What Does the Oil in Pizza Dough Do?

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What Does the Oil in Pizza Dough Do?

The goal of adding oil to pizza dough is to improve the texture of the dough and flavor the finished crust.

The oil will specifically:

  • Making the dough softer will improve its capacity to stretch when rolled out. If you don’t use any oil, the dough will pull apart and produce holes.
  • It also makes the dough more flexible, rolling out and stretching to its maximum potential.
  • During fermentation, increase the volume of the dough.
  • Creates a barrier on the dough to keep humidity and moisture from the toppings out during baking.
  • Make the dough delightful by adding flavor!

Is Oil Required for Pizza Dough?

Although oil in pizza dough is not required, it may be helpful. The oil improves the dough’s stretchability while also keeping it hydrated. When you bake the dough, you can see how this process works, and the oil keeps the dough supple even after cooking.
Even though oil adds a bit of flavor, it’s not the only thing that gives pizza dough its distinct flavor. To increase the flavor of the dough, you can substitute oil with some substitutes and additives. Check out our post on dough additives for more information.

The oil prevents the dough from soaking up the pizza sauce as well as the moisture and fluids generated by the toppings as they cook. Otherwise, due to over-hydration difficulties, pizza dough will take longer to cook.

Avoid anything in a clear glass bottle when purchasing olive oil. Because light is an olive oil’s worst enemy, the oil inside will have lost most of its flavor and scent. Extra-virgin olive oil can be found in dark glass bottles.

Which types of pizza dough require oil?

Let’s start with the one that doesn’t require any oil because practically every other pizza type calls for oil or some other form of fat.

All pizza styles are descended from the oil-free Italian Classical Neapolitan Pizza. Only flour, water, natural yeast, and salt are used in this recipe.

Almost all other pizza styles established by Italian ancestors and others call for the use of oil or fat.

Olive oil is used in all Italian dishes to add taste. Other oil kinds, on the other hand, are swapped or substituted to change the flavor of olive oil. This could otherwise destroy a certain pizza style.

Of course, other recipes don’t utilize any oil at all and instead rely on diet-related ingredients.

This strategy is visible in Vegan recipes that use oil-free ingredients instead of traditional oils. To compensate for the lack of oil in the dough, these recipes require that you add more water to the mix.

Because there is no oil to give the crust further suppleness, the outcome is more or less a crispier crust.

Oil will function as a lubricant on the surface of the dough, making it more pliable and simpler to handle. When you add oil to pizza dough, it becomes less sticky to the touch.

When rolling out a pizza with a rolling pin, this isn’t always the case; you’ll need to add additional flour to the dough’s surface in addition to a floured surface.

This approach reduces the tackiness of the dough and allows for greater stretching qualities. Another reason that oil affects the dough is that it prevents moisture from escaping.

When adding oil to pizza dough, what is the proper order of ingredients?

When adding oil to the pizza dough mixture, the order of the ingredients is crucial. Most individuals are unaware that oil and water do not mix well.
As a result, when making pizza dough, oil should be one of the last ingredients added before the salt.

To allow the wheat flour to thoroughly absorb the water, combine the bread flour or any high-protein flour, instant yeast or active dried yeast, and water before mixing the pizza dough.

This can be done by hand or with a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. You may also combine the dough in a food processor, but avoid using a bread machine because it will overwork the dough. This will result in a large dough ball.

After all of the ingredients have been combined, let the pizza dough rest for two to five minutes before adding the oil. The oil is then added to the mixture to increase the dough’s stretchiness, flexibility, and strength.

At this stage, the oil will have been absorbed into the dough, but the flour will be fully hydrated.

Finally, season the dough with sea salt or kosher salt to increase the flavor.

The most important lesson here is that water and oil do not mix on their own. Neither do yeast and salt, as salt kills yeast. But combined, they form one of the best foods on the planet: Pizza!

What’s the Best Oil for Pizza Dough?

For pizza dough recipes, there are a variety of oils to choose from. Each type of oil has a distinct flavor and recipe impact on the pizza you’re preparing.

The majority of recipes call for olive oil, while some may specify extra virgin olive oil.

You can also use additional oils to enhance the flavor. Avocado oil, and coconut oil are good options if you’re controlling your cholesterol.

The oil acts as a barrier to keep flavors from forming within the dough. It also helps to keep other flavors from infiltrating the dough.
Aside from the topping you use, your homemade dough should have a distinct flavor.

To add a bit more intrinsic flavor, you can also prepare your own infused oils with garlic, thyme, rosemary, and cardamom.

To personalize a signature dish, some pizza chefs may use sesame oil or peanut oil.

Pizza Dough Oil Percentages Recommendations

We can all agree that the amount of oil in a pizza dough recipe has a limit. Depending on the hydration of your flour, some recipes ask for an average of 2-3 percent.

When it comes to weighing out your components for pizza dough, the oil ratio should be between 2 and 3 percent of your overall flour, but not more than 5 percent. Always start with a small percentage and test your dough; remember that adding is always easier than subtracting.

Some people like to apply a small coating of oil outside the dough and cover it with plastic wrap when a recipe calls for enhanced hydration of the flour, but the oil is still at 2%.

This procedure accomplishes two goals. First, it allows the dough to proof and rise without sticking to the bowl. The second is to avoid producing a crust when cold proofing in the fridge.

Is it true that oil keeps the dough from rising?

The oil has no effect on the fermentation process at all. Because the hydration step allows the water to be absorbed into the flour, sugar, and yeast components, the fermentation process can begin right away. Even after these have been combined and oil has been added. To ferment the dough, all you need is temperature and time. The oil will not absorb into the flour or the gluten that forms as a result of the fermentation process. All that oil does is give your dough a coating of elasticity.

Aside from providing a barrier for your dough throughout the proofing phase, this will not prevent your dough from rising. Higher moisture in some pizza recipes makes the dough stickier and more difficult to handle. You can opt to dust your working surfaces with adequate flour, but the sticky dough is easier to handle if it’s been sprayed with a mild cooking oil spray first.


Now comes the exciting truth that gives the pizza its distinct flavor. When it comes to classic taste, what is the ideal oil for pizza dough? You guessed correctly; olive oil is the best oil for pizza dough, so earn yourself a gold star for the day!

Now that you know the reason that you use oil in making pizza dough, and what the best oil is to use, you need a New York Style Brick Oven to bake your pizza to perfection! CONTACT US!

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like: Tips To Choose Best Commercial Wood Fired Pizza Oven


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