Pizza is great, there’s no two ways about it. It’s good for every occasion. It is simple to make and hard to screw it up. Enhancing the pizza taste and experimenting new cool things has always been my passion and one such way is to add in olive oil.
Using olive oil when making your pizza dough and sprinkling it on top when ready to bake can greatly enhance the flavor of your dough, whilst adding a little more crispiness to it. Read on to learn more about olive oil and its benefits to your pizza.
How to Use Olive Oil with Pizza
The way to add oil to your pizza dough is to mix it in with water, this allows the flour, sugar and yeast contents to properly absorb all the moisture.
When the dough has been shaped, the toppings drizzled and the pizza oven hot, we recommend adding a few brushes of oil to the crust of your pizza, this will help it develop that nice crunchy exterior that is to die for.
Using the Right Amount
While adding olive oil is always a great idea, excess of everything is bad. To truly get the maximum out of your oil dough marriage, you want to make sure you use the absolute correct amount.
The way to do that is to look at the nutrition content of the type of dough you are making. Most recipes that require a unique type of dough will specify the nutrition content and also how much oil you should add so you need not worry too much.
Alternatively, if you are eyeballing a recipe, we recommend using two to three tablespoons of olive oil per five hundred grams of flour.
Finally, when adding oil to the crust of your pizza dough, we recommend a light layer of oil on the crust, and a generous drizzle of it over your toppings for that extra umph in the flavor department.
Added Benefits of Adding Olive Oil
Adding oil to your dough makes it extra supple and easier to roll out.
Since oil itself is nothing more than melted fat, it does not affect the hydration of your dough, however, its properties do allow the dough to maintain its hydration, making it easier to cook.
The fat content of the oil adds an extra layer of flavor to the finished product, taking your pizza from great to excellent.
How to Add Olive Oil in Pizza Dough?
If you are new to making homemade pizza dough, you may not be familiar with the concept of oil in pizza dough. But a few basic rules will help you make the perfect dough every time.
Adding oil to the dough doesn’t affect its hydration, but it adds a higher level of plasticity and inhibits gluten formation. Most recipes for pizza dough call for two to three tablespoons of oil per five hundred grams of flour, but you can use a measuring cup and eyeball it as well.
You need to consider the ratio between oil and water when adding it to your dough.
When making the pizza dough using olive oil, just add oil to the normal dough ingredients. Just add a little less water as you normally do. Now, mix the ingredients with your soft hands or a stand mixer. Wait for the dough to form.
If you realize that the dough is too dry, add a little more water to it. Contrary, if you find the dough to be too wet, add a little more flour. It’s just as simple as you like it.
Ideally, your dough should be soft to the touch. It must not be too dry or too wet.
Here you go, you are good to make your delicious pizza pie.
Alternative Oil Flavors
A critical factor in your pizza’s flavor is the type of oil you use. The classic, and preferred choice of professionals is Olive oil, however it is significantly more expensive than other oils. That being said, no oil comes close to Olive oil in terms of flavor and ease of cooking.
Canola oil is usually the runner up in any chef’s list on the oils they prefer to add to a pizza.
Regardless of your disposition towards a particular type of oil, you should remember that working with what you know will always yield the best results. So use an oil you are familiar with, and a dough you know well, and your pizza will excel in the dough department.
Another factor to consider is the flavor. The oil used in pizza dough should have a particular flavor; one that will go well with your choice of toppings and sides.
Some chefs prefer to use extra-virgin olive oil which imparts a richer, more savory taste to the pizza, whereas, some prefer the more subtle notes of vegetable oil.
Be sure to check the ingredients labels to ensure you’re using the best quality oil. While olive oil is the most traditional choice for pizza dough, you may want to experiment with different oils if you’re cooking for a family or for many people.
Bonus: Upgrade Your Frozen Pizzas
The benefits of olive oil do not stop at fresh pizzas. Even frozen pizza’s can be modified to taste fresher and more like the real deal with olive oil.
All you need to do is follow this process:
- Open up your frozen pizza of choice
- Let it rest for 15-20 minutes
- After defrosting, prepare a bowl of oil along with an oil brush or spray bottle.
- Coat a thin coating of oil over your pizza.
- Bake your pizza for half the given amount of minutes on the packaging.
- Brush up some more oil on the site and top of your dry ingredients.
- Let the pizza bake completely and enjoy a crispy thin crust frozen pizza that tastes like its been freshly prepared
Best Olive Oil Applicators
For most cooking applications, apart from deep frying, oil is always used sparingly, too much of it gives a greasy oily taste that no one is ready to accept, which is why the genius innovators of our time came up with two ingenious solutions to this predicament. Spray bottles and brushes.
Oil Spray Bottles
For most, its surprising to learn that spray bottles containing oil also exist, but these bottles help establish a very light and even coating onto your dough.
To use them, simply raise the bottle above your dough, give it a “Spiss Spiss” or two and you are done. A small layer of oil will be distributed all over your dough with the subtlest of flavor and texture changes.
There are many spray bottles to choose from. You could even fashion one out of any old spray bottle laying around in your home, but we found some spray bottles on amazon that we highly recommend you try if your jerry rigging skills are a little dusty.
Our first pick is this bottle right here from Misto.
Our second recommendation is this bottle. A small, sleek and ergonomic bottle that fits perfectly into your palm.
As the name suggests, pastry brushes are like regular brushes, except they are food safe and are used to spread paint (oil, eggwash or glaze) onto your canvas (dough). Do not worry if you aren’t a regular Picasso, they’re as easy to use as it is to come up with puns in the last sentence.
Simply dabble your brush hairs into your oil, give it a few taps against the bowl to make sure no excess oil droplets soil your painting (last one promise), and gently rub the hairs on your dough, making sure to get every crevice.
The pastry brush gives much more control over application area to the user, as one can precisely apply the oil, compared to the spray bottle, but it cannot apply the same small coat to the dough, so you will always be risking overly oiled up dough.
When it comes to pastry brushes, nothing beats a good ol’ fashioned silicone brush. We recommend using this one from the OXO store on amazon. Its light, flexible and its dual bristle combo lets it retain liquid in case the need arises.
Our second choice is this brush from Carlisle Food Service Products, another elegant and sleek looking brush. But this one sadly, does not have dual bristles, and is slightly more expensive, with the added benefit of having wider bristle width.
Adding olive oil on your pizza dough is an excellent to ramp up the flavor of any pizza. It is easy to do and can be used in many ways.
- The addition of oil makes the dough more flexible to be stretched without breaking easily.
- It adds nutrients not found in the traditionally made dough, hopefully leading to healthier pizzas.
- Adding oil to pizza dough allows for unique flavors that would not be possible with just flour and water.
We hope this article was informative and gave you insight into the pizza making process. Do tell us about your way of using olive oil with pizzas in the comments below.