Pizza has been around for a long time and is considered to be one of the best inventions by humans. Pizza varies in toppings for the flavor and there are also different types of pizza dough.
This delicious recipe was believed to be food for peasants back in the day. It was invented around the 1800s and was looked down upon by most people because of its basic components.
But through the years, pizza has become known more and more. It is like the fate of it has completely changed and is sometimes considered as food for those who can afford it.
With the worldwide spread of pizza, people and restaurants have put their own twists to it. The most common changes on a pizza are on the toppings since it can be easily replaced.
However, pizza can be changed in so many ways. You see, people have started mixing up sauces and cheese to reinvent the flavor of the pizza that they are cooking.
Nowadays, you will see white sauce on pizza and all kinds of cheese. But the changes in the crust are not that many so people often ignore it and just stick to the basic plain dough.
Now, the changes in the dough of a pizza might not be as popular as the changes in the toppings, sauce, and cheese but they are worth looking into because that’s what pizza is.
Pizza is a very versatile type of food and so the different types of dough also deserve the same acknowledgment as the changes that we do in the other ingredients.
So here are the different types of dough that you can make the next time that you are making pizza at home for dinner.
1. Neapolitan-style Dough
Since it all started with this, it is only right that we put it on top of our list. The Neapolitan-style dough is probably the most common type of dough that pizza places produce.
The Neapolitan-style dough is like the base of all pizza doughs. It is a simple recipe but it can get complicated at the same time because of the process that you need to do to create it.
We say this because the ingredients that are used in this kind of dough are pretty simple and all you have to do is to mix them. However, it gets complicated when rising and cooking comes.
In order to achieve the thin and crispy yet chewy Neapolitan crust on a pizza, you will need extreme temperatures to cook it on and you need to be exact on the timing so it turns out great.
The only ingredients that you need to make a Neapolitan-style dough are all-purpose flour, salt, instant yeast, and water. You can also use bread flour as long as it is fine-milled.
All these ingredients should be mixed in the right proportions and it should be kneaded by hand. It is the origin of all pizza doughs so, in order to make it, you need to follow the traditional way.
A Neapolitan-style dough should be stretchy and thin with no more than one-third of a centimeter thick on the center so that it will rise quickly when cooked with some char on it.
You also need to ferment the pizza dough for a long time. Nowadays, you can use refrigerators to cold ferment a Neapolitan dough for up to four days.
The long fermentation process will give the pizza dough a lot of flavors and a great texture. When done right, the Neapolitan-style dough can absorb moisture without getting soggy.
2. New York-style Pizza Dough
This is also one of the most popular pizza doughs on the planet. New York has been creating a lot of variations of different cuisines and made the recipes their own.
New York Pizza is often sold on a plate with a big slice instead of a whole pizza. It is notorious for being so thin that the crust bends in the middle and it holds up on the edges.
This style of pizza is common in cartoons and advertisements. You will see how they lift the slice of pizza with some cheese being pulled and the pointed side of the slice droops down.
The ingredients used in a New York-style dough are not that different from the Neapolitan-style dough. It is the same ingredients but with sugar and olive oil as additional ingredients.
These additional ingredients are responsible for giving that distinct flavor on the New York-style dough. You will find some variations on the ingredients that are used in different parts of the Northern U.S.A.
This kind of dough is cooked at a slightly lower temperature and is often cooked with gas ovens and occasionally charcoal-fired ovens. This is where people started using machines to help create the dough.
When you make a New York-style dough, you can use stand mixers or food processors. This is because it is meant for mass production so you need to make it quick and easy.
When the sugar in the mixture activates the gluten, it will become noticeable that the crust of the pizza is a little bit browner than a Neapolitan-style dough.
The water also makes a difference when you make a New York-style pizza. The minerals that you get in New York water combine with the gluten and give the dough its unique flavor.
That is why some pizzerias out of the state import water from New York to create an authentic New York-style dough. This kind of dough has great texture and a rich flavor that combines well with most toppings.
3. Sicilian-style Dough
The Sicilian-style dough is another kind of dough that can be made quickly with the help of machines. It also has different contents than most pizza doughs that make it unique.
This pizza dough is known for its shape and thickness. It is often made with a stand mixer and a well-oiled sheet tray so you do not have to stretch it or roll it in shape.
The Sicilian-style dough also varies depending on the state that you are in. For example, the Sicilian pizza in New York is very thick and is enriched with garlic flavor and tomato sauce.
In other states, the Sicilian-style pizza can be served with a thinner and chewy texture. Despite these differences, the ingredients that are used are all the same.
The use of a stand mixer is also necessary to speed up the process and the no-knead method does not apply to this dough since it needs to rise quickly.
The process of cooking the perfect crust from a Sicilian-style dough is to fry it, hence, the olive oil on the baking sheet. It also needs to rise and shape by itself.
So although the ingredients are the same when making a New York-style dough and a Sicilian-style dough, the Sicilian contains a lot more water to make it follow the shape of the baking sheet.
So after mixing the ingredients in the stand mixer, all you need to do is to place the wet ball of dough on the oiled sheet and then cover it so it spreads by itself.
Of course, you can stretch it by hand if you want to but the large water content of the dough will do the job. You can stretch it further to make it touch the edges of the sheet before putting the toppings.
4. Deep Dish Dough
The most common style of pizza in Chicago, the deep dish pizza is made out of a strong dough so it can hold up the massive amount of toppings or stuffings that is put into it.
The deep-dish dough has a ledge on the side that allows it to contain layers of toppings. The arrangement of toppings, cheese, and sauce is also different on a deep-dish pizza.
This recipe uses the common ingredients for the dough and is placed in an oiled deep-dish pan like it is meant for a pie. So imagine a pie without the top layer of dough.
Since the dough needs to be firm for the generous toppings put in it, the proper way to cook a deep-dish dough is to oil the pan so that the dough fries and becomes firm when baked.
This dough often includes cornmeal or semolina to give it a more yellowish color. The cornmeal and semolina also enhance the texture and the flavor of the dough.
5. St. Louis Pizza Dough
This might not be the most popular pizza dough but it is actually common and most people do not realize that they are eating one unless they are truly obsessed with the history of pizza.
The St. Louis Pizza Dough can be distinguished by the way that it is served. This pizza dough is very thin and is also sliced into squares or rectangles instead of the common triangular slice.
This crust is commonly topped with vegetables and other light toppings because of the very thin crust. It is a very crispy crust that is sometimes dubbed as the crackers of pizza.
The very crispy crust that this dough makes is also perfect for dips. So when you top it with vegetables, you can also drizzle some sauce over it like ranch or mustard for more flavor.
It is made with a lot of yeast so the gluten is really activated. This allows the dough to be stretched into a super-thin dough without it breaking or ripping apart.
This pizza dough was popularized in the Midwest and has traveled all over the world. This is the pizza that is common for parties and other activities where you just want something to chow down on.
6. Flatbread Pizza Dough
Flatbread pizza dough is one of the controversial pizzas since the dough is made with a very unique combination of ingredients and rising technique.
This type of dough does not use yeast or any leavening agent like baking soda or baking powder. You just let the gluten activate and make a dough out of it.
This is not commonly used in pizzas since most people, especially beginners, have a hard time stretching this dough. However, it produces a light feeling on the dough.
You see when this dough is cooked, the flour rises quickly because of the moisture and steam that are trying to get out of it, hence, leaving an airy and soft crust on the pizza.
It is a perfect pizza dough for those who are trying to lose weight. A slice does not include as many calories in a flatbread crust than most pizzas so you are left with a full stomach with fewer fats to burn.
7. Custom Crusts
You can make these types of dough from almost any of the ones listed above. You only need to add some ingredients that are not commonly seen in pizza dough.
These kinds of crusts were made popular by restaurants seeking to please customers with different tastes and opinions about leaving the edges uneaten or not.
Some of these variations are the cheese-stuffed edges or sausage-stuffed. You can find this kind of crust in pizzerias such as Pizza Hut and some other restaurants.
The other common custom crusts are garlic butter, honey Sriracha, and garlic parmesan where instead of putting the sauces on top, they associate and combine it with the dough.
So there you have it, the different pizza doughs that you can make at home. The dough is the most crucial part of a pizza because it is the foundation of all the flavors.
You can put anything on the pizza and as long as your dough or crust is great, it shall hold up as many toppings as you like to put in your pizza.
These doughs listed above are made with different ingredients yet they all share the same thing – they are all flavorful. So whether you fry your dough or bake it straight away, you can make it flavorful.
The main difference between most pizza doughs is the water content where you can add more for airy finish or less for a crispy and compact pizza crust.
So choosing the right pizza dough depends on your own preferences so you can look at the best doughs listed above and see which one is best for your taste.
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