How Does Olive Oil Affect Pizza Dough?

After water, salt, flour, and yeast, olive oil is the most common pizza dough ingredient. Olive oil makes pizza dough easier to work with and adds a subtle Mediterranean flavor.

Olive oil affects how gluten unravels and bonds when flour and water are combined. Olive oil lubricates pizza dough, making it easier to stretch and shape. Olive oil creates a thin moisture barrier that keeps pizza toppings from seeping into the crust.

Adding Olive Oil to Pizza Dough

The answer is nuanced and relies on the pizza’s cooking method. Original Italian dough recipes don’t call for oil, but oil is now commonly used because pizzas in Italy (at least at good pizzerias) are baked in open wood ovens at much higher temperatures than what we have at home. This makes the pizzas ready much more quickly—”violento” in Italy—(in a good oven, the pizzas are ready in just four minutes). Humidity is indeed a key factor for dough softness and taste.

Although EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)is needed for Verace Pizza Napoletana, high-oleic sunflower oil may be used in its stead. In terms of saturated fat content, high-oleic sunflower oil is equivalent to EVOO; however, it has no flavor. However, it will boost the taste of the other components because fat, in general, may transmit odors.

EVOO, on the other hand, has a rather bitter taste that may obscure the delicate smells of the tomato sauce. After all, whether you want the distinct flavor of the EVOO or to highlight the perfume of the tomato sauce is a matter of personal opinion.

It’s possible to prevent the dough from drying out by using a wood and stone oven. Because of the reduced “violento” (slowness) of cooking in an electric home oven (or even a larger electric industrial oven), a small amount of oil (I’d suggest a tablespoon for every 200 grams of flour) is useful for keeping the dough from drying out. After that, you’d top it with the ideal quantity of your preferred tomato-based sauce.

Don’t stress yourself out too much! Alternatively, you might bake a focaccia in place of pizza. However, everyone has their own method for bringing the dough to the table. There is a proverb that goes “you might have a thousand pizza cooks and a thousand pizzas.”

Is Oil Necessary for Pizza Dough?

Many people don’t understand the significance of oil in pizza dough. The solution is conditional on the dough’s final use. The dough is simpler to work with after being hydrated. Moreover, it makes the dough soft and pliable. It improves the dough’s taste and suppleness. The good news is that oil has many potential applications. How to include it into pizza dough and other information.


It’s possible that, if you’re new to creating homemade pizza dough, you’ve never heard of using oil in the dough. But if you follow a few simple guidelines, you can create flawless dough every time.

There will be no change in the dough’s hydration level with the addition of oil, but the dough will become more malleable and gluten development will be prevented. You may use a measuring cup or just eyeball the ratio of two to three tablespoons of oil to 500 grams of flour called for in most pizza dough recipes.

Bear in mind that oil is not a liquid when incorporating it into the dough. Fat is not a liquid since it does not contain water. A dough’s success depends on the correct combination of oil and water.

In order to prevent the dough from becoming too dry, reduce the amount of water by one pound before adding the oil. The flour and water mixture has to be worked together for two minutes to fully hydrate the flour. To get the dough to the appropriate consistency, this is a must. The dough should feel quite soft when it is ready. More oil may be needed if the mixture is dry and crumbly.

Putting oil into the pizza dough is a must. It’s great for the dough’s elasticity and keeping its moisture levels stable. It enhances the flavor as well. Oil is a must-have for making a tasty pizza, but it won’t change the flavor overall. Instead, it facilitates the culinary process. The prep time is reduced, and you end up with more dough in the end product.

When should I rub olive oil into the dough for pizza?

The olive oil should be added to the pizza dough at the conclusion of the preparation process. It’s best to wait until the other ingredients have had a chance to do their jobs before getting started. Oil’s natural separation from water might have an unanticipated impact on your dough’s hydration.

Exactly what happens if you put too much olive oil on pizza dough?

spreading olive oil on pizza pan

Don’t stress if you accidentally order too much or too little oil. Not as much of an impact as you’d want, unfortunately.

First, you could find that the dough is more moist than you anticipated after adding more oil. This is acceptable while we’re mixing. You can sprinkle some flour over and work it in while kneading to adjust the texture.

By now, it’s too late to start stressing out that you put in an excessive amount of oil. The scent of the pizza crust could be a little stronger, but it won’t overpower the other flavors.

There may be a slight change in dough color if you use this in cooking, but that’s about it. Your pizza crust’s browning and crispness will both be improved by the olive oil. It’s safe to assume that most individuals would embrace this development.

When making pizza, what kind of olive oil works best?

For pizza dough, I suggest using only extra-virgin olive oil. There are too many paths forward from here to recommend one over another.

To me, the best olive oils are those that come straight from Italy, the country where olive trees first began growing. After trying authentic, freshly-pressed olive oil from Italy, it’s difficult to go back to store-bought varieties.

But don’t put too much thought into it. And olive oil from the supermarket should do the trick.

To spice up your pizza crust, try using olive oil flavored with different flavors.

Read more on EVOO here:

I am Chef Harunur Rashid Azim. I inherited my family's love of cooking at a young age. I graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education in London, UK, with determination and passion to become a chef. Follow me on Twitter: @RashidIsChef, FB: Azim

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