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Bread Dough vs. Pizza Dough (The Differences and Their Unique Uses)

Bread Dough vs. Pizza Dough (The Differences and Their Unique Uses)

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There are two types of dough that are used in baked goods: the unleavened dough and leavened dough. The unleavened dough does not need to rise during the baking process and is generally flat and thin. Examples of this type of dough include pie crusts, flatbreads, pasta, tortillas, and crackers.

The leavened dough requires yeast, baking soda or baking powder to cause it to rise. Products of leavened dough include breads, pretzels, pizzas, and rolls. Here is the first similarity between bread dough and pizza dough.

The next thing these two types of dough have in common is their ingredients and the proportions. Both consist of yeast, they need warm water to activate the yeast as well as sugar to feed it, salt, and whichever type of flour they are using for their recipe.

Each type of dough must be kneaded and stretched out so that the gluten becomes elastic and can be shaped. Each dough must rise twice before being baked.

If these are the similarities, what are the differences between the two?

The Main Differences Between Bread Dough and Pizza Dough

Working Dough By Hand

Because both types of dough look similar, it seems that they look very much alike. This is true, but there are a few things that make them different from each other.

1 – The Moisture Level

Pizza dough is made with a lower ratio of water to flour. Pizza dough also usually has oil added to it. Bread dough has a higher ratio of water to flour.

2 – The Gluten Development

Pizza dough is worked through to give it a higher amount of gluten so it is more flexible and able to be shaped into a round pizza. The dough for bread also has gluten developed but it is not as much as pizza dough.

3 – The Ingredients

Pizza dough has less fat and it is usually made with just flour, water, and a little bit of oil. Bread dough can have eggs, milk, and butter in it depending on what kind of bread you are making.

7 Things You Can You Make With Pizza Dough Besides Pizza


While pizza dough makes an excellent pizza, you may be surprised at what else you can make with it.

  1. Cheese sticks (like you can get at your favorite pizza place). Cut your pizza dough into strips, brush it with butter or oil and sprinkle Italian herb and parmesan cheese over the top.
  2. Mini pizzas made in a muffin tin. Take pizza dough squares and press into a muffin pan and add your toppings.
  3. Turkey pot pies- put your pot pie ingredients in your baking bowl and top it with squares or rounds of your pizza dough.
  4. Cinnamon rolls – you can make them just like the ones you buy at the grocery store. Just roll out your dough, sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon mixture on it, roll it up and cut into rounds.
  5. Calzones, which are made from folded over pizza dough, filled with your favorite ingredients, and crimped around the edges like a tart.
  6. Zeppoles – these are fried dough that are rolled in sugar, kind of like a donut hole.
  7. Monkey bread – this is easily made using pieces of pizza dough packed into a bundt pan. Once it is cooked, this breakaway bread is drizzled with a confectionary sugar icing.

7 Things You Can You Make With Bread Dough Besides Bread

Pretzel And Pretzel Rolls
  1. Deep dish pizza – yes you can make pizza using bread dough. Make it the same way you would make it using pizza dough but knead it more to make it more flexible giving it more gluten.
  2. Cinnamon buns – roll out your bread dough into a large rectangle. Fill almost the entire space with a mixture of white sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up the dough then cut it into rounds. After they are baked to a light brown, let them cool for about 5 minutes, then drizzle with a confectionery topping.
  3. Make your own hot pockets. Roll out your bread dough into rounds fill one round with ham and cheese then top it with another round and crimp the sides.
  4. You can use your own bead dough or a frozen bread dough and whip up some savory garlic knots. Roll the dough into a rectangle then cut into strips and twist into a knot. Brush with butter, garlic and Italian herbs.
  5. Antipasto pull-apart bread. Take pieces of bread dough and place in a greased bundt pan. Top with your favorite antipasto items – salami, pepperoni, ham, cheese, olives, pepperoncinis – then top with more bread pieces.
  6. Stuffed pizza – Prepare your bread dough just as you would your pizza dough to make this stuffed pizza. Roll the dough out into a round, fill with your favorite ingredients, then top it with another bread round and cover it with tomato sauce.
  7. Pretzels or pretzel rolls. You can shape your bread dough into twisted pretzel shapes or you can make them as if you were making sandwich rolls. Brush them with butter and top them with coarse sea salt and you have a savory pretzel roll to use for your next sandwich.

There are plenty of recipes on the internet that will give you ideas as to how you can use your pizza and bread doughs to make things other than pizza and bread.

Many recipes use frozen bread dough which is quicker to bake with and when making recipes with pizza dough you don’t need any special flour. Regular all-purpose flour will work just fine.

Experiment with both types of dough to see which one you like to bake with more. Many people like the consistency of their pizza when they use bread dough instead of pizza dough. And pizza dough might make better cinnamon rolls rather than the bread dough version.

You can’t go wrong with either dough and its good to know that you can substitute one for the other without having to sacrifice taste or texture.

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Tuesday 17th of December 2019

We try it in Italy for the first time. They called it “lievito madre”(sourdough) and it was awesome.


Monday 16th of December 2019

Hi Sarah!

I like to point out that for the leavened dough you can also use sourdough starter to leaven it.

We are making bread and also pizza at home with sourdough and I like it more. I don't like that much the yeast taste for my pizza. And I hate the baking powder/soda taste from when I was little and my aunt was making biscuits with it.

Do you make sourdough bread or pizza?

Sarah | Baking Kneads

Tuesday 17th of December 2019

Hi, George!!

I do like sourdough bread, and I have made it in the past. I haven’t thought of using it for pizza dough though! I’ll have to try it out. Thanks for the great idea!