Step aside, pizza toppings! It’s time for the dough to shine! With the attention normally focused on pepperoni, mushrooms, Italian sausage, fresh garlic and other toppings, you may be forgetting what holds it all together – the dough! But face it, no matter how good the toppings are, if the pizza crust isn’t tasty, your pizza experience is going to be a disappointing one. What may surprise you about pizza crust is that it’s actually all in the flour!
How does the type of flour used influence the taste and texture of pizza crust? Read on to find out!
All-purpose White Flour
The most common type of flour used for pizza dough is all-purpose white flour, either bleached or unbleached. With its medium amount of gluten (wheat proteins that bond the dough together), this refined wheat flour produces a fluffy center and crispy exterior.
Bread flour is a white flour with a 10 to 15 percent higher protein content. Bread flour is ideal for pizzas that require a lot of rise like Chicago-style crusts. It is also a good flour for those using a bread machine to make pizza crust. As with whole wheat flour, bread flour can also be combined with all-purpose flour for a custom (and less expensive) blend.
For a nontraditional flavor profile, alternative flours such as corn or rye flour can also be used for pizza dough.
Corn flour provides an excellent crust for a Southwestern-style pizza. Rye flour mixed with all-purpose white flour for gluten and caraway seeds for flavor, makes a great crust for a Reuben pizza.
To create dough with other flours, a whole wheat pizza dough recipe can be used as a guide for a recipe with alternative flours. The best method is to replace the whole wheat flour with approximately two-thirds alternative flour and a third all-purpose flour added to any all-purpose flour already in the recipe.
Whole Wheat Flour
Whole wheat flour contains bran and germ from the wheat that all-purpose white flour omits. Because of its low-gluten content, wheat flour produces a chewier dough than all-purpose flour. To create the best crust, wheat flour is typically combined with all-purpose white flour to improve the nutritional value and texture. Because whole wheat crust is denser, it is ideal for pizzas with a lot of toppings.
Most gluten-free pizza crusts end up a combination of chewy, too crisp and dry, flavorless and/or bland. It takes a special mix of flours to bring superior flavor and texture that’s crispy, tender, flexible in the middle, not too thick and not too thin. Mama Gina’s is currently working diligently with a combination of flours including tapioca flour/starch, sorghum flour, brown rice flour and gluten-free millet flour to concoct the perfect recipe to serve our guests. Check back to see when we announce our new gluten-free dough!