What Is The Difference Between Bread Dough and Pizza Dough?

Welcome to the ultimate showdown between two of the most beloved types of dough – bread dough vs pizza dough! Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting in the world of cooking, chances are you’ve encountered these two types of dough. 

While they may seem similar, many key differences between them can greatly impact the final product. 

In this blog post, we delve into the nuances that differentiate bread dough from pizza dough, shedding light on their ingredients and the culinary outcomes they yield.  So, let’s waste no time and get started! 

What Is Bread Dough?

Before comparing these two types of flour, we need to understand the definitions of bread flour and pizza dough.

Firstly, bread dough is a basic mixture of flour, water, yeast, and salt. It’s generally used to make various types of bread such as white bread, whole wheat bread, sourdough bread, baguettes, and more.

The ingredients are mixed to create a smooth and elastic dough that can be shaped into different forms before being baked in the oven.

Bread dough is typically made with a higher protein flour, such as bread flour or all-purpose flour, which gives it its signature chewy texture and ability to rise. The yeast in the dough feeds on the sugar in the flour, creating carbon dioxide gas that causes the dough to expand and rise.

The amount of water used in bread dough is crucial, as too much can result in dense and heavy bread, while too little can lead to a dry and crumbly texture. The ratio of water to flour also affects the gluten development in the dough, which is responsible for its elasticity.

What Is Pizza Dough?

Next, pizza dough is similar to bread dough in that it also contains flour, water, and yeast. However, the key difference lies in the type of flour used and the way it’s prepared. 

Pizza dough is typically made with a lower protein flour, such as all-purpose flour or Italian 00 flour, which results in a thinner and softer crust.

The dough is also usually left to rise for a shorter time compared to bread dough.

The water-to-flour ratio in pizza dough is also different from that of bread dough, with more water being used for a softer and more pliable crust. This allows for the dough to be stretched and shaped into a thin, round crust that is then topped with sauce, cheese, and other toppings before being baked in a hot oven.

Is Pizza Dough The Same as Bread Dough?

Now, coming to one of the most common questions asked by many people – is pizza dough the same as bread dough? The answer is both yes and no.

While both pizza dough and bread dough contain similar ingredients, their proportions and preparation methods vary greatly to set them apart.

Pizza dough is typically made to be thinner and softer than bread dough, which is often thicker and chewier. Additionally, the amount of time spent rising and baking also differs between the two types of dough.

However, it’s worth noting that some types of bread, such as flatbreads, can be made using a similar process to pizza dough. In these cases, the two types of dough may have more similarities than differences.

Bread Dough vs Pizza Dough – Differences 

We’ve gone through discovering whether bread dough is the same as pizza dough, but what are the key differences between them? Let’s take a closer look.

As we have mentioned above, the differences in ingredients and preparation methods between bread dough and pizza dough result in distinct culinary outcomes.  Here are some factors that set them apart:

1. Ingredients

As mentioned earlier, the main ingredients in bread dough are flour, water, yeast, and salt. However, many variations of these basic ingredients can greatly affect the final product.

For example, using different types of flour such as whole wheat or rye will result in a different texture and flavor for the bread.

On the other hand, pizza dough also uses flour, water, and yeast as its main ingredients, but it may also call for additional ingredients to achieve a specific texture or flavor.

For example, adding honey to the dough can create a slightly sweeter crust, while using semolina flour can result in a crispier crust. The amount of yeast used can also greatly impact the final product, with more yeast resulting in a lighter and fluffier crust.

2. Gluten Development

The gluten development in dough plays a crucial role in its final texture.

Bread dough, which is often made with higher protein flour, can develop strong and elastic gluten strands that give the bread its chewy texture and ability to rise.

Pizza dough, otherwise, may require less gluten development for a softer crust.

3. Moisture Content 

The amount of water used in dough is key to achieving the desired texture.

Too much water can result in a dense or soggy product, while too little water can lead to dry and crumbly bread.

In pizza dough, a higher moisture content can create a softer and more pliable crust that is easier to shape and stretch.

4. Fermentation Time

The amount of time dough is left to rise, also known as fermentation time, can greatly impact the final product.

Bread dough usually requires a longer fermentation time compared to pizza dough to develop its characteristic flavor and texture.

This is why bread recipes often call for an overnight proofing process, while pizza dough can be ready to use within a few hours.

5. Kneading Process 

The way the dough is kneaded also affects its final texture.

Bread dough is often vigorously kneaded for an extended time to develop strong gluten strands and create a chewy texture.

On the other hand, pizza dough may only require minimal kneading to achieve a softer and more tender crust.

Overall, while bread dough vs pizza dough may contain similar ingredients, their differences in proportions, preparation methods, and preparation techniques result in distinct culinary outcomes.

Both types of dough have their unique purposes and can be adapted to create a variety of delicious dishes. Experimenting with different ingredients and techniques can lead to endless possibilities for both bread and pizza dough. 

What Will Happen If You Use Bread Dough Instead Of Pizza Dough?

Have you ever wondered what happens when you use bread dough instead of pizza dough? If so, the information below will be useful to you. 

Using bread dough instead of pizza dough can result in a thicker and chewier crust, which may not be ideal for making traditional pizzas. The texture and flavor of the crust will also differ, as bread dough does not have the same level of stretchiness and pliability as pizza dough. 

Additionally, the ingredients used in bread dough such as sugar or butter may alter the taste and texture of the final product. However, using bread dough as a substitute for pizza dough can still result in delicious dishes. 

For example, thicker versions of pizzas such as Sicilian or focaccia-style pizzas are often made with a bread-like dough. Flatbreads or calzones can also be made using bread dough for a heartier and more filling option.

So, while using bread dough instead of pizza dough may not give the traditional pizza experience, it can still result in tasty and unique dishes.

As with any recipe, experimentation, and personal preference play a big role in determining which type of dough to use. 

Other Ways To Use Pizza Dough

Bread dough vs pizza dough – we have discussed the differences between the two and know whether we should use bread dough instead of pizza dough or not.

But what other ways can pizza dough be used? Aside from making traditional pizzas, there are many creative and delicious ways to use pizza dough.

Here are a few ideas:

1. Stromboli – This meal, similar to a calzone, is produced by rolling up pizza dough and filling it with various ingredients before baking it till golden brown.

2. Garlic knots – Simply cut strips of pizza dough, tie them into knots, and bake them with garlic, herbs, and cheese for a tasty appetizer or side dish.

3. Cinnamon rolls – Roll out pizza dough, spread it with cinnamon sugar and butter, roll it up like a jelly roll, and bake to make delicious cinnamon rolls.

4. Breadsticks – Cut strips of pizza dough, brush them with olive oil, and sprinkle with herbs, then bake until crispy for a tasty side to any meal.

5. Focaccia – Top pizza dough with olive oil, herbs, and toppings of your choice and bake for a delicious flatbread that can be served as an appetizer or accompaniment to a main dish.

Other Uses For Bread Dough

Same as above, bread dough can also be used in a variety of other dishes including:

1. Dinner rolls – Let bread dough rise, shape it into small balls, and bake for soft and fluffy dinner rolls.

2. Cinnamon swirl bread – Roll out bread dough, spread it with cinnamon sugar and butter, roll it up like a jelly roll, and bake for a delicious treat.

3. Bagels – Boil bread dough in water before baking to create homemade bagels with your choice of toppings.

4. Pretzels – Shape bread dough into pretzel shapes, boil in water with baking soda, and bake for soft and chewy pretzels.

5. Bread pudding – Use stale or leftover bread dough to make a decadent and comforting bread pudding.

These are just a few examples of how versatile pizza dough and bread dough can be in the kitchen. Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different ingredients and techniques to create your unique dishes.

Can We Use Pizza Dough To Make Bread?

After reading the information above, you know whether pizza dough can be replaced with bread flour, so what about the opposite? 

Many people wonder if they can make bread using pizza dough. The answer is yes, but it may not result in the exact type of bread you are looking for.

Pizza dough tends to be thinner and more elastic compared to traditional bread dough, which is why it’s better suited for making pizzas. However, with some adjustments and tweaks, pizza dough can work as a substitute for bread dough in certain recipes.

For example, pizza dough can be used to make a delicious focaccia or flatbread. You may also need to adjust the baking time and temperature depending on the type of bread you are making.

While there are similarities between bread dough vs pizza dough, they each have their unique purposes and characteristics that make them better suited for different types of dishes. So it’s best to use them for their intended purposes.

How Long Does Bread Dough and Pizza Dough Last?

The shelf life of bread dough and pizza dough can vary depending on factors such as storage, ingredients used, and the environment.

Generally, both types of dough can last for up to a week when stored properly in the refrigerator. However, it is best to use them within 2 to 3 days for optimal freshness and quality.

It’s important to store dough in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out and forming a crust. For longer storage, dough can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Just make sure to thaw it properly in the refrigerator before using it.

If the dough starts to smell off or develop mold, discard it immediately as it may pose health risks if consumed. To prevent food waste, it’s best to only make as much dough as needed for a specific recipe or meal.


So, the distinction between bread dough vs pizza dough unravels a captivating narrative within the world of baking. While both share the fundamental component, the nuances in their preparation methods and ratios give rise to unique textures and flavors.

Bread dough, with its focus on structure and a broader range of applications, contrasts with pizza dough, designed for a quick rise, soft texture, and the perfect canvas for various toppings.  

Surely understanding the intricacies of bread dough versus pizza dough empowers bakers to elevate their skills and savor the diverse pleasures that baking brings to the table.

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