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When making pizza dough, one common problem that people have is that it is too dry. The dough will be crumbly and flaky, and it will be too dense. You want your pizza dough to be just the right moisture to be light and fluffy and rise evenly.
What Causes Pizza Dough to Be Too Dry?
When you prepare pizza dough, you want to make dough that is well hydrated. It is challenging to make sure that you have the correct mixture of ingredients to result in the perfect dough.
If your pizza dough turns out to be crumbling and flaky when you cool it, there are steps you can take to add in the necessary moisture to get your dough back on track.
Add Moisture to the Dough
You can add either water or oil and knead the dough. You will start with your dough that is crackly and crumbling, and roll it out onto your workspace. You can add a few drops of water at a time, and knead the dough so that it gains the moisture it needs.
If your recipe calls for oil, you can add one teaspoon and knead it. If this doesn’t completely fix the problem, try adding another teaspoon. Once you add the amount that your dough needs, the pizza dough will be moist and ready to bake.
You May Be Using Weak Flour
Gluten is a part of flour that creates elasticity in pizza dough. It holds the gases that are released by the yeast as the dough rises. The gluten in flour can lose its strength in different ways, primarily by being too old or being poor quality.
If your dough is too dry, you may need to add water to the recipe. Try adding one or two teaspoons of water to the dough, and knead it. If your flour isn’t too old, then you may want to try higher-quality flour.
High Altitudes Can Cause Dry Pizza Dough
When you are baking at high altitudes, your pizza dough may end up too dry. The reason for this is that flour doesn’t hold as much moisture at higher altitudes.
Your recipe may call for more flour at higher elevations, but the flour will also require more moisture than it would at a lower elevation. You should always plan to use extra water at higher altitudes to make sure that your pizza dough isn’t too dry.
You May Need to Knead the Pizza Dough Longer
If you don’t knead your pizza dough long enough, it will have the same impact as not adding enough moisture. This is the most common reason that pizza dough turns out to be too dry.
Make sure you knead your dough until it is soft and supple, and there should be no crumbles or flakes. If your dough is too dry, you should add a few drops of water and keep kneading. It takes patience to make the dough just right.
The Weather and Humidity Could Have an Effect on Your Pizza Dough
Because pizza dough needs a certain amount of flour balanced by a certain amount of moisture, it is easy for outside factors to alter the recipe a little bit. If it is humid and raining, you might use less water in your dough.
On the other hand, if it is dry and sunny, you may need more water to give the flour the moisture it needs.
Pay attention to the weather, and if it is dry outside, add a few extra drops of water. Make sure that you knead the dough long enough, and add water as needed until it is the perfect consistency.
You May Be Using Too Much Flour in Your Pizza Dough
Some recipes give a range for the amount of flour you need in your pizza dough. Even if the recipe is specific, start off using less than the recommended amount. It is easy to add a sprinkle of flour as you knead your dough.
As you knead, add flour until the dough is not sticky. This should help to ensure that you don’t overuse the flour and make your pizza dough too dry.
Balance the Flour with Olive Oil
If you have followed your recipe and kneaded your dough for plenty of time, and you still find that it is too dry, you can add a little olive oil.
You should add two tablespoons of olive oil for every three cups of flour in your recipe. It will take care of the dryness, and it will make the crust softer and more tender as well.
What Happens If Pizza Dough Is Too Dry?
Besides being crumbly and flaky, there are more important reasons that you don’t want your pizza dough to be too dry. All of the ingredients work together to soften the dough and make it rise.
If you don’t use enough water, the gluten won’t be able to develop and the dough won’t hold the gases from the yeast or baking soda. When this happens, the end result will be a dense, thick pizza crust.
If you really don’t have enough water, the dough can have a hard time holding together, and it will break apart. The whole point of baking your own pizza dough rather than buying a ready made pizza is that you want it to be delicious, so the best policy is to pay attention throughout the process and make sure that the dough has the moisture it needs.
If you take your time and start with a little less than the full amount of flour, you can add it in as you knead the dough. This will help to ensure that you don’t make the pizza too dry.
Remember that the weather and humidity can affect how much water you need, as well as your elevation level. You need to use your instincts, and knead your dough until it is the exact consistency that you desire.