser and has a heartier texture than pizza dough, making it the perfect base for hearty baked goods.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to make a delicious pizza, then pizza dough is the dough to go with. Pizza dough is specifically formulated to create a light and crispy crust that is perfect for holding all your favorite toppings. It’s also easier to work with than bread dough, as it can be stretched and rolled out more easily. Pizza dough is the perfect choice for those who are looking to create a delicious and authentic pizza that will satisfy even the most discerning of palates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can bread dough be used to make pizza?

Yes, bread dough can be used to make pizza, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, bread dough tends to be denser and less pliable than pizza dough, so you may need to work it a bit more to stretch it out to the desired size and shape. Additionally, bread dough may not have the same flavor and texture as pizza dough, which usually contains olive oil and a bit of sugar to help it brown and develop a crispy crust. That being said, if you’re in a pinch and don’t have any pizza dough on hand, bread dough can certainly work as a substitute. Just be prepared to play around with it a bit to get the desired outcome.

Can pizza dough be used to make bread?

When it comes to making bread, there are many types of dough you can use, and pizza dough is one of them! In fact, making bread with pizza dough can result in a delicious loaf with a unique flavor and texture. To make bread with pizza dough, simply shape the dough into a loaf and let it rise for about an hour before baking it in the oven. The end result will be a crusty, chewy bread that is perfect for sandwiches or dipping in olive oil. However, it’s important to note that pizza dough may not be suitable for all types of bread recipes, so it’s best to experiment and find the right recipe that works for you.

Can you freeze bread dough or pizza dough?

Yes, you can freeze bread dough or pizza dough! In fact, it’s a great way to prepare dough ahead of time and save yourself some time later on. When I freeze dough, I make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or put it in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn. I also label it with the date so I know how long it’s been frozen. When I’m ready to use it, I simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and let it come to room temperature before using. I’ve found that freezing dough doesn’t affect the texture or taste, and it’s a convenient way to always have fresh dough on hand.

How long can you store bread dough or pizza dough in the refrigerator?

When it comes to storing bread or pizza dough in the refrigerator, it’s important to follow a few key guidelines to ensure the best results. First and foremost, it’s important to understand that both types of dough will only last for a certain amount of time in the fridge. Generally speaking, bread dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, while pizza dough can be stored for up to 5 days. However, it’s important to note that these timeframes will vary depending on the recipe, as well as the specific ingredients used. To ensure the longest possible shelf life, it’s important to store your dough in a tightly sealed container or plastic bag, and to keep it in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to check the dough for any signs of spoilage before using it, such as a sour smell or strange discoloration. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your dough stays fresh and delicious for as long as possible.

Can you make gluten-free bread or pizza dough?

We have made gluten-free bread and pizza dough many times and have found that it is definitely possible to make delicious gluten-free versions of these classic recipes. It’s important to use the right combination of gluten-free flours, such as rice flour, corn flour, and potato starch, to achieve the right texture and flavor. Adding xanthan gum or guar gum to the dough can also help to improve its elasticity and rise. We’ve found that letting the dough rest for at least 30 minutes before shaping and baking can also help to improve the final texture and flavor. With a little bit of experimentation and patience, we’ve been able to make gluten-free bread and pizza dough that rival their gluten-containing counterparts.


In conclusion, when it comes to choosing between bread dough and pizza dough, it ultimately depends on your needs and preferences. Both doughs have their unique ingredients, composition, texture, and flavor profiles that make them suitable for different dishes and occasions.

If you’re looking for a versatile dough that can be used for a variety of baked goods and has a more complex flavor profile, bread dough is the way to go. On the other hand, if you want a dough that is specifically designed for making crispy, thin crust pizzas with minimal toppings, pizza dough is the better choice.

Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a beginner, understanding the differences between bread dough and pizza dough can help you achieve the best results in your baking endeavors. So, take the time to experiment with both doughs and discover which one suits your needs and taste buds the most. Happy baking!

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