There are different doughs meant for different purposes. Bread dough, pasta dough, pizza dough, dumpling dough, sourdough, etc. are some of them. Sometimes different doughs have different ingredients, and other times, they can pretty much be the same but just named differently because of their purposes.
Among all the different kinds of doughs, we will talk about the differences and unique uses of bread dough and pizza dough.
So, read our bread dough vs. pizza dough comparison guide to know the differences between them.
Bread Dough vs. Pizza Dough
The basic difference we understand about bread dough and pizza dough is that pizza dough is meant to make pizza and bread dough is meant to make plain bread.
Below we will differentiate a bit more on the characteristics of these two different types of doughs:
1. Amount of Moisture
When you make pizza dough, you do not really add that much water to the amount of flour ratio in your mixture.
Usually, the addition of oil is added to pizza dough, so that helps with the mixing even if there is a shortage of water in the mixture. This helps to make the pizza bread area chewier and crunchier. Pizza dough might have about 50 percent moisture or hydration locked in.
On the other hand, bread dough is made much softer and fluffier, so the amount of water is always on a higher ratio compared to the flour ratio in the bread dough mixture.
This helps the dough be more flexible and fluid as well. It also helps the bread rise more and faster. When it rises a lot, the density inside gets light and makes larger holes in the dough to make it softer. Bread dough also does not have any type of oily liquid in the mixture. Bread dough should have about 90 percent moisture.
2. Amount of Gluten
When you are mixing the pizza dough and kneading it, it develops more gluten so that it becomes a bit more elastic or flexible. This is necessary if you want to be able to roll it out and stretch it enough to add the toppings and make it look like an actual pizza.
On the other hand, bread dough barely needs to develop any gluten since the dough is not meant to be rolled or stretched out. It is left to bake in the oven while still being a large lump of dough.
3. Types of Ingredients
Both bread dough and pizza dough have the same core ingredients, which are flour, water, yeast or baking powder, and salt. But when they fall under different categories, they will end up having some extra ingredients as well.
Bread dough can have milk, butter, eggs, etc. to make the bread sweeter or softer on the inside. Whereas, pizza dough usually adds ingredients like different edible oils or seeds to make the crunchy base and crust of the pizza more delicious.
When you mix the ingredients of a pizza dough together, you don’t really need to make sure it’s all smooth and evened out everywhere. If you do the mix for a longer time, you will make the bread denser and less chewy. On the other hand, bread dough needs a thorough mixing of its ingredients.
Pizza doughs are meant to be light. So, the maximum time you can take to knead it is about 5 minutes for everything to join well and turn into a smooth ball. After that, you leave it to rest and rise. Since pizza is meant to be chewier and more stretchy, you need to knead it less.
On the other hand, bread has to be kneaded for a much longer time to get the right density on the inside while still having a firm structure on the outside. To make bread easy to tear or rip, you have to knead it for a long time so that less gluten develops and prevents the bread from being stretchy.
6. Baking Timings
If you are baking your bread or pizza in a large stone oven like in large bakeries or pizza parlors, then it will take about a minute or less for pizzas to bake and more time for the bread to bake.
These kinds of shops have wide spaces to create these sorts of stone dens for baking. The heat source is usually firewood. The wood is kept at the deep end of the stone oven, so that fire sparks do not burn the food, and neither does any burnt wooden odor go into the food.
And if you cook in an electronic baking oven, then it will take 8 minutes for a pizza to cook. Bread needs to be baked at lower temperatures, so it will need more time compared to a pizza.
7. Uses or Purposes
With pizza dough, you can mostly make savory snacks and dishes like cheese sticks, mini pizzas, pot pies, etc. This is when you add any spices or oils to your pizza dough. If you don’t do that, then the pizza dough can be used for some sweet baked items as well. Some of them are cinnamon rolls, zeppoles, monkey bread, etc.
And with bread dough, you can make baked items like cinnamon buns, monkey bread, pretzels, sweet breakfast rolls, pita bread, etc. Since bread dough is very versatile, you can also make savory dishes like hot pockets, savory garlic knots, etc.
Bread dough and pizza dough might seem similar at first glance. But deep down, when you think about the dough’s characteristics and how it functions differently to satisfy different purposes, you sort of understand how they differentiate from one another.
However, there are bread doughs that can be used to make some dishes that are like pizza, and there are some pizza doughs that can be used to make bread-like dishes. But those dishes are meant to have the characteristics the respective doughs will give them.
Even in this way, it makes bread dough and pizza dough very different from each other.
I hope our bread dough vs. pizza dough guide cleared all your confusion.