Bread is something that most of us cannot live without. Pizza is one of the best things ever created since sliced bread! However, the dough that goes into making them both is the same! Is that the case? Don’t worry; this article will teach you about bread dough v/s pizza dough!
Bread isn’t something that needs an introduction. This staple is something that has found its way all across the world in various forms. Well, similar is the case with pizza!
This Italian delight can be found anywhere in the world, with wonderful versions people have created! Although it may seem like they are both made with the same dough, that isn’t the case!
Bread dough and pizza dough seem quite similar, but the two have various fundamental differences. There are a lot of them if we go into detail. However, the main difference between the two is that, in most cases, bread dough has much more moisture than pizza dough, which needs to rise while baking.
At a glance, it is very difficult to tell both doughs apart. They do look very similar to each other. However, many differences regarding technicalities and how both doughs are made can be pointed out.
In this article, you will learn all about the differences between bread dough and pizza dough, all in detail. You might become a great baker after reading this article, as there is some scientific information! Okay, sorry about that joke, but yes, happy reading to you!
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Bread Dough Vs. Pizza Dough | The Difference Table
Later in this article, we will explore the difference between these two types of dough in detail. However, before we do that, let us look at the basic differences between the two types of dough in this table.
|Basis Of Difference||Bread Dough||Pizza Dough|
|Ingredients||It can have simple or vast ingredients, depending on the type of bread||Usually always has simple ingredients|
|Moisture Content||Needs more water||Needs less water|
|Gluten Content||It can be made with high or low-gluten flour, depending on the type of bread.||It almost always needs high-gluten flour.|
|Kneading Process||Needs less kneading||It needs a lot of kneading|
|Fermentation||Longer time||Shorter time|
|Cooking Method||Lower temperature for a longer time||Higher temperature for a shorter time|
|Cost Of Final Product||Cheaper, depending on the type of bread.||Almost always more expensive than regular bread.|
What Is A Bread Dough?
Bread is something that most of us are familiar with. Although sliced bread was introduced later in the more remote parts of the world, every culture has had its version of bread since ages.
Now, every type of bread can be defined as regular bread. So, there is no difference between the dough of a regular white bread loaf and naan. However, that isn’t the case. Although they are both a type of bread from two different parts of the world, the definition of bread does point to something a little more in particular.
A bread, by definition, is made by mixing flour, water, fat, and a leavening agent and then baking. So, the base that goes into the oven is called bread dough. Bread dough needs some specific ingredients to be qualified as one.
This is why I had mentioned earlier not every sort of bread, although called ‘bread,’ can come under the official definition of what bread is supposed to be like. Quite a lot of the regional versions of bread, mainly flat ones, do not have any leavening agent added to them. So, we won’t be talking about those here.
What Is A Pizza Dough?
Along with many other things, one of the best things Italy could have gifted to the world is pizza! There must be few people in the world who would admit to not liking pizza!
Again, with this simple yet delicious treat, there are many versions that you can find of it across the world. Each place in the world has made pizza its own, with variations in the toppings, sauce, and bread! However, if you go by definition, pizza dough does mean a specific thing!
Simply put, pizza dough is a dough base made to build pizzas on. This dough has a few basic ingredients, like water, flour, leavening agent, and fat, that make it what it is. Moreover, unlike bread, pizza dough doesn’t rise as much in the oven while baking, despite the added leavening agent.
Now you will find pizzas made with all sorts of bread used as the base. Although they are a version of pizza, too, these pizzas don’t necessarily qualify as so, as per definition. So, to qualify as an authentic pizza, the pizza has to be made with pizza dough.
Bread Dough Vs. Pizza Dough | Differences Between The Two
Earlier, we discussed the basic differences between bread dough and pizza dough. Let us get into these differences in more detail so that you would know what sets these two dough types apart.
Let us start with the main building blocks of these doughs: the ingredients that go into making them. Technically, the ingredients for both these types of dough remain the same.
They both have certain essential ingredients that need to be added to them to qualify as one of the doughs. These essential ingredients are flour, water, leavening or rising agent, oil, and salt.
However, the difference is that a bread dough could have a lot more added to it, depending on the type of bread. Depending on what type of bread you want, ingredients like eggs, butter, and sugar can be added to the dough. This isn’t the case with pizza dough.
2. Moisture Content
Regular bread dough and pizza dough both have water added to them. Of course, water is one of the building blocks for both dough recipes. However, as the outcome of both doughs differs, so is the water content they need.
In the case of pizza dough, you wouldn’t want it to rise. Instead, you would want it to stay the shape and size it is while becoming crunchy and chewy once baked. So, the amount of water needed in the dough is not as much.
However, the final product we seek is very different in the case of bread dough. Bread needs to rise and has a softer and chewy texture.
So, the water content needed is higher than pizza dough. On average, pizza dough needs up to 70% hydration, maximum, whereas bread dough is always higher than that.
3. Gluten Content
Gluten is a protein found in flour, more specifically, anything that is derived from wheat. This protein gives the dough a stretchy and elastic consistency and helps the bread or pizza get chewy.
Although both bread dough and pizza dough need gluten to get the right texture, the amount of gluten needed in both is slightly different. A bread dough does need a high gluten flour.
But it depends a lot on the bread you make. Some types of bread need a much smaller amount of gluten and can even be made with all-purpose flour.
Pizza dough, however, needs a lot of gluten to stretch and get elastic. So, pizza dough is almost always made with flour with high gluten content.
4. Kneading Process
Kneading is an important step while preparing any dough. Kneading is necessary, even for flatbread doughs that don’t have any leavening agent. It is because kneading the dough is what forms the gluten strands.
The more you knead the dough, the stronger the gluten strands get, resulting in a more elastic dough. Moreover, this sort of elasticity is something that is very much needed in pizza dough.
So, pizza doughs need to be kneaded for a longer time and more vigorously. It creates strong gluten strands and stops the dough from tearing, even when it is stretched.
As bread dough isn’t stretched as much, it does not need too many gluten strands and hence, less kneading than pizza dough.
Fermentation is another important process when it comes to making dough. Except for bread recipes that need a chemical leavening agent, most bread does need time to ferment.
Quick bread has chemical leavening agents added to them, and as they react quickly, there is no need to ferment these doughs. However, regular bread and pizza dough have yeast added as the leavening agent.
Yeast does not react immediately and needs sufficient time to rise, which also helps the bread rise eventually. Regular bread dough needs a much longer time for fermentation as compared to pizza dough.
A loaf of bread needs to be soft and spongy, which can be achieved with a significant amount of fermentation. Pizza dough does not require as much fermentation as it does not have to rise like bread dough.
6. Cooking Method
Yes, both pizza and bread are baked in an oven. Many may think their cooking method is the same. But, there are a few minor differences in their cooking methods, which give them both the right texture.
A bread dough, firstly, is baked in some mold, as that gives out the best result. A pizza dough, on the other hand, does not need a mold. However, you can use one if you want to. Generally, a hot oven or a pizza stone works perfectly fine.
Moreover, even while baking, bread dough needs at least some moisture and humidity, which helps make the crust. That isn’t the case with pizza dough. Lastly, bread is baked for a longer time at a lower temperature, whereas pizzas are baked at a high temperature for a much shorter time, all due to the surface area.
7. Cost Of Final Products
Instances where you buy the pizza dough or bread dough just as it is are rare. So, here we will be considering the final products: a loaf of bread and, well, a regular cheese pizza.
Bread can also be expensive, depending on the type and the ingredients. However, in most cases, a simple loaf of bread is much cheaper than a whole pizza. All the added work on the pizza makes it comparatively expensive and worth every penny!
Bread Dough Vs. Pizza Dough | Similarities Between The Two
We have discussed a lot of differences between bread dough and pizza dough. Yes, the differences are plenty and, well, evident too. However, there are also some similarities between these two types of bread! Here are some of the similarities that you can find between the two doughs.
1. Base Ingredients
Although depending on the type of bread, various ingredients can be added to the dough. The base ingredients remain the same for both bread and pizza dough. For these types of doughs, flour, water, leavening agent, and fat are essential.
Without four of these fundamental ingredients, making either dough is impossible. Hence, one of the similarities lies in using the same ingredients as the building blocks.
The degree of kneading needed for both these types of doughs is very different from each other. This is because it eventually depends on the type of consistency you are looking for in the final product.
However, in both cases, the baseline remains the same. Yes, this is indeed the fact that both types of dough need some kneading to form gluten strands. The amount of kneading required varies.
Another thing that we discussed earlier as a part of the differences between these two types of dough is fermentation. The amount of time a type of dough needs to ferment depends on various factors, like ingredients, the texture of the final product, and much more.
However, pizza and regular bread dough use yeast as the leavening agent. So, it needs time to ferment for the yeast to react with the rest of the ingredients. Hence, one of the similarities between the two types of dough is that they both need to be fermented.
4. Cooking Process
Again, there are differences between the two that we discussed regarding their cooking processes. While one is baked at a higher temperature for a shorter time, it’s the complete opposite for the other.
Also, one needs humidity even while baking, while the other doesn’t. But the main factor here is that the best way to cook bread or pizza is in an oven and no other way.
Top Bread Dough Recipes To Try
In this section, I have discussed some amazing bread recipes that you should try out for yourself. However, remember that these recipes are all based on the definition of bread that I mentioned earlier and have the same or similar ingredients.
1. White Bread Loaf
A simple white loaf is one of the most popular types of bread available. This bread loaf is probably one of the easiest to make. None of the fancy ingredients, nor the fuss!
A white bread loaf will require mainly the base ingredients, flour, water, fat and leavening agent. However, some recipes can be a little more complex and add various ingredients.
2. Brown Bread Loaf
This is another really common type of bread that is indeed sold worldwide! It is a healthier version of a white bread loaf and is mostly preferred by people who want a healthier lifestyle.
However, contrary to popular belief, brown bread dough is usually never made with only wheat flour! It has a ratio set of wheat and bread flour, which gives it the right texture. Only using wheat flour will make your bread extremely heavy.
3. Dinner Rolls
Dinner rolls are a staple for a few meals. It is especially true when there is a festive meal or even a whole platter. Dinner rolls are so much easier to pass around than bread loaves!
Hence, these are way more convenient as well. With dinner rolls, the base ingredients are the same as any other bread dough. However, again, there can be a few changes or added ingredients, depending on the type of recipe.
If you haven’t eaten a brioche before, my advice is first to go and try one out! A brioche is so much better than a regular bread roll or loaf! The dough for a brioche can be converted to rolls or even a loaf!
Even with brioche dough, the base ingredients remain the same as any other bread dough. However, a brioche dough has many other ingredients added to it, mainly a large amount of butter, which gives it an exceptional, rich flavor.
Bagels are one of the most popular types of bread eaten in the United States. Many prefer starting their day with a simple bagel topped with cream cheese and maybe some fancy ingredients, like salmon.
Although the baking process of a bagel is a little different compared to regular bread, the base ingredients remain the same for both. If a slightly different and longer cooking process is something you are okay with, then bagels are worth making!
Top Pizza Dough Recipes To Try
Yet again, there are various variations in a pizza dough recipe itself. Most variations are brought about by the type of flour used to make the pizza dough. Here are some recipes that you could try for yourself.
1. Regular Pizza Dough
The first and probably the most popular version of pizza dough made everywhere is regular pizza dough. By regular, I mean this dough is made with bread flour that has a high gluten content.
Otherwise, the base ingredients are all the same as the ones I mentioned earlier. Some people even experiment with regular pizza dough by adding herbs or giving them various shapes!
2. Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
This is a version of pizza dough made mostly for people who want to consume less refined carbohydrates. Hence, bakers came up with the perfect replacement for regular pizza dough.
Enter whole wheat pizza dough! This dough cannot be made with whole wheat flour like the brown loaf. Hence, whole wheat pizza dough recipes tend to have bread flour added to them to give the base the correct texture.
3. Semolina Pizza Dough
Another variation of pizza dough that produces enough gluten but is a little different from regular pizza dough is the semolina pizza dough. This recipe’s yeast, flour, water, and fat base remain the same.
However, gluten does act differently as compared to how it would with regular dough. Hence, you can expect the crust to be crispy and crunchy when making pizza dough with semolina flour.
4. Oat Flour Pizza Dough
As people prefer healthier food over everything else, bakers have taken it upon themselves to create recipes with the healthiest ingredients. One ingredient we all know has various health benefits is oats.
Oat flour can be used for various purposes. However, it does not work well, just as it is. To create a decent dough for a pizza, an oat flour dough has some bread flour added to it, just for the right consistency.
5. Gluten-Free Flour Pizza Dough
Lastly, there is gluten-free pizza dough for people who cannot handle any amount of gluten. Even oat flour and various other types of flour are gluten-free. However, some bread flour must be added to make the pizza dough to get the right texture.
However, protein is completely absent in the case of gluten-free flour. Instead, the flour is made to have the same consistency as dough with regular flour. This recipe also needs chemicals added to it, like xanthan gum, which helps with the texture.
Bread Dough Vs. Pizza Dough | Which One Is Healthier?
Here, we all know that technically, neither bread nor pizza is one of the healthiest things in the world. This is regardless of the type of flour used, as the other added ingredients remain the same in either case.
So, keep in mind just pizza dough with no cheese, sauces, or toppings. This dough is just baked with some butter spread on it. So, would this pizza dough be healthier than a regular bread slice spread with the same amount of butter?
Technically, neither bread dough nor pizza dough is healthier than the other. They both have similar base ingredients that build them up; hence, their nutritional value isn’t much different.
However, if you compare regular pizza dough with something like brioche dough with a lot of butter, then pizza dough would be the healthier option.
Bread Dough Vs. Pizza Dough | Which One Is More Versatile?
Versatility is also an important factor when baking bread, or even pizza, for that matter. Now you know that the base ingredients remain the same for the two.
However, various technicalities in the recipes are very different from each other. But does that mean one is more accurate than the other?
Bread and pizza dough have the same ingredients, so their recipes are interchangeable. You can make the other one easily by tweaking a few ingredients here and there for either of the recipes.
But, when it comes to versatility, bread dough is more versatile as it leaves more room for experiments.
Bread Dough Vs. Pizza Dough | Which One Is More Expensive?
As I mentioned earlier, if you compare a whole pizza with a regular slice of bread, the pizza will surely be more expensive. This is indeed due to all the added ingredients and toppings. However, would their prices be the same if you compare a dough with a dough while keeping the toppings aside?
Both bread and pizza dough would cost around the same, as they have similar ingredients. However, sometimes, bread dough can be a little more expensive. It mainly goes for the fancier variations of bread dough, like a brioche or a focaccia dough.
Bread Dough Vs. Pizza Dough | Which One Is Better?
Because we all belong to different parts of the world and have been subjected to different flavors all our life, our flavor preferences can differ quite a lot. Moreover, in general, taste and flavor can be very subjective matters.
Just because someone likes something doesn’t necessarily mean other people will like it too. So, it is difficult to tell if one of these doughs is better. Both have different properties and are used differently, so it eventually all comes down to personal preference!
Can One Of These Doughs Be Used As A Substitute For The Other?
When it comes to ingredients, or in this case, doughs that have similarities, one may wonder if one can be used instead of the other. It is indeed a common aspect of interchanging ingredients in a recipe. Can this be applied to a whole dough?
Technically, the doughs are interchangeable, but only at an early stage. Recipes for these doughs can be tweaked here and there to prepare the other. However, once the dough is fully formed, it isn’t possible to use one as a substitute for the other as they both have very different properties.
Now that we have reached the end of this article, I hope it has helped you understand all the differences between bread dough and pizza dough in detail. The bottom line is that although they both have many similarities, there are also various technical differences between the two types of dough, making them different.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are bread dough and pizza dough the same?
Although they use the same base ingredients, bread and pizza dough are quite different.
Why is yeast added to both of these doughs?
Yeast is added to these doughs as a leavening agent, making the final product soft and chewy.
Is it possible to make pizza dough with cake flour?
It is advisable not to do so as cake flour has a very low amount of gluten; hence, it will not give the right consistency or texture to the dough.
Are gluten-free flours gluten-free?
Yes, gluten-free flours are gluten-free and contain certain chemicals that help get the right consistency for the dough.
Is pizza dough healthier than bread dough?
It completely depends on the recipe and the sort of ingredients used. In some cases, it can be healthier, and not so in others.
Which one out of these two doughs is easier to make?
This, again, completely depends on the recipe and the type of dough that needs to be made.